Today I am writing about God’s forgiveness and how it is a free gift, how we immediately receive it when we accept Jesus gift of salvation, and how it frees us to get on with living.
Be blessed today.
It is the most amazing thing to be covered by the Lord Jesus Christ. To be forgiven and able to have fellowship with God is a profound gift.
Because of the work of Jesus Christ, we are a forgiven people.
Now we know that the wages of sin is death:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus Christ, God coming in the form of a man, paid the price of our sin.
We are told that Jesus came born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was both man and God. And because he was fully God he was without sin. Because he was fully man he could stand in the gap for man’s sin.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23
Jesus came to set things right, and that is exactly what he did.
Dying a criminal’s death when he was without sin, we are told that Jesus despised the shame. He came intent on bringing life where there had been death. He became the sacrificial lamb that paid for our sins.
“…looking to Jesus, the founder 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.” Hebrews 12:2
In Exodus we see a beautiful picture of this on the last night of the Israelites sojourn in Egypt. The instructions from God were to kill a lamb and to smear its blood on the doorposts of their homes and when the angel of death came that night it would ‘pass-over’ the homes where this blood was.
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it… For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn of the land of Egypt, both man and beast… The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you.” Exodus 12: 7-13
The blood created a covering, a protection that marked these people as God’s and therefore death passed over. The Israelites Passover was a sign of things to come in the form of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ died and was raised to life to cover us, to bring us from a life of death to a life of real living.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
And with this came the forgiveness of sins. Sins are covered over. God sees us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
He does not see us in our natural state, he sees us in light of what Jesus did for us. We are made new creatures in Christ and we therefore have communion and fellowship with God.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
God offers us opportunity to focus on Him and to forget our sin.
When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, the work done to cover our sin by Jesus over 2000 years ago, comes forward through time and covers us now. We are new creatures in Christ.
The act of Jesus Christ in dying and then rising from the dead works across time.
The payment for sin and the resulting forgiveness was applied back through time and then forward through time.
The writer of Psalms, long before Jesus’ coming, knew of the Lord’s forgiveness:
“But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” Psalm 130:4
“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him” Daniel 9:8-10
The work of Jesus Christ on the cross is not bound by time. It is a continuous present tense occurrence.
We do not have to work for our forgiveness. We cannot work for our forgiveness.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with us. We cannot create it, make it more or less, or manage it.
Forgiveness is a gift.
“Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything…” Acts 13:38-39
We either receive it or we push it away.
Having said that, receiving forgiveness can be hard work. Because it is not about us.
In order to receive forgiveness we must put ourselves aside.
We must lay down our pride and accept that there is something that we cannot manage or make happen for ourselves.
Forgiveness is based on the character and work of God and God alone. Forgiveness is not based on us.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Because forgiveness is based on the character of God and not us, it is always present. It is always there. It is always available and in fact we are covered in forgiveness immediately upon accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
The moment we say, “Jesus I am a sinner, and I need your life, I accept your gift of life” We are forgiven.
We barely need ask for forgiveness, rather we simply receive it for God has already provided it. We must allow forgiveness to soak into our entire being; into our hearts and minds and spirits and bodies even.
Allowing and inviting God’s forgiveness to permeate our lives is our only work. Although it is not really work, it is almost more an absence of work, because the work has been done by Jesus Christ.
We set aside our pride (the part of us that likes to take care of business), and we let this business be taken care of by the Lord.
“I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14
He has done this work. We merely rest in it. We say ‘Thank-you’ Father for forgiveness.
It is a work that was assigned to Jesus Christ, a work that He carried out to completion, and a work that we simply accept and receive as done on our behalf.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
And then we let that work of forgiveness and covering and life soak into our beings. We receive it as the gift that it is. We set aside our pride that screams, ‘I am not worthy’ and we simply say ‘thank-you’.
We get on with living.
We get on with serving.
We get on with loving the Lord our God.
“Father thank-you so much for making a way for us. For saving us from our sins, for covering us with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I receive this covering today and declare myself covered in the blood of the lamb.
I receive your forgiveness deep into every part of my being. May it soak into my very bones, into my emotions, my mind and the way I go about life. May I be marked by you and your grace and love and forgiveness.
We bless you today God, in the name and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”