The bible says that we should love our neighbours as our selves, but when it comes down to the issue of forgiveness, I have observed that it is sometimes easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves. Most of us have great self-expectations and when we don't meet up with these, it can be sometimes difficult to accept the fact that we are human.
Our walking with Christ should refine us through the regeneration of our spirit man, which can only be done through our yielding to the Holy Spirit.
As Christians we're sometimes a little too harsh on ourselves. Some of us are great self-critics, and whilst I have no objections to reflecting on one's attitudes, actions and decisions in order to improve and develop, it must be done with the right attitude.
The best attitude to adopt is actually based on the acknowledgement of the fact that we have no righteousness of our own.
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:9 (New International Version)
In this scriptural verse we can learn 3 significant and life changing truths.
1. We have no righteousness of our own
2. Our righteousness can only be found in Christ Jesus
3. You can only have this righteousness through faith in Christ.
Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Romans 10:4 (New International Version)
Jesus Christ came, was crucified and he conquered. He put an end to guilt, shame, and condemnation so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
That is the foundation of our faith. Our struggle to sometimes forgive ourselves should lead us to sensitively question our faith in Christ Jesus. If we truly believe in Christ as our lord and saviour then we must learn to accept and embrace the forgiveness he has to offer.
Christianity offers what cannot be found in any other religions. In fact I've discussed the forgiveness of sins that can be found in Christ with friends from different religious backgrounds. These people often reject this biblical truth because they find it too good to be true.
As humans it's been embedded in our minds than nothing comes for free and anything good must come at a price.
If you look deeper into other religions you'll observe that many still requires its followers to perform various rituals to purchase their own forgiveness.
But the truth is that the greatest price has already been paid. Christ cancelled all our debts and wiped the slate squeaky clean on that precious day at Calvary.
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26:28 (New International Version)
This means that whenever we slip up we have the right boldly shake off any condemnation, boldly come to the throne of God to obtain mercy and boldly begin to walk in the righteousness that was already purchased for us.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:22-23 (New International Version)
If we can begin to look to Christ -our righteousness every time the devil tries to overwhelm us with the burden of sin and condemnation we'll have victory over sin.
Satan knows that he can't destroy you nor condemn you because Christ has already purchased your freedom and victory. What he can do is try to manipulate your mind through self-condemnation.
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 (New International Version)
The longer you embrace self-guilt, the longer you procrastinate repentance of the sin committed. Consequently this delays the lessons to be learnt and the victories to be won.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 (New International Version)
No more condemnation. Christ put an end to all that. He said that not only will he forgive us of our sins but also for his own sake he will not remember them.
God doesn't keep a record of our sins. We often feel bad when we struggle with one particular sin because we feel that God expects us to have learnt our lesson the last time the sin was committed.
Whilst I'm not condoning or promoting habitual sins what I do want you to know is that there is always forgiveness for our sins no matter how often we fall. Christ is reaching out to you today. He wants to pull you up to his side to walk with him in righteousness.
Christ is not ignorant of our struggles today. He already walked the walk. He knew what it was to be tempted. He came in the flesh to live, die, and conquer sin.
Because he did this we have now been filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:11 (New International Version)
Don't be deceived today by lies of the enemy. It's not within his nature to tell the truth, so whenever he tells you not to even bother repent because you'll keep on falling and falling, you just point him to the cross of Calvary and tell him get stepping because CHRIST ALREADY PAID THE PRICE FOR YOUR RIGHTOUSNESS.
The truth is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to make you 'more righteousness' as righteousness only comes through Christ. When we struggle with sins as Christians it doesn't make us 'less righteous' it just means we're spiritually immature and need to get our minds renewed through the word and the spirit of God living inside of us.
I Just want to encourage you today to stop the self-condemnation and begin to walk in the righteousness that is already yours.
When you're sick you don't wait till you get better before you go and see the Doctor. The same principal should apply when we approach Christ. Come to him as you are, without shame. Don't try to justify the sin just open up to him and repent and just watch the transformation take place.
Posted 2 February 2006