So where do you stand . . . ? I’m not sure when you were last asked this question or what emotions or thoughts it evoked. It may have prompted certainty in your position or doubt in your clarity on the issue. This is one of Satan’s greatest methods of producing paralyzing condemnation or doubt in our lives. It threatens our very human agency and possibly the very little hope we can muster to believe that we are not what our thoughts and actions may otherwise declare about us. Satan can’t take your salvation, and he can’t remove what was never his to control, but he can certainly knock us off balance.

Jesus says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy but he (Jesus) came so that we might experience life in all the abundance God intended (see Jn. 10:10). This fruitful life that Jesus declares is not only the future but also here and now in the present. Jesus came to resurrect what the thief came to destroy. Where the enemy creates doubt, Jesus brings confidence; not because we don’t fail but because we do, and only Jesus has the words of truth that our souls long for like the parched earth hungers for the rain.

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Paul reminds the church that they stand on a firm foundation of truth that is not based on wishful thinking or platitudes but the very actions of Jesus. Paul declares that the gospel is the life-giving bedrock of their faith. Our salvation is an enduring state of being; it restores and resets the conditions of our life. When we are most vulnerable and feeling threatened, this is the good news our spirit needs. Paul urges us to remember what really matters in life, that which is of “First Importance” (1 Cor. 15:3). Jesus died in your place. If you are reading this, you probably know that, but do you live like it? Bathe your heart and mind in the truth of what Jesus says about you. Your sin, all that separates you from an abundant, intimate, and connected relationship with God, was removed by him who gave himself for you. You can’t remember this too much or too often. This salvation you have is a past, present, and future reality. The grammar of this passage makes it clear. We can certainly complicate our lives and make a mess, but our sin is finite and our Savior is infinite. So next time Satan points out your failing, take a stand, you’re on solid ground, remember that your Savior, with widely outstretched arms, declared that he loves you this much … as he took your place and mine on the cross at Calvary.

Jaisen Fuson

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