Forgiveness Through Faith – Matters MOST posted by jwatson on Dec 21, 2011
We’ve been considering how God’s wonderful character is clearly shown in the gospel presentation, and how that brings about different responses in our hearers:
His holiness – convicts us of our guilt.
His desire for relationship with His creatures – draws us to Him as a loving Father.
His faithfulness – motivates us to trust in Him.
His power to heal and to deliver us – causes us to look to Him for rescue.
His mercy – causes us to bring our burdens to Him.
His Sovereignty – convinces us that His laws are not a burden, but a blessing from His wisdom.
His generosity – draws us to Him as the One Who can supply all our needs in overflowing abundance.
… but there is a danger in thinking that if we are simply drawn to Him because of His glory, His beauty and His awesome being, that we have experienced salvation … that in falling in love with God, we are safely in His kingdom.
This is a dangerous fallacy. We must always remember that a Christian is, first and foremost, one who has dealt with his or her sin. Not in their own strength, but by pleading Jesus’ shed blood for their forgiveness.
I’ve had to look very very carefully at the way I have been presenting the gospel to others. It’s so easy to start watering down the “hard truths of the gospel”, forgetting that we are definitely not going to succeed if we block the Holy Spirit’s work by compromising on the truth.
Yes, Jesus died and rose again that we may experience an abundant life, a perfect relationship with Him, but we can never claim to be God’s children unless we have grasped, submitted to and fully committed to the pivotal concepts that run as a vital heartbeat through all the gospels :
Faith – Forgiveness – Faith – Forgiveness – Faith – Forgiveness – Faith – Forgiveness.
For many years I thought that I was a Christian, but in reality I was merely infatuated with God in all His glory and wisdom. I had never died to sin.
I had to come to the realization that there is nothing good in me, that I am utterly helpless to save myself, that there is nothing I can do to earn God’s acceptance. That not even my deep repentance and sincere commitment were acceptable atonement for my sin. I had to reach that point of bitter desperation where I knew that if God didn’t have mercy on me, I was doomed to destruction, and there was precisely nothing I could do about it.
I had to cry out – “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!” “Please, Lord, help me, please, Lord!”
Are you just enjoying being among Jesus’ acquaintances, hanging out with Jesus and His friends? Are you tagging along like the crowds who enjoyed the entertainment, the miracles, the bread, the fellowship?
If you have not had your sin removed, if you have not been redeemed, adopted, filled, having died and risen with Christ, you are none of His.
We must acknowledge that we are dead in sin, and earnestly seek forgiveness through faith, above all else, otherwise the “abundant life” we live, basking in the light of the family of faith will end abruptly, and we will be in for a nasty shock when we breathe our last in this life.
Have you, by virtue of Jesus’ blood, dealt with your sin? Think about it.
And when we share the gospel, are we sufficiently clear about the world’s desperate condition, and that the only remedy is to give God no rest until we know that we know that we know – that we are redeemed, cleansed and alive forever in Him? Let’s help others to press in to God, as Jacob did – “I will not let You go until You bless me”. Genesis 32:26 – they are counting on you to show them the way.