“Accepted & Forgiven?”

Posted: July 16, 2019 in Christian Life, Discipline, Repentance, Salvation

Do you sometimes feel “ill at ease” and like you’re out of place and not welcome in some places or in some people’s homes? (Read Psalm 1) Are there times when you’ve apologized to someone for something you said or did and asked him/her to forgive you and yet you feel like you’re not really forgiven? Why should Christians be quick to admit it when they are wrong and forgive others who ask us for it? (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:15-35.)

Recently I posted a comment on someone’s Facebook page that was misunderstood by the reader. It was short and to the point, but he didn’t quite get what I wanted to convey. So, here’ my explanation to him that might also be of help to you.

Saved? When a person believes and puts his/her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, he/she is instantly saved from the “penalty of sin” (Romas 6:23) and will not spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Believers are being saved from the “power of sin” (Romans 6:14), and will ultimately be saved from the “presence of sin” (Romans 8:23).

Accepted. When Jesus ascended back into heaven He was accepted and welcomed by God the Father who was satisfied with the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ had made, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), for mankind’s sins (Romans 4:25). True believers in Christ, in like manner, are “accepted in the Beloved” just as Christ was accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Imagine that! It’s pure grace (undeserved favor from God – Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Forgiven. There are two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental/family forgiveness. Since Christ paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2), and since believers accepted His payment as their payment to God the Father, He judicially forgives our sins so that we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1, 35-39). But parental/family forgiveness takes place when a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4) and then confesses them (by specifically naming them) to God the Father (1 John 1:9). Before we confess our sins to the Father, we need to discern what we did to offend and grieve God (1 Corinthians 11:28-31; Ephesians 4:30) and then repent (change our minds about what we did – 2 Corinthians 7: 9, 10). When a believer confesses his/her sins, God forgives them and cleanses him/her from all unrighteousness that led up to his/her sinning (1 John 1:9; James 1:13-15).

Questions. Have you been judicially forgiven? If not, why not place your faith in Christ alone, right now, and be forgiven? We aren’t saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). If you, as a believer, have confessed your known sins to God, have you accepted His forgiveness and moved on? Do you need help so you won’t keep on committing the same sins (Proverbs 28:13)? If so, ask for it (James 1:4-8; 4:1-4). There are no temptations that you have that others haven’t had too (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations aren’t sins. They give us the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God (James 1:12) or to enjoy the momentary pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:2) that leads to sorrow and a premature physical death (Proverbs 5:1-14). We’re here to help you and others who are “teachable and willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

Sin Unto Death. If a believer willfully defies God and chooses to live in sin, he/she is in danger of being chastened by God (Hebrews 12:5 ff) and having his/her life terminated prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:16). We have “potential years” and “actual years.” Christians can’t lose their salvation, but they will lose the joy of their salvation (Psalm 51:12) and the crowns, rewards, and praise from God that could have come to them on Judgment Day. This judgment of our works, not us, will not be to determine if we get into heaven or not, but to determine the quality of our works as to whether they are rewardable or not (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment will determine the degree of suffering an unbeliever will experience in the everlasting lake of fire (Matthew 10:15; Jude 1:13; Revelation 20:11-15). We don’t want you or others to go to that awful place.

Help. If you have questions/comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook or Youtube for our Bible studies.

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