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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins– Ephesians 2:1(NASB)

“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.”- Jonathan Edwards

Sin had us in a state of deadness.  Our trespasses and iniquities held us captive.  As Paul wrote in the New Testament, we were “slaves to sin.” Sin prohibited any ability to truly live.  We could see any way out of the grasp of sin.  Its stronghold had us blinded.  It blocked any sign of light from penetrating into our dark dwelling place.

God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins

– Colossians 2:13 (NIV)

Set Free

God set us free.  He freed us from guilt by grace.  He freed us from shame with salvation.  He freed us from pressure with perfection.

He set us free.

He set us free without condemnation.  He set us free with forgiveness.  He set us free through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

No Longer Dead But Alive with Christ

By freeing us from sin, He made us “alive with Christ” (Col. 2:13).  He took us from one state of being (dead) and led us to another state of being (alive).  He freed us that we might have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10).  We have that abundant life in and with Christ Jesus.  He’s the reason we are free, but He’s also our Redeemer.

Suffer No More

He freed us, but He wants us to live like Christ.  He saved us, but He desires us to follow the example of His Son.  He set us free so that we might not suffer any longer.

Live today fully liberated by the might work of the Lord’s saving power.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. – Romans 6:11 (ESV)

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I am writing to you, little children,because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.- 1 John 2:12 (ESV)

We are called Christians.

That is how we are identified.  It is a label that has meaning for us.  It means that we are part of of the Family.  It means that we are part of the Fellowship.  It means that we part of the Faithful.

Most of all, it means that we are FORGIVEN.

How do we know that we are forgiven?

John said so in this epistleIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(1 John 1:9, NKJV).

Paul said so in Colossians.  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses (Colossians 2:13, NKJV).

Jesus said so in the Gospels.  Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men (Matthew 12:31, NKJV).  Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.(Luke 6:37, NKJV).  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (John 20:30, NKJV).

Ultimately, we have to learn to live differently as being forgiven for his name’s sake (1 John 2:12).  We have to learn that we are forgiven, and then we can learn how to live in the knowledge of our forgiveness.  Finally, we must learn to live and forgive, so that we can live in freedom among the forgiven.

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 6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity[a] and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’- Jeremiah 33:6-9 (NIV)

Imagine what the Lord can do for you.  Put it this way: Imagine what the Lord could do for you based upon what is in His will for you.

He is able to do all.  That’s why we call Him the Almighty.  He has power and dominion over everything.  It’s just part of who He is to us.  He is Lord.  He is Jehovah Jireh.  He is our Provider.  He provides what is within His will and what is necessary to confirm His Word.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. – Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. – Psalm 115:3 (KJV)

The rationale is simple once we have the proper perspective on who god is and how He operates based upon His revelation through His Word.  Our theology must be based upon His holy revelation through the Scriptures.  When we accept Him in faith, we believe all that is said about Him in His Word.

Such a God as this is awesome.  He is powerful.  He is wonderful.  He causes us to give pause and wonder if we could ever manifest such goodness in our own lives.  We question whether we can ever love in the true sense that God offers love.  We know that we fall short and stand in the need of grace, but we are certain that God has called us to be better than we ever do in this life.

This is the type of God who forgives Israel for its rebellion against God.  This is the God who can love a nation full of harlotry and idolatry.  Here is God who provides by the might of grace and supplies by His own mercies.  He called Israel out on all of their stuff, but He still said that He could and would bring them health and healing, even cleanse them despite them having sinned against Him. 

He can provide through His power.  He can forgive .  He can love.  He can heal.  He can cleanse.  He can do all of these by His own power.  He is a powerful provider.  He can provide more in restoring us than we ever could imagine that we could ever deserve.  He is powerful.  He is our provider.  He has all the power that we need to provide us with all that we need.

20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

 

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Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven– Luke 6:37 (NIV)

People who have been forgiven should be forgiving people.  Grace, mercy, love and patience should all intertwine in order to offer forgiveness to others.  Since God has forgiven us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, we should forgive others just as He has forgiven us.

Take into account the wrongs that you have done against God.  We call them sins.  They are the little and the big things that separate us from our constant and consistent fellowship with God.  We need to see how our interactions with others are in alignment with our professed faith and belief in God.  Sadly, we may find ourselves more out of alignment with God’s ways and His Word than we would like to think.  How we treat others may not be as glaring to us until we weigh it all in proper perspective with how God wants us to treat others.

