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Have you heard this lately?,  “I don't go to church, what I hear Sunday just does not ring true in my everyday life. I want to know a way to really live. The government and Church have a lot in common - they both tell me what to do and both demand large percentages of my money. So far neither of these organizations seem to get it right."  This is an easy person with whom to identify. I suggest that they think they are over taxed. They are rejecting a sin centered message and they  want a forgiveness centered message. 

Most sermons we hear today are about what we do rather than what we are.  Instead of what it is that changes a person, we hear about works such as, double your efforts, give more, sin less, love your neighbor, and be more faithful? We know works follow faith but we teach faith follows works. We have come up with the idea that constant challenges will motivate people to live Christian lives of faith.

Most are neither for or against the call to achievement.  The young people tend to reject the message of performance and search elsewhere. Home Bible studies and similar expressions have started all over the country. We have God's word from long ago, but it is lost in the religious garbage hiding the very life of Jesus. We are overlooking the forgiving, Christ centered life of love which God has promised us.

WHAT DOES GOD WANT FOR OUR LIVES?

At this point in a paper, sermon or teaching message my wife tells me,   "If you say that they will not listen." I, in some way reply,    "If I leave it out, I have nothing for them." 

My college bible teacher said to me in private when I was nineteen years of age, "if you do not grasp that God's - once for all - total forgiveness - was for all sin - past, present and forever - you do not know God's plan - do not become a Bible teacher".

God plans to change our lives with His forgiveness. The Gospel is, in Jesus Christ, God has released us from our sins. Paul said, “For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received according to the Scriptures." If you know Jesus Christ in a personal way, every sin you have ever committed-past, present, and future-is totally and completely forgiven. Even the bad ones. Even the sins that may hurt others. All!

We think we understand this, but do we? There are certain characteristics that God says will result in the lives of those who are counting on Christ for their forgiveness that simply are not present in the lives of most of us today.

For example, we as believers in Christ generally have  a low image of ourselves partly because we think God is down on us. Forgiven? Hardly. We see ourselves as not measuring up. We look at our actions rather than at Christ. Thus we lack confidence before God. The tendency is to be afraid of Him, rather than to be in love with Him. We see ourselves as having failed.

If -  we realize - we are depending upon Jesus Christ as having cleansed us from our sins, we - realize - God sees us as perfect. “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:14). There is nothing that we can do to improve on that which God has declared perfect! And He can say this because through Jesus Christ we have met Him on His terms.

God’s ways are so contrary to our ways.We have a hard time understanding His acceptance of us because so much of the teaching we have had is how to achieve.  We went to Sunday school and worked for awards. In scouts we worked for merits. In high school, it was the football team, or some club. The same in college and then off to impress the guy who signs the check. Is it any wonder that when God comes along and says He’ll take us just as we are that we don't believe it? We learned long ago that nothing is free. But God says that Jesus Christ has qualified for us and that now we are perfect in Him. Could this be?

When God says we are perfect in His sight, we are! It removes the pressure from us and frees us to the real life by the power of His life within us. Read that sentence again and pick up on the words: perfect, His sight, we are, removes pressure, frees, real, power, His life, within us.

What kind of message is it that says the cross satisfied God for eternity but not for time. God says we are forgiven now! Both for time and for eternity. You are a new person if you are in Christ. Your sins are forever gone. And it is not just your acts which are forgiven; you are forgiven.God looks at you as being clean. He has remade the real you. You may or may not look new but the person inside is new.

GUILT

Not knowing the truth about forgiveness highlights the matter of guilt.  Guilt is based upon past wrong doing. Proper understanding of forgiveness removes us from what went on before; therefore,  instead of problems with guilt, we can jump for joy with thanksgiving.

Where there is no assurance of forgiveness, there is no basis for our relationship with God to be without fear. If we do not understand that He has dealt with our problems of the past, guilt will be the result. It is complicated all the more when we read in our Bibles that our lives are to be different inside and out — and they’re not.

In Hebrews 10, Outlines the Old Testament sacrificial system and then applies these truths to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Example: had the animal sacrifices really worked, the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins. Listen! This is so good. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

God says that a reminder of sins is, just the opposite from not being conscious of sins. In Jesus Christ we need no longer be plagued with a guilt ridden awareness of our sins. The Old Testament sacrifice was a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus which was to come. Since the death of Christ on the cross did satisfy God’s demands upon us who were guilty, we can say that His sacrifice “worked.” Instead of remembering our sins, as did the Israelites on the Day of Atonement, God wants us to believe they are forgiven and gone, not even being conscious, never to haunt us again. Listen, don't miss this for your life on earth depends on it.

