Text of Sunday message of May 17, 2015 from Melvin Gaines:
For the believer in Jesus Christ, it may seem to be a redundant discussion when considering God’s forgiveness. I mean, it’s understood that he forgives you, right? Hang on a second…
The moment that you take for granted how God has forgiven you is the very moment that you begin to take your relationship with Jesus Christ for granted, and perhaps even minimize it. Believers will need to proceed with extreme caution here. The act of forgiveness was certainly a one-time act when it came to our repentance of sin and acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior (Hebrews 10). We get that. What we also need to remember, though, is that we are always in need of His forgiveness.
Why? Even though we have the Holy Spirit as a guide that dwells within us, we still have the flesh present in our hearts and in our thoughts. Our souls are indeed protected with our eternal salvation, but we still must actively call on the power of God to withstand living in Satan’s domain, and everything that goes with that. We cannot have true fellowship with God as long as we are unrepentant and unwilling to seek His forgiveness.
God’s forgiveness is indeed His business, but you need to make His forgiveness your business.
Here is how you can do this.
God continues to forgive us if we exhibit the following:
- A sincere heart. You can’t fake it with God and expect to make it. Giving Him everything that you’ve got means just that…everything. Nothing held back–especially your honest feelings. Come clean the way you know that you should, and don’t pretend to be close to God when you’re not. That’s rooted in the sin of pridefulness.
Matthew 6:5-8 HCSB
“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.
1 John 1:8-10
If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Hebrews 10:22 HCSB
…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
- A willingness to repel sin.Even when you do sin, our desire to have a healthy relationship with God through Jesus Christ will drive you to make things right with Him sooner rather than later. And He absolutely loves receiving you back in fellowship with Him. Prayer must be at the forefront of your desire to repel sin.
I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
Lord, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
2 Peter 3:9 HCSB
The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
Leviticus 26:11-12 HCSB
I will place My residence among you, and I will not reject you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people.
Matthew 26:41 ESV
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Give God His due in worship and praise.If we take the time to stop and thank God for all that He has done for us, there is little time for sin to occupy our hearts.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones;
praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the lyre;
make music to Him with a ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song to Him;
play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.
For the word of the Lord is right,
and all His work is trustworthy.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the Lord’s unfailing love.
A believer who is living for Christ understands the importance of keeping a solid relationship with Him and maintaining a healthy fellowship.
He forgives you as often as you turn to Him asking for forgiveness, and He never refuses you!
God is in the business of forgiveness.
It’s very important for you to make God’s forgiveness your business.
Psalm 73:28 ESV
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
© Melvin Gaines