 The dialogue between Peter and Jesus about forgiveness has been utilized out of context many times, but it opens the believer’s eyes to a new dynamic about forgiveness.   Jesus assures Peter that what may be viewed as acceptable by human standards is not what is acceptable by the standard set for God’s people.  Even if it is our own people who offend us, we should be able to forgive them countless times.  That’s not easy.

We have to understand that we have been forgiven of all  of our sins by the work of Jesus on the cross.  Therefore, since we have been forgiven, we have an understanding of having a debt that we could not pay for ourselves.  We should see that our brother or sister’s trespasses should be forgiven without our convicting or condemning them for what they have done.  We should, as forgiven people, forgive them because of what has been forgiven of us by Him.

Take your forgiveness up a notch.  If you find that hard, take it to God in solemn and sincere prayer.  drop the grudge and bury the hatchet.  There’s no sense in taking someone else through hell for what they have done against you when your Holy Father has refused to send you to the depths of hell for all that you have done against Him.

God forgives.  Be like God.  Forgive more and more.

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From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.- John 6:66 (NIV)

37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.- Acts 15:37-38 (NIV)

 

The Gospel of John gives us a rare account of many of Jesus’ disciples parting ways with the Master.  Imagine that! Some people who had heard His message and had seen His miracles decided that enough was enough, and then walked with the Lord no longer.  Wow! Now consider this.  If people did that to the Lord, the Messiah, the Master, the Christ, what do you think they’ll do when you try to lead them further and farther?

It happens in ministry.  There are other biblical examples, too.  John Mark started out with Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey as told in Acts 12:25, but he was also at the center of a disagreement between both missionaries in Acts 15:36-41 due to his premature departure on the previous journey.  It happens and we seem lost about what to do about it.  We tend to take it personal when someone walks out on us, but it’s not about us.

The message we are called to carry throughout the world isn’t about resistance or revolt.  The message that we are to carry forth is truly about redemption and restoration. John Mark, also called Mark, found forgiveness and favor as evidenced in the Word.  Yes, you have to read the whole story.  It resembles our rebellion and return to God as He offers us reconciliation, redemption and restoration.  Look what it says about Mark by both Paul and Peter:

  • Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:11 (NIV)
  • She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.- 1 Peter 5:13 (NIV)

When others walk out on you, get busy praying on your knees.  Pray that the Lord continues to supply and sustain you and your ministry in their absence.  Pray for God to reveal whether you need to replace the person or not.  Pray that God strengthens the one who walks away so that he or she may become more useful to God in the near future.  Pray that your heart remains open for reconciliation and restoration with that brother or sister.

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.– Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB)

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We all most probably have heard Mark McGwire’s admission about steroid usage by now.   Both Sosa and McGwire enjoyed more than 15 minutes of fame during the amazing home run race of ’98 that got baseball back on its feet.  What we heard from McGwire was suppose to settle the matter because it was supposed to be the truth. As he shared his shame, we all were to take it as if McGwire was telling the total truth.

Truth is truth.  The truth has a way of releasing us from the bonds of a lie.  The lie creeps out from the darkness and overshadows the light of the truth.  I can’t speak for McGwire, but I can say that we need to accept honesty.  I say that we need to accept honesty at face value.  We need to forgive McGwire just as He has forgiven us.  Let McGwire go into whatever corner and lick his wounds if he needs to before he starts as a batting coach for the Cards, but let’s not beat him up any more than we already have done.  Grief and agony are enough of a price to pay on top of shame.

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I can do it.  I can pay my debt, find work, and even live at peace with my neighbor.  No, I do not a stimulus plan from the White House.  I do not need President Obama to give me a loan or design a program like “Cash for Clunkers.” No, I simply need to refer to God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and lovingkindness, and then I can keep going a little further.  It’s all the stimulation that I need.

I think of His mercy and grace when my brother turns his back on me or my sister has an ill word to say about me.  I am prepared by His forgiveness when those who have wronged and betrayed me do not ask for forgiveness or to be reconciled with me.  I hold close to His lovingkindness in order to share love and kindness with my brothers and sisters who have not been loved and who find it hard to love.  The Lord has stimulated me without any need for a stimulus plan.

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