I was mesmerized. What she said sounded so different from everything I had ever heard, but it was so refreshing and brought a great sense of peace to me.
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It had been three weeks of attending the meetings. I was gradually learning about God’s love and unconditional forgiveness in Christ. I didn’t understand it all but it brought so much joy to my heart. I remember after meeting one Sunday, I approached the lady pastor and asked her some questions. Her name was Pastor Angela.
“Pastor, I would like to know something,” I said. “You mentioned something about how God has already forgiven us, is that really possible? I know that God forgives when we ask for forgiveness but to think he has already forgiven us of all our sins sounds a bit extreme. Can you explain that to me,” I asked concerned.
Pastor Angela smiled. “Let’s sit down,” She obliged.
Debbie and Selly were also talking with other members of the group so I sat down with her.
“Dear, it is very possible that we are already forgiven. This is because of the blood of Jesus,” Pastor Angela began. “You know, for sins to be forgiven or wiped away completely, there must be the shedding of blood. That is why God became a man to shed his blood for us. By his blood, we have forgiveness in Christ. That means that all our sins have been wiped away completely.”
“Let’s look at Ephesians 1:7;
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Did you see that? By his blood we have forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness here means a complete removal of sin. All our sins have been completely removed by the blood of Jesus. The same thing is said in Colossians 2:13
ERV Colossians 2:13
You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you a new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins.
He forgave all our sins because of the shed blood of Jesus. He doesn’t have to wait for us to ask before he forgives us. He has already forgiven us because the price has been paid for by Jesus’ blood.
“I understand that when you come into Christ, your past sins are forgiven, but I don’t know if that’s the same thing you’re saying,” I said, a bit confused.
“The verse we just read in Colossians 2:13 says God forgave us ALL our sins. All means all, dear. All our sins have been forgiven, not just our past sins, all our sins,”
“Even those we are yet to commit?”
“Exactly dear. Jesus Christ died once and for all. He died once to wipe away all sins. His one-time death was enough to wipe away all sins. Since he isn’t dying again, it means all our sins have been taken care of, even those we are yet to commit.”
I was not that convinced.
“Let’s look at it this way, she pressed, Jesus died a long time ago. He died a long time before you were born. Is that right?
“So as at the time Jesus died, you had not committed any sin because you were not even born. That means that yours sins were in the future, is that right?
“So if God cannot forgive future sins, then it means that your sins are not forgiven and so are mine.”
“Exactly. So we shouldn’t limit the forgiveness Christ made available to only past sins. The blood is powerful enough to forgive past, present and future sins.”
This is why we preach the gospel today and will preach it again tomorrow. It is because forgiveness is available all the time. Eventhough Christ died a long time ago, even before you were born, you were still able to receive forgiveness of sins when you believed in Christ. That is how it will be for your children and children’s children. So Christ’s death did not provide forgiveness for only those who were alive when he died. He provided forgiveness for generations yet unborn. So forgiving future sins is not something so big that the blood couldn’t accomplish.”
“Wow, I never heard of it that way.”
“We are forgiven unconditionally and that means we can forgive others too unconditionally. Ephesians 4:32 says that we should forgive others just as God in Christ forgave us. We can’t expect Christians to forgive others freely and think that God, our father, forgives based on conditions.”
“Hmm! That’s thought provoking…
To be continued…