In our last episode, I discussed how we can be absolutely assured that we have eternal life in heaven, just as the Bible promises.
This week, we’ll talk about God’s love and forgiveness and how it plays in our lives today.
It all starts with a simple Bible verse: John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
So, we see here that Jesus Christ is God’s visible “reaching out” to you and me – His way of saying, “I love you!” Christ gave His life sacrificially to pay our penalty for sin so that we could have His righteousness and with that, eternal life. And this proves God’s amazing love for each of us. His love (Agape) is unconditional – based on who God is, not based on what we do or who we are. Not only does He love us while we live here on earth, but He wants to spend eternity with us and provided the only way possible for that to happen through Jesus.
Now, everybody is free to approach this relationship however they decide. You can either accept who Jesus is, or turn away from it. The choice is yours. But God doesn’t stop loving you. He gives you this entire lifetime to decide whether or not you want to take Him up on His loving offer to recognize who Christ is (our Savior and Lord) and invite His Holy Spirit into our lives, or to deny that you need Him and live life on your own.
One of the greatest evidences of God’s love is that in having Christ pay the entire payment for our sin, we can receive forgiveness. And because Christianity is a personal relationship with God – not just a religion – it’s based upon who Christ is and how much God loves you.
We see this in 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
But as a Believer, we can sense, know, and experience God’s love and forgiveness for our lives. The incredible promise that 1 John 1:9 assures us of is that God forgives us when we do things that are not pleasing to Him.
But what does it mean to “confess our sins”? It means to see your thoughts and actions as God does. You don’t try to justify them. You don’t make up excuses. Instead you need to own up to your sin. Admit it. Take responsibility for your actions and thoughts.
You see, you are in total control of each thought, action, and decision you make in life. You are the one to decide whether or not to sin and quench God’s Spirit, or to behave in such a way that pleases Him. So, confession means you own up to it and call it what it is.
And God promises that He is faithful and just if we confess our sins. You can count on Him to keep His word, no matter what. He also promises to not only forgive you, but to wipe away the sin entirely, cleansing us from all unrighteousness. God is talking about COMPLETE cleansing here. Just like he talks about in Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
No sinful residue. No crevices where a grudge can be held. No sin too huge that it’s beyond God’s forgiveness. Just complete purification.
So, if you have chosen to follow Jesus, in those moments when you realize that you have sinned, if you confess that sin to God and ask for His forgiveness, He will. He will forgive you and cleanse you. And best of all, He will continually do this all throughout your life.
Rejoice in the fact that if you own up to what’s going on in your life that’s not what God wants for you, you can be cleansed and continue to walk in fellowship with God.