Tag Archives: forgiveness

A lost sheep! (lost part 2)

If you want to get to sleep you can count sheep, but most of us don’t lose sleep over a wandering sheep! In Jesus day though, a story about lost sheep resonated with those listening and certainly they clearly understood the metaphor.

The metaphor of a lost sheep

In  Mathew 12:11 Jesus uses it to make the point that saving human life is more important than keeping to rules:

lost sheepMatthew 12:11 “And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”

Later on in Matthew 18 he repeats the analogy with the story of another rescue – if we didn’t know better, we might have thought the Jesus was a shepherd (well he was of course) – the good shepherd!)

Matthew 18:12 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?”

We go astray – just like sheep

The point of all this is, that as fallen human sinful beings we are just like sheep in our behaviour: we constantly stray and do stupid things!

Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:25 “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

We do the same sinful things over and over again even when we get the same negative results – insane!

Example: crazy tortoise!

This reminds me, of when I was young and had a pet tortoise. It had nice enclosure with a chicken wire fence, plenty of grass, and even a little wooden house to live in. Every day though, the tortoise did three things: it ate, it slept and every other waking moment, it spent climbing the fence trying to escape!

tortoiseSurprisingly, tortoises are very good climbers but unfortunately they have no common-sense. In fact they have no sense at all, so that when he arrived at the top of the wire he just kept going and inevitably fell off onto his back. Ingeniously, he would then use his back paws up against the fence to push himself upright and get out of this scrape. Amazingly, he never learnt the lesson (give up) but would begin the whole process again. He didn’t live long and I do wonder whether he died of concussion!

So what’s the point of this story? What can we learn? How does my crazy tortoise relate to us? Maybe if their hadn’t been sheep in biblical times the Bible would have used the tortoise as an example!  

“All we like tortoises have gone astray (very slowly!) “

Jesus therefore is the ultimate pastor or shepherd and his mission is to rescue dumb sheep (or tortoise) out of the mess we get ourselves into! Our designation is lost – resistance is futile!

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Parable of the lost sheep of – Luke 15

lost sheep

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Who are the lost sheep?

As we see in the above passage,  Jesus further expands and clarifies the parable of lost sheep as told in Matthew 18, intimating clearly, that he views the listening tax-gathers and sinners as the lost sheep! I don’t expect they were getting this message from their local church or synagogue – if they attended at all!

This parable is basically saying, that Jesus isn’t interested in faithful church-goers. No, he’s after the black-sheep of the family: the guy who sells crack cocaine; the prostitute; the pervert. That’s what he’s prepared to risk life and limb for. This shepherd is scouring the outback in search of just one sheep because even sinners, broken and lost – have value!

Zaccheus gets found!

This parable is played out in real-life later on in Luke 19,  when a real ‘live’ wandering sheep by the name of Zaccheus, is ‘found’ hiding in the branches of a  tree!

Luke 19: Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

zac up a treeTherefore,  just as Zaccheus cannot believe his luck on being asked to put on a party by the centre of attraction Jesus, likewise in the parable, the shepherd is so delirious with the success of his  mission that he invites his neighbours around for a party. Over a sheep! A little crazy maybe? Could God be a little more into partying than we though was decent?

Luke 15:7 “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance”

What about repentance though – I hear the religious intone? If repentance means saying sorry for your sins – how does a sheep do that? I mean, all it does it bleat? Now of course, Zaccheus does show the fruits of repentance in the over-the-top restitution he makes – but a sheep?

What is repentance?

I think the explanation might be, to understand that the sinful human condition separates us from God – in other words we are lost! The moment that sin entered the world, Adam and Eve became wandering sheep and their first instinct is to hide amongst the trees and ‘cover up’ with fig leaves.

Indeed, religion is really an exercise in covering up nakedness and making us comfortable with our alienation and separation from God. 

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

Separated from God?

This separation though is a virtual one. What do I mean? Well, its all in the mind; all in our thinking. God isn’t avoiding us; we are avoiding him!

