SIGNIFICANT DELIVERANCE! (part 2 of 3)

As we noted yesterday, Jeremiah spoke of that which was to be of such significance it would supersede that of the deliverance from bondage in Egypt. (Jeremiah 16:14-15) Has that become the “marker of the past” to encourage us regarding God’s power to deliver? When we speak of our God and His power for life today, how would we continue the expression, “As the LORD lives who brought. . . .”?

As Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, he noted the great deliverance we have received; the “marker of the past” that ought to be of supreme significance to us. We read. . .

(3) Grace to you and peace from god our father and the Lord Jesus Christ, (4) who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, (5) to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Galatians 1:3-5 ESV)

Upon the cross, Jesus made that supreme deliverance possible. The power of His blood has delivered us from our sins. With His sacrifice on the cross He has delivered us from bondage and the fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15) In Christ, we have been delivered from the realm of darkness and brought into “(13) . . . the kingdom of his beloved Son, (14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)

What a glorious deliverance through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross! What could be more significant than that? That supersedes any of the deliverances from worldly kingdoms of the past. In Christ we have been delivered from the greatest oppression we could ever be under; the bondage of sin and death.

Because of Christ’s willingness to go to the cross on our behalf, we can now encourage ourselves as we say “As the LORD lives who brought me out of the bondage of sin and placed me in the realm of all His blessed promises in Christ.”

Praise God for such a deliverance as He has provided through Christ. It was a supreme deliverance made possible through a supreme sacrifice! The cross — the “marker of the past” — must be kept in mind as we continue to move on in the steps of our Lord.

Have a great day REJOICING IN THE DELIVERANCE WE HAVE RECEIVED!

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#blood-of-christ, #deliverance, #forgiveness-of-sin, #jesus-christ

The Lord isn’t looking for an excuse, He’s waiting for a confession

Often times, in relation to the sins that we commit, it is easy to find ourselves offering an excuse, or even rationalizing the sins that we have committed against God, our self and others. But the Lord isn’t looking for an excuse, an explanation or a personal justification when it comes to our sin. He’s waiting for a confession. There’s nothing that we can add that He doesn’t already know. There’s nothing that we can diminish that He won’t be aware of. To be made clean – we must come clean.

As one surveys the word of God there are individuals who stand out Goliath-high amongst the rest. At the risk of leaving many people out, there is, not specifically in order, Seth, Enoch, Job, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Amran, Jochebed, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Samson, Samuel, Nathan, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Nehemiah, Zacharias, Elizabeth, John the Baptizer, Joseph, Mary, Simeon, Anna, Peter, James, John, Thomas, Paul, and Apollos. And in the words of Hebrews 11:32, time would fail me to mention the names of others who are worthy of such consideration. And what causes these individuals to stand out amongst all of the people that we read about in the Bible? It wasn’t because they were perfect! It was because they were willing to confess their imperfections – they were aware of their own sinful shortcomings in the face of a righteous and eternal God.

Being human isn’t necessarily an excuse for the wrongs that we commit, but thanks be to God for His mindfulness of our human frailties. And with that thought in mind, when it comes to confessing our sin, what are waiting for?

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 18:9-14)

Related Article:

#confession, #excuses, #forgiveness-of-sin, #sin

When God’s People Humble Themselves and Pray

I’m re-blogging this from my “Call for Fire Seminar” blog. Christians struggle at times with whether sins they commit can be forgiven. This blog article examines King Manasseh of Judah’s spiritual crisis and compares him with New Testament examples of both Christians and those who had yet to become disciples of Jesus.

If Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 could describe himself as chief of sinners, then King Manasseh might have argued that he was next. Manasseh ruled fifty-five years, more than any other monarch of Judah or Israel. During most of his reign, he apparently was a compliant vassal of the Assyrian Empire. Perhaps because of Assyrian influence, Manasseh revoked the religious reforms of his father Hezekiah that had returned Judah to exclusive worship of Yahweh. Manasseh himself participated in the rites of indigenous Canaanite gods and burned one of his sons as a religious sacrifice. This king practiced divination and sorcery. He remodeled the Jerusalem Temple, adding altars to additional gods. In addition to his religious heresy, 2 Kings 21:16 notes that “Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end.” The author of 2 Kings regards Manasseh’s reign as the tipping point that persuaded God that the nation of Judah must be punished for its spiritual rebellion. 2 Kings 21 notes no positive aspects of Manasseh’s religious or political influence.

