Sometimes, life's most valuable lessons begin with failure. Recently, I embarked on one of these lessons by allowing thoughtless words to fly unchecked. Too late to retrieve them, I found myself in an acute state of unrest and basic dysfunction. I was the only one to blame for those words, and I needed a stern reproof. After asking God's forgiveness, I knew what else had to be done: a phone call to the offended individual and the request, "Will you forgive me?" The response was unforgettable: "Yes. One hundred percent."
Struck with the finality of my accepted apology, I considered the forgiveness I had asked from the Lord. God's Word says forgiveness through Christ is guaranteed. But how forgiven does "forgiven" mean? Do we need to ask 70 x 7 times for every offence? Is faultless action required from now on in order for His forgiveness to take effect?
As I opened my Bible to the book of Colossians, these words leaped from the pages of chapter 1:
Colossians 1:21-22 – And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. (NKJV)
Our holy God, Who is wronged numerous times by our actions and the state of our hearts, knows we are often to blame and need reproof. But Christ presents us to God with no stain on our record and no accusation against us. We are far from being worthy of this standing, but it is ours through our union with Christ in His blameless life and perfect death in our place.
Colossians 2:13c-14 – He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (NIV)
Is forgiveness through Christ final?
Yes. One hundred percent.
Prayer: Father, thank You for this amazing truth. May we never dishonour You by accepting our standing cheaply. Cause our lives to grow into the likeness of our position in Your Son. In His name, we ask. Amen.