* When God said in his word that he has forgiven us – He wasn’t talking “half – forgiveness” or “a quarter”. He was talking “Full – forgiveness”. It’s not just about saying “yeah, I know God has forgiven me”, but have you forgiven yourself? Do you still feel disappointed in yourself for something wrong you did sometime ago? Do you still feel depressed because of some wrong stuff you did? Do you feel guilty? Condemned? Are you afraid that God is way too holy for you to talk to?
If your answers are “yes”, then it’s time to renew your mind. It’s time you change the way you think. It’s time you understand that Jesus came to give freedom – total freedom from guilt and condemnation. Trust me, it’s not in his plan for you to stay in guilt or feel condemned. He wants you to step into his peace and freedom.
Hebrews 4 : 16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
* I’ve seen so many christians today trying to work out their own righteousness. They feel they’ve been too bad for God to call them righteous. They feel they’ve got to do some certain things or act some certain way to become right with God or to make God love them ”again”, and they’re really struggling with fear, trying to make things right by themselves.
Okay, look at this…
Romans 4 : 3 – 5
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that WORKETH is the reward NOT reckoned of grace, but of DEBT.
But to him that WORKETH NOT, but BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for RIGHTEOUSNESS.
What was Paul saying here? He was saying ”self – righteousness is not God’s kinda righteousness”. He was saying ”you can never buy righteousness by doing some things to please God”. He was saying ”believe, like Abraham did, believe Jesus paid it all on the cross, believe you’re free – forget your past, stop trying to do some work that’s already been finished by Jesus, you can’t do more than he already did”. Abraham wasn’t perfect, he made mistakes ;still God blessed him and called him righteous. David wasn’t perfect, he did so many wrong things; still God called him a man after his own heart. God isn’t looking for some ”Mr. Very berry Perfect”, he’s looking for a ”Mr. Very berry imperfect” that will trust in him.
*You might be saying ”well, I’ve done so wrong, I’m a really terrible person, I don’t deserve forgiveness, infact, I could never be good enough for God”… Well, the truth is that nobody can be good enough for God. Not you. Not me. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of his glory. So, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, as long as you’re willing to repent.
Hebrews 8 : 12
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquity I will remember NO MORE.
Have you told God you’re sorry? Do you mean it?… Well, great because God doesn’t remember your sins anymore. Everytime you try to tell him of how bad you’ve done, I bet you, he’s saying something like this : ”I have no idea what you’re talking about, really I don’t. The only thing I remember about your sin is that they’ve been wiped off by my son’s blood. So get up and get living.”
“BUT SOMEONE ONCE TOLD ME THAT GOD IS MAD AT ME!”
Okay, here’s my story. Sometime ago I did something really wrong but I got over it and believed that God had forgiven me – I totally forgot about it until… I went to a church (haha! funny but true). The sermon that Sunday just brought fresh guilt, fear and condemnation because all the ”preacher” did that day was “preach fear”. After that sermon, I felt so guilty. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t pray, couldn’t worship. I felt like I was so far from God. I felt I could never please him again; But praise God, I talked to some wonderful people about it and they helped me out. They told me it’s Satan’s job to make people feel afraid and guilty (that’s why the Bible calls him “the accuser of the brethren”). I got over it, and today, guilt isn’t something I spend my time on. So, it doesn’t matter “who said” or “who is saying”, If it’s not what God says then it’s not true. That’s why we’ve got to be careful what and who we listen to. Some things may sound and look like ”the truth”, but may not actually BE ”the truth”. Religion could sound so true when preached, but it isn’t the truth ;because when you’re playing religion, you can’t enter into God’s rest.
Hebrews 4 : 10
For he that is entered into God’s rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
“IT TAKES YOU TO START THINKING RIGHT TO STOP THINKING WRONG.”
You’ve got to renew your mind, God loves you. If you’ve made a mistake, fine! Learn from it. Don’t just sit there and spend time in guilt. It’s gone. It’s past! – believe it, think that way and live in that consciousness. You’re the righteousness of God in Christ, you’re free.
So, i just thought I should remind you of these two : Peter and Judas…
Peter denied the Lord thrice. Judas betrayed the Lord. Peter felt bad – yes! But repented genuinely and went on with his life. Judas felt bad too, returned the 30 pieces of silver, didn’t stop feeling bad, satan entered him and he hanged himself.
Now see! Both of them felt bad. Peter felt bad, Judas felt bad. It’s okay to feel bad; It could be healthy because, feeling bad sometimes would lead you to repent. Now, it’s something to feel bad, repent and forget about it. It’s another thing to feel bad, keep feeling bad and begin to condemn yourself.
I know and you know that if Judas had repented God would have forgiven him, because there’s no sin God cannot forgive. Judas would have preached The Word in joy; telling people how the One he sold bought him back. Well, he didn’t and we all know how it ended, so that’s that.
Look at Paul, he was terrible, a murderer, but look at how Jesus changed him and look at the beautiful, Christ – unveiling epistles he wrote… God is not a respecter of persons! He has forgiven you and he wants to use you. Now have some faith that you are forgiven and forgive yourself!