Tuesday, 18 June 2013

This is a New Day!

(Part 3 of 4)

I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of  My memory as though they had never existed. When there is forgiveness such as this, there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin
(Hebrews 10:17-18 - The Voice)

In the King James Version of the bible, verse 18 uses the word remission instead of forgiveness as used above. REMISSION refers to the “cancellation of the penalty” as can be seen in the Amplified Version. However let’s go straight to the Greek by using the Strong’s Concordance and see what it says about REMISSION.

Greek ♯0859. αφεσισ aphesis; from 863; freedom; (figuratively) pardon: deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, and remission. AV (17)- remission 9, forgiveness 6, deliverance 1, liberty 1; release from bondage or imprisonment, forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty Greek ♯0860.

“release from bondage… Pardon of sins (Letting them go as if they had never been committed).” Thank God such a condition exists. We could never achieve this status alone! If we take this to heart we can say: “I am justified… just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned… whoop!” Which is worthy of a party right there. What could be better! This is why we worship Jesus Christ in all of His glory so vehemently and forever! 

In keeping with our text I want to say, that it is not possible to express just how important forgiveness is, in 4 short articles. But we can try! Many times, we find ourselves in some form of spiritual warfare or another. However I firmly believe that much of the “fight” would swiftly diminish with the simple act of repentance (with this I am also implying on a daily basis).

Today some camps exist who would deplore this idea, as being “sin conscious” and would argue that we aught to be more “righteous conscious.” Absolutely! However when the day arrives where we no longer “repent” simply because we are trying to be “oh-so-righteous-conscious” (when some folks can’t even say it, let alone live it!) then error has already crept into the Church. There never has or ever will be an adequate replacement for repentance.

YES Jesus’ work on the cross was not inept; it was a complete and finished work of perfection. Even so, repentance was never done away with. Sophisticates in the church today may want us to demean repentance and forgiveness – but they are both vital keys that unlock doors of bondage in all of our lives. We should never stumble at such truths but run to them gladly and with humility.

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
(1 John 1:9 AMP)

Once a person has sincerely repented they MUST move on, free of all condemnation:

Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.
 (Romans 8:1-2 The Voice)

To stay in the realm of condemnation, when you know Christ has forgiven you, is really willful unbelief! Instead we must allow the CONVICTION of the Holy Spirit to prick our hearts; this leads us to repentance, (where condemnation only leads us to depression!) Conviction is not the same as condemnation. It’s vital to recognize the difference between the two. It’s equally as vital to know that the Holy Spirit NEVER condemns anyone. He convicts only. The devil on the other hand never stops accusing and condemning, (especially believers). “The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night…(Revelation 12:10)

Once again, if we are aware of this, we must never operate on any common ground with the devil. We must remember that ANY TIME WE ACCUSE OUR BROTHERS IN CHRIST, WE ARE STANDING ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE DEVIL. We must take sides with God and with His righteousness. We must be careful who we side-with! There is never a right time to accuse anyone. Especially other believers,  “the brethren.”

Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
(1 Chronicles 16:22 KJV)

Let not then your good be evil spoken of (slander)…
(Romans 14:16-18 NKJV)

I’ve heard this particular statement (and similar versions of it) branded around for many years, it goes something like this: “I love God and will never quit believing in Him, but I’ve already given up on the Church.” Now all of us would understand a statement like this. However, we must not be enticed into speaking badly about the Body of Christ, not matter how angry we get or how much injustice we have witness behind her walls.

Some folks are angry with the leadership, others are angry with the worship team, and others with the children’s ministry. But Jesus has not given up on His Bride yet and nor should we! He is coming back for her, without spoke or wrinkle. She is going to have to go through a refining process to reach that stage of beauty. In the meantime we must not speak bad of the Church. We must not take sides with the “accuser of the brethren,” no matter how tempting this can be at times! We are not a mouth piece for the accuser – we are a mouth pieace for God AND HIS TRUTH. Nor are we self-appointed mouthpieces for our own opinions! We should only speak when God directs. 

The Root of Bitterness

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many
(Hebrews 12: 15 NIV)

In my book called “Deliverance a Present Reality,” which was written many years ago now, I brought out about the role that bitterness plays along with its crippling effect on the lives of so many people. We can be free of its influence BUT only through the power of forgiveness.

“No bitter root should be allowed to grow within our lives, but the fact is that many of us at some time have been bruised. We had the experience of falling from a tree like an apple, at first the shock of bouncing to the ground was deflected, shaken off. But some days or months later the bruise began to show, like an apple we begin to rot with bitterness. We poison ourselves and everyone who surrounds us, because our attitudes and the things that we begin to say.

Others pick up the bitterness that we have and then they too become polluted. We want to blame other people because we have become bitter. The bitterness then becomes hatred. This then is the opening that Satan uses to afflict us with evil spirits and diseases. For those who have been bitter over the years, sometimes that bitterness expresses itself in crippling arthritis. Forgiveness towards those who have hurt us, for whatever reason, needs to take place. Then healing can be brought about.

Forgiveness is the key to release bitterness, resentments and other negative emotions. We need not judge or condemn others for in so doing we will not be condemned. “Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

If we are not willing to forgive, forgiveness will not come our way. We have been forgiven of sin; our debt has been cancelled; yet we find it hard to forgive others (Matthew 18:27). We need to release our brothers and sisters from whatever they have done towards us. If we do not forgive we will become like them. The end result of unforgiveness is that we will be turned over to the jailer to be tortured (Matthew 18:34).

Forgiveness is the attitude of God and the example that we must follow. We might not feel like forgiving, but then we cannot go on feelings, we need to be obedient to the Word of God. Forgiveness then becomes an act of our will, we choose to forgive: “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).”
(Pateman, 135-136)

Now notice in the each case where the scriptures below mention forgiveness, it directly connects forgiveness with the heart.  Forgiveness is always a heart issue. We must therefore, “guard our hearts above all else” (Proverbs 4:23).

In wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed. So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
(Matthew 18:34-35 AMP)

His master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt.
(Matthew 18:27 AMP)

I am not finished mentioning about the heart. I want to revisit the scripture that was briefly mentioned above, this time pointing out the heart-mouth connection. The heart-mouth connection is also a major part of forgiveness. Here I have taken various translations and allowed them to speak for themselves:

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. Do away with any talk that twists and distorts the truth; have nothing to do with any verbal trickery.
(Proverbs 4:23-24 The Voice)

Above every charge keep thy heart, for out of it [are] the outgoings of life.
(Proverbs 4:23 YLT)

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth…
(Proverbs 4:23 MSG)

It’s the same with people. A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart.
(Luke 6:45 The Voice)

Thank You Father that You willingly FORGET my sin. Help me do the same for others, that no root of bitterness spring up in me and defile many. Help me when in the recesses of my mind, memories try to resurface. I need your help to forget just as You forget my mistakes. In Jesus name, Amen.

I choose to walk moment by moment in the pathways of forgiveness. Just as I have been forgiven, I gladly forgive, relent and let go of any offence carried out against me. It’s not easy, but it is necessary and I will not be dictated to by my feelings and emotions. I want the spiritual release that forgiveness brings. I can’t get by without it. I trust the living Word of God on this subject and willing self adjust.


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