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God: Forgives all sin

Published: Saturday, 05 April 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

PART 3 – Jesus pronounced the forgiveness of all sins

Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Luke 23:34

This is the third part of a four-part discussion on two Biblical passages.  The first two passages came from Romans 6:1-5.  This third discussion will begin to pull all four discussions together in a way that you have probably never heard or thought of before.  The major theme of these verses is God’s Grace and whether there is sufficient grace for you to forgive others and to forgive yourself based on the forgiveness that God has given you through His unending and complete grace.

 

Last week I ended the discussion by talking about how God knew we would need help to live a life here on this sinful earth.  This was God’s doing.  You must realize that God knew that you could not live in your current body with the sinful “self”, because the sins that you commit will continue and continue and continue until you die.  God provided a solution to this problem by saying that Christians should purposefully and intentionally identify with Jesus Christ.  God used the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to show us as Christians that as we identify with His death, burial, and resurrection, we become a new creation.

This new creation forms a basis for almost all of the New Testament.  God meant what He said.   Yet, I find so many Christians lacking in their understanding of this “new creation” concept.  My hope is that you would spend the time reading through the New Testament and highlighting every time something is mentioned about “new creation.”  I think it will change your life when you see that God stressed heavily the new life.

Most Christians are aware of the Bible passage above.  My question to you is: “Who did Jesus say this to?”  Read a few verses before and after his statement and see if you can specifically identify who He addressed this to.

One answer will be the Romans who crucified Him.  I think that is a very acceptable answer and makes sense.  Try to understand what it would take for a man being crucified to forgive those who nailed spikes in his hands.  They literally murdered Him while showing no mercy or remorse.  If you recall from Part 1, grace was the most wonderful truth from God.  How much grace did it take Jesus to forgive those who crucified Him?  Enough grace to forgive those who unmercifully and wrongly beat Him and killed him on the cross.  Put yourself in the place of Christ with the beatings and the cross.  Are there people who make you angry?  Are there people who have inflicted not only physical, but also mental or emotional pain on you?  Do you have sufficient grace to forgive them?  With God, He has given you sufficient grace.  With your flesh, you may not ever forgive them.

Another answer could be the Jewish leaders who were there to make sure that Jesus died.  They had wrongly accused Him, conducted an illegal trial with false witnesses, and could find nothing wrong with Jesus.  Yet, they had to get him out of the way, because He was messing up their way of life that included their income from the Temple, and their control of the people through the observance of the Law.  How much grace did Jesus have to have to forgive them?  Put yourself in the place of Christ?  Are there people who have abused you or misused you?  Are there some people who manipulate you to get their way?  Do you have that much grace?   With God, He has given you sufficient grace.  With your flesh, you may not ever forgive them.

We could include all of those in attendance at the crucifixion.  This would include one of his disciples, his supporters, his own Mother, and many others.  What had they done wrong to cause Him to ask for forgiveness for them?  They were all sinners.  How much grace did it take for Jesus to forgive them?   Is it easier to forgive a stranger or someone who is close to you?  Remember, everyone has sinned and that included everyone in the crowd.  Jesus forgave them.  Can you unconditionally forgive people you don’t know?  Are there people who say bad things behind your back?  Are there people who do things just to make your life harder?  Do you have that much grace?  With God, He has given you sufficient grace.  With your flesh, you may not ever forgive them.

Jesus asked God to forgive all of them.  Are you beginning to understand the grace of God?  Grace is summed up in the acronym: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense or GRACE.  Grace is also briefly defined as God’s unmerited favor.  God gives grace freely and that’s what He wants you to do too.

Next week we will look at the last person who Jesus asked forgiveness for while He hung on the Cross.

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