Round two of Mark's series on God's Love absolutely blew my mind! If you have ever struggled with understanding forgiveness, sin or the way God views you - please listen to this message! Wow.....
First of all, the society that we live in is oh so messed up! I know most of you probably have an understanding of this already, but I had never thought about how much we are taught not to forgive and forget others and our own mistakes. Take for instance the criminal justice system - when a prisoner is released, their record follows them around for the rest of their life even though they have paid their debt for their wrongs. And in relationships - we say "I forgive you" but often use things of the past as "ammo" in current situations. Have you ever said something like this, ".... but you always do that!" - Statements like these show that we harbor previous actions or words against people. We need to learn how to truly forgive AND forget! I know I have struggled with this but the great thing is... God has this area down!
Here are some verses about God's amazing forgiveness!!!
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding."
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."
"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. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross."
"Then he says,'I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.' And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices."
Remember... "you cannot out-sin God's grace"