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A New Creation in Christ – Part 2 - Forgiveness


Bondage to Our Beliefs


It’s hard to believe a lightweight rope tied to a stake can confine a​​ 7,000-ton​​ elephant to a small perimeter, yet the repetition of training teaches him he can only move so far when he’s tied up.

Training begins when the elephant is very young​​ and continues​​ until eventually,​​ as​​ an adult,​​ believing that he​​ can move only​​ a foot or two,​​ the elephant​​ stays put.​​ It is his belief and not the rope that keeps the elephant in bondage.​​ Just like an elephant, our beliefs tend to control us.




Last​​ week​​ in our “New Creation in Christ”​​ series,​​ we​​ discussed how​​ we​​ are​​ permanently joined to eternal life​​ (right now on planet earth); and that eternal life is a person named Jesus! This week I want to talk to you about​​ forgiveness​​ of sin.​​ 

We are all born with a sin debt as a result of Adam’s sin in the garden.​​ (Rom. 5:12)​​ And​​ to make matters worse,​​ we are also born spiritually dead to God (separated from his life).​​ (Rom. 6:23)​​ And if all that is not bad​​ enough,​​ we​​ on our own,​​ are completely​​ helpless to do anything about it!​​ The apostle Paul​​ summed it up​​ well​​ when he said,​​ we​​ were separate from Christ,​​ ...​​ having no hope and without God in the world! (Eph. 2:12)


Saved by Love


“And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God's amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us.”​​ Romans 5.6-8​​ (Phillips NT)​​ 


Most of you reading this know the story about​​ how Jesus willingly went to the cross, was crucified, buried, and rose again on the​​ 3rd​​ day. (1 Cor. 15:3-4)​​ When Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross, the sin debt was paid​​ for mankind,​​ once and for all.​​ 

Let me emphasize that​​ this payment​​ completely​​ satisfied the requirement for mankind’s sin debt.​​ Let me​​ also​​ encourage you to read and think about these verses – Rom. 6:10; Heb 7:27, 9:12, 10:10;​​ 1 Pet. 3:18;​​ Jude 1:3.​​ 

Notice the recurring phrase in​​ the preceding​​ verse​​ list​​ ​​ “once for all”. In other words, Jesus died one time for all mankind!​​ Unlike the​​ Levitical priests under the​​ Old Covenant who repeatedly offered sacrifices to merely cover man’s sin,​​ the sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient, not to just cover, but to​​ take away man’s sin forever! (John 1:29;​​ Heb 10:10-12; 17-18; 1​​ John 2:1-2)​​ 


18​​ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer​​ any​​ offering for sin.​​ 
Hebrews 10.17-18​​ 


Still in Bondage


In spite of this truth​​ which​​ is repeated throughout the scriptures, Christians are still in bondage concerning their forgiveness. I know this because I used to be among that group.

I was taught for​​ much of my Christian life that​​ in order to stay​​ right with God,​​ ​​ I must ask God to forgive me each time I sinned. And so I tried to keep a mental list of all my sins so I could ask God to forgive me​​ for each​​ one. ​ Do you know how hard it is to remember every sin you commit? I’ll tell you​​ -​​ it’s​​ impossible! ​ Just like an elephant is in bondage to​​ the stake in ground,​​ there are many today​​ in bondage to this false belief.​​ 


Stop Asking God to Do What He Has Already Done!


Folks, there is no need to ask God to forgive​​ you​​ over and over again as some believe. Sin is not forgiven by asking for it or by the​​ confession​​ of it. It is only our faith in Christ’s finished work (death, burial, and resurrection) that allows us to share in​​ the​​ forgiveness​​ he provided,​​ ​ and more importantly, his very life!​​ 


Get Your Eyes Off Your Sin


You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal if I want to​​ continue to​​ ask God to forgive my​​ sin?” ​​ Let me ask you this. If you believe or feel you must​​ keep​​ a record​​ of your sins and seek forgiveness each time you​​ sin, ​ where​​ is your focus? It is​​ on you​​ and your sin. You will be self-conscious rather than God-conscious. We are​​ encouraged​​ to set our minds on things above​​ (Phil. 3:13-14; Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 12:1-2). ​ We are to keep our eyes on Jesus​​ as we are led by his Holy Spirit. Satan would like nothing better than for you to continually be​​ focusing and​​ fretting about your​​ sin. ​ 


Our Response to Sin


When the Holy Spirit shows you your sin, quickly confess it to God.​​ Thank God that you have already been forgiven.​​ Then, repent and move on with your life. Repent simply means to have a change of mind​​ (that leads to a change of behavior). ​ 

Note -​​ Let me encourage you to read​​ Completely Forgiven Once and For All​​ for a better understanding of your forgiveness​​ in Christ.​​ 


Ask God -​​ Is the devil holding you hostage to some sin you committed in the past?​​ Remember, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ​​ (Rom. 8:1)​​ Ask God to make his forgiveness a reality in your life so you can be set free to live like the new creation you are!


“Until you rest in the finality of the cross, you will never experience the reality of the resurrection.” ​​ ​​ Bob George


Next​​ –​​ A New Creation in Christ​​ -​​ Part​​ 3​​ ​​ Redeemed​​