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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Build Your Altars - The Altar of Forgiveness

Part One - Our Need For God's Forgiveness

In yesterday's post I mentioned that today I would be talking about the Altar of Forgiveness. Like the Altar of Submission, this altar is an absolute necessity to the Christian life. The two go hand in hand. First, we must submit to God's way of thinking and realize that we are sinners. Second, we must bow before the altar of forgiveness.
I think that once you realize you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, it's hard to believe that a perfect, holy God would actually forgive you. But He will. He's shown us time and again in His Word how He has forgiven others.
Take David for instance. In II Samuel 12, David learned that his sin had been discovered. You can't keep a sin hidden from God. God knew that David was an adulterous murderer, and for that sin, God took the child that had been conceived in David and Bathsheba's adulterous relationship.
But God forgave David. In II Samuel 12:13, David asked for God's forgiveness, and it says that God had put away David's sin. It was no more in his sight. And in II Samuel 12:20 David went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. He had a restored relationship with God.
Another example would be the Apostle Paul. When we first hear about Paul, his name was Saul, and he was an active participant in the killing of Christians. In Acts 7 he just watched as men stoned Steven to death for preaching the Gospel of Christ.
In Acts 9 he asked the high priest for a letter to the synagogue in Damascus. That letter held the threat of death to anyone preaching the Gospel. Fortunately that letter never reached Damascus because God stopped Saul on the Damascus road. Saul repented of his murderous ways, and he became one of the greatest missionaries of all time. He wrote 12 and possibly 13 books of the Bible.
God can use anyone if only they will come to Him for forgiveness. We just need to realize that God WANTS to forgive our sins. He wants us to have a restored relationship with Him. He just wants us to come to Him.
I John 1:9 says it this way, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Confession. That's all it takes. And He will cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. I don't know about you, but I'm thankful I bowed at the altar of forgiveness, the cross.
Come by tomorrow to read how God's forgiveness to us should lead us to forgive others!



At 7:58 AM, Blogger Susanne said...

It's always amazing to me that scripture that says if we repent God throws our sin away as far as the east is to the west. What an awesome God we have.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Janet Rubin said...

I love the thought that God WANTS to forgive us. I always have that, "yeah, yeah, He'll forgive me because He promised to, but He's probably mad," thought. But you are right, God is ready and waiting to forgive and love us.


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