“ He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”
Today’s testimony is powerful. Gill could truly forgive because she knew that she was forgiven! Our verse today states that: “…everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” In order to truly grasp the enormity of this verse, it is important to have a firm grip on God’s plan to forgive you and save you.
The underlying theme of the bible is that of grace and forgiveness for sinners through God’s redeeming work in Jesus Christ. When God created everything, His work was perfect and pure. He took great pleasure in what He made, including Adam and Eve who He made for fellowship and for bringing glory to His name, Genesis 1:27. However, through deception and disobedience, Adam and Eve sinned against God, causing a break in their spiritual and physical relationship with Him. Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, Romans 5:12. The ultimate penalty for our sin and rebellion is death and everlasting separation from God and everything that is good.
However, Jesus stepped in and laid down His life and took this penalty we rightfully deserved. Because of His death on the cross as a substitute Romans 3:25, the debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but as fully paid! Christ’s life, which He surrendered for us, is the ‘ransom’ by which we are freed from sin. By the shedding of His blood on the cross, He accomplished the salvation of everyone who believes. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”. John 3:16-17
Colossians 1:13-14 states that: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. Having been forgiven, we enter again into the relationship God intended for mankind when He created Adam and Eve. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, repent of our sin, and receive His free gift of salvation, we are restored to the image of God, adopted into His family, promoted to ambassadors of God’s Kingdom and set free from the penalty of sin. We are forgiven!
Like Gill, when you truly understand the magnitude of this, you will be able to forgive those around you. Is there anyone you need to forgive today? Trust in Jesus to give you the strength and conviction to do so.
I would like to tell you about a friend of mine, and how I got to know Him.
Nine years ago, I ran a sandwich shop and a few young guys came every day, sometimes twice, to buy their food. Each time they left they would say, “God Bless” or “Bless you!” After a few weeks I asked why they did that and they said they were Christians and invited me to church. I said no, but they kept inviting me.
After about a month of this continuing I said I would go. I said yes, mainly to please them, but I soon found out it pleased me. I went to Living Hope church where the welcome was incredible, and everyone was so friendly and kind.
The service was different from what I expected, but I found it exhilarating. Jonathan the pastor preached, and we sang awesome songs. So, I went again and again and learned a lot about my new friend Jesus. I learned that He died on a cross for my sins and that He gave His life to save me. I went to an Alpha course where I learnt so much more and found helpful answers to many of my questions. It assisted me in understanding about forgiveness and helping others. I got baptized 7 years ago and have never looked back.
I forgave someone whom I thought had destroyed my life. A man named Peter took my son’s life for no apparent reason. I chose to forgive him. By forgiving him I gave up my right for revenge. In doing so, Jesus set me free from pain, anxiety, bad thoughts, sleepless nights and so much hurt. What an awesome God we have. Thank you, Jesus!
I can talk to Jesus about anything, my worries, my finances, my sins, my joy, well everything. He listens and continues to forgive and help me and He is a special friend to have walking by my side every day. I would like to introduce Him to you, as He can be a special friend to you too.
What has God said to you through today’s promise?