In 1 John we see our second chances: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 1:1-2:2).
We hear these words of reminder from John, but do we really understand them? We judge others and shun and reject them. We also judge ourselves and in a sense, reject ourselves.
This is just where the devil wants us to be. This keeps everything off balance in our relationship with God. The failure to understand the forgiveness that we have received as a gift from God through Christ, leads us on a path of unforgiveness of others and ourselves.
It has been said, “Never let a feeling of failure corrupt a new action.” When we do, we have helped create a harvest ground for Satan. We undermine God’s plan for us. We must accept God’s forgiveness by forgiving others and ourselves.
Where there is no forgiveness, there is no future. This is what keeps so many people out of our churches. They do not understand the forgiveness that they have already received and they have not forgiven themselves. Like a dog chasing its own tail they never get any closer to the Spirit because their unforgiveness keeps them at a distance.
If we do not understand forgiveness, then what difference does it make if we sin? Not recognizing God’s gift of forgiveness perpetuates sin. It becomes so easy to just stack one more sin upon another. We lose our hope for a new life.
We can live our whole lifetime separated from God and others. Jesus has told us that second to loving God; loving our neighbors as we love ourselves is the most important thing that we can do. Does “neighbor” mean everyone? Can we love anyone or ourselves if we lack the ability to forgive?
Christ came as a light into the world and has brought His light upon the Word of God as He has spoken it. Because the world would not accept Him, God offered him as a sacrifice to the world. He made this sacrifice once for all to forever open a path for His children to Himself.
An understanding and appreciation of this gift will cause us to avoid sin in our lives and at the same time encourage us when we do stumble. We are forgiven! All of us! Hallelujah!