JESUS AND FORGIVENESS

CAN WE BE FORGIVEN?

Those of us who believe in Jesus want to live lives that are in harmony with his teachings, and in our study of the Bible. We know that we cannot live without God. We listen to preachers and teachers—and are enlightened. We want to please our Savior. However, it is not unusual for Christians to feel that we have gone astray and have not pleased God. Though we do our best, we have to recognize that we shall not achieve perfection. We struggle with our sins. Therefore it is not unusual for any of us to feel guilty before God.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~Romans 3:23

WHY ARE WE AFRAID?

Why do we fear? Are we afraid of being ‘found out’ as the imperfect people we are? God knows everything about us already! He wants us to receive the forgiveness and grace he offers through Jesus Christ.

“… no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” ~Heb 4:13

NOWHERE TO HIDE

God has given us the Ten Commandments, the teachings of the prophets, and the disciples of the Saviour. The Bible encourages us to grow in grace. It also reminds us that God forgives our sins.

“He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall find mercy.” ~Proverbs 28:13

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Romans 12:1,2)

“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness because we have rebelled against Him, and have not obeyed the voice of our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.” (Daniel 9:9,10)

COMMUNION

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26,27)

A holy God seeing human sins sends his Son to the cross so that we might be forgiven. John the Baptist declared: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)

GOD FORGIVES OUR SINS IN JESUS CHRIST

1. The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world

2. On the cross Jesus paid the penalty for our sins

a. He had no guilt or sin

b. He had no need of forgiveness

c. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”~ II Corinthians 5;21, 

d.“And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” ~Colossians 2:14, 

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us . . . and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” ~Colossians 2:14

God never asks us to forgive more than he has forgiven us. One may ask why does God condemn some for eternity; why does God exclude some from his presence? Because God is holy and we are not—and if we are to have fellowship with him, we must accept the forgiveness and the new and holy life that he offers.

It is important that we choose God.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.” (II Corinthians 5:10)

We must elect to belong to him! If we ignore him—if we live as if God does not matter—if, indeed, we disrespect him and dishonor his name and persist in sin, what hope remains for us? His creative work should make it clear to every human being that God exists, and is incredibly mighty and powerful. Every human being is accountable to God.

“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (Romans 2:1)

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” Romans 1:18-20)

GOD IS LOVE

“When we all reach the end of our earthly journey we will have just begun!” ~Billy Graham

He wants us to come to Him.  

 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” ~1 John 4:18

Let us rejoice and sing “Glory Be To God”!

Foster H. Shannon
 
More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
 
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