Oh, the Blood That We May Be Forgiven

Oh, the Blood

That We May Be Forgiven

Sunday, September 19, 2021

 

Do we know who we are, who our identity is firmly rooted? Do we really know? 

We just sang about being a child of the One, True King. This is true, as we believe in Christ as our Savior, we are adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family-His kingdom. We are called children of God. And as sons and daughters, we are co-heirs then with Christ to every spiritual blessing; to all that His kingdom offers. 

Do you think about that often?

More importantly, do you live as a son or daughter to God, as an heir with Christ? 

To really embrace this kingdom, we have been adopted into and this inheritance we are promised, we have to first receive the priceless gift none of us deserve- that of forgiveness. Forgiveness of all that we were in our sinful nature; the forgiveness of every time we still fall short as we walk with Christ, forgiveness when we miss the mark of holiness and give in to our carnal nature. 

We give thanks often for the forgiveness of God for our sins, especially as we partake in communion together, and that is good. We should give thanks every day for His forgiveness. 

But I want to have us reflect on whether or not we are living as one who is wholly forgiven? 

Do we fully embrace the forgiveness we have and are we running the race marked out for us as the new creation we are in Christ? Are we living with His Spirit freely flowing in us to bring about the fulfillment of the purposes God has for each of us? 

Let’s think about this for a moment- Jesus did not offer up his body, his blood, his very life- so we could remain the same people shackled by our sin. NO. Quite the opposite. Jesus died and offered Himself up as a sacrifice so that sin would no longer have dominion over us; so we would be set free from those chains that bind us. As we believe in Him as our Lord and Savior, He becomes our Master. Whether you want to admit it or not, sin was or maybe still is your master yet today even though you have been freed from its power. But Jesus took the sins of the world to the grave with Him and His blood made the atonement once and for all, so we could be set free in Him! This was a one-time sacrifice that stands for all eternity. 

Prior to Christ’s death and sacrifice, all of Israel had to regularly make atonement for their sin by shedding blood from chosen animals that were without blemish. This had to be done over and over again just to atone for recent sins committed. Remember sin is anything missing the mark of holiness. So we all miss the mark daily. But God who is rich in mercy had a better plan, another covenant that would replace the old covenant; sending His Son Jesus to lay down His life on heaven’s altar and present Himself before God as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. 

Amazing Love-My Chains Are Gone! Do we really understand what we are singing? Do we live as if our chains are gone? Do we live forgiven? Do we live in a way to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for us once and for all we have been forgiven and set free? 

Let’s take a look at the difference between atoning for sin when Moses was first given instructions for Israel and when Jesus willingly laid down His life. 

Hebrews 9: 19-28 NIV                                                                                     

 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool, and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”  21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. 23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Why is this so important for us to understand correctly? Because we can only live out the purpose for which God has called each of us to if we truly receive the gift of His forgiveness. We will never make way for transformation to occur if we refuse His forgiveness or feel we aren’t worthy of it, or just don’t believe we have been forgiven.  Forgiveness was extended through the sacrifice of Jesus.  It’s a gift we can never buy or repay. 

If we don’t receive the fullness of God’s forgiveness, we are choosing to keep our shackles on to sin. We are choosing to be bound to guilt, shame, unworthiness, and condemnation-and none of these are from God. These are all from the enemy who wants us to keep living bound and shackled to sin. But the truth is victory is already ours! Jesus has paid the ransom and overcomes the grave! As He was raised to glory, so are we with His Spirit inside us. 

Because we are forgiven, we already have victory. Do you hear this today? Do you believe this? 

Are you living in victory? Are you living as more than a conqueror? If you are -awesome! If not, let’s take a closer look at what it means to be forgiven, and what Jesus’ sacrifice really means. 

Sin draws us away from His love. Forgiveness brings us back to the center of His love. 

  • The Slate is Wiped Clean

This is hard to fully comprehend, isn’t it? How can God in a moment, forgive every wrong we have ever done or will do? How many of you struggle with being your own worst enemy-beating yourself up for missing the mark; for sliding backward; for the horrible things you did or said? How many of you think, “if you only knew me…”  Well, guess what, God does know you, every part of you, every deep, dark secret, every ugly thing about you and He loves you. In His love, He forgives and wipes the slate clean. He says “let’s start from here. I’m not looking backward; only forwards in who you are becoming in My image.” 

 

Hebrews 8:12  And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

Micah 7:19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!                            

Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

Our past, present, and future sin-FORGIVEN. Our debt was paid in full by Jesus. He no longer remembers-wipes it right out of His memory as He looks upon us. 

Maybe you wonder, why me God? Why would You do such a thing for me? LOVE. A love that we can’t fully comprehend in this life; a love that is completely selfless; that is merciful and to show the riches of His grace. His greatest joy is to be in a relationship with His children. Sin separates us from God, but forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice makes us right with Him. 

