Forgiveness Promised and Delivered

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“And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.”

Matthew 6:12, KJV

*“I can’t do it, Tom.” Sam wrung his hands and hung his head. In a shaky voice, he explained. “I know what you say is true. Jesus did die to forgive my sin. He paid my penalty—But I’m afraid I can’t live it—afraid I will fail Him.”

Sam did not truly believe Jesus had the power to save him from himself. He did not know the promise the Lord made to Paul.

“And He has said to me,

‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is perfected in weakness.’”

2 Corinthians 12:9a; NASB

Sam believed he had to make himself perfect, not believing the Lord would be the one to finish the work of salvation once it was received. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians—

“For I am confident of this very thing,

that He who began a good work in you

will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

(1:6; NASB)

Some believe when we receive God’s gift of forgiveness, when we are first saved from sin’s penalty and power, never again do we have to ask for forgiveness of our daily cleansing—and we don’t for salvation—but we do to know the joy of sweet fellowship with the Lord.

The apostle John writes the Lord’s promise to us, the saved, saying—

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins,

He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and

to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin.

And if anyone sins,

we have an Advocate with the Father,

Jesus Christ the righteous;

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins;

and not for ours only,

but also for those of the whole world.”

1 John 1:8-2:2; NASB

The Promises:

  1. God’s grace is enough to finish His work of perfection in us.
  2. If we are compelled by guilt to confess our sin to the Lord, He forgives us all—no matter who we are or what we have done.
  3. Not only does Jesus forgive, He washes us from all unrighteousness. He makes us right with the Father.
  4. We have an Advocate—One who stands before the Father for us—His own and for those yet to become His own.

These promises are for all who walk in the forgiveness of our Lord, those who can say along with the apostle John—

“what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also,

that you also may have fellowship with us;

and indeed our fellowship is with the Father,

and with His Son Jesus Christ.

And these things we write,

so that our joy may be made complete.”

1 John 1:3-4, NASB

There is another condition and promise to add to promise number two.

“For if you forgive men for their transgressions,

your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive men,

then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

Matthew 6:14,15, NASB

A Prayer for Us: Heavenly Father, you have made complete provision for our salvation from sin’s penalty and power through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Your grace will see us through to life eternal. You have given us your Holy Spirit to have power over the flesh and provided for our daily cleansing to keep your joy flowing through us. May we be as quick and faithful to forgive those who hurt us or others as you are to forgive and comfort us from our sin. Thank you, Jesus.


*Tom is my husband and Sam is not his friend’s real name. We don’t know the end of that story.

Have a blessed weekend and be careful to not let unforgiveness rob your joy of being with the Father.

Forgiveness Leads to Forgiving

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“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Matthew 6:12, KJV

*The night chilled Peter to the bone. The fire brought no relief as he held his hands near the flame. His shivering body emanated the cold, dark fear in his heart. How can this be happening?

He tucked his cloak over his head as he scrutinized the crowd around him and continued observing the mockery of a trial.

“Aren’t you one of his followers?” The young woman pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders.

“Me? I don’t know what you’re talking about woman,” answered Peter as he moved away from the fire further into the darkness. But darkness couldn’t hide him.

“You are one of his followers. I saw you with him,” another damsel accused.

Peter’s hood fell around his shoulders as he jerked to face her. “I am not,” he answered, along with a few other words the Bible doesn’t record. He stomped back toward the fire. I might as well stay warm.

For about an hour no one bothered Peter. All eyes and ears were directed toward Jesus’ trial—until a group of men circled around the warming fire.

“You,” cried one of the high priest’s servants as he pointed at Peter. “You are one of that man’s followers.”

Peter balled his fists and between gritted teeth declared, “No, I am not.”

The servant smiled. “But you are. You talk like a Galilean. You were with him when he was arrested.”

Peter got in the man’s face. “You don’t know what you’re talking about …”

In the distance a rooster crowed its wake-up call. Peter spun in the direction of the sound at the same time Jesus turned toward Peter. Their eyes met—and Peter remembered. The Bible says,

“And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”

Luke 22: 62, KJV

Peter loved Jesus. Personally, I think he would have rather had his tongue ripped out than to do what he did. After being restored to a right relationship with the Lord following the resurrection, Peter spent his life feeding the Lord’s sheep. Did he walk perfectly before the Lord? No. There was a time Paul confronted Peter’s wrong attitude toward Gentile Christians. Here another lesson Jesus’ taught his disciples may have come into Peter’s mind.

When Jesus wanted to wash Peter’s feet—

“Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall you wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’

Simon Peter said to Him, ‘ Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.’

Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and  you are clean …’” John 13:8-10a; NASB

We are forgiven unto salvation when we believe Jesus’ death on the cross paid our debt of sin in full. “For the wages of sin is death …”  but our death could not pay the debt. It could only fulfill the penalty. Our death could not make us righteous. Only Jesus could do that. When we are saved, we are baptized in Christ—made completely clean. We have been bathed in the righteousness of Christ. But we still walk in a world where our feet get dusted with its sin. We need a little cleansing to keep nothing between us and the joy of fellowship with the Lord.

Our Prayer for Daily Cleansing:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way …

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness;

According to the greatness of Thy compassion

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

And cleanse me thoroughly from my sin …

Also, keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me;

Then I shall be blameless,

And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”

Psalm 139:23,24; 51:1,2;19:13; NASB

And help us to—be kind to one another, tender-hearted,

forgiving each other,

just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32; NASB


*Adapted from the four gospel accounts of Peter’s denial

The Blessing of Forgiveness

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“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Matthew 6:12, KJV

My long gangly preteen legs stretched out behind me as I sprawled on my stomach on the living room carpet—you know the olive green shag stuff of ages gone by. My mom, dad, brother, and I gathered around the television—we had color by this time. It’s what we did each evening after supper, but tonight was different. My heart pounded in my chest. I couldn’t focus on the antics of the Beaver, Wally, or Eddie—characters from a favorite family show. What had happened that afternoon created a whirlwind in my mind. Mom was bound to find out. Even if she didn’t, I couldn’t take it any more.

I sat up and scooted over by her overstuffed chair. My eyes filled with tears.

Mom smiled and raked her fingers through my stringy blonde hair. “What’s wrong, Sis?”

I could feel all eyes shift from the television to me. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Like a volcano exploding the words burst out. “I lied to you, Mom.” Her fading smile tempted me to stop but, the lava flow couldn’t be controlled. “I lied when you asked me if I practiced my piano lesson. I didn’t practice. I’m sorry I lied.” I ducked my head and waited.

Mom lifted my chin. “You’re forgiven.”

Those weren’t her final words, but they were enough to cleanse my heart and mind.

My lie had not removed me from the family. It did remove me from experiencing the joy and love that were mine as a part of the family—not because my family had changed toward me, but because I had let sin block my receiving their fellowship. At a young age I had experienced a little portion of what King David must have experienced when he held his sin in secret. I found, like David the blessing of forgiveness and the anguish of unforgiveness.

  • “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
  • Whose sin is covered!
  • How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
  • And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away

Through groaning all day long.

For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

Selah.

I acknowledged my sin to Thee,

And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’;

And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.”

Psalm 32:1-5; NASB

As David tells us in the end of this Psalm, God restored to him the joy of righteousness—even as He did for me.

“But he who trusts in the LORD,

lovingkindness shall surround him.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous ones,

And shout for joy all you who are upright in heart.”

Psalm 32:10,11; NASB

In Praise of God’s Forgiveness:

“For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive,

And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee.”

Psalm 86:5; NASB

For Reflection: The phrase from the Lord’s prayer we began with, is not so much about the prayer of salvation but about keeping our relationship with our heavenly Father true with nothing between us. He doesn’t move away from us, but our sin causes us to move away from Him. He waits to hold us near. Is there anything holding you back? Run to Him. He is waiting to forgive and restore.

Are You Free From Debt?

 

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“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1

So we don’t miss David’s point, he repeats the truth  in a different way.

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:2.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven…Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, BLESSED ARE THEY WHOSE INIQUITIES ARE FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED. BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN… There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.” (Rom. 4:4-8; 8:1;Heb. 10:17).

The debt of sin is paid. Your account can be drained of sin and filled with the righteousness of Christ. Blessed is the forgiven.

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With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1Peter 1:19

 

…whose sin is covered…Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. Selah… For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins… And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission… and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Ps. 85:2; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:22; 1John 1:7b; Rev. 1:5). 

The debt of sin is paid. The contract is signed in the blood of Christ. It can be yours. Blessed is the cleansed by His blood.

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity…I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(Ps. 32:5; 1John 1:9).

The debt of sin is paid. It can be put to your account through receiving the gift of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the account filled with the righteousness of Christ.

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Raised in  newness of life!

“… and in whose spirit there is no guile…The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it… A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh… Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jer. 17:9; Ezek. 36:26; John 3:3; John 1:12,13).

The debt of sin is paid. You can have a new heart and new spirit. Blessed is the born again.

Are you blessed? You can be. Your debt of sin is paid, covered by the blood of Christ. A life free from condemnation and the power of sin waits for all who receive Jesus Christ’s payment as their own. If you have received the gift of God’s grace, you are blessed beyond measure. Are you free from a debt you could not pay?

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1