Our Gospel Identity
Christian, everything God has for you is grace upon grace because of what Jesus has done for you. To us depraved sinners who are the least deserving, Jesus gave his life. He cherished God’s law perfectly, which is something we would never do. Jesus loved God’s law, and he fulfilled God’s perfect law by obeying God perfectly. No one could have done this except Jesus, the sinless one. He then gave us his life by dying as our substitute. On the cross he took our sins onto himself and allowed the Father to pour out his wrath upon him. Our sins have been paid in full because of Jesus’s sacrifice, so there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
Jesus gave his life in our place as a substitute for sin. We are forgiven. In Christ we are not just forgiven and given a blank slate so we can start over and try to live good and holy lives. No! We don’t have a blank slate to start over and get a “second chance.” If God gave us a second chance to live perfectly or even a two millionth chance to walk in perfect holiness before him, we would still blow it. Jesus gives us his life of righteousness when we are justified by faith in him. The record of sin against us was nailed to the cross, and Jesus gives us his record of perfect righteousness.
Christian, this gospel is the reality in which you live this morning. God is absolutely free in his choice to set his love on whomever he pleases, and in Christ he chose you. You didn’t deserve it, and that’s the beauty and glory of grace upon grace.
Your image is not really about you but about him. God created you in his image, and he is about the work of redeeming you right there in the midst of your life in the home. Part of your image bearing and image conforming is experiencing the joy of making God your treasured possession, as he has made you his. Throw away all the self-images that denigrate your personhood by calling your homemaking an evolution of animal instinct. Seeing ourselves through any other lens is a slur on the cross and an insult to the worthiness of Jesus, who is worthy to receive the reward of his suffering, namely, worship from men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.
Practically Speaking, Imaging God in Your Home
What does life-changing faith look like on a day-to-day basis in the midst of the mundane? Simply put, faith looks backward and forward.
Faith looks backward to the cross and believes that Jesus has purchased every spiritual blessing for us with his blood (Eph. 1:3). Faith also looks forward to the reward of all that God has for us in Christ. This is the kind of faith that changes the way you live today and makes you into a homemaker whose goal and delight is in God and in being conformed to his image.
By faith we believe that God chose us in Christ in love to be adopted as God’s children “according to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:4–5). Tomorrow morning we can get out of bed and confidently go straight to our Father to tell him that we love him and need him, and we can share with him everything that is on our hearts. Faith believes that God will satisfy us with joy forever.
By faith we believe that God created us in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10). As we’re making breakfast we can plan the day around serving others for the sake of the gospel, knowing that this is what God has created us to do. Furthermore, his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness because he has called us (2 Pet. 1:3). Faith believes that God has given the believer eternal life.
By faith we believe that God is building us up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Jesus (1 Pet. 2:5). At the first hint of inadequacy in our homemaking we can cling to our Great High Priest, who makes the deeds we do in faith acceptable to God. Faith believes that God will finish the work he has started in us (Phil. 1:6).
By faith we believe that we have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ, whereas we had been far off and without hope (Eph. 2:13). As we go about our errands for the home, we can initiate friendships with strangers and invite them into our home because we’re no longer strangers in God’s house but citizens— even sons and daughters (Eph. 2:19). Faith believes that God will bring us into his home.
By faith we believe that we have been reconciled to God and to one another through the cross (Eph. 2:16). At the first sign of temptation to make our home an idol, we can focus on God’s delight in gathering together a people for the praise of his name—a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Eph. 2:22). Faith believes that God will be exalted in all the earth.
By faith we believe that God will give us the courage we need to share the gospel in the face of opposition (1 Thess. 2:2). We can manage our homes tonight in grace and love despite living in a world that is hostile to the gospel and seeks to destroy what God loves. Faith believes that God will overthrow the Devil and destroy his works (2 Thess. 2:8).
Set Apart Your Home for Jesus
Jesus is the true and better image, as he is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). Jesus created all things in heaven and on earth—all things were created through him and for him (Col. 1:16). Jesus is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col. 1:17). Jesus is the sovereign Lord over every square centimeter in your home—from the pipes to the television to the mattresses. He is Lord over it, and he desires that you use what he’s given you to glorify him. That doesn’t mean that your home needs to be perfect by the world’s standards or even by your own personal standards, but consecrated by God’s standards.
In Romans 12:1–2 we see a description of what it means to set ourselves apart for God: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Since Jesus is Lord over all things and God is subjecting all things under his feet (1 Cor. 15:27), including our homes, by his grace we use our homes to worship him.