Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you. (John 15:3)
To be sure, the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is sage advice, but it isn’t always true, especially when the “sound” is coming from the Bible. The devil wants us to view the Scriptures with suspicion, cynicism, and doubt. His first attack against mankind in the Garden of Eden was to cause Adam and Eve to question the truth and goodness of God’s Word. To be sure, there is much we find in the Word of God that sounds too good to be true, but it is true; His Word is truth (John 17:17). When we receive God’s truth by faith, we can respond to it in faith and begin living the life God has called and equipped us to live.
Today’s verse — the promise of being clean in the sight of God — surely sounds too good to be true, because we are all painfully aware that we are not always clean in thought, word, deed, or desire. But because we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we are clean in the eyes of God. He regards us as possessing the perfect righteousness of His beloved Son, because He has credited (the theological word is imputed) Christ’s righteousness to all who believe the Gospel.
Let me share just two more of these “too good to be true” promises with you today:
The Promise of Pardon
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
At the top of the list of those things that sound too good to be true is the promise of pardon. Because of what God in Christ has done for us on the cross, our guilt and shame have been completely and eternally taken away. All of our sins — past, present, and those still to come — have been nailed to the cross, and regardless of what we do, we are secure in our salvation because God, the righteous judge of all the universe, has declared us “Not guilty.” What we must always keep in view is the fact that God does not love us because we are good; He loves us because we are His, and dying on a cross to make us His makes that truth abundantly and gloriously clear.
The Promise of Presence
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
The writer of Hebrews was quoting from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. I’m sure you believe that every Word from God is important, but when God repeats Himself, we should pay extra attention to what He has said. Once again, His promise sounds too good to be true! But consider this for a moment: God has promised us His presence today, tomorrow, and forever. We will never be left alone, no matter what we do. Jesus promised to send His Holy Spirit to every believer when He ascended to heaven. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit — literally, dwelling places for the Spirit of God — so we have God’s presence with us 24/7, 365 days a year. And when we breathe our last, we will be ushered into His eternal presence.
The Promise of Pardon and The Promise of Presence really do sound too good to be true, but they are true for all those who, by grace through faith, have trusted in Christ alone for salvation. You can sum up these words of eternal encouragement by simply saying, We are always forgiven and We are never forsaken! We are eternally clean in the sight of God. Let these “too good to be true” truths set you free to be all God is calling you to be.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!