Romans 1:25 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

As you can see from these scriptures, sinful thinking leads to sinful behaviour. Could repentance therefore not so much be about what we do – but a change of mind.  Is it, that when we encounter the pure love of God as we are laid on the rescuing good shepherd’s shoulders -that we change our minds ( repent) and a whole load of sinful thinking that has alienated us from the life of God falls away?

In the next article we will look at the parable of the lost coin.

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Further reading:

Part 1 Lost 

Lost and found

A purpose focused church

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New Book – Forgiven.

Forgiven – How do I know?

I’ve just finished and published my fourth kindle book on Amazon called Forgiven – How do I know?

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Endorsement

Forgiven Book CoverPaul Noble is like a stick of rock …. There is a lot of talk about values today.

Values communicate what is important, they indicate what you stand for, what really matters, what is worthwhile and you really want more than anything else.

Each one of us has own set of values.  Values such as health, friendship, success, integrity, financial independence and loyalty. These values determine our direction, behaviour and provide the basis upon which we make our decisions. Our most important value is the one which is written though us.

In this sense, Paul is like a stick of rock… and the word embedded in every fibre of being is grace.  God’s unconditional acceptance and longing for a loving relationship with us is at the heart of Paul’s writing.  Discovering grace for himself, changed everything for him.

Now, Paul has become an advocate for this kind of grace: the grace which breaks down the walls we have erected and use them to build bridges to God. Paul’s message is one worth listening to; because those who understand the truth of God’s grace experiencing what it means to be free for themselves. May we all be sticks of rock with this word of grace written through our lives.

Rev Sean Blackman, Church Leader at Freedom, (Exec) AMBA MBA, PGDipTh, BD (Hons)

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The forgiveness of all sin

The Forgiveness of all sin

hyper-graceDoes believing that God forgives future sins take the grace of God too far? Surely this is super risky on the part of God? I mean what’s to stop the believer carrying on with sinning in the knowledge that he or she is already forgiven? Look at the alternative though: If past sins are only covered, then you are forgiven up to the point of your confession or repentance only. Meaning of course, that every time you sin – you are no longer forgiven by God!

Under the OT

sacrificesUnder the Old Covenant this was indeed the case. Basically every year at the day of atonement the previous sins were covered by the blood of an animal. Atonement (which means to make amends) was made with an animal sacrifice by a priest and you were forgiven (to send away or let go.)

Leviticus 4:35 “and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.”

Three things needed:

Three things were necessary for forgiveness of the sinner: a priest, a sacrifice and a death (the shedding of blood). Jesus was all three:

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness)”

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Therefore, it is very clear that the atonement of sin and forgiveness are linked together strongly. You can’t have one without the other. God doesn’t just paper over the cracks and pretend. If he is to let go (forgive) then it has to be on the basis of an atoning sacrifice.

Jesus died for the sins of people not even born yet!

are all sins forgivenWhat Jesus did at the cross then, through the once only and never to be repeated sacrifice, was that he atoned and bore the sin of believers who sinning was yet future.

Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Therefore all my sins were future at that moment when on the cross he cried: “it is finished.”

All my sins were future when he cried out: “Father forgive them for they know what they do.”

1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

So, if you believe in Jesus Christ you believe the fact that 2000 years ago before you were even born Jesus took all your sins (all of them from birth to death) in his own body on the cross. Hallelujah!

Forgiveness is a done deal!

If that is the case why is so hard to believe that you are forgiven all your sins past, present and future – as the price is paid?

Indeed, forgiveness is nearly always presented in the New Testament as a single event completed in the past at the cross:

Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Note: If God was still forgiving sins then this passage should say even as God for Christ’s sake forgives you.

Here are a few more instances in the New Testament of how forgiveness is a one off event in the past:

Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Romans 4:7 “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

By the way, Paul only mentions forgiveness once in the whole of Romans where he quotes Psalm 32 as above.

1 John 2:12 “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

Therefore my friend you can rejoice in the fact that your sins are forgiven!

