I was thinking about how we come to Jesus to get saved. We come as we are, but also we can’t be accepted as we are. I’ll explain.
We humans are sinful by our very nature (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-12), and we do not meet the requirement of perfection to be in the presence of God. We are not allowed into Heaven just as we are. But God still loves us, so Jesus came to pay for the justice required against our sins. He made it so His righteousness can be put on us as if we were righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). That way we can be allowed into the presence of God in Heaven.
When Jesus calls you to be saved, the Holy Spirit shows you who you are: sinful, unworthy, dirty, trapped, and in deep need of rescue. The Spirit then turns you around and points to the One who can take care of all that. You can’t make yourself better, only Jesus can. So you must come to Jesus as you are, or you will never come at all.
But also you aren’t coming quite as you are. We humans don’t like to be wrong, and will often deny that we are. You have to agree with God about who you are and actually want to come to Jesus. So while you are coming as you are, you are coming without the pride that hinders your way.
After you come to Jesus this way, when you agree with Him, believe in Him, and confess Him as Lord, you are instantly covered by His righteousness. But that’s not all! At this point you have become entirely new! You also get help directly from God Himself to continue to learn what it is to be righteous, and you learn to become who you are!
Jesus loves you as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way.