So who is it that gathers here at Good Shepherd’s and faithful Christian churches around the world? It is people who come with all their filth, all their sin, all their shame to have it taken away by Christ. They don’t want to be that way anymore. You don’t want to live in your sin anymore. You want to live as one who has been forgiven—and by God’s grace are.

Because God has sealed you with his Word, God has forgiven your sins and sees you through Jesus Christ as the perfect church. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself and other believers to be perfect. God has already accomplished that.

So how should we live? Like a child who has been forgiven by mom or dad, who skips away in the delight of their parent’s favor and works to be the best little boy or girl they can be. Let’s live for God because God has hugged us and restored us. God doesn’t see our sin, but considers us perfect.

And if that’s how God sees us, isn’t that how we should see each other? It’s so easy for us to be critical of each other. Let’s ease up on one another. If Christ was punished in our place, that means I don’t need to punish you when you sin against me. Instead, how can we serve each other in love to help? If we live this way, God will give us so many blessings and so many chances to show our love to others. Then you’re looking at each other the way God does: as those who have been sealed by his word and made into his perfect church.