2 Chronicles 33 also relates the history of Manasseh’s long reign. Its writer repeats verbatim much of what we read in 2 Kings 21:1-10. However, while 2 Kings portrays Manasseh’s reign as consistently evil and assigns responsibility to the heretical monarch for Judah’s subsequent exile to Babylon, 1 Chronicles records that Manasseh, exiled himself for a time by the Assyrians to Babylon, repented of his multitude of sins and prayed to God for forgiveness. While the Bible does not record Manasseh’s prayer, centuries later someone wrote a prayer based on Manasseh’s repentance as described in 1 Chronicles 33. This apocryphal prayer of Manasseh ends with this plea to a gracious God:

“Do not destroy me with my transgressions; do not be angry against me forever; do not remember my evils; and do not condemn me and banish me to the depths of the earth! For you are the God of those who repent. In me you will manifest all your grace; and although I am not worthy, you will save me according to your manifold mercies. Because of this (salvation) I shall praise you continually all the days of my life; because all the hosts of heaven praise you, and sing to you forever and ever” (“The Prayer of Manasseh,” from The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by J.H. Charlesworth, Garden City, New York: Doubleday& Company, 1985, p. 635).

In 2 Chronicles, a forgiven Manasseh returns to Jerusalem, where he initiates religious reforms and building programs that demonstrate the genuineness of his repentance. The Chronicler’s account of Manasseh’s life ends: “The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself – all are written in the records of the seers” (2 Chronicles 33:18-19).

Manasseh begins his reign by arrogantly turning away from the God of his father Hezekiah. He brings both religious and political ruin to his nation by his policies. Only after being exiled does he humble himself and pray. His repentance and prayer echoes God’s words to King Solomon centuries earlier, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face an turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God’s promise is extended to people who already are in covenant relationship with him, but have violated the terms of that covenant. Such was the case with Manasseh and Judah, the nation he ruled. In modern times, it applies to Christians who have strayed from God’s will rather than to secular nations.

Manasseh’s prayer demonstrates the efficacy of calling for fire when one realizes that through his or her own disobedience, they have placed themselves in great spiritual danger. Just as Peter and John counseled Simon to pray for forgiveness in hope that God might forgive him (Acts 8), so worshipers of God who have lost their way today may ask for forgiveness. Manasseh sinned horribly, killing at least one of his children, causing the death of many others, and leading a nation into apostasy and toward political suicide. Even after his repentance, the aftershocks of his earlier sins continued to influence Judah’s history for generations. Even when we repent, we cannot always undo the effects of the wrong we have done. On the other hand, God does forgive him, and Manasseh, despite the magnitude of his earlier sin, accomplishes great acts of service for God during his remaining years. No sin is too great for God to forgive when God’s people, who are called by his name, humble themselves and pray.

God of grace and glory, Remember how you granted forgiveness to Manasseh and Saul, who became Paul the apostle. Extend the same grace to those who recognize the horror of their own rebellion. Forgive them when they humbly return to you. Saul had thrown disciples of your Son into prison, and assisted in the killing of others, but when he arose and was baptized, calling on the name of the Lord, you forgave him and gave him a mission which transformed his weakness into strength. Give us strength and courage to do your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

#discipleship, #forgiveness-of-sin, #prayer, #repentance

Mercy for Mercy’s sake

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1)

Caught in the middle of his own sinful net, snare and pit, David made an emotion filled plea to God for mercy.

And upon what basis does he ask for such mercy? His past achievements? He had them! The number of hours that had been spent in prayer? He spent them! The former animal sacrifices that had been made? He offered them!

But none of these would avail or else the pleading would have never happened.

So what was the basis of David’s request? It was God’s loving-kindness and his multiplied tender mercies.

Mercy for mercy’s sake is a powerful proposition! Yet people still refuse it. And mercy forsaken is a sad condition! Yet people are amused by it. How quickly Luke 6:25 becomes personified when the principle of Psalm 51:1 is disregarded.

For one, anyone, who may be caught in the middle of sin’s net, snare and pit there is hope – a hope that comes from mercy for mercy’s sake.

And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”” (Luke 18:38-39)

#forgiveness-of-sin, #mercy, #mercy-of-god

Forgiving ourselves and forgetting

I stole a book from my classroom library when I was in the fifth grade. It was a green book with a cloth covering. The title I no longer remember. I knew I shouldn’t take the book, that it was wrong, and if mother and daddy found out, I would be in deep trouble.

Continue reading

#children, #fifth-grade-classroom, #forgiveness-of-sin, #library-shelves, #sin

Procedures for forgiveness of daily sins

I just noticed this search phrase that led someone to my personal blog: “what are the procedures for forgiveness of daily sins.” Let’s put a question mark on the end of it. How would you answer it, according to Scripture? Take the word “procedures” broadly.

Another question: What are some “procedures” that some follow that aren’t biblical? Though I’m much more interested in reading answers to the first question.

#bible-questions, #daily-forgiveness, #forgiveness-of-sin