Can you imagine a friend offering to take you to dinner and then afterwards threatening harm on you if you cross them? I can’t imagine that any of us could. Any friendship based on how one or the other person persons is doomed. This unfortunately is the type of friendship that religious tradition portrays God as desiring.
In the natural we would consider someone a good friend who could accept us we are regardless of our flaws.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
We have been made accepted by the blood of Jesus. God accepts us just as we are and then He washes us with the blood of His son shed on the cross.
God loves us because He has chosen to love us. There are a lot of churches that portray His love as being conditional on what we do for Him. They tell people that His wrath will fall on anyone who fails in any area of their Christian walk.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
If we could walk free from sin then we would not need Jesus!
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
This is a prophecy delivered at the naming of John when his father’s tongue was loosed. In it we see that God provides us with knowledge of salvation through the remission of our sins. The word translated “remission” is also used by Paul in Ephesians and Colossians.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
The word translated “remission” in Luke is translated “forgiveness” in both of Paul’s statements.
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.
If we are unable to understand the forgiveness of sin then it will not be possible for us to understand salvation. There is a lot of confusion in the Church around both of these topics.
Religious tradition tells us that our sins were forgiven only to the point that we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Every sin from that point forward is considered to be a new transgression against God that will affect our relationship with Him. This tradition teaches that every sin must be forgiven and placed under the blood of Jesus. Many have been held in bondage by this teaching because it is an unworkable doctrine.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Sin does not just happen when we directly transgress God’s Law. It also happens when we know to do something good and fail to. From this we see that sin is not just the bad things that we do. It also involves the good that we fail to do.
Every person will fail to do good in every situation. Have we always esteemed other people higher than ourselves and turned the other cheek in every confrontation? If the answer is no then we have sinned in each case.
We have been commanded to study the Word of God and to love God with our whole hearts. Are doing this like we should? Every Christian fails on a daily basis and the belief that every sin must be confessed and placed under the blood is one that cannot be followed. This teaching has placed millions of people into bondage and many have simply given up and walked away from God.
Jesus came to free us from a sin consciousness. Religious tradition puts us back into it.
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
This leper did not doubt that Jesus had the power to heal him. He doubted whether or not He would use that power to heal him. Many Christians are in the same place. They believe God has the power to deliver them but their consciousness of sin causes them to doubt if He will be willing to use it in light of how unworthy they are.
This sense of being unworthy for God to move in our lives stems from religious tradition. It causes people to think they have not done enough. People talk about not attending church enough, not studying the Bible enough, and not praying enough.
The belief that God has to deal with every sin individually is a great enemy of faith. It has kept many people from stepping into the plan of God and we are going to examine what Scripture teaches us about the forgiveness of sins.
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