Forgiveness

Sunday, July 9, 2017, 4:15 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Songs in The Night.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (in the ESV) on the subject of forgiveness of sins.

Repentance for Forgiveness (Luke 24:44-47)

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

What is repentance? Literally it means to have “a change of mind, change in the inner man” (1). It is used almost exclusively in scripture to signify a turning away from sin and a turning to walk in obedience to God. It is a lot like making a U-turn, i.e. you were going left, and now you are going right. Only this is talking about a complete change of direction spiritually in one’s life. And, although this is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in transforming us from darkness to light, our faith in Jesus Christ involves us willingly cooperating with that work of grace in our lives.

This repentance, i.e. this forsaking of our former way of living for sin and self, and turning to God to follow him in his ways, and in his truth, is required by God for us to be forgiven of our sins, and to have eternal life with God in heaven (Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24).

Turned from Darkness (Acts 26:16-18; Col. 1:13-14)

“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Paul met Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus where he intended to persecute believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus, who transformed his heart and mind, appointed him to be a minister of the gospel of our salvation. Paul’s calling also summarizes for us the gospel message, the purpose of which is to open eyes which are spiritually blinded by sin, and to turn them from sin to Christ and to his righteousness, and from the dominion of Satan over their lives to now walk in obedience to their Lord. The result is that they receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (purified, cleansed) by faith in Jesus Christ. So, again we have here the prerequisite of repentance prior to the forgiveness of sins.

Holy and Blameless (Ephesians 1:3-10)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Those of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, who have been redeemed with his blood, and forgiven our sins, were chosen by God even before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless before him. To be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being made to be like Jesus. Blameless means “unblemished from the marring effects of sin” (2). Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). When we believe in him, his righteousness is credited to our account so that we are no longer charged as “guilty,” but we are set free from the condemnation of sin. Yet, we must also live righteously. We must walk in the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-23; Ro. 8:1-14).

We were also chosen according to the purpose of God’s will, to the praise of his grace. And, he made known to us his will, according to his plan and purpose for our lives. In fact, faith in Christ means to be persuaded of God as to his will for our lives. And, if persuaded (convinced), we will want to do his will. And, what is his will? It is that we should be sanctified and made holy, that we should forsake our sins and follow him in obedience, and that we should live holy and godly lives pleasing to him.

The reality of his grace to us is not just that we have escaped hell and that we have the promise of heaven when we die, but that he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). His grace, which brings salvation, instructs (commands) us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). So, if we are chosen according to the purpose of God’s will, to the praise of his grace, then our lives should reflect both his purpose for our lives, and his grace, which instructs us to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to his righteousness and holiness being lived out in our lives.

Circumcised in Heart (Col. 2:11-15; cf. Ro. 6:1-23)

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

While physical circumcision is a cutting away of physical flesh, the circumcision made without hands, which is also called “circumcision of the heart,” is a spiritual cutting away of our sinful flesh (sin nature, worldliness, wickedness). This is what takes place when we genuinely trust in Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord (owner-master) of our lives. We die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. The old is gone. The new has come. We are given completely new lives in Christ Jesus which are created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness. We were once dead in our sins, but God made us alive in Christ Jesus! He cancelled the debt that stood against us, and he forgave our sins. Amen!

But, forgiveness alone is not the end result of our faith in Jesus Christ, for we were set free from slavery to sin, as well, so that we would no longer walk according to our sinful flesh, but so we would now walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit. If we walk (conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh (if we keep on practicing sin), we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6). So, not only must we be forgiven our sins, but we must no longer continue in willful sin against God if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God.

Songs in the Night / An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
And the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

(1) http://biblehub.com/greek/3341.htm

(2) http://biblehub.com/greek/299.htm

Know No Evil

Saturday, May 20, 2017, 6:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Keeps Me Singing.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 101 (NASB).

Integrity of Heart (vv. 1-4)

A Psalm of David.

I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.
I will give heed to the blameless way.
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil.

I will sing of God’s lovingkindness towards us, i.e. I will sing of his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, steadfastness, and faithfulness. I will sing about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died on a cross for our sins, and who took our punishment for us so we could be set free from the curse of sin, which is death, and be free from bondage (addiction) to sin. I will praise him for his great salvation provided for us, and for eternal life, which is with God, promised to all who would put their faith and trust in him as Lord and as Savior of their lives. I will sing, too, of his compassion, and of the encouragement he gives to those who are walking in his ways. And, I will praise him, too, for the comfort, strength, guidance, and empowerment he provides for us so we might live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we all ought to say with David that we will be mindful to walk (conduct our lives) according to the way of Christ’s righteousness. We should also be committed to walking (in lifestyle) within our houses, our jobs, neighborhoods, or within our church gatherings with integrity (honesty, honor and uprightness) of heart. We should not set any worthless thing before our eyes, too. This means we should not watch anything on TV, in movies, on the internet, in books, magazines, or live and in person which would bring dishonor to God’s name, either by the watching of it, or by the content of what we are viewing itself. But, this goes even beyond this to say we ought not to put what is worthless (rubbish, useless) before our eyes, too. Some things are just a waste of time, and God has better things for us to do, which would be useful to his kingdom work.

