“He Is Faithful and Just”

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. 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us,if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless over night and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.

John 12:35-36 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-24-2019

Eternal Forgiveness

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14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” — Luke 18:14 NLT

When we stand before a mighty and just God to petition Him for forgiveness of our sins, we must humble ourselves before Him.  Outwardly, we may appear to be doing good deeds that do not require forgiveness. But, inwardly, before God cleans us up, we are a filthy mess. God already knows that, so we must be completely honest with Him. We may smile and say nice things to those around us, but God knows whether we are being serious or being hypocritical.  We cannot come before the Lord with the attitude of the Pharisee.  God doesn’t use other people, their actions or their words to determine our guilt or innocence. No, He uses a much higher standard.  He is the standard and that is a standard that we can never live up to.  That is exactly why He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.  A perfect gift for an imperfect world. The blood of a spotless Lamb to wash away the filthiness of our sin.  The righteousness of the One who had never sinned to cover our sinfulness.  The death of His Son to pay a debt that He didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Once we accept this truth, those sins are never mentioned by God again.  Nothing we have done, can do or will ever do can replace that sacrifice.  So, yes, come boldly, but bow humbly, before the King of Kings and receive not only forgiveness, but peace and joy that the world can never know.  Come with faith and stay until you are filled with His Spirit and clothed in His righteousness. From that moment on, you will never have to be concerned about leaving His presence, because truly, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-12-2017

To Be Forgiven, Forgive Others

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25  “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. — Isaiah 43:25 NLT

God forgives us of our sins and chooses not to remember them or hold them against us.  No where in the Bible are we instructed to “forgive and forget”.  Like many sayings attributed to the Bible, this one is not in there.  While it is a beautiful expression and idea, I am not sure that humans are capable of forgetting those transgressions,  either the ones we have committed against God or those that have been committed against us.  While we may not be capable of forgetting, we are charged over and over with the responsibility of forgiving.  That we can do, because it is an act of the will, it is a decision that we make.  God has certainly told us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  — Eph. 4:32​

 
There are many other verses emphasizing the fact that we must forgive.  These verses also show us how our relationship with the Father is affected by a lack of forgiveness. (Matt. 6:15)  They also show us how a lack of forgiveness causes us to become bitter (Hebrews 12) and how un-forgiveness will cause us to lose our reward (2 John).
The “forgetting” part means that we should be so sure and certain about our decision to forgive that the transgression no longer affects our relationship with the person committing the act.  It is no longer a part of any discussion we have or any decision that we make.  It means that just as God has justified our standing with Him, we do the same for the transgressor.  It is as if we had “forgotten” or as if that incident had never happened. Notice in the passage from Isaiah that God said He would forgive them for His sake which indicates there are some good things that come to those who do the forgiving as well as to those who are forgiven.  So,  if for no other reason, we need to forgive for our own sake.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-21-2018

Pressing On

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20  Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. — Eccel. 7:20 NIV

We all fall, but we don’t stay fallen.  I am encouraged by Paul whose claim to be the “chief of sinners” could be contested by some of us in today’s society. He clearly knew who he was, Whose he was and where he was on his journey. He lets us know that he is not there yet, but he is on his way and he is determined to arrive there.


12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 3:12-14 NIV
”Forgetting what is behind” is the example Paul sets for us. That is a hard thing for humans to do.  But, if we don’t practice that, then satan will use those memories of our failures to condemn us and make us feel unworthy to approach God and ask for His forgiveness.  If we allow this to continue, we will soon become beaten down with guilt.  Condemnation is from the devil, conviction is from the Holy Spirit.  Rebuke satan and his condemnation.  Accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and ask for His forgiveness.  Accept that forgiveness and “press on toward the goal to win the prize”.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:8-10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -09-02-2018

Live In Peace

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So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. – 2 Cor. 2:8
It appears that someone in the church at Corinth had done something that was deserving of discipline by the church body. Whatever the action was, it had caused a great deal of grief in the church.  Paul is writing to tell them that the discipline has been sufficient and now it it time for the church to move on and let the healing begin.  The church now needs to restore that one to their fellowship and reaffirm their love for him or he could be completely overwhelmed. In every family, whether it be our church or our physical family, there are disagreements, some severe enough to be deserving of corrective action.  But once that action has been taken, it is time to restore and reaffirm our love for each other.  
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. — Galatians 6:1 NIV
The restoration is not a favor to the perpetrator, but a necessary step in the forgiving process that brings glory to God.  True forgiveness releases all anger and resentment against that person and allows us to enjoy the freedom we have in God’s forgiveness of our sins.  It also defeats satan’s schemes since it will keep us from allowing a root of bitterness to grow in us, which will steal our joy.
14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many– Hebrews 12:14, 15 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-03-2018

Believe, Receive, Live!

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15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. – Hebrews 4:15 NLT
 
Sometimes when we sin, whether intentionally or not, we are overwhelmed with guilt. We walk around for days carrying that heavy load, too ashamed to face our actions, confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness.  That is exactly what satan wants us to do because in that condition, we are useless in witnessing for the Kingdom.   What we need most we are ashamed to ask for because we don’t deserve it. True, we don’t deserve forgiveness but God gives it to us because of His great love and mercy. Humans deserving forgiveness was never a part of God’s plan. Getting us to waste time trying to earn forgiveness is satan’s plan. As usual, satan couldn’t come up with anything original so he just takes the opposite stand on what God has done for us. We need to understand that the Holy Spirit does not make us feel guilty, what He brings to us is conviction that we have sinned and God is waiting, even longing to forgive us.  The times in our lives when we feel guilt is the most “needy” times in our lives. We need to be forgiven and restored so that we can fulfill the plan God has for each of us. Jesus came that we might have abundant lives which start with and always include forgiveness of our sins. Jesus wants us to live, really live a vibrant life for Him. If you spell “live” backward, you get “evil” which comes from satan and guilt is one of his most useful tools for defeating Christians. Don’t let satan cheat you out of an abundant life, get forgiven and get going. We have a Champion on our side who will never be defeated and we are covered with His righteousness.
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels ​– Isaiah 61:10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-06-2018

What Will We Give?

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34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. – John 19:34 NLT

One would think that after all the things that the leaders had just done, that a body on a cross on the Sabbath would be of little consequence. But, we can only guess that that would have offended their piety. When the legs of those hanging on the cross were broken. the full weight of the body was pulling down on the arms and torso making it more difficult to breathe. This caused the person to expire more quickly due to a lack of oxygen. By the time the soldiers came to the cross that Jesus was hanging on, He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs. Instead they pierced His side with a spear causing all the fluids to run out of His body. This fulfilled more prophecy concerning the death of Jesus. Just as a sacrificial lamb had to be completely bled out before it could be sacrificed, so was Jesus. He gave up everything for us- His royalty in heaven, His life, His very last drop of blood. What are we willing to give up for Him?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11=12-2017