How is life in London treating you so far? What was your summer like? I guess there are all sorts of answers to those questions but let's focus it a bit. How has your walk with the Lord been in the last couple of months? It would be a confident person who replied, "perfect." More likely your response is going to be something between, "a bit up and down" and "not great really."
Well here's the beauty of the gospel. Whatever you've done this last couple of months and however you might feel about it, if you're trusting in Jesus then God sees you as perfect. It's worth saying again, God sees you as perfect.
It's not that he's like a doting old grandfather who thinks that you can do no wrong or a dodgy judge who pretends there's been no wrong when there has. No, he knows what we're like and everything we've done and cares about it more than we do. It's because of the death of his Son Jesus in our place that sin has been punished and taken away forever. He's dealt with it perfectly.
More than that though, God has given us Jesus' perfect righteousness and that's how he sees us now. Perfectly righteous. And he's not pretending or squinting. With Jesus Christ in our hearts God sees us as perfect.
Listen to King David's request after his adultery to hear this reality lived out:
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean,wash me, and I shall bewhiter than snow... Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities." (Psalm 51:7-9)
That's the beautiful reality that all Christians can enjoy because of what Christ has done for us. Sins washed away and perfect purity imparted.
So how do you feel at the beginning of this academic year as London life with all its stresses and temptations comes flying at you? How do you feel as you look back at a summer of ups and downs, successes and failures? However you feel the gospel says take it to the Lord, confess it to him and then sit back and enjoy the incredible reality that he sees you as perfect.