Welcome to Hank’s Place
We have been pointing out that the Cross has changed….everything. And it is all for the GOOD!
Today’s message is so freedom inspiring that I’m concerned your head may explode if you are locked into performance based religion. Ready for the challenge? OK, let’s think about the Gospels. Where is the Cross in the Gospels? Near the end of each one, right? Now THINK! That means all of what you read in the Gospels, until the very end, are events that happened UNDER THE LAW. Jesus was born, lived, and died under the LAW.
When Jesus spoke, it was to people who were under the LAW. Keep in mind that the Gospel is the Good News of the GRACE of God that would come to us AFTER Jesus did His marvelous work at Calvary. Let’s look at an example of this GRACE from Calvary.
In Mt 6:14-15 Jesus says, “…if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Read that and you see God’s forgiveness of you is conditional on your forgiveness of others. When Jesus spoke those words, BEFORE the Cross, it was totally TRUE.
But we are living AFTER the Cross, my dear friend! Let’s read Col 2:13, written AFTER the Cross. Paul writes, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.” Friend, we were forgiven while we were lost and dead in our sins. And read Col 3:13, “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
So what do we believe? Do you have to forgive first in order to be forgiven, or are you already forgiven? Before the Cross, you must forgive FIRST. AFTER the Cross, you forgive – in overwhelming thankfulness at knowing you yourself have already been forgiven. Before the Cross, forgiveness was something God would DO—only IF YOU did your part first. After the Cross, forgiveness is something God GIVES. It’s a gift by God’s grace—something you receive. The Gospel is the Good News, declaring what GOD has done for us, not what we must do to satisfy God!
My dear believing friend: you ARE already forgiven – give a shout out to Jesus! Get rid of any condemnation you may be under — RECEIVE that gift of forgiveness. Then, in gratitude and joy, forgive others—and COME ALIVE!
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