The Power of Forgiveness

It isn’t hard to believe that Christ can forgive your sins, after all He is everything that is good and lovely and pure but to believe He can stop us from sinning isn’t always easy to believe. To believe that we can be perfectly obedient in this life is something we aim for but do you really believe you can achieve it?  It is a fact that for us to be part of the 144,000 we have to be perfect, keeping the commandments and having the faith of Jesus. But just how can we achieve this? The power lies in understanding and receiving the true blessing of Christ forgiving our sins.

Under the new covenant, perfect obedience is the condition of life. If the sinner repents and confesses his sins, he will find pardon. By Christ’s sacrifice in his behalf, forgiveness is secured for him. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law for every repentant, believing sinner…. – {God’s Amazing Grace 138.4}

Do you understand that Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness are one and the same and by faith in this we can keep His commands because He kept them? It is a difficult thing to understand so let us find an illustration in the Bible.

Matthew 9:2-8 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, this man blasphemes. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

What caused the man to be made whole? Was it because Christ told him to arise or was it because Christ forgave his sin?  By forgiveness the man was made whole and by the same forgiveness is the power by which his obedience sprang. The palsied man didn’t rise just because Christ told him to, but by faith he believed he was pardoned, made whole and this caused his heart to obey.

Psalms 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

What is another word for blessed, happy. If we really understand Christ’s forgiveness we would be happy and is it easier to obey someone if they make you happy? Constantly fulfilling your need?

Another Example

John 5:1-9 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And  a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

What is the precondition here to forgiveness? It is confession and what confession did the infirm man have? That he in his own strength could not be made whole, that he needed someone to carry him. Do we need someone to carry us? Do we realise that we in our own strength have no power to obey, to be made whole or to do any good for that matter? But is confession all we need to gain the blessing of forgiveness?

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him  in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 

We must also forsake our sins. When should we do this?

Now is the time when we are to confess and forsake our sins, that they may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out. Now is the time to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1). It is dangerous to delay this work. Satan is even now seeking by disasters upon sea and land to seal the fate of as many as possible. What is the defense of the people of God at this time? It is a living connection with heaven. If we would dwell in safety from the noisome pestilence, if we would be preserved from dangers seen and unseen, we must hide in God; we must secure the protecting care of Jesus and holy angels. – {In Heavenly Places 348.4}

Do you understand the present crisis of our world? Why was there a tsunami in Samoa and Japan? Why were there earthquakes in Christchurch? Why was there flooding in Queensland? Because Satan knows what power lies in ‘forgiveness’ better than we do and knows that for us to take hold of that power we must confess and forsake our sins, In other words, realise that in us is no good thing and stop trying to defend ourselves. If we do that today then today we are Christ’s but we have to do this continually.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

You are only promised today so don’t delay to realise your need of Christ and confess that I and all my ways are not good enough and so I forsake them and accept Christ and all His ways.

Can we receive the forgiveness of sins before we feel that we are sinners? and before we realize the sinfulness of sin? I think not. When we repent before God of our sins sincerely, we shall feel that without the pardoning blood of Christ we must perish. If we cast ourselves in our wretchedness wholly upon the mercy of Christ, and feel that unless he saves us we perish; when we yield our own will, our own way, and plead for Jesus to control our will and actions, then we come into a position where we can receive and appreciate pardon and the forgiveness of sin. – {Appeal To Youth 67.1}

There is life in the words of God. Jesus said, The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63). The word received in faith brings the Spirit and the life of God to the soul. So when the penitent soul hears the words, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee, and receives those words as living words of the living God, he is a different man, because a new life has begun in him. It is the power of God’s forgiveness, and that alone, that keeps him from sin. If he continues in sin after receiving pardon, it is because he has not grasped the fullness of the blessing that was given him in the forgiveness of his sins. – (Ellet J. Waggonner, Signs of the Times, April 10, 1893)

Christ has made every provision for us to be strong. He has given us His Holy Spirit, whose office is to bring to our remembrance all the promises that Christ has made, that we may have peace and a sweet sense of forgiveness. If we will but keep our eyes fixed on the Saviour, and trust in His power, we shall be filled with a sense of security; for the righteousness of Christ will become our righteousness…. – {God’s Amazing Grace 259.3}

God takes away the sinful life by putting His own righteous life in its place. And this is the power of the forgiveness of sin. It is the power of life everlasting.

Amen.

Posted on December 1, 2011, in Short Studies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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