Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Good News vs Fake News: You're Only Forgiven of Your Past Sins.

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

We've been in an ongoing study of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ contrasted against the fake news of tradition. I keep saying it and will continue to do so, people are not our enemies. When we expose tradition in light of the Word of God, we aren't attacking people. The same Grace that ambushed our heart with the revelation of His everlasting love and Finished Work, wishes to do the same for all people, even the religious people who continually oppose and attack the Grace Gospel.

 As of late, we've been exploring the subject of sin and how tradition addresses the issue. We've seen that God isn't punishing us when we sin, here. We've seen that God isn't holding our sins against us, here. In our last study, we saw that the Spirit isn't convicting us when we sin, here. Today, I'd like to address the major controversy of the Gospel of Grace, total and complete forgiveness. 

 Religious traditional fake news declares that we are only forgiven of our past sins. They say, Grace, covers our past. For our future failures, we must appropriate forgiveness for that sin at that moment or we are unclean and remain unforgiven of that sin in God's sight. 

 Religious traditional Grace is a half measure. They see our redemption, forgiveness, and sanctification as progressing in installments and separate transactions. Grace says it all happened once for all time because of the Finished Work. On that Cross, Jesus made the once for all payment that is available for all mankind. Once we received by faith, it was a one-time, once for all time transaction. All we are and ever will be was received at that moment. 

 Pause and reflect. When a healthy baby is born, they have all they will ever need at that moment. Think with me, do babies exchange limbs at some point in time for adult limbs? Come on, that's silly nonsensical talk, right? Of course, a healthy baby over time will mature into an adult. An adult's physical capabilities and mental faculties are obviously much more developed than a baby. Yet, all those capabilities and mental faculties are already there at birth. Arms, hands, feet and a functioning brain. 

 Once in Christ, we have all we ever will need at that moment. We then go on to maturity. We grow in Grace and the knowledge of Jesus. What is growing in the knowledge of Jesus? It's growing in the understanding of who He is and all He already accomplished in the Finished Work and what He made us. 

 When we received Jesus at that moment we received the forgiveness He already appropriated in the redemptive work on the Cross. The Finished Work purchased our redemption and complete forgiveness. 
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 NKJV

 You see it's right there. That is Jesus, the person of Grace speaking of that moment when we receive His Grace gift. We turn, we change our mind, we receive a gift, we don't work for it or try to merit or earn it or attempt to achieve it. We receive forgiveness of our sins. He didn't stipulate an installment plan for receiving forgiveness. He just said we are forgiven. Then He said we receive an inheritance. We receive all of Heaven's blessing and the gift of eternal life. Finally, He reveals the truth about sanctification.

 Jesus declared we are sanctified by faith in Him. We are not set apart by not owning a television. Not by abstaining from makeup or wearing jewelry. Not by refraining from consumption of any alcoholic beverage or listening to secular music. We are set apart by faith in Christ. 

 Repentance, change of mind, forgiveness of our sins and sanctification happened at that moment. In Christ, we mature daily into who He already made us by faith. We must establish this in order to walk in a fulfilling relationship with God. This also helps us establish more deeply this truth of our once for all time forgiveness.

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13

We are forgiven of all our sins. Not some but all. We received it at the point of salvation.
14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins. Colossians 1:14 TLB

 Allow me to illustrate this perfect forgiveness. When I was a youth I went to a local Veteran's Parade. To get a better view, we went to the top floor of a parking garage. From this view, I could see the beginning to the end of the parade. When I received Christ, He saw my life from start to finish. He washed me in that precious blood and declared my life forgiven. 

 We stand inside of time, God isn't constricted by time. He has already seen our whole life, and when we receive His free gift He declares us forgiven once for all time. Apologies, confessions and turning away will not make us receive more forgiveness. I will concede that acknowledging our errors or poor choices and plain sins to our Father is healthy and helps us mature. However, it should never be done to receive forgiveness or because we think God is mad and holding something against us.

  Grace isn't a half measure. Salvation and redemption don't come with stipulations. Forgiveness isn't borrowed on an installment plan. Our relationship with God has no strings attached. 

 Salvation and our walk with God aren't like a game show prize. Winning a new car sounds great. It's free. However, once you partake of the prize, you're now responsible for the insurance, which can be pricey depending on the vehicle. You also are put under a tax burden for the price of the car. God's goodness comes with no strings attached and adds no sorrow.

 Religious grace offers a free gift with many strings attached. Forgiveness is for your past sins only and must be received again and again or you will be under bondage of sin and unforgiveness. Your salvation once freely received now has maintenance requirements that if you don't meet means you forfeit it. This isn't the Good News!

 In summation, in Christ, we are forgiven and made righteous and set apart by faith once for all time when we receive His free gift. We are forever forgiven. In Him, we are forgiven of all our sins. Our past is cleansed and done away with in Christ. 

 Our present mess ups are already dealt with and He holds our future in His hands. We have hope because He has already cleansed us, made us righteous and forgiven us and set us apart once for all time. This is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Reject and relinquish the fake news of tradition concerning your once for all total forgiveness in Christ. 

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