We all have it. Baggage. Memories of failures in our Christian walk that we lug through life that can weigh us down. These memories stumble us in our walk with Jesus and steal our joy. Sin is a part of human nature, and once we have come to Jesus, sin should be as abominable to us as it is to Him. Quite often we remember past sins, and the guilt of what we did can stop us from serving our Lord. That guilt is not of God. Satan uses our failures to discourage us.
“Do you remember the time you swiped that candy bar?” he whispers. “You can’t be a Christian and steal.” Maybe it’s not a candy bar, but you committed adultery. “You lied to your wife when you were with your secretary instead of going to the business meeting,” he hisses into your memory. Maybe it was murder that you committed. “You had an abortion. God will never forget that sin,” he lies to you. Oh yes, Satan will be sure you remember your sins. Those are all sins, but the good news is if you have given your life to Christ, then all sins are forgiven and God has forgotten them. When you truly accept Christ for salvation, then you’re a new creation in Him.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Those words should bring joy, relief, and comfort to everyone who has come to Him for salvation. There’s nothing you’ve done that’s so horrendous that the blood of Christ won’t forgive. Praise God! You have been forgiven, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to keep sinning. Temptation will come your way, but you need to resist the urge to fall back into the sin that separated you from God. You are a new creation in Christ, and you need to live to honor Him.
When Adam sinned, his sin brought a curse upon all of creation. It wasn’t just an “oops” moment that would correct itself in time. Sin comes between humans and God. Adam knew the one rule God gave to him (don’t eat the fruit of knowledge) but chose disobedience by knowingly eating the forbidden fruit. Satan was at the bottom of this plot to destroy all that God had created, and he thought he had won. Don’t be deceived. God never loses. His plan may take time to fulfill, but it is perfect. God’s love is deeper than sin.
“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 the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).
In ancient times, when a person owed a debt to society, it was serious. When they were tried for their crime and the judgment went against them, there was an official document stating how much time in prison they would serve in order to pay their debt. Humanity has a sin debt that could only be paid by a blood sacrifice. Animal blood wasn’t sufficient because it was still tainted by sin; animals don’t have human blood, so humans couldn’t be eternally forgiven. Animal sacrifice could only cover sin, not remove it forever. Human blood couldn’t be used because God never requires human blood sacrifice, and it’s still tainted by Adam’s sin. Only God’s pure blood can take sin away and pay the debt which you and I owe. Jesus, God incarnate, paid that debt. His final words from the cross made that clear.
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).
It is finished. What precious words from our Saviour! The debt was paid, the curse was broken, God won.
Although Jesus paid our debt, it’s a free gift that has to be accepted. The forgiveness of sin is there for anyone who understands that sin has come between them and God. Forgiveness is there for anyone who believes that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus has paid the sin debt in full.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
When a person hears God’s truth, there’s a decision to be made. Does that person accept Christ’s free gift of salvation, or reject it? Many people have heard the Gospel and intellectually know it’s true. Unless there’s conviction that moves the knowledge in their head to faith in their heart, there’s no salvation.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
That faith should be evident in a changed life. The sin that had a strong hold upon your life shouldn’t rule any more.
When we have truly accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, a miraculous rebirth happens. “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17b). At that moment, sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit is sealed within you. That seal cannot be broken. In speaking of faith in Christ, Paul wrote “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Your faith is precious to God, and He will never turn you away. If you have placed your eternity in the hands of God, then you are eternally safe from the second death.
Jesus said “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:28-30).
If you think you’re stronger than God, then you’ve got a pride problem. No matter how hard you struggle to escape, if your confession of faith was sincere, then you are sealed forever. You can lose rewards, but your salvation is secure. I can’t imagine why anyone would regret accepting eternal life with Christ. The alternative is to spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and his minions. If you’re having second thoughts about giving your life to Jesus, then you need to pray and speak with a mature Christian who can help you through your time of testing.
While we live on this side of Heaven, we will stumble. It’s those stumbles that cause us to question our salvation and steal our joy. The sin in our life needs to be confessed to Jesus and dealt with, because it hurts our fellowship with other Christians and our fellowship with Christ.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Too often we justify our own sin and tweak Scripture in order to make our sin seem acceptable. Pride, anger, jealousy, even thinking wrong thoughts are all sins. These attitudes cause us to be out of fellowship, and usually one sin leads to another. If you’re not walking in the Light of God, then you’re walking in the darkness of Satan. You need to recognize the sin in your life, confess it to God, and ask Him to forgive you.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just 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” (1 John 1:8-10).
All sin, past, present, and future, was forgiven the moment you truly recognized that you needed forgiveness and salvation that only comes from faith in Jesus. We still sin and need to take those sins before Jesus and ask Him to forgive.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).
Take your sin to Him. He will help you overcome it. Study Scripture and apply it to your life. God doesn’t change, so what was written so long ago still applies today.
Faith in Jesus should have changed your life. Although we can always find forgiveness, we aren’t to continue to embrace our sin. When a prostitute was brought before Jesus for condemnation, she found forgiveness instead. “…And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more” (John 8:11b). He forgave her, but He also told her to move away from the sin she embraced.
There are many “secret” ways to sin today, what with the internet that can bring much perversion into our homes. Remember, you may be able to hide sin from your spouse, your parents, or your friends, but you can’t hide it from God. Make life choices based upon Scripture and not on what the world says is acceptable. Music, movies, and video games can allow evil thoughts into our minds and hearts.
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).
Fill your life with songs of praise and other activities that glorify Christ.
God has forgiven all your sins. Now, forgive yourself and move forward in a closer walk with Jesus.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God-breathed.
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