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Written by Bill Bradford
Last week I commented on one of the most astounding parts of the Gospel message -- our sins can be freely forgiven. No one else can do this for us except God and He does this through his Son, Jesus Christ. It is in man to want to always be good, no matter how many bad things we do. The thought of feeling bad about our self is a thought pattern that is a serious focus of modern psychology. People go to great lengths to try to make themselves “good.” Minimizing sin, and even denying sin, is a delusion we sometimes live in. We never see ourselves as we are. We blame others, justify our actions, and allow evil thoughts and intentions to go unchecked in our minds. Many times they go unnoticed, and with little self awareness of destructive thought patterns that regularly roam our minds. Jesus exclaimed, “Out of the heart flows evil thoughts...etc, and this defiles a man.” The term “human nature” is not out of date.
We don’t like to “feel bad” about ourselves, hence the many ways we have developed in our lifestyle to paper over sin. Pills help us deal with physical pain. We have lived in such a way for so long that pain is the result - a built in mechanism to tell us that something is wrong. The kind of pain you can’t eliminate is the sadness that originates from past committed sin. We try to eliminate our pain without getting to the cause. “He who covers his sin shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Pro. 28:13).
Two things have to be done. We need to decide to change our lives and cease doing the things that cause problems for others, and which also cause guilt and pain for ourselves. Second, we need to confess our sins before God who forgives upon genuine repentance. Genuine repentance involves having a true intention to not sin again. If in weakness we do repeat the sin, we can have that freely forgiven - we have not sinned intentionally.
Through Jesus Christ we can come before the “Throne of Grace”. It doesn’t mean the throne of human goodness or human perfection. Simply grace. The Throne of Grace is where we make our request without a personal declaration of righteousness. Or maybe we clear our conscience by convincing ourselves that we are good enough to be personally accepted. Sin must be confronted and confessed. We don’t always have to be subject to the power of sin. It doesn’t have to be a source of continual guilt or feelings of failure.
Repentance is founded in truth. Sin is forgiven so we can proceed in faith that, through Jesus Christ, we will go on to fulfil God’s purpose. We must know that we are accepted by Him, without carrying with us the baggage of doubt and guilt.
So what to do? Face sin squarely. Don’t flinch. Admit without reservation or excuse. Jesus brought “grace and truth,” not just grace (John 1:17). Determine not to commit sin again. If or when you do, bring it before the Throne of Grace.
by Ken Murray
The other day I was meditating as I was reading the Bible and I thought: "What is Jesus Christ's purpose for our lives?" On what should we setting our hearts and minds that would be pleasing to Christ? What do we understand from the Bible is Jesus Christ's purpose for our lives?
We need forgiveness of sin more than we need anything else. by Bill Bradford
The man knew it was to be soon. The results of His teachings and works astounded people at the beginning. But, slowly, things began to change. The storm clouds were brewing. At the beginning He was popular, new, refreshing. Lame people walked at His Word. Lepers were cleansed, the blind were able to see for the first time, loved ones were raised from their deathbeds, and good news was declared to them as it came from God.
When Jesus came on the scene He preached a message of hope and deliverance.
Last week I wrote about how physical observances help us to understand the depths of God's spiritual plan of salvation. It is important to really understand God's plan of salvation as pictured in the Holy Day seasons, so I would like to continue our journey and discuss some astounding truths.
The first Holy Day season, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is special in that it reveals and describes the two major steps a person must experience to attain eternal life.
A Christian's walk is challenging, and trials can be overwhelming at times. But through the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have hope in the ability to overcome life's challenges. Find out how we are saved by His life.
Did Jesus do what the records show? Was He, is He, really who He claimed to be? Can it be proved historically? Or are we left to simply accept it on blind faith?
This booklet seeks to address and answer the major questions that intelligent, reasoning people naturally ask in trying to understand Jesus Christ--the real story.
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
In this Bible lesson we examine the process by which our lives can be turned to God — the process of conversion. We will learn what Peter meant when he exhorted his countrymen, "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ..." (Acts 3:19). We examine how, beginning with repentance, new converts can turn from a life of sin to become servants of the living God.
Have you ever considered how much the Easter holiday just doesn’t add up? Start with the timing: Jesus said He would be in the tomb three days and three nights. But do the math—a Good Friday crucifixion to a resurrection on Sunday morning is at most only one day and small parts of two others, plus two nights. Also, John’s Gospel tells us Jesus was already resurrected before sunrise, so we can’t count that part of a day. Does the Bible offer a solution? Yes, and when we understand it, everything adds up perfectly! But that’s not all that doesn’t add up about the Easter holiday. What do rabbits, colored eggs and sunrise religious services have to do with Jesus Christ’s resurrection? Discover the fascinating historical truth about all this and much more in this issue of Beyond Today!