Guilt and Forgiveness

In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite.  Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy.  We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it.  In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too.  Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt.  Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”

Grace and Legalism

These two words are talked about a lot these days:  grace and legalism.  Many churches are one extreme of the other.  Many people are.  Where do we draw the line between the two?  The Bible is clear we are saved by grace and not by works.  It is also clear that we are to obey God’s commands.  We show that we love God by how we live.  Our lives reflect our salvation and that Christ is in us.  To me, that is the difference.  Some people treat grace as a “get out of jail free” card.  But if you really are saved and Christ is in you, would you not want to live for Him?  On the other hand, salvation is not about rules and regulations, it is about the heart. Continue reading “Grace and Legalism”

Hebrews 12: Encourage to Live by Faith

As I was going through a study in Hebrews, I learned a lot about Jesus, who He is, what He did for us, and how we are to live and think.  Jesus sacrificed Himself for us; His blood was shed so that there is no more need for sacrificial offerings, there is no need to go to anyone but Him (He is the only way) to confess sins or to ask for forgiveness.  That is God’s grace.  We are not under the Law.  We are under grace.  Our salvation is based on accepting His grace, for He paid the price.  Salvation is not about following rules and regulations.  It is about following Jesus Christ.  It is about a personal relationship with Him.  It is about faith in what Christ can do, not about what we try to do to earn favor.  Continue reading “Hebrews 12: Encourage to Live by Faith”

God’s Promises: Comfort and Strength

In our weakness, God gives us strength.  When we struggle, He comforts us.  We will go through hardship; we will have times of weakness.  He doesn’t keep us from those times, He helps us to get through them.  He is always there for us, even when we don’t realize it.  The Spirit will guide us and strengthen us and pray for us. Continue reading “God’s Promises: Comfort and Strength”

Grace Abuse

Previously we talked about God’s grace and the promise that through God’s grace we are saved by faith not by the things we do.  It is what Christ did for us, taking our sins and paying for them by nailing them to the cross.  So does that mean if we accept God’s grace and trust in Jesus that we could do whatever we want?  I would say yes and no.  Yes, we are free.  But, we are free from sin and if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, you are changed.  You are a new creation.  Your old self has died and you now live for Him.  Your desire should be aligned with God.  You no longer want to do the sinful acts of your previous self.  The Holy Spirit will live in you and will guide you.  Now you can live by the Spirit and not by your flesh.  If you do not see these changes, if your desires remain the same, you have to question the sincerity of your acceptance of God’s grace.  You need to be reconciled to Him.  It does not mean that you will never sin or your flesh will never creep in and tempt you.  It will.  There will be a battle.  But remember that you are victorious because of the blood of Christ. Continue reading “Grace Abuse”