God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Free Will

True Christians know and understand, at least to some degree, that God is sovereign.  In other words, He is in control.  He has a plan, and His plan will not be thwarted.  However, varying degrees of belief can be found throughout various denominations and Christian circles.

The issue of God’s sovereignty becomes confusing when the free will of man is mixed into the equation.  Reformed Christians tend to hold to the view of Predestination, or Calvinism, and believe that free will does not come into the equation.  Christians who hold to Arminianist views believe that man’s free will comes into play.  A third group falls somewhere in between.

Predestination and Election vs. Free Will

Image via Pixabay by Rauschenberger

People who hold to the view of Calvinism generally believe that God has foreordained that certain people will be redeemed and certain people will be lost.  This belief comes from the writings of John Calvin, one of the theologians from the Reformation period.

While Ephesians 1:3-5, Romans 9, and a few other verses seem to indicate truth in this belief, further study and context shows that Calvin and others are mistaken. The verses in Ephesians 1 that are in question are saying that God wanted people to be saved and redeemed before the foundation of the world.  He had foreknowledge of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden yet He created us giving us the choice of whether to accept or reject Him. Romans 9 discusses God’s choice of Israel and inclusion of the Gentiles in His plan.

Many portions of the Bible point at man’s choice.  Man’s free will does not negate God’s sovereignty.  His purposes will continue with or without our cooperation.  Galatians 5:13, John 7:17, 2 Peter 3:9, Mark 8:34, and Joshua 3:15 are a few that confirm man’s free will along with God’s sovereignty.  John 3:16 is clear proof along with 2 Peter 3:9 that God desires for all to be saved, yet, we know in His foreknowledge, He knows who will accept in Him and who will reject Him.

TULIP Acronym Vs. Arminian Beliefs

Calvinist use the TULIP acronym to explain their beliefs in what they call the doctrines of grace.  T stands for total depravity.  U stands for unconditional election.  L stands for limited atonement.  I stands for irresistible grace. P stands for perseverance of the saints.

The Arminian belief agrees with total depravity, but differs in other aspects.  The other portions of the acronym would change as follows:  conditional election, unlimited atonement, resistible grace, and falling from grace.red-purple-and-yellow-tulip-fields-69776

Some Christians hold to either Calvinist or Arminian beliefs.  Others agree with some points of Calvinsim and some points of Arminianism.  A chart is available that goes into more detail of the beliefs of each side.

What I Believe

I am not going into the details of all the teachings concerning Sovereignty and free will in this post, but I will be discussing this in a video which I will post at a later date.  However, my belief leans more toward Arminianism although I agree with some points of Calvinism.  I know and understand that God is sovereign, but I believe he gave us all free will to choose whom we will serve.  Our free will in no way negates His sovereignty.  He is God!  He is capable of giving man free will and completing His ultimate purposes.

God has no desire for any to perish.  To believe that God chooses some to be damned while saving others would negate the scriptures in which He says that whoever believes on Him would have everlasting life (John 3:16)  and whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21).

On the flip side, I love studying the history of the Reformation period.  Martin Luther and many others revived the doctrine of Justification by Faith during a time when the Roman Catholic church dominated and taught works-based salvation. I also listen to many Calvinist ministers such as John Piper and others and have Calvinist friends. I simply do not agree with much of the Calvinist acronym.

IMG_4193The following quote is from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Knowledge of the Holy:  “The attempt to answer these questions has divided the Christian church nearly into two camps which have borne the names of two distinguished theologians, Jacobus Arminius and John Calvin.  Most Christians are content to get into one camp or the other and deny either sovereignty to God or free will to man. It appears possible, however, to reconcile these two positions without doing violence to either although the effort that follows may prove deficient to partisans of one camp or the other.  Here is my view:  God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil.  When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice man should make but that he should be free to make it.  Man’s will is free because God is sovereign.  A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures.  He would be afraid to do so.”

Colossians Bible Study Day 1

Currently, I am working on a Women’s Bible study covering the Book of Colossians.  It will be several weeks before I have the study completed, but I am giving you a preview.  The following is the introduction and Week 1, Day 1 of this study.  Keep in mind that the first day is introductory and the more in-depth study will come in the following  days.

God’s Fullness in Jesus Christ:  A Study of Colossians



The deity of Jesus Christ is often questioned and debated.  I find this somewhat surprising because the scriptures are abundantly clear about Christ’s identity.  On the other hand, it is not surprising because Satan desires to plant doubt as to who Jesus is. If he is successful, he has people in his grip of deceit.

Understanding that Christ is God in the flesh is essential to knowing who we are.  Our spiritual identities are completely dependent upon Christ. When we begin to become aware of who we are in Christ, fullness comes.  Fullness in Christ keeps us from searching for fullness in other avenues which lead to complete dissatisfaction.