The sacrifices of old were not God’s final plan; they were but a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross which was God’s final plan of forgiveness. Hebrews 10:12 says, "......He having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time sat down at the right hand of God.”  And since His payment was more than sufficient, we need no longer have a consciousness of sin! After the sacrifice of Jesus, God does not have a consciousness of sin, so why should you. You should not. You are forgiven. If this makes you mad, read this over and over again and get glad. Hebrews 10:17 below says it again.

Hebrews 10:17 explains why this is true. God says , “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” When it comes to our sins, God has forgotten them. Are you seeing the reason for the title of this message, does God see our sin, (The bad memory again). He has buried them in the deepest seas. He has separated them as far from us as the East is from the West.They are hidden in the clouds. When it comes to our sins God has a bad memory!

Guilt is such a screaming thing, forgiveness is so quiet. We often pay more attention to the noise of accusation than to the silence of sins forgiven. Guilt does not come from God. It comes over and over from Satan. Satan condemns and Christ who forgives. How do we listen?

I talk with people who say, “I committed a sin, and I know God has forgiven me, but I still feel guilty.” How do we listen? To the promises of Jesus Christ or how we feel?  Trust in Jesus Christ not how we feel.

We must not act on human emotion. We are forgiven - He means it. How we feel does not change the fact that we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit lives in us to personally prove God's promise to us.

God on His own accord forgets our sins. He totally placed them upon Jesus when He died, He took all of our sins with Him to the grave. If He had missed one of them, we would be without hope. James said, “For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.If Jesus had to bear every sin in all the world for the sacrifice to be effectual. And if you have trusted in Him, every sin that you have ever committed or ever Will commit is totally and completely forgiven.

In the past I thought, even as a Christian, that when I died and went to be with God, He would show me a long list of my sins. God’s plan is that Jesus paid off my debt and no such list exists. The great thing about becoming a Christian, is God not only clears the list, He throws it away. We pass from death into life. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are released from our sins.

God's bad memory is only pertaining to all my sins, He does remember our good works of love. “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

What is it that God recalls about you and me for all eternity? Our good works. The things that result in our lives because we are trusting Him. Thus, our identity with Him is no longer one of condemnation, but one of commendation. He has forgotten our evil deeds and rebellion and sees us as clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

A GREAT AWARENESS OF LIFE

Hear this and really live: if God has forgotten my sins, I can forget them too. The sin wall does not exist between God and me any more. That’s what it means to no longer have a consciousness of sin: to see our sins as God sees them: judged, paid for, buried, and gone.

So often our attention is focused on our sin, rather than on Christ and His goodness. We live sin centered instead of Christ centered lives. We think holiness involves trying not to sin. God frees us to forget our sins and trust Jesus Christ for our righteousness.

Now, when you read the next scripture, don't run off with the first half - stay to read the last sentence of Peter.

In 2d Peter 1:9 he admonishes them to add to their faith moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and finally godly love. He says that if these qualities are in their lives and are on the increase, they will be fruitful in their walk with God. He then tells them why it is that they aren’t growing as they ought: “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or shortsighted having forgotten his purification from his former sins."

What is God’s analysis of the problem of stunted spiritual growth and development? It’s clearly not our failure to go to church, devotions, clean thoughts, and other Christian solutions. Our problem is that we’ve forgotten we’re forgiven. We’ve failed to remember that Jesus was not kidding when He said, “Your sins have been forgiven.

When we are trusting Jesus Christ, life (His life within us) is the beautiful by product. What do you think about more, your sins or Jesus Christ? You’re forgiven! Trust and rely on Jesus. He sees you as complete with the very life Jesus in you. He does not, no, can not see our sin.


(1) Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

(2) 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(3) Hebrews 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

(3) Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our  trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,

(3) Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. 4:8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

(4) Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (back to text) 

(5) Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

5) 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 

(6) Micah 7:19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.

(7) Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

(8) Isaiah 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

(8) Isaiah 38:17 Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. 

(9) James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in on point, he has become guilty of all.

(10) Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

(11) Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 

(12) 2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. (13) Luke 7:48 And He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven."

 

 
 

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