A WORD IN PASSING November 2017
Knowing we are forgiven and experiencing that forgiveness is a liberating experience. An
experience, a release, that can only truly be known through faith in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Even so, forgiveness does not neccesarily exempt us from the consequences of our wrong doing.
Forgiveness will not restore our innocence, and the memory of past sins continues. But the self
condemnation that accompanies our remembering needs to be put in its place. For if God has declared
that, 'in Christ' our sins are forgiven, the matter is finished with - and who are we, on the basis of His
divine decree drag the matter up?
The world can be a very unforgiving place - and so can many of the people who inhabit it! What a
contrast is the God who longs that all men and women may know His forgiveness and have their 'slate
wiped clean'! It's a longing - an invitation to each one of us - to partake of His mercy and the forgiveness
that can bring healing of a physical, psychological and spiritual kind.
The writers of the Old Testament in particular recognised the close connection between forgiveness and
'I said, "O Lord, have mercy on me;
heal me, for I have sinned against you."' Psalm 41:4
'I have seen his [sinful] ways, but I will heal him;
I will guide him and restore comfort to him.' Isaiah 57:17-18
So much physical as well as mental and spiritual damage can be done by a condemning conscience. But
once the truth of God's forgiveness and acceptance of us 'in Christ' is really taken to heart the
conscience has absolutely no grounds to condemn.
Knowing our acceptance by God allows us to accept ourselves. And our own understanding of God's
forgiveness - so freely given to us - should lead us to the forgiveness of others,
'.. forgiving our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' (Matt 6:12)
At the heart of the gospel lies the message that,
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whosoever believes in His shall not perish but have life everlasting."
'While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.' Romans 5:8
'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' Romans 10:13
'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.' Romans 8:1
Knowing the truth sets you free. It brings liberation. God's liberation.