Nov 11, 2020, 12:06 PM
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8b)
The work of the devil is to deter God’s creation from entering heaven where he has been denied access. He once lived there but because of his pride (when he coveted the throne of God), the angels fought with him and thrust him down to the earth. Since he lost his position in heaven, now a fallen angel, he has decided to be a nuisance on earth. Most of all, he is roaming around like a lion seeking whom to devour in his bid to recruit as many candidates for his abode in hell fire. There, he would suffer eternal damnation.
Since our great ancestors Adam and Eve sinned and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, Satan has been on the rampage luring people, innocent souls, into committing sin just to put them at variance with the Father.
Sin separates us from God by widening the gap between Him and us. The reason is that God is too holy to look at sin. That is not part of His nature. But humankind was not wired to sin; his nature has been corrupted by the devil. What the devil desires is for God to turn His back on His creation. But the God of Israel is a God of love; He cannot abandon His very creation – His treasured possession.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:23) Although sin results in death, God Himself would rather not see us die but that we should refrain from it and aspire to eternal life – the God-kind of life.
It is very difficult for the average man to believe that God is a forgiving God “.... who does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10) Most people picture in their mind a disciplinarian God with a whip in His hand ready to punish you for every wrongdoing. That may be a wrong impression we have of our God who is a God of love “... compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (Exodus 34:6-7)
The image people portray of God is far removed from the God of the Bible. He will punish wrongdoing but essentially He is a kind, loving and caring Father. He says: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?... and not that he should return from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)
“Why will you die oh House of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32)
Imagine if God was to keep a record of our sins who among us will qualify? King David knew this when he asked: “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3)
In fact many people cannot reconcile with the fact that in spite of the magnitude of their sins God has made a way out for them by offering His Son to die in their stead. Throughout the Old Testament, God had instituted a means of covering sin through the shedding of the blood of sheep and goats. This practice however was a temporary measure awaiting the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus would make on the cross of Calvary as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the whole world.
God is a merciful God, who does not want anybody to perish but that each may come to the knowledge of the truth. He sent His Son into the world ‘that we might life and have it more abundantly’.
Jesus pardoned the worst of all the sinners Saul whose name was later changed to Paul. He went out persecuting Christians until one day he met up with Jesus on the way to Damascus. He confessed with his mouth: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of which I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call
to You. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 86:5-6) We have all wronged God one way or the other. Conscious of this fact, we must endeavour to desist from sin for only Jesus has that power to make this possible. He alone could pay the price of sin and let us into eternity.
When we confess our sins God will forgive us because His Son has paid the price already. When you accept Jesus into your life sinning will become a thing of the past. Sin will exit through the other door.
God does not only forgive sins because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, He remembers them no more. Once they have been forgiven no record is kept of them. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12; Jeremiah 31:34) He will do so personally. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25) Again, through His prophet Isaiah He assures us: “I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2) No amount of penitence or alms-giving can wipe out sin; only the finished work of Jesus on the cross can.
A sick man was brought to Jesus after his friends had gone through great pains to winch him from the roof down to His feet. Jesus looked at him and said to him. “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?’ Who can forgive sins but God?” (Luke 5:21) The response came immediately. “Why are you thinking those things in your hearts? Which is easier; to say, your sins are forgiven or to say, ‘Get up and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins ... I tell you (the sick man), get up, take your mat and go home.’” (Luke 5:22-24)
Maybe you too are questioning Jesus’ ability to forgive your sins. Give your life to Him, the Lamb of God that will take our sins away and see what a changed life you will live.
The Bible says: “... your sins have been forgiven on account of His (Jesus) name.” (1 John 2:12)