Saturday, May 20, 2017
The forgiveness of Jesus Christ
The forgiveness of Jesus Christ
In one article I wrote about how to abstain from sin. Did you know Jesus Christ is our forgiveness? Are you feeling guilty, impure or just downright low? These are not uncommon thoughts that serious Christians have because they want to be perfect before God. Holy God, imperfect child is something true believers go through all the time especially with besetting sins.
(6) "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:6-7. I think it is interesting that this verse talks about the grace of God before technical information is given to us about our forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We are accepted in Jesus Christ because of the grace of God.
The only reason we have redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is why our sins are forgiven but even I am amazed that verse 7 once again ends with ... "According to the riches of His grace." In verses 6 and 7 we can see bookends of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
The first bookend refers to the grace of God as praiseworthy for His glory but the second bookend refers to the grace of God as rich. The only reason we have redemption and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is through His blood. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins He shed His blood for us so we could be forgiven but it was because of His love for us.
I like when the Bible says, "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah." Psalm 85:2. Not just some of their sins but all of their sins. When we truly repent before God, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12.
Why do you think Paul was able to say, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our sins were forgiven and we became a new man in Jesus Christ.
John takes this subject to the believers in Jesus Christ. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1. Wow this is great news. If I transgress as a believer going to Jesus Christ to confess my sin/sins is what I'm supposed to do and my Lord is faithful to forgive me. Sometimes I say, "Lord I don't even know why I did that" but God usually says, "I know why you did it." Still in the dark but Jesus understands His children. He is our light.
I never heard a true believer say that they really wanted to sin against God. A child of Jesus Christ struggles with his or her sin as opposed to an unbeliever who does not wrestle with transgressions against God. Whatever category you are in remember, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 8:12. If we earnestly confess God forgives and in His mercy He never brings the sin/sins up again because they are removed. "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.
Does God want us to make a conscious choice to forsake our sins? Yes. Do we have to change our thoughts to righteousness? Yes. If we are on the wrong path do we have to return to the Lord? Yes. Is there a reward in the end if we do this? Yes it is called pardon. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:7. "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their inquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me." Jeremiah 33:8.
We live in a country over here where everybody seems to be getting in trouble. I can't quite put my finger on this punishment/law mentality but if these people would put half their time in getting right with God through Jesus Christ then maybe we would not need all these prisons. Jesus came to set the captives free through Him. I noticed this reality starting at 9/11 and progressively getting worse every year.
We need to also understand that because God forgave us we in like manner need to forgive other people. Let's face facts because people offend us all the time in a world where human beings just don't care about each other. That is why I believe Colossians 3:13 says, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Forbear means to be loyal to that person as a friend even if there is a disagreement or offense.
I still can not believe Jesus Christ forgave me of all my sins because I have many but He had mercy on my soul. Thank you Jesus! The very least I can do is forgive other people for the offences they committed against me. This is a test of character and God wants to see this trait in our life. The other person that committed the offence might even come to know the Lord because of our forgiving spirit because there will be transparency in the love of Jesus Christ coming out of our heart.
The Bible does say pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but there is one condition in the Bible. "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25.
It is impossible to pray to God with an earnest spirit while holding a grudge against someone else. It takes a little courage to forgive but it is worth it because our relationship with Jesus Christ depends on our choice not to harbor bad feelings towards another person. We would be better off if we just prayed for them and showed them love.
They may have committed an offence against us but we were dead in our sins before we received salvation from Jesus Christ. Now we have a relationship with Him because we were forgiven of our transgressions. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." Colossians 2:13.
I think the case is pretty clear that we should forgive people through the Person of Jesus Christ. I used to think this was an option now I see it as a command. When I make this choice to forgive other people God removes the burden from my soul and it is light rather than heavy.
I don't exactly know when Jesus is coming back but we are in the general vicinity of the rapture of the Church. No serious Christian wants to sin in this late hour. Our sins being forgiven is a gift from God. We need to check our spirit everyday to see if we are right with God. (1) "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:1-2. Just look at that word guile. It sounds like something or somebody we would want to run away from yet that describes us at one point in our life. Inspection rather than avoidance is what we should be doing in our life.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord then today/tonight repent of your sins and remember the Bible says, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.
When I go to the judgment seat of Christ I am not going to say, "Judge me by the law" or "Remember every one of my sins" because I am forgiven and God is not remembering my transgressions because they are blotted out so I am receiving mercy. This very same thing can happen in your life for an eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ. Pray that prayer today/tonight so Jesus Christ can forgive you and impute His righteousness in your spirit.
God Bless you,