26
Sep
13

As The Lord Forgave You

In Jeremiah 31, God made a promise of a new covenant to come.  He foretold of a time when the old covenant and its sacrificial system would be no more.  That God would no longer dwell in a temple made by human hands, but instead would live in the hearts of His people.  God would make a new covenant because His people had failed to live up to the old covenant.  Idolatry and spiritual infidelity caused God to make a new covenant through His Son, Jesus.
My friends, we are living under this new covenant.  God’s Holy Spirit lives in our hearts by grace through faith in Jesus.  We have the gift of His Word to teach us and guide us in our walk with Christ.  He has forgiven our wickedness and has promised to remember our sins no more.  Think about that for just a moment.

For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more. – Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)

Three things come to my mind with regard to this verse.
  • First, God is awesome!  His love and grace are so much more than I can fathom.
  • Second, the devil is a liar.  When he comes calling and bringing up your past, remember this promise.  Your sins are forgiven and God will not bring them to mind ever again.
  • Third, we need to forgive…and forget.  Colossians 3:13 (NIV) says:

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

God has forgiven our sins and chooses not to hold them against us.  He has promised to forgive and forget.  We must be willing to do the same.  We cannot say, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget!”  It doesn’t mean that we are not wary of those who abuse our forgiveness and wrong us time and time again.  It means that we forgive and we choose not to hold their transgressions against them.  We won’t be best friends, but we can be civil and courteous.  We are still called to love everyone, even our enemies.  We are called to forgive everyone, even those who wrong us over and over.  Think of what Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV):

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Let us be ambassadors of forgiveness.  Let us demonstrate God’s forgiveness to the world.  Let us not hold grudges for grudges turn into bitterness.  We are living under a new covenant of grace and forgiveness.  Praise the Lord!

Hebrews 8

New International Version (NIV)

The High Priest of a New Covenant

8 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

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