Forgiveness for what?

Forgiveness for what?

I’m a Christian because I need forgiveness. If you don’t believe this, just ask my wife.  She can tell you that I REALLY need forgiveness.  But forgiveness for what? And why? Is it because I stole that pack of gum when I was 5, or when I told that little white lie to make myself seem better that I am? Or all of that much worse stuff I’d rather not mention? Well, yes, but those are more of the symptoms and not the disease.  I don’t want a medicine to mask the symptoms of my problem, I want a cure for the disease.  Maybe this story will help:

There was once a father who needed to look after his young daughter for the evening.  He wanted to come up with something for her to do that would give him enough time to finish reading the paper.  As he turned the page, he saw a picture of the world and he had an idea: If I cut out each country in the world like a puzzle and have my daughter glue them back together, that should give me a good hour or so to myself.  So he cut up the picture of the world, and gave it to his daughter.  Ten minutes later his daughter came back in and exclaimed “Daddy! I’m all done!” The father couldn’t believe it – how did his daughter get done so quickly? Was she a genius or something? And then she said, “Daddy, on the back was a picture of a man.  I figured if I could put the man back together again, I could put the world back together again.” You see, the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.  We’re fundamentally broken, and we’re so broken that we don’t even realize it most of the time.

We oftentimes think that if someone only knew what was in our heart, they would think well of us.  But God tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” It’s common advice to hear people say: “follow your heart” but if our heart is desperately wicked, where will that lead us? In what can we trust, or more accurately, in whom can we trust?

We are born into a world of sin, that much is pretty easy to believe these days.  It is our nature.  You don’t have to teach us how to do it.  We are separated from God, who is holy, righteous, and good. But because of God’s great love for us, he didn’t leave us to wallow in the mud, to die in our sins.  He sits up high but He reaches down low. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17.

I’m a Christian because I need forgiveness.  I need reconciliation.  There’s only one place that I can receive it – in the person of Jesus Christ. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7.  What do you need forgiveness for?

Resources:

J. John.  Four Reasons I’m a Christian. Focus On the Family Radio Broadcast.  Aired 4/12/2017.

The Bible. New King James Version. 1982. Thomas Nelson.

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