Forgiveness – the greatest privilege belonging to Christians. However, it is easy to miss the full application of this grace given to us. There are three important areas which forgiveness offers to us. I like to call them the “Three Jewels of Forgiveness.”
Jewel #1 – Forgiveness from God
First and foremost, those who have repented of their sin, through faith in the work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross, have received forgiveness from God. This simply means that we have acknowledged that our sin has separated us from God, and that we through faith alone, accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God grants us complete forgiveness, thereby, releasing us from the guilt and condemnation of our sins. This is great news! We become a ‘new creation’ through this ‘new birth.’ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, comes to live in our hearts and He empowers us to walk in obedience. Also, because of this new birth, we see life and all of its details, both physical and metaphysical, in a whole new light. This forgiveness through Christ is the only hope of mankind.
Jewel #2 – Forgiveness to Others
After we have received forgiveness from the Lord for our sins, we are now able to genuinely forgive others for their transgressions against us. This in itself is a great and precious freedom for us. Instead of letting bitterness or hurt destroy our life because of what others have done to us, we are able to release them from our heart by offering them the same grace which the Lord gave to us. Therefore, the actions, lies or hatred of others is not able to secretly control or affect our lives. In short, they are powerless over our life because we maintain a forgiving spirit. They may still hate us or lie about us, but they will not affect us. Because we forgive as Jesus forgives us, we are no longer consumed with their wrongdoing. We are free to love! Hallelujah, what a Savior.
Jewel #3 – Forgiveness of Self
The condemnation of our past and our own sense of disappointment keeps many Christians under a cloud of guilt and shame even though Christ has forgiven us. I have counseled hundreds of believers who have struggled with forgiving themself. This third jewel of forgiveness is unrealized by many believers, but is essential for us to walk in liberty and freedom. The Lord has forgiven us and we have forgiven others. Now, we must forgive ourselves. If the Lord has forgiven us, who are we to do any less? If Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross was sufficient for the full payment of our sin, who are we to hold guilt over our own head? When we continue to ‘judge ourself’ for sins which the Lord has forgiven us, then we are actually declaring that Jesus’ atonement was not enough for full release.
Go ahead, forgive yourself. Accept the truth that our Lord’s life, death, resurrection and ascension was the COMPLETE PAYMENT for our sins. Since the Lord no longer holds our sin over our head, neither should we! If we have repented and accepted His mercy and forgiveness, we MUST forgive ourself! This third jewel will allow us to walk with our face looking forward to all that God has for us in the future, instead of constantly agonizing over our past with all Satan wants to condemn us of.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for forgiveness of my sin through salvation in Christ. I thank you for forgiving me through your grace and mercy. Because You no longer condemn me, I forgive myself. Your suffering on Calvary’s cross was sufficient for full payment and judgment of my sin. Thank you, Lord for your forgiveness, and for giving me the power to forgive others and myself! I accept this forgiveness through faith in your sacrifice for me! Thank you, Lord, for releasing me from condemning myself! In Jesus Name, Amen!
Oh, Happy Day! Oh, Happy Day! When Jesus washed…He washed my sins away!!