Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 18 - You Are Forgiven of ALL Your Sins - 30 Days of Grace

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you  alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.      Col. 2:13-15

Let's look at this wonderful passage and sense the relief it brings that all our sins are forgiven!

What did God do for us when we were dead in our sins?  He made us alive with Christ and forgave us all our sins.  How many of our sins did He forgive?  He forgave ALL of them!  How many sins are included in the word 'all?'  ALL of them!  

Now sometimes I have thought that when I became believer in Jesus, God forgave me of all the sins I had done up to that point as a non-Christian, but not for the sins which were yet in the future, that I would later commit.  I thought that each time I, as a Christian, then committed a sin, I would be out of fellowship or 'not right with God' and need to go confess, ask forgiveness, recommit myself to God, etc. in order to be back 'right with God' and in fellowship again.  It was like I thought that any and every time I sinned, my sin was like a wall coming between me and God, and that He was not pleased with me because of my sin.  In fact, I felt that He must be disappointed in me and wishing that I would do better.  I felt He was seeing my faults and telling me to change and improve.  This left me feeling very uncertain about being with Him, for I was worried that He saw me as a failure in my Christian life. It was hard to feel His love for me or feel comfortable coming to pray to Him, especially right after I'd done wrong. Perhaps you have had some of these feelings, too.

But look at the verse again:  how many of our sins did God forgive?  ALL of them!  When did He do that?  When we were dead in our sins!  God forgave us of ALL our sins back when we were still dead in our sins!  We are told in 2 Corin. 5:19 that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them."  So we see that God forgave us, at the cross, of ALL our sins 

Does Col. 2:13 distinguish in any way between past sins as a non-Christian and future sins as a Christian? No.  In fact, how many of our sins were in the past when God forgave them all at the cross?  None of them were in the past - they were all in the future, for we weren't even born yet!  So we see that God forgave ALL our sins, whether those we committed before we got saved or those we will commit on into the future as a Christian - He already forgave ALL of them back at the cross!

What was standing against us and condemning us, according to this verse?  The charge of our legal indebtedness.  In other words, the law with its commands that we had broken was against us, condemning us back when we were in our sins.  So what did Jesus do to take care of that law that we broke and its condemnation of us?  He took it the law and its record of our mistakes, and He nailed it to the cross!  So if there is no law to point out your wrongs, are you guilty anymore or condemned anymore? NO!  You are free to go, because the law that showed you as guilty, the law that condemned you to death, is gone!  The record of your sins has been wiped out, because Christ 'took it away' at the cross!  So there is no record of crimes that you have done!  You now have a clean record because of Christ!  So it isn't just that you are forgiven, as good as that is - it is also that your bad record is taken out of the way.  Sin is wiped off your record, the books are cleared!  You get off scot-free!  You are declared innocent, and you ARE innocent, for there is nothing left to condemn and no law to condemn you anyhow!

Let's look at what else Christ did for us - what else does the passage say He did at the cross?  He disarmed the powers and authorities at the cross, making a spectacle of them and triumphing over them.  Jesus disarmed Satan and his demons at the cross!  He took away his biggest weapon that he was using against us - He took away the law!  Satan loves to use the law to accuse us and point out all the ways we haven't measured up to the law's standard.  The law is good and holy, but Satan in his twisted way uses it to accuse us and make us feel guilty, condemned, fearful of punishment, and afraid of God.  But Jesus took away the law and its record against us; He nailed it to the cross, so Satan can't use that against us anymore!  So who can accuse or condemn us?  Noone!  Satan is seen as a spectacle, a worthless bug who can't harm us, and his accusations are seen to be empty, because there is no record left of our sins and no sentence condemning us to death anymore!  Jesus has triumphed over Satan and we stand in that triumph!  Hallelujah!

So what about the way I used to feel when I sinned, that there was a wall there, that God was upset with me, that I was 'not right' or out of fellowship until I confessed and asked forgiveness?  Well, now that thinking is shown to be false and based on a lie of the enemy - the lie that sin is still a problem between us and God! That is a lie!  God has finished dealing with the sin problem of the world; Jesus came as the Lamb of God, sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.  That is exactly what He did. He took away our sin, and it is gone.  He also took away the law's record against us of broken rules.  There is no record against us anymore!  Thus Satan can't use the law to accuse us, because we aren't under the law's jurisdiction anymore - it has been taken out of the way as far as we are concerned!  The law has no say over us any more!  And so God has forgiven us completely, not only of some sins, but of ALL our sins, past, present and future!  There is nothing left to be ashamed about, nothing left to be condemned about before God, nothing left against us, nothing at all!  We are standing before God with nothing against us, not even one thing!  IN fact, not only has He taken away our bad record, He has replaced it with Christ's perfect record!

So when we sin, we haven't lost fellowship.  We are still in perfect fellowship, still 'right with God' since our rightness with God is based on Jesus' perfect right-ness anyway, not our own, and His righteousness before the Father is perfect and unchangingWe stand forever right with God in Christ's perfect righteousness! That righteousness doesn't change based on our performance, it's based on Christ's performance.  We didn't even receive it by performance but by grace through faith, so that means we can't lose it by performance!  So when we sin, we are still righteous before God.  He is therefore still pleased with us, looking as He does at Christ's perfect righteousness in us.  He is not mad, not upset, not disappointed, not pointing out our faults or wishing we'd just 'do better.'  He is finished dealing with our sin and now relates to us, not on the basis of our sins, but on the basis of Christ's righteousness!

Forgiveness carries with it the idea of being released or freed - you have been freed from the burden of your sins, freed from guilt, released from condemnation and punishment.  The penalty has been paid by Christ on the cross for ALL your sins, He has taken your punishment for you, and there is NO punishment left for you!  ALL of your sins have been forgiven, and the law record that showed your errors and demanded your punishment has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross!  There is nothing against you. There is no condemnation.  There is no sin on your record. You are released, you are free to go! 
 Forgiveness carries with it the idea of being released or freed - you have been freed from the burden of your sins, freed from guilt, released from condemnation and punishment.  The penalty has been paid by Christ on the cross for ALL your sins, He has taken your punishment for you, and there is NO punishment left for you!  ALL of your sins have been forgiven, and the law record that showed your errors and demanded your punishment has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross!  There is nothing against you. There is no condemnation.  There is no sin on your record. You are released!  You are free!, youare free!, you are free!

Thus no need to confess or repent in order to get forgiven, because you already are forgiven..Yes, it is okay to confess and repent, but it's not to get forgiveness, for we already have that.  Confession and repentance is more to see things from God's perspective and be honest about our struggles - because we are accepted and forgiven, we can let down our masks and admit we don't have it all together, knowing we're still approved by God and accepted.

We have been freed from our sins, freed from guilt, freed from condemnation, freed from shame, freed from penalties, freed from punishment, freed from any accusation or blame!  We are free indeed!  So next time you sin, remember you have been (past tense) forgiven of ALL your sins, the law and Satan cannot condemn you, Jesus already took your punishment so there is none left for you, released from your debt, the sin is just remnant of the old way of things and is not your real true identity in Christ, your record is clean, you are innocent, you are righteous and thus right with God for all time!  Remember all that and walk free!

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14