No matter where you are in this walk called life, I believe this study will benefit you. I will take you through the book of Colossians verse by verse to get the complete picture of Paul’s letter to the people of Colossae.  Not only will you receive verse by verse study, you will find personal touches and stories that I hope will encourage you.

Although seven weeks might seem to be a  lengthy time for study, I believe your commitment will help strengthen your relationship with Jesus Christ.  You will see what He wants you to have in Him. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are just a few of the gifts that Christians are to receive in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you wish to know more of the kind of life we are supposed to have in Christ, this study is for you.  If you simply want a little in-depth study, you are in the right place. If you are new to Bible study, I believe you will enjoy Colossians.

Join me for the next seven weeks. Together, we will explore Paul’s letter to the Colossians and see how it complements his other epistles and leads us to a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ.   I look forward to this time with you.

God’s Fullness in Jesus Christ

Week 1:  Thanks and Prayers

Colossians 1:1-8

Challenge:  If you are up for a challenge, you could spend time each day writing out the Book of Colossians as well as practicing the memorization of Colossians.  I would suggest that you write 2-3 verses per day and memorize 2 verses per day. Of course, you can take the memorization at a slower pace if you wish.

Week 1:  Thanks and Prayers

Day 1:  Background and History of Paul, Timothy, and Colossae

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae,” Colossians 1:1-2 (ESV).

(If you are taking the writing challenge, you could take a moment to write out the first two verses.  You can use what I have above or write from your favorite translation.)

Throughout Paul’s letters to various churches and individuals, he uses the same greeting.  He states his name, and if someone is dictating the letter for him or with him on a regular basis, the name is mentioned.  In the case of Timothy, it is definitely the latter and possibly the former.  

Timothy was considered Paul’s son in the faith.  He traveled with Paul on some occasions. More importantly, he was discipled by Paul.  Two of Paul’s letters are addressed to Timothy.  

Before we delve into the background of both Paul and Timothy, let’s compare and contrast some of the greetings in Paul’s other epistles.  Look up the following references and compare or contrast the greeting given by Paul with Colossians 1:1-2.


Ephesians 1:1  ________________________________________




Galatians 1:1 ________________________________________




Philippians 1:1 ______________________________________



1 Thessalonians 1:1 _______________________________



Although the greetings were typically similar, a few differences arise from time to time.  For example, Timothy’s name is often mentioned. Other times, another name is mentioned which informs us that Paul mentored many men during his ministry.  Incidentally, it is beneficial for each of us to have accountability. We need someone to help us stay on the right track. We are human and prone to wander.  Accountability brings us back where God would have us. If you do not have such a person in your life, write a prayer for the Lord to send someone to you. If you already have a mentor in the faith, write the name below along with a prayer of thanksgiving for this godly person.  You might have more than one.






If you read through Acts 7-9, you will discover that Paul was formerly referred to as Saul.  He was a Pharisee with a Jewish background and strict adherence to the Mosaic law. When the gospel began to spread, Saul (Paul) and other religious leaders became concerned.  Fear coupled with anger led them on a tirade of persecution. Saul was responsible for the arrest of many believers in Christ. He stood by and consented to the stoning of Stephen, who was the first recorded martyr.

Happily, Saul did not remain a stranger to Christ. He encountered Christ on the road to Damascus.  Turn to acts 9:1-18. Record anything different you observe while you are reading this passage.







Briefly record your own conversion experience.






Timothy was born in Lustra in Lycaonia which was a large region in Asia Minor. Some believe it was in present day Turkey.  Timothy’s mother, Eunice, was a Jew, but his father was a Gentile. Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, along with his mother contributed a great deal to the life of Timothy.  It was during Paul’s second missionary journey that Timothy joined him. Timothy traveled with Paul to Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea.

Although Paul did not visit Colossae, he was close with Epaphrus, the founder of the Colossian church.  Although Timothy learned from Paul, he contributed to Paul’s ministry as well which is possibly the reason Timothy’s name is mentioned in the introduction.

The city of Colossae was located in Phrygia which was southeast of Laodicea.  Colossae was approximately 832 miles from Rome. False teachings were spreading throughout Colossae. We will explore some of those teachings throughout this study. Paul wrote a letter proclaiming the deity of Christ as well as the truth of the gospel.  You will read Paul’s commendations as well as his warnings.

I realize that I gave you quite a bit of reading today, but knowing the background of the writer and the church receiving the writing is helpful in understanding the book of Colossians.

Close today’s study with a prayer of thanksgiving for the gospel of Jesus Christ and ask Him to give you the boldness to spread it in your own community. 

Memorization:  If you are going to memorize the book of Colossians, I would suggest working on verses 1-2.


In my next post, I will share Day 2 so you can get a better idea of the in-depth study you will do.  It is my prayer that the Bible Study will be a blessing to you.



