Monthly Archives: March 2019

Forgiveness of Sins

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. -Matthew 6:12 (HCSB)

The literal translation of the verse above is forgive us our ‘debts’ as we forgive our ‘debtors.’ The same goes for sin. The New Living Translation says sin instead of ‘debt.’ The dynamic Good News Translation and also the Contemporary English Version both use the term ‘wrongs.’ The idea is the same. When we sin, we are in debt to God. That debt must be paid. For those of us who have embraced Jesus, the account has been squared.

I recently watched one of several ‘Q & A’ sessions with John MacArthur in which there was some discussion of forgiveness. Dr. MacArthur referred to Philemon and its importance in contemplating and understanding the importance and necessity of forgiveness. Obviously, forgiveness is central to the Christian faith and something that takes place at the time of regeneration, when man reaches out to embrace God and answer His call to repentance and salvation.

Paul writes to Philemon on behalf of a runaway slave whom he decides to send back to him called Onesimus. Paul has become like a father to him and wishes him to return to Onesimus as an equal in Christ. Of course, for this to happen there must first be forgiveness offered and received (as we must have from God when joining His family).

Finding forgiveness from fellow Christians should be something automatically offered, especially when one considers how God has dealt with us — despite our sin nature. Sadly, we are flawed humans who still struggle with the sin nature of the flesh and therefore are in need of constant reminders of how we really don’t differ from our brothers and sisters. Often past sins are thrown in our faces, either by ourselves or other believers. I suspect often with Satan’s help. I think that many Christians have formed a list of unforgivable sins that is of their invention, not of God’s. It is all too easy to forget what John, under inspiration from the Holy Spirit, wrote so long ago: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9. Scripture here plainly tells us that it’s not just some of our sins or some of the time. The operative word is ‘all.’ We simply must confess. Elsewhere the Scripture stresses a serious need for repentance; however, repentance must be preceded by an understanding in our heart that we have transgressed God’s law. A sincere confession will always bring with it the remorse of committing sin and a desire to turn from it. Once authentic confession and repentance has taken place, the following takes place: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. -Psalm 103:12

That said, let us live as people forgiven, ever mindful of that fact and grateful for what He has done for us in Christ. Reminded of that, we should be easily able to be effective witnesses for Christ to a lost and desperate world.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. -Jeremiah 31:34


The Importance of Prayer

Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore! -1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV)

I am over 1/2 way through a book by the Kendrick brothers called The Battle Plan for Prayer. I must say that I am most impressed with the book. It comes in paperback and is a little over 220 pages. Basically, an easy read — packed with Scripture references to back up the points they make. I am big on lots of Scripture references: more Scripture means less opinion! The theology is solid and brings honor and glory to God.

Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. -James 5:13 (HCSB)

As Christians, it is asserted (rightly so in my case) that we don’t spend a fraction of the time that we could or should talking to our Father in prayer. The book points out methods that we can employ, what are right or wrong ways to pray — and certain things we must do to be ready to pray prayers that God will hear and respond to.

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(NASB)

As you can tell from this post, I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to ‘up their game’ in their prayer life.


Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. -Ephesians 6:13 (NLT)

It is all too easy to fall prey to temptation and end up in sin. After all, we are living in a fallen world. Does that make it OK? Very often, believers will say (after repeated failures in any given area) that they are just too weak in the flesh and perhaps even cite the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7 when he writes about doing “the things he hates.” Paul wrote what he did not to enable the modern day believer to continue in sin but rather to thwart any effort from the evil one to make us feel completely ineffective for Christ -and perhaps even doubt our own salvation.

The Bible offers us some comfort in the promise of a way to defeat the pitfall of temptation: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. -1 Corinthians 10:13

One of the biggest problems [at least for men] in the family of God today is that of the ready availability of pornography. A couple of quick clicks of the mouse and your computer can take you to a realm of pornographic temptation while the devil whispers in your ear that “it’s no big deal because you’re not “hurting anyone.” Remember: the devil is the father of lies.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. -1 John 1:7 There are some in the church who have developed programs of accountability to help fight the challenges that a robust sex drive coupled with a sin nature can bring. Of course, to my knowledge, most or all of these come with a price to be paid for the service. I cannot speak to whether or not they work well; I would guess they do help stave off the problem –at least for a while. What I do know is this: God’s Word provides a definite solution to the issue of lust and acting out in it. Scripture makes it perfectly clear. Of course, the Bible also insists on a ‘buddy system’ of sorts: a fellowship of like-minded believers who love Jesus and are also concerned with your well-being as a brother or sister in Christ. Praying for each other is absolutely vital for success in this area (and every other in life).

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.  -Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

I dealt a lot in this post with one particular type of temptation, that of pornography because it is so prevalent). But this is applicable to any type of temptation that can lead us into sin. Perhaps the issue is food or gambling –or some other compulsive behavior. Maybe you spend too much money? (Over-spending is an issue that I’m focusing on at the moment). Whatever it is, my hope and prayer for you is that you take the matter to the Lord in prayer and ask others in our family to help with their prayerful support and encouragement. Please remember John’s words in 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.