What happens when I sin?

What happens when you do sin though? Are you still forgiven or have you notched up a debit in your account? For example, say this morning you were doing 95mph down the motorway – in a rush to get to work on time. Did heaven go into lock down and the angels on standby because of the wrath of God directed towards you. Do you need God to forgive you?

Well firstly, Jesus is not going to come back and die on the cross so that you can be forgiven. He’s died once for sin; the atonement is complete. Jesus is no longer on the cross!

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

Secondly, God isn’t reckoning or counting sins any more:

Romans 4:17 “blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”

However, what you are doing (driving at 95mph) is dangerous and foolish and has potentially serious consequences: when you sin you are making it much easier for the devil to defeat you and your maybe endangering others lives also. What you need right now is an intercessor or advocate else you may get to heaven quicker than you anticipated!

The good news is that Bible tells us what happens when you sin and its not 1 John 1:9. Its 2 John 1:

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Therefore God is not passive when you sin – Jesus is acting on your behalf. However, your coach and other advocate the Holy Spirit is going to be whispering or maybe even shouting: “slow down!”

Consequently, If you hear that voice then respond and admit or confess that what your doing is wrong – and of course slow down! That’s all you need to do – you are forgiven already. It’s that simple.

What about 1 John 1:9?

What about 1 John 1:9 which seems to imply that we only receive forgiveness when we confess?

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

The problem is that this verse has been quoted so many times out of context  that we read into it what it isn’t saying. It doesn’t say this:

if we sin and confess our sins – then he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us form all unrighteousness”. 

If we read it in the flow of 1 John 1:8 you will see that the if statement is not making forgiveness conditional but is contrasting between those in verse 8 who claim to be sinless (probably gnostics) and those in verse 9 who freely admit or confess their faults (believers).

1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins… 

Indeed, what is interesting is that the tense of the verbs to forgive and cleanse are not continuous as is confess but are in the greek aorist tense (a single event again referring back to the cross).

Summarising

Summing up then and making sure you understand the benefits of this comprehensive New Covenant agreement:

The payment for all your sins was made before you were born (1 Peter 2:24 ) around AD 30 by the Son of God Jesus Christ.

You are forgiven of all your sins of you have committed and will ever commit because forgiveness and atonement are linked together. You can’t have forgiveness without blood being shed and that has and will only happen once (Hebrews 9:22).

Note: The danger of believing that past sins are covered only by the cross: is that every time you now sin you can never be forgiven because Jesus isn’t going to die again for you.

How is all this received?  Only by faith in Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:39 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Read More:

A driving analogy

Stop saying sorry!

Are future sins forgiven?

Total forgiveness

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A driving analogy

A driving analogy.

drivingIt’s tough passing a driving test these days. Get one major or serious fault and that’s it – your out. You failed. God’s standard – God’s law – is even harder though, and no one has ever been able to keep or attain this perfect standard without fault – except Jesus Christ. All have sinned and have come short of the glory (standard) of God.

Its a gift!

Imagine though, if you could pass the driving test as a gift – wouldn’t that be awesome! In fact, that is exactly what God has done for us spiritually through the free gift of righteousness obtained for us by Jesus Christ at the cross.

Romans 5:17 “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

Consequently, this righteousness is imputed to us by faith (we just receive it). Romans 4:22. Therefore by faith, we are qualified and licensed to live righteously. We are justified in God’s eyes – although maybe not in the sight of men!

No condemnation

As Romans 8:1 says: “There is now therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. In other words, there is no ‘driving test’ or future judgement now or ever for those who receive the gift.

Can I drive?

If we obtained a driving license like this – it’s never going to happen in the UK thankfully – imagine the chaos, as technically and legally, it would mean that you could get in a car and drive without having any lessons. Would this be a wise or safe decision on the part of the government? No of course not. God however, is prepared to take the risk, but as we shall see later on, He doesn’t leave us on our own  – we are given our own personal coach.