  • Made Right with God        

The beautiful thing about this is we can never be right with God on our own. We can’t ever be good enough, or nice enough, or volunteer enough to get right. It won’t happen. Our goodness fails in comparison to the holiness and goodness of God. It is solely because of His grace that saved, forgiven, and able to stand as righteous before God.                                                      

Ephesians 2: 8-9 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.     

Jesus is the Way to be in a relationship with God. There is no other way.            

Ephesians 2:13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.          

John 17:19  19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.     

This is God’s great desire that through His Son’s death and resurrection we might enjoy fellowship with Him through the Holy Spirit, so we can be one, as they are one. His desire is for each of us to walk in the love of God daily- as children who are forgiven and redeemed. His delight is for us to come to learn His heart, His endless love, His blessings that abound, and His great purposes for our lives that are beyond our imagination or hope! 

None of these great blessings will be realized unless we are first forgiven by the Father and unless we first receive forgiveness from our Father.                                                                                             

  • Receive His Forgiveness-Honor His Sacrifice

There is only one path to come to know Him and His love and that is through Jesus, our Savior. If we could do it on our own we wouldn’t need a Savior. But we can’t, and therefore we do need a Savior to do what we cannot.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Good Shepherd who willingly laid down His life for His friends. His sheep know His voice and they follow Him. 

This truth is only possible because of the work  Jesus did at the cross. It is His sacrifice that paid the debt of sin for all time and made a way for all to receive the love of God. 

His sacrifice paid the debt of our sin-all of it. Even the worst of your sin. Even the ugliest of who you have been. Even the darkest parts within you that you don’t want anyone else to know about; Jesus’s sacrifice already paid the debt and His bloodshed, covers it all. 

When you believe this truth and you come to Him with a repentant heart, meaning you want to turn from that no matter how ugly it was- you are forgiven. Wholly forgiven. Not stored away to use against you later or hold over your head to remind you of who you were…. NO. Forgotten. Remembered no more. The slate has been wiped clean. Redeemed, Restored as a child of God, and made whole in Christ. 

This is why Jesus came. This is why He willingly became our sacrifice. God does not withhold forgiveness for the contrite and humble heart. This is His great desire to forgive and make whole.

 

In the series The Chosen, Mary Magdalene, like all of us, slips back into past behaviors and beliefs. The enemy dangled a reminder of who she was in front of her and she fell back into that lifestyle. Even though she had already been redeemed by Jesus. She was already walking with Jesus. She was becoming a new creation-beautiful, restored, saved and yet she gave way to darkness. In this series, two of the disciples go looking for her and they find her right back in her old lifestyle and they convince her to come back to where Jesus was. As you can imagine and maybe relate to, as she was brought before Jesus she was filled with shame, guilt and couldn’t even look Him in the face. Watch this clip to see the heart of our Savior and grasp fully what redemption means for you today. 

 

Show video

 

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

 

If Jesus says, “I forgive you” then the right response to honor His great sacrifice is to receive His forgiveness in full. That means we don’t harbor unforgiveness towards ourselves; we don’t condemn ourselves for that is not honoring Christ. It does nothing to help us live out the purposes He has for us and only keeps us from experiencing the riches of God’s love. There is nothing to be gained by resisting His forgiveness. We cannot experience wholeness in Christ if we choose to remain in bondage to past sin. 

 

There is everything to be gained when we humbly, gratefully receive His forgiveness and honor His sacrifice. If Jesus is truly your Savior, treat Him as such-He saved you from sin, from yourself, from torment, guilt, shame, and oppression. He made you new.

God told me this as I was preparing this message, “Run to Me, confess your heart to Me and find rest in My forgiveness and love poured out upon you. Come to Me my child because I love you and receive you with open arms.” 

     

Hebrews 12: 1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

ConclusionWithout the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Praise be to Christ our Savior, whose spotless blood atoned for every sin and made us right before our holy God. Let us live as a people who are redeemed and set free from the bondage of sin. Let us not hold on to something Jesus gave His very life for. Let it go and let it stay in the grave. Let us receive His beautiful gift of forgiveness and live as one who has been made new because we have.

Today if you need to come to the altar and leave things here you have been carrying around for far to long-I invite you to do that.  Shake those chains off today once and for all. Believe you are forgiven and live as you are. 

Let’s pray:  Heavenly Father we thank You for Your love and the amazing gift of forgiveness and salvation offered through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that You remember our sins no more, they are completely forgotten and our slate is wiped clean. Thank You for Your patience when we fall short or even fail to believe we are redeemed in Christ. Thank You for Your love that is unfailing and continuously draws us to Your heart. Help us believe we are free in Christ and through Your Holy Spirit help us to live each day, freely forgiven, whole in Christ. We love You and praise You. In Jesus’ powerful name we pray. Amen. 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *