Forgiveness Before and After the Cross

Matt 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  This sounds like you must earn God’s forgiveness through works of forgiveness. How are we to interpret this scripture?

Jesus gave different responses to people who thought they were righteous because of their own self effort.  He was setting a high standard for the self-righteous so that they would see their desperate need for grace.

The truth is, we cannot earn God’s forgiveness.  The measure of forgiveness we need is far greater than any forgiveness we could show to others.  Do you think that Jesus put a price on forgiveness?  Jesus paid for the price of forgiveness in full, when he died on the cross.

Before the cross, forgiving others was required to receive forgiveness from God. However, that standard changed through His death, burial and resurrection.

This is why Paul said in Ephesians 4:31–32 (Passion), “The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”

I’m not saying forgiving others is not important; it absolutely is very important.  If we don’t forgive others, it causes us to have toxic thoughts toward others and that is so harmful to us.

God is not withholding forgiveness.  He paid the price in full on the cross, but we must believe it.  When we do, the grace of God will flow and help us to forgive anyone who offends us.

Forgiveness is a result of knowing that you are forgiven.  It is easy to forgive because God has forgiven us.

-Pastor

 

Forgive Like Jesus

Colossians 3:13 (NKJV) says, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”  How did Christ forgive you?  He forgave you before you even asked for it.  Of course, it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t believe that.

Unforgiveness is a form of bondage.  It’s a grace killer.  If you don’t forgive others, you’ll have trouble experiencing the forgiveness that God has already provided for you.  It’s not that God is holding back on forgiving you.  He has already forgiven “all” of your sins, but if you don’t respond to what He has done, it’s like He never did it.

Grace has been poured out, but it takes faith to apply it.  So, we can also say that forgiveness has already been poured out, but it takes faith to apply it to our lives.  Believe that you are and always will be forgiven by God your Father.  We need to believe and be mindful that we are always forgiven, so it will not be hard to forgive others like He has forgiven us.

So, if there is someone who has offended you, don’t wait until they ask for forgiveness.  Just be like Jesus and forgive them before they ask for it.  If we don’t forgive, we will have toxic thoughts living in us.  As we read in Switch on the brain, toxic thoughts are physically dangerous to us.

Forgiveness is a result of knowing that you are forgiven.  It is easy to forgive because God has forgiven us.

-Pastor

 

What’s Eating you?

At some point in our lives, we deal with hurt that was caused by someone.  Hebrews 12:15 (KJV 1900) says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

Our actions don’t earn the grace of God. That wouldn’t be grace (Romans 11:6).  We don’t fall (fail) from grace by not being holy enough to earn it.  Galatians 5:4 speaks of falling from grace by putting faith in our works instead of having our faith placed in Jesus and what He did for us.  So, the way people “fail concerning the grace of God” is through legalism or self-performance.

The English word bitterness means “acridity (especially poison), literally or figuratively” (Strong’s Concordance). Bitterness is poison, exhibiting or proceeding from strong animosity. Having or marked by resentfulness or disappointment.”

Notice that bitterness in our lives doesn’t just hurt or poison us, but it says in Hebrews 12:15 that many will be defiled.  If we become bitter, that bitterness will affect others.  God’s grace is far greater than anything that has been done to you.

Do you have a grudge against someone to the point that when you see them, it just eats at you?  The grace and goodness of God is there to overcome any toxic thinking that you have.

-Pastor

Sinning vs. Sinner

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The word sins in 1 John 1:9 in Greek is hamartia, and it’s a noun.  When most of us think of confessing sins, we think of things we’ve done wrong, but that would be a verb.  Sins in this verse is referring to their status as sinners; something they were born into.  The word “confess” in 1 John 1:9 in Greek is homologeō, which means to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with.  To get saved, we just need to agree with what God says about us!

Psalm 103:10 (NKJV) says, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”  God is good to you, even when you sin.  Your mistakes and sins can hurt you, but God doesn’t relate to us based upon our behavior.  There are repercussions for sin, for sure.  Does God see my sins?  Yes, but they are forgiven.

1 John 2:12 (NKJV) says, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.”

Colossians 2:13–14 (NKJV) says, “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, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

-Pastor

 

To Confess or not to Confess Sin…

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John was written because of Gnosticism, which was a religious philosophy that was infiltrating the church.  Gnosticism was the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first 3 centuries.

Gnostics claimed to possess a higher knowledge, not from the Bible, but acquired on some mystical higher plain of existence and salvation was obtained through knowledge.

They believed that Jesus did not have a human body and also thought that the virgin birth was impossible.  This caused confusion and division because even though they claimed to follow Jesus, they were constantly contradicting Jesus’ teachings.