The analogy also differs slightly in one important regard: In my illustration you are given a license but no ability to drive! Through new birth, the believer is not only legally righteous (you have a license to live righteously), you actually have been changed at the spirit-level. In other words, you are given the supernatural ability and desire to live righteously because Christ is in you. Formally you instinct was sin, now your instinct is righteousness. Therefore, you can drive to some degree without lessons!

We still need driving lessons?

However, even though now we have some ‘natural’ ability or shall we say spiritual ability, we still need to learn how to ‘work out’  this salvation and that is why God gives us our very own instructor or coach who comes to live with and in us. He is called the Helper or Holy Spirit and his title is apt. He is there to help and encourage.

This means though, that He is not going to do it all for you. I’m afraid you are  going to have to drive this car. You are in the driving seat. You have got to steer and use the various controls. Initially, He will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it, but as you grow in faith and ability He will back off, only intervening when necessary. Most of the time he will prompt you verbally:“have you seen that child about to cross the road ahead?”  Occasionally, He may intervene with the dual controls or grab the steering – if your getting into real danger – but his goal is to get you to do it!

The good news is: He’s there every step of the way and He will never leave you.

What happens when you make mistakes?

sorryDo you make mistakes when you learn to drive? Of course you do. In fact you learn by making them. This is the same in the christian life. Yes you are born again but even though you are declared righteous that doesn’t mean everything you do and say is going to be righteous – as you will soon find out from your wife, husband or children! It follows then, that when you are born again you still sin. The difference is how you deal with mistakes and the sin.

Again, this is where the role of the Holy Spirit is crucial. As an instructor, part of my role is to help the pupil identify and correct faults. I don’t point out every  fault though as that would be discouraging! In fact, I try to spend more time encouraging and affirming the pupil – as no one enjoys correction!

Indeed, the first step in changing incorrect or bad behaviour or performance, is to firstly help the pupil identify and recognise it. What I don’t want from the pupil is an apology. I am not offended by their mistake. I expect it. What I need them to do is actually admit or confess the fault – preferably verbally. At this point I know they are conscious of it and they are on the first step.

Similarly in the spiritual life this is important, because before we got saved half the things we used to do and say we didn’t even realise were sin! Now we are saved we begin to realise that many things we were comfortable with are wrong in the eyes of God because we have a new nature.

Does God break fellowship when we sin?

Wouldn’t it be crazy though, if after every driving fault I stopped the car and refused to drive until the pupil said sorry? So, when we sin God doesn’t break fellowship with us. Sin does not separate us from him. In fact it never did, that’s a theological myth. No, sin and condemnation make us separate ourselves from God (Adam hiding in the garden). For the believer, the scriptures are clear: nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the relationship can’t be strained at times. If for example as a pupil I refused to listen to the instructors advice then he or she may take the keys off me! However, this an extreme case and most of the time all the coach is looking for is a willingness to learn. After all, the Holy Spirit is the most patient person you are likely to meet. As Graham Cooke says, if you fail the test your just take it again!

Therefore, when we have sinned that’s when we need God the most. That’s when we need to run towards him not away from him. Yes, He may speak strongly to us and correct us (if it’s a particularly serious or dangerous thing we have done) but He will never shut us out! He will never, stop the car, take the keys, slam the door and leave us immobile by the side of the road.

Is God angry when you sin?

hellGod is not angry therefore when you sin. No, the Holy Spirit is patient and is not quite as sensitive as some make out. He can handle you!  After all, when God saved you, did He know what he was getting into, what you were like? God is not angry with you because he has no false illusions about you. Do you think God is surprised that you messed up – again!

I mean, is the driving instructor really that shocked when a pupil stalls the car? No, He has seen every pupil do it! It’s when you realise that God is not shocked at your sin and that rather than wallowing in condemnation and self-pity, you can turn to your coach and ask for help to be delivered from it.

Does God correct our faults?

