Thursday, March 2, 2017

“How Forgiven?"

"How Forgiven?"     
    How forgiven are born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?  The Bible answers in many ways, perhaps most beautifully through the words of the Psalmist.

   "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).

   That'a a long way, an infinite way, actually.  Or, as the Apostle Paul concurred, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Romans 4:8).  When we trust in the Lord Jesus, God accounts our sins as having been removed from our debit ledger, as it were, and placed on the account of His Son.  "He… bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (I Peter 2:23; 24).  Thus, we are forgiven freely, completely, and forever in the sense of escape from God's eternal wrath.  Again, our Heavenly Father "will not impute" sin to those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus.

   This does not discount the fact that believers sin, and that our Heavenly Father deals with us if we do not take matters of unbelief and disobedience seriously.  "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (I John 1:8; Hebrews 12:6).  We require firmness as well as tender mercy from our Lord in order to maintain both grateful devotion and serious determination.  In fact, the consideration of how forgiven we are reminds us of the cost necessary to make possible such perfect pardon.  The Lord Jesus suffered beyond all comprehension to make forgiveness available, revealing the seriousness of God in His redemptive purposes.  Such free pardon must elicit in us a reciprocal response of  solemn resolve.  The measure of our forgiveness exists in direct correlation to how much our Savior suffered, and how much God the Father accounts the sacrifice of His Son as worthy and adequate to fulfill His purposes.  Or, "as far as the east is from the west…"  Such awareness and understanding cannot fail to form in believers both joyous gratitude and grave seriousness in our response to God.

   Regardless of how far one walks from east to west, no end to the journey awaits.  Even more, we would have to venture forever to find sins forgiven through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.  They are gone, removed from us because they were applied to Him.  This is the Gospel in its blessed simplicity, and its heart-changing power.  Let us give thanks upon the remembrance, and give pause to determine in our hearts that we will live by the grace of God in a manner worthy of the price paid to so completely, utterly, and eternally redeem us.

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross."
(Colossians 2:13-14)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

No comments: