DIG for Friday the 7th of July…..so what about 1 John 1 v 9 then…..Ephesians 4 v 32

When talking about forgiveness the other verse I hear about time and time again is 1 John 1 v 9.

Now to be fair, this does seem like one (and only one) verse post-cross that seems to talk about forgiveness being conditional for the believer.

It seems to be saying that we need to confess our sins in order to be forgiven.

How can this be if I teach that forgiveness flowed at the cross with the blood of Jesus?

Well, if you take a closer look at the context of this verse you should be able to see that this is not a verse for the born again believer.

This part of the epistle talks about people not in fellowship with the Lord (verse 6 and not in the light (verse 7).

This part of the epistle is talking to people not in relationship with God, i.e. not believers.

In this context I feel that 1 John 1 v 9 could be talking about the conversion (or salvation) experience; if a person confesses their sin (that is agree with God about their sin) they will benefit from the process of forgiveness.

This is not about confessing (or speaking out and being sorry) about your sin; how could it be, what if you forgot about one or missed one?

Forgiveness is unconditional; it flowed at the cross.

We do not need to do anything to be forgiven.

Please do not build a doctrine out of this verse, confession (in the wrong way people think about it) and repentance (old covenant style) for sin is not for you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Thursday the 6th of July…. so what about the Sermon on the Mount #02…..Ephesians 4 v 32

If you read the DIG yesterday you would have seen how I answered the question about the order of forgiveness with regards to what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.

I said He was speaking to Jews pre-cross, therefore not speaking literally to you as a believer living under grace.

This is not good enough for some people, who have the attitude that if Jesus said it we do it.

They however seem to change their stance when I point them to another section of the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus said we should pluck out our eye and cut of our right hand if they “offend thee” (Matthew 5 v 29 and 30).

Now I don’t know anyone who has never taken something that did not belong to them or never looked lustfully at another person.

Yet I do not see many one eyed and one-handed Christians in church!

Jesus is speaking in pictures during this discourse, with the main picture being that man can never uphold the law in their own strength.

He is saying we can never do these things on our own; we cannot forgive all others, we cannot live a sinless life.

He is “raising the bar” even higher with regards to the standards of behaviour expected under the law.

For example even thinking about adultery is now an offence (Matthew 5 v 27 and 28).

Jesus is showing we can never live up to the law, hence the need for a Saviour, He is not meaning for us to take these things literally.

We cannot pick and choose; if you think you have to forgive others before God will forgive you, you really should pluck out your eye and cut of your hand.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Wednesday the 5th of July…..so what about the Sermon on the Mount…..Ephesians 4 v 32

Whenever I preach about unconditional forgiveness I always have someone asking me, “but what about the Sermon on the Mount?”

In this discourse Jesus says that in order for us to be forgiven by God we have to forgive others first (Matthew 6 v 14 and 15).

My reply is normally, “but what about Ephesians 4 v 32?”

In this verse we are told that we can forgive others because God has forgiven us first.

Now surely both cannot hold true? Surely there is a contradiction here?

Well no there is not, as something happened between the Sermon on the Mount and Paul writing his epistle to the Ephesians.

This event was Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

The Sermon on the Mount was pre-cross while Paul is writing to the Ephesians (and you) post-cross.

Pre-cross the Jews were living under law and Jesus said what He said in Matthew 6 v 14 and 15 to people living under law.

Paul is writing to people (including you and the Ephesians) who live under grace.

We live under grace and not law (Romans 6 v 14 and 15).

We no longer live having to perform to approach God, as if we were under law.

We now live in a time when sin is not held against man, as forgiveness is a done deal.

So the Sermon on the Mount and what Jesus says about forgiveness would only hold true for you if you were living pre-cross and living under law; and neither hold for you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Friday the 18th of November…..you can forgive as you have been forgiven…..Ephesians 4 v 32

One of the hardest things that a person can do is forgive another for hurt done to them.

I know this from personal experience; I think we all do.

Forgiveness is not easy to give; yet we are told in the Word that we are meant to forgive other people.

In fact my understanding of Scripture is that we are to forgive all people for all things done against us.

Ephesians 4 v 32 tells us we are to be kind and tender and also to forgive others.

It also tells us how this is possible.