Graciousness on the part of the instructor though doesn’t mean overlooking everything and pretending you drive perfectly. Grace isn’t ignoring faults and sin. No, a good instructor points out faults in a kind way, the aim being to help the pupil drive better. Unfortunately of course, there are driving instructors who are impatient and treat their pupils like a sergeant major rather than a coach – berating and shouting in anger at the least little fault. You can imagine how well these pupils learn!

Indeed, If that’s how you view the Holy Spirit may I suggest that its not the Holy Spirit talking to you! What I know of the Holy Spirit is that He is not like this. He is never angry or frustrated with you. Yes you can make him sad when you ignore him and refuse to listen but if you work with him, He is an amazing kind, patient, encouraging and loving coach.

The role of an instructor then, is not to convict the pupil of their faults. I am not there to make you feel guilty for exceeding the speed limit again – but I am going to prompt you with a question. I might say the following: did you realise that your breaking the speed limit? Why should we keep to speed limit? If you refuse to slow down of course I will intervene. The only person however that is going to convict you – is the traffic police!

What happens if you crash?

Do believers mess it up really bad though – ‘say crash the car into a tree as it were? Say if they were driving too fast as in the previous example. Yes of course. Maybe we have all heard stories of ministers falling into sexual sin,  leaving the church in disgrace and so on. In these sad situations it’s right that sin is not tolerated because it’s dangerous and destructive. However, where sin abounds grace even more abounds so God’s  heart is always to redeem the individual – there is always a way back.

Would God rather you avoided your foolish choices? Yes. Does he protect you from all of them? No. I mean if you crashed your car into a tree there would be some serious consequences to pay – a ruined car and maybe whiplash or a fatality. Sin may get you to heaven quicker than you planned! However, when we crash and burn, the door to the father is always open, we haven’t lost our salvation and if we approach the throne of grace there is always grace and mercy for our time of need. God can work all things for good for those that love God and are called according to purpose.

Read More:

www.firstclassdrivertraining.biz

Stop saying sorry!

The driving test and the law

Teaching driving and life in the spirit.

The shadow of the law

Jesus and the mosaic law

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Gods Grace Works BookLatest book Gods Grace Works Every Day

 Kindle book – Christ in You

Kindle book – Christ the End of Law

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A better sacrifice

Eternal Salvation

are all sins forgivenIn the last article I looked at how the offerings of the Law were a temporary fix so that God could continue relationship with mankind despite failure. Of course, this all awaited the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God and High Priest of God, who established a salvation that would last for ever and would never need to be repeated- awesome! A better sacrifice.

Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

Eternal redemption

Jesus therefore, was not only the sacrifice but the high priest making the offering and He obtained and bought for us  eternal (permanent) redemption (ransom) that never needed to be repeated!

Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

He took our sins away:

As a consequence, this superior sacrifice of Jesus took away sins; something the law could never do – only covering it. The blood of Jesus though, cleanses us perfectly from all sin. It’s like a powerful cleaning agent. It removes sin completely. It takes it away.

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Incidentally, it’s interesting that part of the natural function of blood is to fight infection!

1 John 3:5 “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”

Romans 11:27 “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

He cleansed the conscience

In addition, the blood of Jesus not only takes away sins but as a consequence it purges the conscience and guilt of the sinner.

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

He changes You!

Even so, there was one another important change necessary, a change in the heart of the offerer that was promised centuries before:

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”

Consequently, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus didn’t just make the sinner holy for a short time (a year) – but for ever! Did you get that? You have been made perfect (in your spirit) for ever!

Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

God forgets sins

Just to make sure, God now chooses to forget your sin! Under the Old Covenant every sin was recorded. It was reckoned to your sin debit account. Under Grace the salvation that God offers is so complete that He no longer records your sins. They are no longer charged to your account!

Romans 4:8 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Even better than that, your sins never come into his mind; He never remembers your sins – ever!

Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

The remission of forgiveness is so complete that it’s as if you never sinned – God has no memory or consciousness of your sins!

No more offering required!

