Hope and Assurance
Jan 5, 2016 978
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
Often in the Gospels Christ himself forgave those who sought him. But on the cross, inasmuch as he is being treated as sin itself, he asks his Father in heaven to grant forgiveness.
In this petition we find the clue to our primary need. Noble ideals and lofty resolutions are powerless unless the sin question is settled.
Forgiveness is the door into the “Temple Beautiful” of the Christian life. As glasses are of no value if we are blind, or shoes if we are paralyzed, so only when sin’s guilt is removed is the power of sin also broken (Rom 6:14). Sin ceases to have dominion over us when our hearts are broken by the forgiving grace of God. Heaven’s mercy is a healing mercy, and justification (being declared righteous) is always accompanied by the beginning of sanctification (righteous living).
Every relationship of life calls for the spirit of forgiveness. There are no perfect spouses or children, employers or employees, or neighbors. As we behold that Christ did not harbor even the smallest root of bitterness or resentment or condemnation, we are ourselves challenged to avoid harsh judgment of others.
Marvel also at the charitable hope of Christ. He does not quickly despair of men. Neither should we. If there was hope for the crucifiers of our Lord, is there not hope for the worst persons we encounter?
What we live by, we should and must impart, and even the most righteous Christian lives by forgiveness, for it is written “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Ps 32:1,2; Rom 4:8). Because the believer has legally died with Christ, all the believer’s sins are atoned for, be they past, present, or future. The Lamb of God has taken away the sin of the world-all the sin of all people in all times. We are “complete in him” (Col 2:10), “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6) and “there is therefore now no condemnation” (Rom 8:1).
What blessing is like the blessing of forgiveness? Consequently, pass it on.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (From “The Seven Sayings from the Cross – Part 1”)