“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
As we approach Christmas most of us are grateful for the gift of reconciliation through Jesus Christ. So much has been forgiven from our past, we are different people now. Wonderful changes have become our new nature, or have they? Jesus said the sins once forgiven can return to our account! No….no way! Yes……The Way!
Paul speaks generously of the Colossians and includes a reason why.
Colossians 1:3-6 (NASB)
”We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;…”
We “understood the grace of God, in truth.” “it (the Gospel) is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also.”
My last post focused on the necessity of our bearing the fruit of righteousness; our “continuing in the kindness of God,” or else…”
Romans 11:22 (NASB77)
” Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”
Whoa, Paul, cut off???? Yes believer, that is what he said. “Once saved always saved” is contradicted by this verse alone.
Let’s remember there is an Apostasy in the future. It is defined as the falling away of believers. Within certain current behavior that falling away takes place now if we are turning our back on God’s Way! Yes, by exiting the Lord’s Way, we put ourselves in jeopardy. Yes, upon our realization we can repent and we can be restored via repentance. But what if we fight it? What if we do not accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit? What if we never truly grasped just how much God did for us? What if we did? Do we revere God and so, His Word?
We speak the Lord’s prayer but do we grasp the heart of it? Do we forgive others so we can be forgiven? “I am forgiven!” Not until you forgive them. These are sins committed against you! They trap you into violating God’s instructions. BOGO! Both the offender and the offended are trapped by the Word. Only you the offended can set them free. If you choose not to, you become their judge, which is a presumptuous sin. (Psalms 19:13 NASB) Thinking you have that privilege will keep you out of heaven. There is only One Judge. Heaven will not tolerate two!
We then come to a condition Jesus described in the parable of the slave who was forgiven much. We know what happened. The slave received a massive portion of grace from the king but did not learn from it and failed to forgive a relatively small debt, mercilessly casting the debtor into prison. You can read it in Matthew 18:27-35.
The critical point I am making in this post is in 18:34.
Matthew 18:34 (NASB)
34 “And his lord, (the King) moved with anger, [because he had not forgiven his fellow slave] handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.”
Note: the original debt once forgiven was re-accounted by the King against the slave.
How many of us have never considered that? Is it because we forgive everybody for anything? Do we really? Oh, our sins are in a sea of forgetfulness. God owns the sea and all that is in it! He owns us and watches over our progress, our learning to be as He would be toward others. Our doing to others as He did to or for us! He is eternity minded toward us, ready to grant grace to all who grant it or withhold grace from those who withhold. Why? Eternity demands a population of grace filled righteous souls for there to be peace!!!!
What’s more is in the next verse! Jesus speaking says,
Matthew 18:35 (NASB)
“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
We have been taught if we sin in one thing we have sinned in all. Once forgiven via reconciliation, we have a responsibility to maintain our relationship with “the King.”
Forgiveness is the only topic where a restoration of your previous sin debt, the debt you could not pay, which was forgiven through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus, can be re-imposed against you BY THE HEAVENLY FATHER! What is His justification? You failed to bear the fruit of grace! You failed to give what was freely given to you. We reap what we sow. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Yes. This re-assignment of sins is a profound revelation. I have never heard it preached yet there it is in Jesus’ own words. The Words He gets from the Father!
Paul alludes to the stipulation of compliance.
Colossians 1:21-23 (NASB)
”And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—
23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard,…”
I have been accused (lovingly) of being a “forgiveness only” preacher or teacher. I said recently, “Forgiveness isn’t everything, it is however the most important thing.”
Forgiveness from our heart shuts our mouth to other damaging sins and repercussions against our brothers, our fellow man, statements that will set the course of our lives! That course can be AWAY from heaven and eternal life. Matthew 12:34 (NASB) 34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”
I preach forgiveness by assignment. The rescue of believers from the Apostasy is what God has put on my heart. These brothers and sisters do not think they need rescuing!
I can teach on many things as my 170+ posts testify to. THIS teaching unheeded will be the downfall of many who limp along in spiritual immaturity, in their grasp of the Good News. Why is the Good News good? WE ARE FORGIVEN AND MADE RIGHTEOUS, not just by the death of Christ but by His Words of eternal life! These Words are the keys we must grasp and implement in preparation for eternity.
We maintain our reconciliation to God by forgiving debts, sins against us personally. Just like the parable of the slave. We go to God for all other sins and in repentance Christ remains our covering.
This heart embraced understanding is the best gift you could give God for Christmas. It is a gift that will keep on giving, to others, as God continues to replenish grace in you! .
Isaiah 3:10 (NASB77)
”Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, For they will eat the fruit of their actions.”
James 3:18 (NASB)
”And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
James 3:18 (NLT)
18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
You are loved. Pass this understanding along….please.
“If we remain in His grip, how far from His heart can we be!”
A guardian, a servant deliverer, in Christ,
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December 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm
Excellent, Michael! You’re right, this is rarely preached in connection with our eternal destination. This has stuck with me ever since you first began to write about the absolute necessity of forgiveness. Thank you for a very crucial reminder!