People have been, and are, going through disheartening times; struggling with desolation, desperation, or ungodly dependencies. These aren’t distant problems. These things are affecting people we are close to—those in our community and, yes, within our very congregations!
Hardships are bound to come upon every person. Yet, even in trials, sufferings, and hardships; believers can count it all joy, knowing God uses adversities to grow us in dependence on, and intimacy with, Him. The Lord isn’t using life’s trials to break us down, but to build us more into Christlikeness.
“So faith without deeds is dead.” This bold statement by James (2:26) is not contradictory to salvation by grace, it is complimentary to salvation by grace. For, he is telling believers that there will be demonstrated “fruit of grace” that becomes evident after someone is saved by grace, through faith in Christ.
What does Jesus mean by, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”?
Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Those words can be intimidating. What does Jesus mean?
To understand what the Lord is saying in Matthew 6:15, we need to take His words in the context of its Scripture passage.
No one is beyond salvation through Jesus Christ. “The one who comes from above is above all” (John 3:31).
Mark 5:1-20 ~ a Bible Study lesson on escaping demonic strongholds to find freedom in Christ.
Demonic voices will accentuate our failures, telling us we are hopelessly lost. But, while their accusations seem damning and demonic strongholds seem unconquerable, not even a legion of demons can stand before Jesus Christ.
Don’t resist coming to Jesus because of fear of having your past exposed, or your being openly shamed. As He did with the sinful woman in Luke 7, Jesus is a merciful Savior who longs to forgive and restore those who come to Him in repentance. In Christ’s grace, you can know that your sins are forgiven.
People need hope, compassion, and belonging. But this world can be a lonely and brutal place. Many become ostrasized by society and are treated as loathsome. However uncomfortable it makes us, we need to reach out to them in Christlike love; telling them about Jesus’ mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and redemption.