real questions: forgiveness?


Ned Anzers: Since I am forgiven, can’t I live however I want?

There is an amazing principle taught in the Scriptures in which no one is too wicked or sinful for God to forgive. God is shockingly generous and willing to forgive anytime, anyplace, and anybody. Take the two thieves on the cross for example. There are two essential truths seen in these two the story of these two criminals:

First, I must know who I really am (Luke 23:39-41)

These two men on either side of Jesus were criminals to the core. People who stole a candy bar from the general store weren’t thrown on crosses, but those who were murderers, rapists, and rebels of the Roman Empire were. There is one thing that these criminals and you have in common: we deserve the cross and punishment for our sins. I am a sinner, therefore, I deserve death.

Second, I must trust who God really is (Luke 23:42-43)

There is only one who can rescue me and forgive me of this sin that crucifies me: Jesus.

How can God forgive so easily? If I were God, I would have sent a lighting bolt from heaven and zapped every living being the moment my creation offended me. Good thing I am not God.

There is nothing easy about forgiveness. God doesn’t hand out cheap forgiveness. Our forgiveness came at a great cost. Our forgiveness came through the suffering, bloodshed and death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. God is gregariously generous with His forgiveness.

We often look at God like this cosmic Easter Bunny or Santa Claus that should give us everything at the moment we ask for it. We sarcastically say things like, “Opps, I sin. God, please forgive me.” Note to self, I do not deserve His forgiveness at all. In fact, I do not deserve anything from Him. Yet He gives His forgiveness so freely.

Since God gives forgiveness so freely, doesn’t that mean I can live however I like? I mean, live now and ask forgiveness later, right?

Jesus met these kind of question seekers everyday. There is a story in the Bible about Jesus getting asked to a dinner party at a really religious mans house (Luke 7:36-47). That night through awkward circumstances Jesus taught on the power of forgiveness.

Jesus tells the dinner guests a story about forgiveness that is both a parable and real life. You see in their midst was so called religious people and an uninvited prostitute. By the worlds standard these people were complete opposites, but in the eyes of God both loved. That is the response of one forgiven: love. Forgiveness clears our huge debt. A debt only God could clear of debt and its guilt. The lesson learned that evening: A person forgiven by God will never again live any way they want.

Take a quick comparison of these two individuals:

What say you: Who are you more like? Are you forgiven? Are you living like you are forgiven?

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