Monday, January 21, 2013

GOOD NEWS

I have got good news for everyone - you and I are forgiven!

All the wrongs you and I have made past, present, and future were blotted out on the cross of Jesus Christ.  All anyone has to do is recognize their need for a Savior, then accept His FREE GIFT of salvation.  It is not hard.  It requires a confession or a heart-to-heart prayer to Father God, acknowledging your status without Jesus and your need and desire of Jesus in your life.  Then there is repentance - turning from your old ways, 180 degrees and becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus (living a Christian lifestyle).

Father God got a hold of my heart and life in 1979 (9 years old).  Since then I have been living the Christian life the best way I knew how, BUT more freedom came for me this past week.  From the beginning of my Christian walk I knew my sins were forgiven, but I would live my life with God accepting the past as forgiven and not the present or the future as forgiven.  There would be times after messing up with God, I would pray for forgiveness, thinking that I needed to get right with God again.  This cycle or method kept repeating itself in order for me to feel my relationship with God was not broken.  I don't know how I got that misconception, but I am free from it now.

As a Believer in Christ Jesus, if you have had this issue also, I now encourage you in love - stop and consider this Good News.  Every time you make a mistake with God you may apologize, but there is no need to ask for forgiveness, YOU CAN NOW KNOW YOU ARE FORGIVEN AND ARE WALKING OUT YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE IN FORGIVENESS.  This spans your whole life and should spur you to live a Godly life.

Joseph Prince said it really well in his book Destined To Reign -
"Listen carefully:  We don't have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven.  We confess our sins because we are already forgiven.  When I say 'confess our sins', I'm talking about being open with God.  I don't go before Him begging for forgiveness.  No, I talk to Him because I know that I have already been forgiven.  I know that I can come to Him freely - He is my God, my Daddy God.  Forgiveness is not dependent on what I do, but what Jesus has done.  So confession in the new covenant is just being honest about your failures and your humanity.  It is the result of being forgiven and not something you do in order to be forgiven." (p.104)

John 8:10-11
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?'  She said, 'No one, Lord.'  And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'

"Now, pay close attention to this:  Jesus gave her the gift of 'no condemnation' before He told her to go and sin no more.  Yet, the church today says, 'Go and sin no more first, and only then will we not condemn you.' That's the reason people are shying away from churches.  It is not because they are rebelling against Jesus.  It is because they have not been introduced to the Jesus who gives the guilty sinner the gift of no condemnation!" (Destined To Reign, Joseph Prince, p.164)

"Jesus' method of countering sin is completely different.  When you sin, He says to you, 'Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.'  When you receive the gift of no condemnation from Him, you will know beyond any doubt that fellowship with God is never broken because the blood of Jesus continually cleanses you.  Believing that you are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus and simply receiving the gift of no condemnation gives you the power to go and sin no more."  (Destined To Reign, Joseph Prince, p.166)

1 John 1:7
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.

"Notice that for us, believers who 'walk in the light', it is not our confessions that cleanse us from all sin, but the blood of Jesus!  Notice also that this verse says 'walk in the light' and not 'walk according to the light'.  Walking in the light means walking in the realm of light which Christ's death has already translated us into.  Christians often misconstrue this to mean walking according to the light, thinking that darkness will decrease and light will increase if we try to stay in the light.  But that is not what this verse is talking about!  It is talking about us already being translated out of the realm of darkness into the realm of light.  One little word makes all the difference!  When we understand this verse, we realize that even when we sin, we sin in the realm of light!  So, if we sin in the light, we are cleansed in the light, and we are kept in the light.  This idea of us going into darkness when we sin is not from the Bible.

The Bible is so rich and full of treasures!  Did you know that even the word 'cleanses' in 1 John 1:7 is really beautiful?  In the Greek, the tense for the word 'cleanse' denotes a present and continuous action, which means that from the moment you receive Christ, the blood of Jesus keeps on cleansing you.  It is as if you are under a waterfall of His forgiveness.  Even when you fail, this waterfall never stops.  It keeps on keeping on, cleansing you from ALL your sins and unrighteousness.   
Beloved, confessing your sins all the time will only make you more sin-conscious.  But knowing that you are under Jesus' waterfall of forgiveness will keep you forgiveness-conscious.  And knowing that you are forgiven of all your sins will give you the power to reign over every destructive habit and live a life of victory!" (Destined To Reign, Joseph Prince, pp. 108-109)

So, in my life whenever I asked for forgiveness from God after screwing up, in a sense I was asking The Lord to pay for that sin again.  Now, I can change my wording and behavior and say something like - "Dear Lord, I am sorry for ______.  I recognize it was something you deem sinful and with your help I head in the other direction from that ordeal.  I praise you and thank you that you have already taken care of that mistake of mine on the cross and I don't have to cover this ground again!  In your name, Jesus, I pray, Amen."  

I and we as Christians can live in victory and forgiveness every moment of every day!  Hallelujah!