Hebrews 10: 17 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

And, just to underline all this amazing Good News, the verse above clearly says, that the remission or forgiveness is now so complete that –  no offering for sin is required ever again!

Why is this? Think about it. When Jesus died on the cross everybody’s sins from that point were future. If His blood only took away the past sins that had been committed, then a whole lot more blood is going to be needed, because without the shedding of blood there is nor remission or forgiveness!

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

This meant, that instead, of a lamb being sacrificed every year, Jesus had to be re-sacrificed every year for the last 2000 years because people are still sinning! However this is not the case because every sin that has been or will be has been expiated by his precious blood.

1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Sin is dealt with once for all

Therefore, Jesus has dealt with the whole issue of sin in God’s eyes for ever.

Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Are we all forgiven?

Maybe your saying though, does it mean that everybody is forgiven? Well technically yes, BUT… not everyone takes advantage of this amazing special offer:

Hebrews 9:27 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

What if we reject Jesus?

Now, the bad news. If someone chooses to reject this sacrifice of Jesus then there is no hope – this is a sin against the Holy Spirit. This is what some of the Jews amongst the Jewish Christians were in danger of doing by rejecting Christianity and going back to the temple system of sacrifices,

Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”

Hebrews 10:29 “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

Read More:

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To tithe or not?

The shadow of the law

Jesus and the mosaic law

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Are all sins forgiven?

are all sins forgivenThere are several problems with the idea of partial forgiveness and the uncertainty of salvation – not least the logic. However, what does the Bible say? Are all sins forgiven?

1 John 2:12 “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

In Greek the tense of the verb forgiven in this verse is perfect and describes and action which is viewed having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated! Therefore, our sins (all of them) have been forgiven and there is no need of continual forgiveness.

As an example of this idea, when Jesus cried out on the cross: “it is finished” , (tetalestai in the Greek),  this is great example of the perfect tense. In other words, he declared for all the world and every demon to hear,  that the work of atonement had been accomplished, completely once and for all time.

Col 2:14 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses;”

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

All these scriptures are talking about salvation and a one-time forgiveness. If your are a believer, you have been transferred into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1: 12 & 13), because you have already confessed your sins and so consequently you are cleansed of all sin and all unrighteousness.

In fact, this forgiveness is so complete, that God remembers your sins no more. There is actually no record anywhere of your sins in heaven or earth, like data on a disk they are completely erased never to be retrieved.

Hebrews 10:8 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Therefore, as we have seen earlier, the Lord Jesus atonement and sacrifice was a single event, unlike the temple sacrifices which were once every year.  On the cross Jesus publicly declared that the work of atonement was finished for ever. So, if every time you sinned that sin had not already been paid for and forgiven, then Jesus would have to get back on the cross again every time you sinned!

Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Wow, did you read that – by one offering (the cross) you are perfected for ever those that are holy!

In conclusion, if your think about it, the forgiveness of sins has to be a done deal, because when Jesus died in space-time history for all the sins of the world –  all our sins were future anyway!

1  John 2:2  “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.”

Therefore today, you can have peace with God knowing that he remembers  you sins no more. All your sins are forgiven, whether they are future, past, or present.

 Further reading:

What do you do when you sin?
Eternal Salvation
Prophecy Forgive

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Are future sins forgiven?

Sign postRecently, a certain Dr Michael Brown has written a couple of articles in Charisma magazine attacking so called ‘hyper-grace teachers’ and claiming that they are bringing a dangerous heresy into the body of Christ because they preach that all sins, including those in the future that a believer may commit, are already forgiven.

Where is this reaction coming from? Firstly, it is coming from the age-old heresy that a believer can lose their salvation because of un-confessed sin. In other words, the work of the cross is not sufficient to save completely but is only completed by the endurance of the saint.

Well if this is true and un-confessed sin can cause us to become un-righteous, un-justified, un-born gain, un-redeemed and un- baptized in the holy spirit or even lose eternal life (which doesn’t make any sense if its eternal), then really there isn’t much risk of anybody getting saved and making it into heaven really. I mean, even a lack of faith is defined as sin in Romans 14:23 – so what chance have we got!