It is only possible through an understanding of how much God has forgiven us.

Through the shed blood of Jesus, through giving up His Son, God has already forgiven us for everything (Hebrews 10 v 12 and 14- Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14)

Once we realise how much we have been forgiven we can forgive others.

If you are saying to me today, “I cannot forgive that person”, then you do not understand how much God has forgiven you.

You may be thinking that I do not know how big the hurt was against you, and that of course is true, however God knows and God has already forgiven that person for what they did to you.

The only person being hurt through your unforgiveness is yourself.

Release yourself today; forgive the person you know you need to forgive!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the shed blood of Jesus I have already been forgiven for all my sin”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Wednesday the 7th of September…..yes they say different things but they are not contradicting each other…..Ephesians 4 v 32

I’ve often said that there are no contradictory verses in the Bible and I believe this.

This includes Mathew 6 v 14 and 15 and Ephesians 4 v 32.

One says that God forgives us once we forgive (Matthew 6 v 14 and 15) however the other says that we can forgive as God has forgiven us first (Ephesians 4 v 32).

One says we have to forgive before God, yet the other says we forgive after God has done so!

Can both be true? They seem to be saying the opposite.

Yes, they are both true as they are both in the Word.

The key is that they were said under different covenants, one was pre-cross and one- was post cross, and as we all should know, the cross changed everything.

Jesus spoke under the Old Covenant to people living when their performance was key.

Paul wrote to the New Covenant church after the finished work of Jesus when it was the performance of Jesus that was important.

Jesus spoke under law but Paul wrote under grace.

So the passages were written to different people living under different covenants, so both are true and valid.

We now live under grace in the New Covenant so what Paul wrote is the passage that holds for us.

God has already forgiven us, He forgave us first.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and have already been forgiven for ALL my sin”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forging one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Wednesday the 27th of July…..forgiveness; an easy concept to understand, but sometimes not so easy to put into practice…..Luke 23 v 34

To me forgiveness is an easy doctrine and concept to understand; the Bible (through the words of Jesus as one example) is clear that we are to forgive people.

We are to forgive all people for all things they have done against us, our family, our friends and even our country; as a people we are supposed to forgive everyone for everything.

That is easy to understand but not so easy to implement.

We have all seen the senseless atrocities in mainland Europe that seem to be happening daily; as a minister and pastor my heart went out to Father Jacques Hamel and his fellowship the other day after his murder.

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”, is what Jesus said; can we say that this evening, should we be forgiving those that perform these atrocities?

I know this will be hard for many; I’ve seen numerous “I can never forgive” and “I will never forgive” comments on social media in the last few days.

I believe that we can only truly forgive others once we realise how much we have been forgiven ourselves.

God the Father has given every man unconditional and absolute forgiveness for all sin and iniquity through the shedding of the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We can only truly forgive when we know we have been forgiven first (Ephesians 4 v 32).

If we are struggling to give our forgiveness to others maybe we need a deeper revelation of our own forgiveness from God.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that through the blood of Jesus you have given me absolute, complete and unconditional forgiveness”.

Luke 23 v 34…..The said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots

DIG for Thursday the 19th of November…..so why do you go to church…..Hebrews 10 v 25

I have just listened to a wonderful message around why we go to church (by Pastor Jacob Sheriff).

The key verses were of course Hebrews 10 v 23 to 25, however there are many other verses that tell us why we should meet as a body of believers (or go to church).

Many of these verses use two key words and these are “one another”.

Church is all about people, how we can bless them and how they can bless us.

Church is all about being with people, giving help and being helped.

Church is about caring for one another (1 Corinthians 12 v 25).

Church is about loving one another (John 13 v 34).

Church is about forgiving one another (Ephesians 4 v 32).

Church is about stirring one another in order move into love and good works (Hebrews 10 v 24).

In other words church is for you, meeting with other believers for mutual blessing and encouragement is for every single Christian and is essential.

If you do not go to church you are missing out and so is the church; you can bless others and you are missing out on the blessings from them.

Christianity has never been a solo occupation and it never will be, if you think this you are being selfish!

Selfish as you think you can walk without other believers and selfish as you don’t want to bless others.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the institution of the church, the vehicle you put in place for encouragement and edification of believers”.

