1 John 3:1-7
Peace be with you!
This week I challenged you to fillin “I __; nevertheless, I am forgiven through Jesus Christ.” Not many of you answered the call to action. A few expressed fear of writing out sins and sharing publicly. Here are the quotes I got:
I forgot about him for 8 years; nevertheless I am forgiven by God through Jesus Christ.
I cussed, nevertheless I am forgiven by God through Jesus Christ.
I lied; nevertheless I am forgiven.
These things that we did are what separate us from God the Father. We are constantly going through the renewing cycle: repenting from and dying to our sins, seeking Jesus’ resurrection and forgiveness, and renewing our relationship with the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
We know the Ten Commandments. We know we should live by them completely. We know living by the Ten Commandments allows us to be in a relationship with God the Father. If we know these things, then why don’t we just live out God’s commands? Simple answer: the Devil lives in the world and tempts us on a daily basis. In addition, we battle our own sinful nature constantly The question then becomes: how can we ever be in a relationship with God the Father?
The ascension story from Luke is similar to the one we read last week from John. The disciples are frightened by the ghost-like figure claiming to be Jesus Christ. What makes this story in Luke different from the one in John is that Luke gives us the part of the story where Jesus explains his death and resurrection to the disciples. The figure the disciples see is the same Jesus Christ but the risen Jesus. As one of the three Persons of the Godhead, Jesus offers us forgiveness through his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. God the Holy Spirit is also in us and offers us an identity with his imprint. God has an identity for us without sin, like Jesus Christ. However, God understands an identity without sin would be impossible for us to live out since both our sinful nature and Satan tempt us to break the Ten Commandments on a daily basis. Because of our human frailty and tendency to sin, Jesus came in order to offer us forgiveness. We are able to be in a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son, who rose from the dead. We are forgiven, because Jesus died on the cross and on the third day rose from the dead.
In Acts 3:12-19, Peter is jumping up and down as he explains God’s love to the people who are running to them in amazement after they healed a crippled beggar (Acts 3:1-11). The people did not understand how Peter could heal the beggar when Jesus was the only who could heal anyone.
Peter takes the opportunity to share the good news of forgiveness: We rejected Jesus; nevertheless, we are forgiven. We had Jesus crucified; nevertheless, we are forgiven. We did not give God any respect when we handed Jesus over to be killed, and yet God forgives us through Jesus Christ. There is nothing we can do that Jesus will not forgive us for doing. Jesus Christ will always offer forgiveness to us for our shortfalls and invite us back into a relationship with God the Father.
The individual who forgot about God for eight years is forgiven. The individual who cussed is forgiven. The individual who lied is forgiven. The individual who did [whatever “it” is] is forgiven. That is the Peter’s point in his sermon. [Whatever “it” is] you did is forgiven through Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
Peter calls us to repent, so we can be forgiven and have our sins wiped out. When this happens, we can renew our relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness gets the final say when we seek to be in a relationship with the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for offering us forgiveness through your son, Jesus. Help us to repent from our sins and turn to you in order to experience forgiveness and renewal of our relationship with you. Thank you for continually renewing our relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Fill-in the blank: “I __; nevertheless I am forgiven through Jesus Christ.”
2. How do you experience the repenting, seeking forgiveness, and renewing cycle?