Did God really design salvation to be that uncertain and precarious? If what Dr Michael Brown is saying is correct, then none of us can sleep safe at night, as at any moment we may be in danger of being plunged into hell for a brief lapse of faith!

Secondly, these anti-grace preachers believe that if its true that future sins are forgiven, then there is no motivation for holiness and the believer will simply abuse grace – it’s a license to sin!

In fact, if there is not the possibility of abusing grace, then what is being preached is not grace at all! If grace is being preached, then this question should always come up, as it did in Paul’s exposition of the Gospel of grace when he wrote Romans 6:1:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”

If therefore a believer can be lost because of un-confessed sin, then tell me: how he can continue in sin so that grace might abound? How is losing salvation abounding in grace!

But enough of that, what do the scriptures say? (Romans 4:3!)

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

So are future sins forgiven? This verse is pretty unambiguous – happy is the man the Lord will never (double negative in the original) impute (reckon, account) sin.

Therefore, the believer is accounted righteous (justified) because he believes not because he works (performs) or even confesses his sins!

Let me repeat that. Blessed is the man the Lord will never impute sin!

Col 2:13 He made you alive together with him having forgiven us all our transgressions. Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us; and he has taken it away having nailed it to the cross.

ALL our sins HAVE been forgiven. Every fault, every accusation HAS been nailed to the cross. Our certificate of debt HAS been cancelled! That is why Jesus could cry out on the cross, “It is finished!” Think about it, when Jesus paid for our sins, all our sins were in the future. Before we were even born, Jesus laid down his life and atoned for all our sins. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

We HAVE been redeemed (bought back) with the price of his blood. We now belong to Jesus; we’re his possession. Do you think he is going to lose us or let us go?

In fact, this forgiveness is so complete, that God remembers our sins no more. There is no record anywhere of your sins in heaven or earth, like data on a disk they are completely erased never to be retrieved.

Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

That is why, for the believer there is NO JUDGEMENT for sin, now or ever! God is not judging you or taking account of your sin today, tomorrow or at some point in the future. Why? Because you are in Christ.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.

So, because you are in Christ, not only has your sinful behaviour been judged at the cross but your sinful nature or old man. God does not repair or renovate the old man, he kills him off.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Therefore, when Jesus was crucified we were crucified. When Jesus died we died. When he was buried we were buried. That is what we are celebrating in the funeral service we call baptism.

The wisdom of the cross, is that nothing we can do, can undo what has been achieved. You are freed from sin. You are dead to the law.

“Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

You are now dead to sin and alive to God. This means that God is no longer relating to you on the basis of your old man – only the resurrected born again spirit man! Therefore, if you sin, it is no longer you that is sinning it is your sinful flesh (soul and body). Your nature (spirit) has been changed or born again and CANNOT sin:

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Sin is no longer your identity:

Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

This is wonderful, because it means that a relationship with God can never be broken. A believer can always come to God because God is not focused, obsessed or even interested in your sinful flesh, like many sin focused believers are. As far as God is concerned, the whole issue has been dealt with thoroughly and completely in the cross of Jesus Christ for ever!

Today, you can have complete peace with God because perfect love casts out all fear – including the fear of losing your salvation!

So, I hear you say, does continuing to sin matter? Yes it does. For a start, if you continue to live in sin you’ll probably get to heaven faster than you anticipated. Secondly, sin will affect your ability to experience everything the Father has for you and will still give you plenty of negative experiences. You won’t inherit the kingdom.

Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

God wants you to renew your mind and live righteous because that is who you are now. Your identity is Christ.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Further Reading

Andrew Wommack on Romans 4:8
Billy Graham on forgiveness
Total forgiveness
Grace a license to sin
Sinning wilfully
Eternal Salvation
Is it possible to preach to much grace?
The dangers of the holiness movement – Dr Ironside

 

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