Getting forgiven

Getting forgiven

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

Colossians 2:13-14

 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Robert F. Smith, a billionaire investor and philanthropist, was the commencement speaker at Morehouse College in May 2019. During his speech, he announced that a grant was established to pay off all student loan debt for Morehouse graduates in the Class of 2019.

Each graduate’s student loan debt would be paid in full. There were approximately 400 students and the gift is estimated at about $40 million.

Smith gave the ultimate graduation gift – total debt forgiveness!

What is your first thought? “I wish I were a member the graduating class,” right?

Well, if you are one of the Father’s children, you too are a member of a very special class, His forever family. The Father is far wealthier than Mr. Smith. And He has established a grant for each of His children to eliminate all of their sin debt. There was a high price to be paid. But His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, gladly paid that price. Now forgiveness is available.

In 33 AD, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, all of the sins that each of us would ever commit were still future. We would not be born for overs 1900 years. He lumped them all together into one long list. Paul calls it a certificate of debt. Christ paid for all of our sins before we ever even committed them. He paid for them all at once and once for all.

The Father gave the ultimate eternal gift – total sin-debt forgiveness!

Colossians 2:13-14

 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

 14 by canceling the certificate of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

The Greek word translated certificate of debt or record of debt is cheirographon. It literally means made with hands.It comes from cheir hand, and poieo to make. It refers to a handwritten record of debt, a record of indebtedness. Paul uses this term to describe God’s record of charges against individual people for breaking His law. In our culture, we would call it the list of charges against us. Each of us has his own list. The Lord Jesus Christ took each of our individual lists and nailed them all to the cross. When He died, He announced for all time, tetelestai, “it is finished,” “paid in full” (John 19:30).

The entire debt was paid in full.

REFLECT & PRAY

Psalms 32:1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven; whose sin is covered!

Father how remarkable it is that all of our sins have been paid for. Thank You that we have been forgiven and continue to be forgiven as we recognize our sin and receive forgiveness and cleansing. What a wonderful plan!

INSIGHT

Forgiveness has a bit of a strange implementation. It comes in two phases. A rough analogy is buying a home or a car and making payments over time. First you make a down payment, one lump sum. Then for the term of the contract you continue to make monthly payments until the debt is paid in full.

Do you remember the freedom from bondage you experienced when you paid off your first loan? And that was only financial bondage. What about the bondage of sin? Do you think there is a way to actually pay off or work out of the bondage that sin has wrought? The debt is too great! And there is too little time. And additional sin debt continues to accrue to your account. It is simply beyond human ability alone.

The Father knowing this in His great love, paid your debt Himself. Regardless of your motivation, trying to pay off your debt will lead in frustration and ultimate failure.

“There is nothing you can to do make God love you more! There is nothing you can do to make God love you less” (Stanley)!

When we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father made something like a down payment. But what He provided was far more than a down payment. He made a one-time gift or endowment. He provided one large lump sum of forgiveness for each of us. He deposited all of the forgiveness we would ever need into our personal forgiveness accounts. At the moment we accepted Christ, we made one large withdrawal from our forgiveness fund. At that moment we were totally forgiven for all that we had done up until that time. Some of us can recall the tremendous relief of the burden being removed.

But as we all know, life goes on and we keep right on sinning. What happens then? All of our sins have been paid for. No further payment can be made.

But we no longer feel clean. Sometimes we feel totally alienated and separated from the Father. Sometimes circumstances, disappointment, tragedy, anger, or rage get the best of us. Yet all of our sins have already been paid for. All of forgiveness we will ever need is already available. We do not need to acquire more forgiveness; we need only to experience the forgiveness we already have.

That is where the lump sum endowment comes in. There is enough forgiveness to fully pay off every sin that we would ever commit. The barrel has no bottom. Morning by morning new mercies are seen. It is impossible to draw down past God’s mercy and forgiveness.

All we have to do is make a withdrawal. We draw down our forgiveness through the act of confession. The Father simply applies forgiveness to our current sins. We are forgiven at that moment in time. We experience cleansing and restoration. Unfortunately being fallen creatures we will undoubtedly continue to sin. As we sin, we confess, and the Father applies the forgiveness we already have to our lives.

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.

Confession clears our hearts spiritually and makes it possible for us to once more to experience deep fellowship with God. Unconfessed sin makes us weak, discouraged, and ultimately miserable (Stanley). The need to confess new unconfessed sin is an important reminder to always keep our record clean and straight.

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