In the New Testament we are told to hate what is evil and to cling to that which is good (Ro. 12:9). We, too, should hate what God hates and love what he loves. God hates idolatry, sexual immorality, lies, deceit, pride, murder, evil plots, false witnesses, child abuse and evil doers, etc. But, he loves the people of the world, mercy, kindness, truth, faithfulness, integrity, and righteousness, etc. Yet, many who call themselves Christians have reversed this to where they take pleasure in evil, via what they watch on TV, in movies, on the internet, or in person, etc. And, they reject repentance, obedience, and submission to God and to his righteousness. So, they end up calling evil good and good evil. And, they cling to evil rather than to good.

Yet, to become a follower of Jesus Christ, we must deny self and take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. If we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), for the sake of his name, we will gain eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25). If we walk (in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins without Christ, and without the hope of heaven when we die, or when we leave this earth. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of our sinful flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Ro. 8:1-14). If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we are liars, and we do not live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).

So, a perverse (obstinate) heart must depart from us, i.e. we must repent of our sin. And, we are to know no evil. What this word “know” means, in context, is that we are not to be intimately associated with evil. We should not be “in bed” with evil. We should not do anything that would show agreement with evil, including allowing ourselves to be entertained by it. And, we are not to be partners with or partakers in evil, at all, in any shape or form.

Workers of Evil (vv. 5-8)

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.
My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.
Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
So as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity.

What the Lord Jesus is showing me here is that there is a present evil, particularly here in America, which many Christians are partnering (participating) with, probably most of them without any knowledge or understanding, because they have been duped by master manipulators and deceivers into believing their lies. What the Lord has been showing me for many years is that the US government is not the actual government of these United States, but that they serve (bow to) a shadow government of the Elite of the world, which is the de facto government here in the US. And, they use our government and military and news media to work for them in bringing the world under the subjection of the New World Order (beast).

Our government and military, for years, have been going into other nations under false pretenses, usually via false flag operations and the creating (orchestrating, instigating) of chaos within these nations, thus giving them an excuse to go inside. Inside these other nations, and now somewhat inside our own nation, as well, they rape, pillage, confiscate property not their own, destroy and take over sovereign nations, and murder innocents, including Christians, and at will, with no conscience on the part of those making these decisions. They are forcing other nations to bow to the beast, and they are also forcing unity with the beast and with its new world order and its one-world religion. And, they are against all those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17).

This means we cannot trust our government, our mainstream media or our military officials to tell us the truth. Most of what we read or see in the news is fabricated, twisted, and/or completely orchestrated (scripted) from beginning to end, as is much of what we see in the political realm, as well. Our politicians, for the most part, are merely actors in a play who are just following their scripted roles, which is often for the purposes to deceive and to distract the American people, so they believe the lies and disbelieve the truth. For example, this whole “fake news” scenario is to get people to believe the mainstream media and to reject all other sources of truth, and they have been very successful in accomplishing their purposes, too.

So, Donald Trump has no real authority, nor does Congress, for they answer to this shadow government of the Elite of the world, i.e. the All-seeing eye which hovers over top the unfinished pyramid on our national seal; also on our $1 bill. Whether Trump gets booted from his office as president or not, I do not know, but I do know that who is getting the real boot is the US as a sovereign nation, and we are being taken over by this New World Order (beast). And, I know that the US was intended to be the instrument to bring about this N.W.O. from the very beginning, which is evidenced by our national symbols. Our forefathers were primarily freemasons, which is a false religion with a false god, and our nation was founded on syncretism, not on Christianity, which is also evidenced by our national symbols and the statues and buildings in D.C., including the layout of our capital city.

What this all means is that the US, or just our government, military and financial district, is the harlot which rides the beast and which sits on many waters, i.e. on peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (Rev. 17). And, much of the church, via the 501c3 institutional church, is in bed with her, i.e. they are in bed with pure evil. They have partnered with an evil government in complete contradiction to God’s commands to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and against the teachings of scripture with regard to turning the house of prayer into a marketplace, and with regard to turning to a human government for their support and help. So, God is calling his church to come out of this Babylon so that she does not share in her sins and in her punishment, for her sins are piled high to heaven (Rev. 18:4-10).

He Keeps Me Singing / Luther B. Bridgers

There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low:
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.

All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.

Though sometimes he leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See his footprints all the way.

Feasting on the riches of his grace,
Resting neath his sheltering wing,
Always looking on his smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.

Soon he’s coming back to welcome me
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown;
I shall reign with him on high.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.