Monday, August 29, 2016

Sins Separate Us from God

Our sins/iniquities separate us from God! God is holy; sins break off our relationship with Him. The only way to be reconciled to God is through Jesus Christ's shed blood on the cross for us. His ultimate sacrifice made atonement for us sinners once for all, reestablishing a right relationship with God. When we place our faith in Christ and His finished work of redemption at the cross, we have an assurance that all our sins (past, present, and future) are completely forgiven! Only Jesus Christ is able to make repentant sinners inwardly clean/justified/ cleared of guilt & shame. Because of Christ's payment for our sins, we are granted a direct access to God, allowing us to communicate with Him (through prayers). Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22) 

Sin seriously stinks!  Christ's followers still struggle with sin every single day on earth. "We have been saved from the penalty of sin. We are being saved from the power of sin. We shall be saved from the presence of sin." (Bishop Westcott) We must not abuse God's grace and forgiveness by minimizing the serious effect of sin and/or justifying our sin. We Christians are called to live a life of holiness. On the other hand, we must not underestimate the power of God's grace and forgiveness by beating ourselves up and dwelling in guilt & shame. Our guilt and shame over our past will prevent us from intimacy with God, as well as other believers in the Body of Christ. What are we to do when we sin (whether in actions, words, or attitudes)? Confess and repent immediately; then know/believe that we're forgiven! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) Verse 20 in this same chapter (Isaiah 59) says, "'The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,' declares the Lord." Don't delay. Our sin damages/severs our communion with God and hinders our prayers. "We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does His will." (John 9:31) God withdraws His presence and favor ("hidden His face") from unrepentant sinners. It's not that God cannot hear, but because of sin, He will not listen and will not answer. Sin builds barriers between us and God. Once we confess our sins to God and ask forgiveness for them, our communion with Him is restored. Love God; hate sin!

Prayer: Abba Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners! Search me, God, and see if there is any offensive way in me. Please reveal any sin any wrong motives and help me be quick to confess and repent. Thank You for Your inexhaustible grace and forgiveness! Empower me to boldly & lovingly share with others Your message of reconciliation. In Jesus's Name, I pray. Amen.

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