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January 16, 2020

The Promise of Forgiveness – Day 11 of 21 Promises

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.]”  1 John 1:9 (TLB)

The Gospel writer, Luke, tells us of a paralytic that was carried to Jesus by some friends.  They believed that if they could just get their friend to Jesus, he would be healed.  The crowd was too great to get near Jesus. So, they took extreme measures and carried their friend to the roof.  They cut a hole in the roof and lowered him right in front of Jesus while He was teaching the crowd!  I imagine that would stop a service in progress.  The focus immediately shifted to the paralyzed man on the mat suspended in air in front of the teacher.  But what Jesus said surprised them even more, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:20b (NLT)

Only later, after some discussion with the indignant religious leaders, did Jesus turn to the paralyzed man and say, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.” Luke 5:24c (NLT)The man received both physical and spiritual healing.  Imagine being this young man.  Luke tells us what happened next in verse 25: “And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.”

Jesus went deeper than the man’s physical needs.  How often do you stop there in your prayers?  Jesus saw the man’s heart.  It was paralyzed with guilt and sin.  The good news is that God promises the same forgiveness given to the paralytic to you and me.  The Greek word for forgiven is aphiemi.  It’s the same word used in 1 John 1:9 where the Bible says, “But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us. …”

Aphiemi (forgive) means to let go, to release or to send away from oneself, to be released from a debt.  This man was forgiven!  His sin was put away!  But, how does God do that?  I love the way the Living Bible paraphrases the 1 John 1:9 when it says, “… [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.]”  1 John 1:9c (TLB)

First, Jesus paid the sin debt that we all owe.  His death on the cross satisfied the judgment of God against sin so that sin can no longer be held against one who trusts Jesus as their Savior and has turned from that sin to Christ. 

Secondly, the crippling guilt caused by sin is removed and replaced by the righteousness of Christ.  That’s ultimate forgiveness!  You are so forgiven in Christ that, in God’s eyes, it is as if you had never sinned! 

If the burden of your sins has paralyzed you and frozen your heart with guilt and shame, claim the promise of forgiveness in 1 John 1:9. Confess your sins to Christ. Receive aphiemi – Let It Go! He will take them and cast them to the bottom of the sea! Experience ultimate forgiveness!  You can release that sin to the Savior who nailed it to the cross! When you do, then just like this paralytic, you will jump up with a clear conscience praising God!  You are forgiven!