Part 2 - Forgiveness
"Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:12).
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
God's freely given gifts in the Lord Jesus Christ begin with forgiveness. Until He pardons our sins, the other aspects of His saving grace cannot be imparted by Him, or realized by us.
"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 13:38).
God cannot simply accept sinners by the determination of His heart, or the mere pronouncement of pardon. Iniquity is far too serious and intrinsic a matter for exoneration by decree. There must be spiritual and moral consequences for every action according to God's standard of righteousness. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). The chasm between God and humanity presents an unnavigable passage, even as suffering Job realized in one of the most illuminating doctrinal passages of the Old Testament: "For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman (mediator; arbiter) betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both" (Job 9:32-33). Job recognized the gulf between himself and God, and even more, he realized that a go-between must somehow act on behalf of God's standard and human need if ever Perfection might receive imperfection without itself being morally compromised.
Thankfully Job's despairing cry no longer applies to the relationship between the Divine and the human. "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). God is now a man, in the Person of His Son. He lays His nail-pierced hands upon upon His Father and the sinner who believes, having fulfilled all righteousness by suffering the consequences of our sins, and by freely imputing the benefits thereof to the trusting heart. As the old saying declares, "To create, God spoke; to redeem, He bled." The chasm must be spanned before relationship between God and man can begin. Sin must be forgiven by God's justice preserved, and humanity's guilt purged. Only the God who became man, and the man who remains God can accomplish this wondrous feat of grace, as received by faith. We "come together in judgment" by the Father declaring that we can come to Him through the Blood-stained way of His Son, and by our agreeing that Christ is indeed "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Forgiveness first, freely given and freely received - such grace begins and seals our relationship with God, as made possible by our Daysman, our Mediator, our Advocate, and our Intercessor, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Jesus Christ… in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
(Ephesians 1:5; 7)
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Part 3 Tomorrow - Freely given relationship
Weekly Memory Verse
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.