Hebrews 10 v 25…..Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching

DIG for Saturday the 20th of June…..we can forgive because He has first forgiven us…..Ephesians 4 v 31 and 32

There are certain events that take place that seem to affect people all over the world, with one such event being the shootings in a Charleston church on Wednesday evening.

What is so different this time is the outpouring of love and forgiveness from the families of the victims.

As a pastor I have preached many times on love and forgiveness, including how we should love and forgive those who hurt us.

I have to be truly honest and say that I have never had to put this teaching into practice in a way that the relatives in Charleston have had to.

OK, I’ve forgive people who speak bad against me and say rude things to me but that is really as far as it has gone.

To see the forgiveness flowing from the people in Charleston is truly humbling and it is a wonderful witness.

The love of Jesus is shining from the faces of these brothers and sisters as they speak out compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness in the most trying of circumstances.

God told us to love our enemies and forgive, just as He forgave us (Ephesians 4 v 32).

Our brothers and sisters are living out Ephesians 4 v 31 and 32, putting away anger, bitterness and malice, and speaking out love and forgiveness instead.

Take time out this morning to pray for those brothers and sisters, thanking the Lord for their witness and testimony and speak out that they truly feel His love, mercy and compassion over the coming days and weeks.

The Lord Jesus died to bring about our reconciliation and forgiveness, He has asked us to forgive others because of and through the revelation of this truth.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the finished work of Jesus Christ I have complete and absolute forgiveness”.

Ephesians 4 v 31 and 32…..Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Sunday the 1st of March…..our model for forgiveness…..Ephesians 4 v 32

In many ways in the Christian life we try and model ourselves on God.

One such area that I was thinking about this afternoon (in preparation for a message) was forgiveness.

God is the ultimate example when it comes to forgiveness and is the “model” that we should aspire to.

God bestowed forgiveness upon man through the finished work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

On the cross Jesus paid for, or was the propitiation, for all sin for all people for all time (1 John 2 v 2).

With that one sacrifice on the cross Jesus dealt with all sin (Hebrews 10 v 12 and 14).

In a real sense everyone was forgiven for everything at that point.

Bottom line is that God forgave everybody for everything, and this is what we should be aiming for.

The model of forgiveness that we should aspire to is to forgive every person for everything.

Paul writes that we should forgive as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4 v 32 and Colossians 3 v 13); this means everybody for everything.

We really do not have a choice in the matter, except that we do.We choose whether we forgive or not, even when we say, “I cannot forgive” that is actually a choice we make.

Dare I make another comment here; that God has forgiven us unconditionally!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have complete, absolute and unconditional forgiveness through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Friday the 13th of February…..unconditional forgiveness, there can be no argument…..Ephesians 1 v 7

In my message on Sunday I spoke about believers getting offended when I preached about unconditional forgiveness, mainly due to the fact that they did not love and understand the Word of God.

There are prophecies in the Old Testament telling us of a day when our sins will be forgiven (Psalm 103 v 12, Isaiah 43 v 25 and Isaiah 38 v 17).

In the Gospels we see Jesus displaying the forgiveness that comes from Father God (with the woman at the well and the woman taken in adultery for example).

At the crucifixion we see Jesus displaying forgiveness towards the thief who recognises Him as Lord (Luke 23 v 42 and 43).

In the epistles we see that forgiveness has been given through the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We also see that Jesus has paid for all the sins of the whole world (1 John 2 v 2) therefore brought forgiveness and reconciliation to all (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19).

In the epistles we also read that the flow of forgiveness came first from God so that we could then forgive others (Ephesians 4 v 32 and Colossians 3 v 13).

In Hebrews we read that Jesus dealt with all our sins and that God has chosen to remember them no more (Hebrews 1 v 3, 8 v 12 and 10 v 17).

The Old Testament prophesied what Jesus would do, the Gospels shows Him doing it and the New Testament confirms what He has done; sin has been dealt with and unconditional forgiveness has been showered upon all men.

Unfortunately all men do not receive the blessings and benefits of forgiveness, this only comes through salvation once a man has trusted and believed upon Jesus and His finished work.

But Scripture is very clear; forgiveness from God is unconditional for all men.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for your unconditional forgiveness”.

Ephesians 1 v 7…..In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace