God knows you will fall, but He isn’t expecting you to stay down.
Memorize 1 John 1:9.
Imagine having a debt too large to pay. Each and everyday the debt rises due to interest. Each day you go further into the hole. Then you are told one morning that the debt is gone. Someone paid it for you. How would you feel?
Similarly we are in debt to God. Yet God through Christ has paid the debt. Sin was our master, and our slave driver. Now Christ through his death has set us free from our master sin, and now Christ owns us (1 Cor. 6:19,20). Christ removed the debt.
- What does sin do?
- What do we deserve as sinners?
2 Thessalonians 1:8,9
- What is the condition of your heart before Christ saved you?
- Can good works remove our sins? Why or why not?
5. What has sin done to our good works?
- Where does sin originate?
Sin cannot simply be eradicated by good behavior or change of habit or even a change of environment. Sin exists in your heart. Regardless of where you go, what you say, or what you do or don’t do sin is still there. Sin cannot simply be wiped away by what you do. It has to be wiped away or taken away through Christ and his blood. Only Christ can do it.
- Does God want to forgive? Why or why not?
2 Peter 3:9
- How does God show that he is a forgiving God?
Read 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 and you hear about the evil king Manasseh. He entered the world as a prince, fathered by king Hezekiah. King Hezekiah was a great man of faith who loved God passionately. Manasseh was the opposite of his father. He went against all that his father must have taught him. He built altars and bowed down to them. He sacrificed his sons to the god of Molech. He made idols. He practiced all kinds of evil. He even set up an idol in the temple of God himself. He went beyond sacrilege. He made that which was sacred common and secular. He worshiped the stars and the sun. He violated all that God had said. He angered God. In 2 Chronicles 33:11-13, Manasseh is captured and taken away. All that he had was lost. In a foreign jail cell he calls out to God and God forgave him. Not only that, but he was given back all that he lost.
In Jonah 4 the prophet reluctantly tells the people of Assyria they are to repent, and to his dismay they repent. Jonah hates the Assyrian people. The nation itself had a reputation on being brutal, especially in their methods of warfare. The army was powerful and strong and able to conquer anyone who came against them. They became the symbol of oppression as they insisted countries around them pay a tribute tax. Deep-seated prejudice existed between them and the nation of Israel. Yet God wanted to forgive them, regardless of how oppressive and brutal they were. God wanted them to repent so he could forgive and bless them. Read Jonah 4:10,11.
David wrote Psalm 32 after he confessed the horrible sin he committed against God with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). He took Bathsheba and slept with her, then killed her husband so he could get away with it. David sinned, yet God weighed heavily on his heart. He was crushed under the weight of God’s hand until he confessed. This demonstrates that God wanted to forgive David. If he didn’t care, he would not have pursued David.
Yes God does want to forgive.
The conditions for receiving forgiveness from God:
When you realize you have done wrong, it is humbling to admit it. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). In order to receive forgiveness you must admit your sins.
As you can see in 1 John 1:9, confession will accomplish something. Confession is the admitting to God the wrong you have done or the right you should have done.
Confession is admitting you are wrong, repentance is getting rid of it. It is one thing to know something; it is another to do something about it. Repentance is turning 180 degrees. It is going toward Christ. Christ said, “…Unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3).
The Bible says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Your submission to God is an invitation for the devil to leave. As you submit to the authority and absolute Lordship of God, God’s love will flow over and through you.
What must you do to experience God’s love and forgiveness on a day-to-day basis?
- When you sin, admit it immediately. Keep your confessions up to date. If you let sins lag without admitting you were wrong, you become dull to the Spirit. Your desire to read and get into the Word wanes. If it is a sin that is haunting you like David’s in Psalm 32, the Lord will put his hand on you.
- If you hurt or harmed someone, ask his or her forgiveness (Matthew 5:23,24).
- If you can’t think of any sins ask God to reveal to you any sins that you may have committed (see Psalm 139:23,24). You may want to write out the sins God reveals to you.
- Ask God to forgive you the sins you have committed because of the promise of 1 John 1:9 and Colossians 2:13,14. Tear up the paper where you wrote out your sins. Remember this very important fact: 1 John 1:9 is always true.
- Forsake the sins you’ve confessed. If you feel a particular sin is difficult to deal with you will need to get an accountability partner.