Knowing the belief system of the Gnostics helps us see how John is separating believers from unbelievers in the first chapter of 1 John.

1 John 1:1–4 (NKJV) says, [What Was Heard, Seen, and Touched] “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

Then John tells the gospel message in 1 John 1:5–8 (NKJV) saying, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. “

He then tells them how to get born again in 1 John 1:9-10 (NKJV) explaining, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

John has addressed all of the major Gnostic beliefs.  He needed to tell them that they were in desperate need of a savior!  They had been lying to themselves in saying they could do this on their own.

If we read all of what John was saying, we see that confession for the forgiveness of sins is a one-time event.  All means all.  In verse 7, “all sin” includes the sins we haven’t committed yet. This is good news!

So what about confessing your sins to get saved?  Nowhere in scripture does it say, “You need to confess your sins to get saved.”  You just need to confess and believe in Jesus according to Romans 10:9-10.

Don’t miss the next blog for this continuation.

-Pastor

 

Do You Know that You ARE Forgiven?

If we understand that grace has been poured out on our lives and that we are forgiven by God, 24/7, then we will forgive everyone no matter what they have done to us.

Forgive means “to remit or send away our sins” – something the Bible says happened at the cross.  You are forgiven whether you believe it or not, but it won’t do you any good unless you believe it.

Hebrews 10:17–18 (NLT) says, Then he says, ‘I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.’  And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”

Jesus didn’t die just for confessed and repented sins. He died for all sin.  Again, it won’t do you any good if you don’t believe that.  That is what happens at salvation.  We know and believe that Jesus has forgiven us, but do you know that even after your salvation, you have already been forgiven for any sin that you might commit?

2 Corinthians 5:18–19 (NLT) says, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”  God is not counting or making a list of your sins.  You need to believe that though.

Catch the next blog to find out about “confessing sin”, mentioned in 1 John 1:9.

-Pastor

 

The Mind Eraser (He Remembers Our Sins No More)

The Bible says that God’s love for us has nothing to do with our loveliness or our behavior, whether good or bad.  “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

God simply loves us because He is love and it’s His nature to love.  That’s who He is. When we accept what Jesus has done for us, we GET the unconditional love of our Father, which means from the moment we believe on Jesus, the acceptance of our Father is not based upon our performance.

God has already dealt with our sins and He is not holding any sin against us.

1 Cor 13:5 (AMP) says, ““(Agape-love) is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it…”

Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV) says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:16–17 (NKJV) says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT) says, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”

Romans 4:8 (AMP) syas, “Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him. [Ps. 32:1, 2.]”

Our Father is the Ultimate Mind Eraser.  He has ERASED our sins and remembers them NO MORE!

-Pastor

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 4)

The Devil does not want you to believe you are righteous. Here’s why:

Righteous people don’t fear.

Isaiah 54:14 (NKJV) says, “In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.”

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

If fear is working in me, I don’t have a righteous mentality. If I fear, I fear punishment. If I feel guilty, I know punishment is coming, so fear comes. Righteous people have no condemnation, no guilt, no shame.

John 3:17 (AMP) says, “For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.”

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) says “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

No Condemnation; When? NOW! Who has no condemnation? Those that are in Christ Jesus, those who have been made righteous.

-Pastor

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 1)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 2)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 3)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 4)

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 3)

The Devil does not want you to believe you are righteous. Here’s why:

Unrighteous people can’t do anything for God. There’s no power in their life.

Jesus said, “The works that I do, shall you do also. People say, “Jesus could do anything….miracles etc. because that was Jesus. God the Father would do anything for Jesus.” We don’t understand righteousness. Our perception is wrong.

John 6:28–29 (NKJV) says, “Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'”

John 14:12 (NKJV) says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Jesus talked to storms, & they obeyed Him.
Jesus talked to demons & they obeyed Him.
Jesus talked to sickness & it obeyed Him.
Jesus talked to a fig tree & it obeyed Him.

Why? Because He was Jesus? No. He was righteous and SO ARE YOU!

-Pastor

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 1)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 2)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 3)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 4)

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 2)

The Devil does not want you to believe you are righteous. Here’s why:

He wants you to think that you are still a sinner.

So often we say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” NO! Sinners don’t receive from God & they have no power over sin, but if you know that YOU ARE righteous, sin has no power over you.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NKJV) says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

You may have done something in that list after you were saved. But the difference is this: you may have stolen but you are NOT a thief. You may have gotten drunk but you are NOT a drunkard. You may have committed adultery but you are NOT an Adulator. Why? You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. So, stop doing those things. That’s not who you are. You ARE Righteous.

-Pastor

Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 1)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 2)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 3)
Why The Devil Does Not Want You To Believe You Are Righteous (Part 4)