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February 19, 2015

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Finding reality in God’s forgiveness

by Dave Malnes

The rising of the sun chases away the morning mist and provides a picture of how God forgives our sins and remembers our offenses no more.

The cross is not only a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, but it’s a reminder of God’s faithfulness and forgetfulness.

The forgiveness of our sins is the most crucial aspect of our life. We are either a prisoner that is chained to sin or a captive set free from its bondage. The stain of guilt forever marks our being. Our offenses can fill pages of a book and are read openly and continuously by the Tormenter. But the status of a forgiven saint is what wipes away the storm clouds of guilt. Believers grasp on to the Truth and the promise that we are redeemed.

“I have swept your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”  (Isaiah 44:22)

sun-through-morning-mist-kent-lorentzen

God’s promises are an objective reality. Not a fantasy. Not based on feelings. Not predicated on performance of the receiver. But a simple fact that sets the course of one’s eternity.

The same God who created the heavens and the earth, the same Lord who declares to be the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end – is a God who has proven to be absolutely reliable, perfectly trustworthy, and radically faithful.

If God declares your sins are forgiven — they are forgiven.

If God declares you have been redeemed — you are redeemed.

Believe it!

Turn to God and freely receive what He offers!

Hesitation is a natural response to something that is too good to be true. Unworthiness rebuffs the grandeur of royalty. But this is what God offers. Not just entrance into his eternal presence, but the status of being a child of the King. A perfected prince. A worthy princess. An unmistakable engagement for coronation that will happen on that day when God calls us home.

This is the promise to trust – to believe in – to claim as our own.

The objective reality for what Christ has already done for us is a ticket to be received.

It has already been purchased and placed into our hands.

This is the concept of redemption for which God uses to help us understand what has been purchased by Christ on the cross.

635581634347531279-super-bowl-tix-01-29A few weeks ago, over a hundred million people watched the Super Bowl on TV. If I had walked up to a football fan living in Boston or Seattle and asked if they would like to receive a free ticket to the Super Bowl, many people would not believe me. My offer is too good to be true. Not until I placed an actual ticket into their hand would a person believe me.

They know they are going to the Super Bowl because they have taken ownership of an actual ticket. They fully trust that the ticket I gave them is an actual ticket. They will make airline reservations and travel to Phoenix with great confidence that when they arrive at the stadium, the person at the gate will take their ticket and let them inside. That is the objective reality of the ticket.

The object of a person’s faith is not whether or not I am telling the truth, but the object of faith is the ticket. Faith receives the ticket in hand and claims ownership of its benefit – to go inside the football stadium and watch the Super Bowl!

The objective reality of the forgiveness of our sins is like receiving a Super Bowl ticket. Christ has paid for the ticket. It has already been purchased. We do not have to earn it, take out a loan and pay it back, or convince God that we are worthy. The ticket to heaven is to be redeemed. By taking ownership of the ticket, we receive the status of redeemed. Not because of anything we can do or to be done, but the fact that we have the ticket in our hand for which God has placed into our hand as a free gift.

crossTrusting in God’s promises is an objective reality that receives the status of forgiveness. Like the morning mist that dissipates under the bright morning sun, God remembers our sins no more.

What does the ticket for heaven look like?

The cross. The message of the cross. It is there that Christ purchased our ticket and by his grace, places it into our hands.

Believe it.

Great post to read: 

“The Wake Up Call That is ISIS: Who in the church is answering?”  A great post by Ann Voskamp that will cause every Christian to think and to pray.

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