What do you think of when you hear the word “innocence”? Is it a word you would use to describe yourself? More likely, that word makes you think of a newborn baby or maybe a little puppy dog. “How could I possibly be seen as innocent”? Because we know we’ve stumbled many times, we struggle to grasp the idea that we are declared innocent.
But through the cross, we are declared innocent by God. Paul writes: “And by the blood of his cross, everything in heaven and earth is brought back to himself—back to its original intent, restored to innocence again!”[i] “And in love he chose us before he laid the foundation of the universe! Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.”[ii] When we lose sight of our innocence, we become spiritually blind to our blessings. We forget that the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6).
Because of a historic over-emphasis on “original sin” in Western Christianity, I have found that many believers are more conscious of their imperfections than the innocence and righteousness that God has gifted to us. There is too much focus on our sin, and not enough realization of all that God has accomplished on our behalf. I’m not being soft on sin. I’m saying that a life of “Christ-consciousness” is much better than a life of “sin-consciousness.” Being Christ-conscious leads me towards walking in righteousness.
Instead of being depressed that you still make mistakes, how about focusing on “original goodness,”[iii] the cross, and Christ, who is your holiness? Don’t worry about what happened with Adam and Eve! God made you good, and declared you holy, righteous and innocent through his cross! Enjoy God, enjoy life, and enjoy every good gift he gives you. Don’t mope around depressed because you had an impure thought. Confess it and move on.
Let’s review who we are in Christ. We are united with Christ, one spirit with him. “…whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” 1 Cor 6:27 (NIV). Since you are united with Christ, shouldn’t you feel good about yourself? Paul writes: “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin[iv]