Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
You Are Forgiven - Can You Forgive?
1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This verse was written by the Apostle John to Christians, born again believers. He was writing to people who had accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He was not talking to unbelievers, he was talking to Christians who had sinned.
He is telling them how to obtain forgiveness for their sins, not forgiveness for unbelievers.
When we accept Jesus as Lord, Jesus serves as our advocate and intercessor between God and us. When we sin - get out of God’s will or out of His ways, we have a High Priest, an advocate, who understands and intercedes for us.
"Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need." Hebrews 4:14
Jesus was tempted in everyway we are tempted today. The difference between Jesus and us is that Jesus did not sin. He understands when we do sin. He understands what we are going through. The Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews that when we as Christians do sin, we can go boldly before the throne of God and ask and receive forgiveness.
How wonderful God the Father is, when we do sinful things, He forgives us.
We may profess Jesus as our Savior, but not live as if Jesus is the Lord of our lives. Look at your life, there are so many areas we miss God’s direction. Are you an alcoholic, do you use drugs, do you have a terrible temper and abuse your loved ones, are you neglectful of your children or your parents? It doesn’t matter - all that matters is knowing Jesus as Lord.
When you know Jesus as Lord, we go to The Father in Jesus’ name, confess our sin and He is faithful to forgive us. No matter what - no matter where - no matter when -God loves us enough to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. (wrong standing with God).
God’s forgiveness goes much further. When Jesus is you Lord and Savior, when He lives and dwells in your heart, you, as a born again believer is to forgive others!
"and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us."
The King James says "our debts" for the term " our sins."
We are to forgive others, just as we have been forgiven. Have you ever really thought about that, we are to forgive others with God’s forgiveness. We are to forgive others just like God forgives us!
"Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you; but if you refuse to forgive them, he will not forgive you." Matthew 6:14
God forgives us as we forgive others. That is so awe inspiring! God forgives us but He expects us to forgive others, and then He forgives us as we forgive others!
We have to be obedient, we have to do what God tells us to do, to walk in His blessings.
We have to forgive to walk in the blessing of His forgiveness!
Think about all the ways someone has hurt or offended you. Think about the "wrongs’ someone has done you. Think about "your rights" that have been violated. Think about the "small wrongs" as well as the "big wrongs".
Let’s look at the best example of all -Jesus.
Jesus was betrayed by someone in His inner circle. He had money stolen from His treasury.
He was denied by one of His most faithful followers. Yet, he forgave them all!
Are we really in a position to defy Jesus’ example? Do you really want to live your life walking in unforgiveness and bitterness? Think about all the ways someone has hurt or offended you. Think about the "wrongs" someone has done. Have you really forgiven them? Have you, deep down in you heart said "I do forgive you, and because I have the Love of God in me, I forgive you and I will not remember what you did any more? I will never bring it up again!"
This is a hard thing to do! To truly forgive someone and forget it. But, we have to do it - so that we can walk in God’s Forgiveness!
" And when you stand praying, if you have something against someone, forgive him. Then your heavenly Father will forgive you of the things you have done wrong.'' Mark 11:25
When you pray, you must forgive others, so that God can forgive you. This is not the remission of sins of the unbeliever, this is the prayer of the believer. This is what a Christian is to do when you pray - forgive!
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; Luke 6:37
Forgiveness includes not judging others actions, not condemning them for what they did, but to forgive them! When someone has hurt you it is so easy to follow your natural instincts. It is so much easier to be "cool" toward them, to ignore them, or to say you forgive them, but then continue to talk about the wrong they did you. This is not Godly forgiveness!
We say "I forgive them, but what they did to me was wrong." True forgiveness has no
buts or conditions to it. We are to say I forgive and that is it! No more! No less!
It is not easy, your flesh doesn’t want to do it, but to walk in true fellowship and forgiveness with the Father, and we have to do it! The Key to forgiveness if Jesus!
"teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20.
This is the Key - Jesus is always with us - no matter what, no matter where, no matter when!
"Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" Philippians 4:13.
You can walk in forgiveness, because The Greater one, Jesus Christ lives in you and guides you and directs your paths, everyday! Praise God!
Think on These Things:
God forgives us when we sin. All we have to do is repent, ask forgiveness and He will forgive us.
We are to forgive others - so that God will forgive us.
Forgiveness is a spiritually deep, hard thing to do.
Forgiveness is a willful act on your part, you do it, you say it, and you act it.
Forgiveness is not just verbal acceptance of someone’s apology.
Forgiveness is a willful act of God’s love dwelling in you.
You can forgive because Jesus, the Greater One, lives and dwells in you, He strengthens you, enables you to forgive.
You cannot do it under your on power, it is because of Jesus dwelling in you and you acting on His love that you forgive!
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.