Every Spiritual Blessing - FORGIVENESS
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).
“…In Him we have redemption though His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” Ephesians 1:7 bares Paul’s written testimony to the gift of forgiveness found in Christ. He continues edifying the Church in Ephesus, explaining the impact of forgiveness on the life of a Christian: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:9). Christians are no longer dead in sin. We are gifted life with Christ who removes our trespasses. In Christ, we have forgiveness.
John in his first letter affirms Paul’s writing. We have life: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). This is a life we cannot obtain without the forgiveness of our sins.
Christ’s authority to forgive sins is recorded in the gospel account according to Luke. When the paralytic was brought before Jesus, He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” The Pharisees accused him of blasphemy. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Christ saw the doubt in their hearts. He answered them, “'but that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' – he said to the man who was paralyzed ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God” (Luke 5:20-26). Jesus, the Son of God, gave the paralytic new life physically to prove He has the power to give new life spiritually: the authority to forgive sins.
Through John, we who are Christians are given instruction on how to keep the forgiveness given to us: “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10). Christians must not deceive themselves, claiming to be perfect. Instead, we should claim redemption from sins and live according to our new life--not as sinners, but as new creations. Paul writes “from now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17).
You have heard these words (1): in Jesus Christ you will have forgiveness. If you believe (2), then repent (3) and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (4). Be baptized (5) and live a life of faithfulness (6).
1: Romans 10:17
2: John 8:24
3: Acts 17:30
4: Matthew 10:32
5: Mark 16:16
6: Revelation 2:10