Saturday, February 28, 2015

Forgiveness, part 1

The Gift of Forgiveness by Dr. Charles Stanley

   “Whatever your situation, whatever has happened in your past, remember that you are the loser if you do not deal with an unforgiving spirit. And the people around you suffer, too. You have within you the power to forgive, to be healed, and to be set free to live your life to the fullest.” This is on the back jacket to Dr. Stanley’s book, Put the past behind you and give…
The Gift of Forgiveness.
  “Forgiveness is ‘the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is a result of a wrong done against you.’ …Forgiveness involves three elements: injury, a debt resulting from the injury, and a cancellation of the debt. All three elements are essential if forgiveness is to take place…A person who harbors unforgiveness always loses.
   Through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43)…Christ is God’s solution for dealing with sin. Only through Christ can we find forgiveness. But once it has been found it is a settled issue-past sin, present sin, and future sin. The details of what we have done, why we did it, and how many times we did it are irrelevant. Sin is sin; lost is lost; paid is paid; forgiven is forgiven. Either we have it, or we don’t… Forgiveness is available only to the man or woman who has put personal trust in Christ…God’s gift of forgiveness must be appropriated; that is, it must be accepted on an individual basis…
   Settle in your mind once and for all that your sins are forgiven; that God is in no way holding them against you; that from His perspective, they are no longer obstacles to fellowship.
   …Begin to view your past failures as a reminder of God’s grace…Your past sins should become memorials to the grace of God in life. When Satan accuses you of being unworthy because of things you have done in the past, you can respond by saying (and I recommend actually speaking out loud). ‘That is exactly right. I did do that, and that’s not all. But before I ever committed my first sin Jesus Christ died and paid for my sins-not just the ones you have reminded me of-all of them. Now they stand in my past as memorials, reminders, of God’s goodness and grace toward me. Thanks for the reminder.’..This is a confession of truth…
   …God wants to take any emotional stumbling block out of the way and flood you with the assurance of His forgiveness and acceptance. He wants you to live with a sense of security and intimacy with Him.”
   Dr. Stanley writes of forgiveness with Luke 15:11-24 as a Biblical reference. The following are just the highlights of the explanatory paragraphs in chapter five Our Forgiving Father.

  •   Our heavenly Father’s love has no limits.
  •   Our heavenly Father’s love is patient.
  •   God is eager to express His love.
  •   God the Father’s attitude is that His focus in on the sinner, not the sin…You are His focus.
  •   God receives the sinner back into fellowship joyfully.
  “When any child of God turns from sin, God rejoices. If it is possible to assign emotions to the heavenly Father, He ‘feels’compassion for you and therefore experiences joy at your homecoming. He does not wrestle with feelings of hurt and jealousy. He has dealt with that once and for all. Instead, He identifies with your hurt and frustration and takes joy in seeing you set free…
   …You have a heavenly Father who is free to identify with your situation and who takes great joy in seeing you restored to your rightful place as His child. Your forgiving Father’s greatest concern is you, not your sin. His focus is on you and your willingness to comply with His will for your life.
   Heavenly Father,
Sometimes it is difficult for me to see You as You really are. By faith in the testimony of Jesus, however, I accept You as my forgiving heavenly Father.
A Father who love me with unlimited love;
A Father whose patience is inexhaustible;
A Father who is eager to have fellowship with me;
A Father who focuses on me and my position as Your child, not on my sin;
A Father who rejoices when I turn to You from my sin, whether it be one single act or a season of rebellion.

Expose the errors in my thinking toward You and fill me with the truth, for I know that in discovering the truth I will be set free. Amen.”

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