by Pastor Mark Fisher
December 13, 2017
The necessary reason lost sinners put their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work at Calvary is because they realize they need to have their offenses (their personal sins) against God forgiven. They trust it is by the blood of Christ alone that was shed on Calvary’s cross that enabled a Holy God to truly forgive them for all of their trespasses! So by faith alone in Christ, salvation & sin was settled!
But oftentimes, we as believers (now saints) can be the biggest doubters when it comes to the forgiveness of our sins. We easily look at ourselves, our flaws, our weaknesses, our struggles in our marriages and families, and at times our own personal sins and poor attitudes toward life. And since we look at ourselves with perplexity and doubt, we can project that same perplexity and doubt toward our gracious forgiving God, whom we think must feel the same way about me as I do about myself! But God is not surprised by us, for He long ago made provision for us!
God spoke through the Old Testament (OT) prophet Jeremiah that God was going to do something new. God declared an amazing promise in Jeremiah 31:34, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Sins forgiven and forgotten?! Unheard of and never experienced in the OT under the Law! It would be a new covenant (NC), very different from the old covenant (OC) Law of Moses which was based on obedient law keeping, but this new promise would be based entirely on God’s work alone! In time, the New Testament writer of Hebrews affirmed this truth when he wrote, “And every [OC] priest stands daily at his [temple] service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single [NC] sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God… For by a single [NC] offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 10:11, 12, 14)
And then this same author notes that Jesus’ blood was the fulfillment of this promise, where God said, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” And then rightly states, “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:17–18)
Dear believer in Christ, our sin was forgiven long ago at Calvary by Jesus’ own blood, and our forgiveness became a reality when we put our faith in Christ! Our sins were forgiven and forgotten by God for Jesus’ sake! As Paul taught in Ephesians 1:7-8, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…” He also confirmed this in Colossians 2:13-14, where he confidently affirms that “God made [us] alive together with him [Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
We have redemption, we have complete forgiveness, we are saints, we are God’s holy NC temple! We are His children, His adopted sons, and now God asks us to be just like Him (Ephesians 5:1-2), and to demonstrate His grace that He has lavished on us, to others! And one of the greatest examples of exhibiting God’s grace is to fully forgive those who have offended us, and like God, to forget the offense. Just like God has with us! Pray, pray and pray for those you struggle with! Love and forgiveness will win out by His grace working in our lives. He forgave the unforgivable when He forgave me! Grace won!
The filling (being full of and under the power) of the Holy Spirit in our lives leaves no room for embracing grudges, unforgiveness or ill thought or harm to my brother or sister! The Holy Spirit fills our lives with the graces of love, joy and peace… If we are harboring unforgiveness in our hearts, the key is to repent (admit the wrong, change our minds and pursue forgiveness) and thank God that He has already forgiven us for Jesus’ sake alone! A lack of repentance and change of heart leads to the grieving of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32), allowing Satan a foothold in our hearts (Ephesians 4:27), which he is more than happy to obtain.
Dear brothers and sisters, as we consider our walk with Christ, let’s pray that like Jesus our lives would be a sweet aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2), thus causing great rejoicing in heaven, in our homes and in His church on earth! The Holy Spirit is easily capable of cleansing us, changing us and comforting us! Let’s let Him! (Ephesians 5:18)