Jesus Christ was sent into this world to rescue us from the prison of guilt.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.
When a person is truly repentant, he is freed from all unrighteousness.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Co-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.
The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time (Romans 6:11). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order.
|APRIL 10, 2015
The One Sin I Thought was Unforgivable
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NLT)
The event speaker spoke the one word I didn’t want to hear. She said the one word that elicited painful memories, shame and regret. One word that left me weeping silently in the pew, hoping no one would notice my brokenness.
My eyes were closed, but I sensed God’s eyes were wide open and focused directly on me. Part of me felt afraid and confused, but a bigger part of me felt peace in light of the gift God was offering.
Amid the flood of hot tears that burned in my swollen, tightly shut eyes, I pleaded with God for His forgiveness of the one sin — the one word — that I felt was unforgivable. I meekly, humbly and reluctantly dared to ask God, once again, the prayer I had uttered so many times, yet never believed could be answered.
Could You … would You … possibly … forgive me for that, Lord? Really?
If You could forgive others for their sins, could You maybe, just maybe, forgive me too?
If You can still love them, despite their pasts, can You love me too?
Will You still love me, God?
I felt like a little girl sitting at her daddy’s feet, asking forgiveness for not listening to his words of instruction, and longing for him to scoop her up and reassure her of his love. My heart was gaping wide, and I waited, anxious for God to fill me with all the things I never thought I deserved to ask for, much less receive.
I felt sure God was wondering if I were a broken record instead of a broken soul. I had asked for His forgiveness for 14 years, never feeling worthy of it and never expecting Him to actually grant it. But this time, in this place, I actually believed I was forgiven.
I felt the lightness and freedom of a prisoner set free. Joy caught in my throat, and I could hardly swallow. The unbearable, heavy burden of my shame, regret, sorrow and haunting memories were all lifted the moment I embraced God’s promise that ALL sins are forgivable through Christ. Including mine.
Abortion. The one word that made my heart shudder — that was a tragic choice made by a scared 19-year-old. And unfortunately, statistics show that more than 56 million U.S. women may have shuddered at that one word as well, since abortion became legal in America.
Yet despite the reasons we made bad choices, God longs to offer forgiveness. The enemy doesn’t want us to believe that truth. He wants to keep us in bondage to shame and secrecy … to prevent us from living as a testament of God’s grace and power over sin. As our key verse notes, Scripture states quite the opposite: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
The “one word” you dread might be very different from mine, but God can free you from whatever keeps you from embracing how much you are adored by Christ. Might today be the day you learn to fly in the freedom of His forgiveness and peace?
Father, You know the “one word” that makes me shudder. Forgive me and cleanse my heart. Fill me with overwhelming peace and acceptance of that gift. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 1:7, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” (NLT)
1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (NLT)
Psalm 34:5, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (NIV)
From: Streams in the Desert
What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light” (Matt. 10:27).
–F. B. Meyer
From: Charles Spurgeon
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 16:6-10
I shall always regard the fact of my being here today as a remarkable instance of providence. I should not have occupied this hall probably, and been blessed of God in preaching to multitudes if it had not been for what I considered an untoward accident. I should have been at this time studying in College, instead of preaching here, but for a singular circumstance which happened. I had agreed to go to College: the tutor had come to see me, and I went to see him at the house of a mutual friend; I was shown by the servant into one drawing-room in the house, he was shown into another. He sat and waited for me two hours; I sat and waited for him two hours. He could wait no longer, and went away thinking I had not treated him well; I went away and thought he had not treated me well. As I went away this text came into my mind, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” So I wrote to say that I must positively decline; I was happy enough amongst my own country people, and got on very well in preaching, and I did not care to go to College. I have now had four years of labour. But, speaking after the manner of men, those who have been saved during that time would not have been saved, by my instrumentality at any rate, if it had not been for the remarkable providence turning the whole tenor of my thoughts, and putting things into a new track. You have often had strange accidents like that. When you have resolved to do a thing, you could not do it anyhow; it was quite impossible. God turned you another way, and proved that providence is indeed the master of all human events.
For meditation: God is never taken by surprise or inconvenienced by accidents. He puts his people in the right place at the right time (Esther 4:14).
note: Spurgeon commenced this sermon with an account of an event at Halifax the previous Wednesday (7 April) during a snow storm. He preached in a wooden structure to thousands in the afternoon and evening. With only a hundred people left to exit, some flooring collapsed, injuring a couple. Three hours later the whole building collapsed. Had it not been for a fast thaw, there could have been a catastrophe.
Sermon no. 187
11 April (1858)
God Cares When You Feel Worthless (Psalm 139:16–17)
How precious children are to us. Modern technology allows us to see those little feet and tiny hands and beating heart while the baby is still in the womb. But we also see with our mind’s eye as we dream about what God has in store for these little people. We don’t know the future, but what a precious promise it is to know that God does. As we walk day by day with them, guiding them, protecting them and watching with wonder as they grow, we entrust them to God who knows every moment. We don’t know where our children will go in life, but he does. We don’t know how God will use them, but he does. We don’t know what they will accomplish for God’s kingdom, but he does.
We can also understand how precious we are to God. What value he places on each of us. God knew us before we were born. He knew every day of our lives before our lives even began. May we understand the promise of God’s knowledge of the future and take comfort in it.
God’s Promise to Me
- I knew you before you were born. Every day of your life is known to me.
- I think about you more than you know. Don’t worry; you are safe in my hands.
My Prayer to God
Lord, you created me for a purpose. Every day of my life was recorded in your book and laid out before my life even began. I choose to take comfort in this knowledge. May I understand the depth of your love for me all the days of my life.
Taken from Once a Day Bible Promises