Summary: Today, I want to build on this theme - If anyone is to thrive spiritually and keep from drying up inside spiritually, they need to first experience God’s forgiveness…then they need to be a forgiving person.
iForgive – A spiritual need for all Mankind
Today, I want to build on this theme - If anyone is to thrive spiritually and keep from drying up inside spiritually, they need to first experience God’s forgiveness…then they need to be a forgiving person.
But I believe there is a spiritual need that every person needs as well – a Forgiving Heart…and the Lord agreed that this was indeed necessary as well. IN fact, he too promised that He would provide forgiveness for all who ask him: I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Notice the words “faithful and just” in this verse.
“Faithful” means that He promises to forgive you! He’s faithful to do it – or, in our vernacular – “He’s good for it! You can bank on it!”
“Just” means that He will forgive you because it is the right (or ‘just’) thing to do! Because He’s God and His promises are sure…and He promised to forgive you because of Jesus’ saving work on the cross, then it is only right to offer you forgiveness!! He promised it to you – He sent His Son to provide forgiveness for you – so, now, if you ask for it, it would be wrong to withhold it!
Therefore, if anyone is to thrive spiritually and keep from drying up inside spiritually, they first have to experience God’s forgiveness…then they need to be a forgiving person.
Facts about “Forgiveness”
Fact #1 – Forgiveness Bring Peace!
The Bible sometimes uses the word “forgiveness” but often times, when speaking about how God forgive us of our sins and saves us, it will use the word “reconcile” or “reconciliation.”
The word “reconcile” means “to make peace” Therefore, when God forgives us, He makes a way to where we can have peace with God.
The Bible also uses the imagery of being “afar off” or “far away” or “separated” or “excluded” from God…and God brings us near.
Colossians 1:20-22 20 …and through [Jesus Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 2:12-15 12 …remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
I love all the imagery here…the 1st century person latched on quickly to what Paul was saying. Let me explain: You noticed the words “far off”…“brought near” in verse 13? And “destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” in verse 14?
You see, in the first century, there was a temple in Jerusalem where both Jew & Gentile were able to visit and worship. But the gentiles were restricted to the “Gentile Court” and not allowed to proceed any further – into the more intimate areas of the temple. They were relegated to the common area.
So, how did they know how far to go and where their area came to an end? There was a “wall of partition” that made a clear demarcation between the two areas. So, even if the Gentile wanted to worship the one true God in the temple, they were always held afar off and had to pray in the common area.
Of course, this caused a lot of hostility as many deemed it “unfair” because some lacked the ‘privilege’ or ‘opportunity’ to draw near to God. That’s why it is referred in Ephesians to the “dividing wall of hostility.”
This verse says that for Jew or Gentile, God longs to have peace and intimacy with anyone who asks for forgiveness from Him.
Therefore, getting saved is like God tearing down any barrier that has kept you from having peace and intimacy with him…and you can now approach God’s Throne because you are his child!