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18 January 2012

Forgiveness - 18 January

How’s that self-righteousness coming along? Are you getting closer to allowing complete forgiveness in your life – as God has completely forgiven you?

On Monday we talked about Jesus’ coming to earth to give us “righteousness of God”. How did Jesus’ death change our situation?

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)

I love the phrase “as the right time”. It gives me peace and makes me appreciate God even more. At the right time!

What condition were we in before Jesus’ death? We were ungodly sinners, and we were God’s enemy!

How did Jesus demonstrate His love? He chose to die while we were still sinners.

When did we receive reconciliation? And is everyone reconciled with God?

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ESV)

If you have not yet received this free gift, email me and I’ll help you – or talk to one of the pastors. We would love to help you receive eternal assurance through accepting God’s free gift!

What does reconcile mean? What does it imply?

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.  Col 1:21-23 (ESV)

What does Paul say about our condition before reconciliation? How were we reconciled with God? What do we need to continue to do to maintain our reconciled state?

Do you see a parallel between reconciliation with God and reconciliation with our friends and loved ones? How do we maintain peaceful relationships with others?

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:18-21 (ESV)

Verse 19 tells us clearly what reconciliation entails – “not counting their trespasses against them”.  That’s perfect reconciliation.

Looking at it from the perspective of our need to forgive – when you forgive, do you silently say “but I’ll never forget”? Or do you “not count their trespasses against them”? Do you forgive and forget, or do you just say you’re going to forgive? And if we don’t forgive and forget, do we truly seek reconciliation?

I’m going to think about those that I’ve offered “forgiveness” to. I think that I’ve only offered lip service to some. I plan to ask God to help me truly forgive and reconcile. The process won’t be easy because my sin nature will still affect me, but with God’s help, I can do it!

See you Friday.

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