Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Righteousness by faith – part 2: Rags for Riches

It all started in Heaven. With the very first sinners.

Lucifer rebelled, and then multitudes of Angels followed suit. Upon further reflection, some of the angels started to wonder if they had chosen the right, and started to think about the option of repentance.

But Satan is a master of the use of guilt. He told them that they could not repent, that God would not take them back. They were too bad, and they'd gone too far. (Read more about this story in the book 'The story of Redemption', by E.G. White)

Now, let's fast-forward. You and I have sinned, like anyone else on the planet. We are guilty, and can do nothing about it. We want to repent, we want to be righteous.

But Satan, that old master of guilt, comes in and says it's too late. There's no hope, God won't take us back, we've gone too far, it's no use.

And now we have to choose: Believe the devil, or believe our Savior.

The God I serve says, in 1 John 1:9, that if I confess my sins, He is faithful and just to forgive me, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. He tells me that He's preparing a place for me, that He's coming back for me, and that He'll finish the good work begun in me. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I have to ask the question: when the paralytic was lowered through the roof, and Jesus told him that He forgave all his sins, how long was that process? How long did it take for the sins to be gone? A day? A week? A year?

A corresponding question: When God said, 'Let there be light', how long did it take before there was light?

The Word of God possesses power, in and of itself. When God says a thing, He cannot lie. Why? Because His Word always does the thing – He never has to lift a finger. That word possesses creative power, and what He commands dares not delay an instant to accomplish it.

When Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, they were forgiven and gone, as easily as the paralysis left at His command soon after. And when He tells you or I that our sins are forgiven, they are. Simply that. The only ones preventing this transaction are ourselves, through lack of faith – 'According to your faith be it unto you.'

Do you see the beauty of this? There is no place for guilt in the Christian's life. If God has forgotten your past, why can't you? If God forgives you, believe Him, and forgive yourself.

But it certainly does not end here. This is only the beginning of the most beautiful relationship humans are capable of, with the Creator of the universe.

I will write more soon, but please, if you haven't already, pick up a copy of the book 'Lessons on faith', and read it cover to cover. It's powerful, and life changing. My friends, we are only a prayer away from victory!
Let's seek for that, until, like Jacob, we have it...

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