Renewing of the Mind Project– Book and Bible Study

Beginning Monday, April 20 to June 1, I will be doing an online book study of The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling.  Bible study will be involved in the book study as well. You can choose what your project will be. Some examples include weight loss, procrastination, overcoming worry or fear, etc. Ladies, please feel free to join the Facebook group by clicking on the following link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/985637161832375/

You will need to purchase a copy of the book (Kindle or Paperback)  here:  https://www.amazon.com/Renewing-Mind-Project-Habits-Emotions-ebook/dp/B00TDSMW4C/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=renewing+of+the+mind+project&qid=1586460401&sr=8-1























It Is Written

I am writing to you, my precious reader, because the Lord has called my attention to  errors in some of the teachings I have set forth.  He has made these errors known to me through His Word.  If you have noticed that my blog posts have become less frequent, it is because I have been seeking the Lord through prayer and His word.

Often, Bible teachers have to evaluate their teachings.  If they are not scriptural, they must be changed.  During the past few days I have been going through previous posts.  On some posts I completed edits.  Others were deleted altogether.  James 3:1 reminds believers that bible teachers are held to a strict judgment.  I do not want judgment so I choose to make biblical changes.

Truth 2
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The teachings to which I am referring are not salvation issues, but they could be misleading to people who are trying to mature in their walks with the Lord.  I do not want to lead people into error neither deliberately nor unintentionally.  I will be discussing these teachings in future posts and videos, but for now I want to discuss the sufficiency and authority of the scripture.

A Sure Word of Prophecy

While the Lord uses the gifts of other people to encourage and help us, it is the duty of each and every believer to search the scriptures for themselves.  Having a solid knowledge of the Bible is essential, especially in the day and time in which we now live.  Far too often, Christians want a minister or other believer to give him or her a “word”.  The true need is for the word seeker to get in the Word and get a word.

Taming the tongue
Image via Pexels by Oladimeji Ajegbile

God makes it clear throughout the Bible that His book is the primary way that He speaks.  I am not suggesting that God does not give us wisdom and knowledge that we need on matters not discussed in scripture such as the following:  What job should I take?  Where should I live?  Who should I marry?

Certainly, He will give wisdom, but if you are not a student of the Bible, you will find yourself confused on every turn.  In 2 Peter 1:19, we are told that we have a more sure word of prophecy.  Peter was speaking of the Word of God which you will see clearly if you continue reading the rest of that chapter.  If you need God to speak, read your Bible.  There are 66 books with loads of scriptures and true stories that will inspire you, challenge you, and correct you.

The Bible is Sufficient

Hebrews 1:1-2 speaks of various ways God spoke to His people in the Old Testament.  The writer of Hebrews (maybe Paul, maybe not), makes it clear that in our time, God is speaking to us through Jesus Christ.  In John 1, it is made clear that Jesus is the Word in flesh.  Now, we have the written word, His words.

I make this clear so you will understand the importance of pouring over the scriptures for yourself and pouring over them prayerfully.  Ask God for wisdom to rightly divide His word. You will find the Word is sufficient.Contending Rawpixel

I heard a lady make a statement that made me sad.  She said she knew she had the Bible, but she needed more.  Wanting more than the scriptures can lead you to dangerous places, and from what I have seen, this lady has plunged headlong into New Age teachings which are opposite of the scriptures.  When people say they need more than the Bible, it is a clear indicator that these same people are not reading and studying the Word on a regular basis or no such statement would escape their lips.

The Bottom Line

Please do not take my words to an extreme.  The bible is clear that we need preachers and teachers as well as assembling with other believers.  I am blessed greatly by the gifts of others.  Just know that what we are told in the words of other people cannot exceed scripture.

Let’s pray for others and ourselves as we study the precious Word of God that we rightly divide it.  Read scriptures in context and avoid making a doctrine from one single verse.  Be a good Berean and study the scriptures to see if these things are so.



Now is the Time

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are reminded of the wisdom of God’s timing.  He knows when various purposes and plans must be carried out, and He knows when they must halt.  There is a time to plant and time to pluck up what is planted, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

We are in an uncertain time in our nation and world.  The Coronavirus pandemic has many in panic and fear which is completely understandable.  However, as Christians, God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.  Certainly, I am not suggesting that we throw caution to the wind, but God never told His people to cave and cower to fear.

Time to Pray

time 2
Image via Canva.

I understand that we are constantly being told to pray,  but it always should be our first step in any endeavor.  Prayer is a beautiful design given to us by God the Father for communication.  Prayers strengthens us.  Prayer changes our situations.  Most of all, prayer changes us.

Not only do we and others around us need prayer, our nation’s leaders need prayer as well as various state and local authorities.  As a matter of fact, the Bible instructs us to pray for them.  Sadly, I see many that want to bash and say what he or she would do if in leadership, but the fact is you do not know until you are in the situation.  The decisions they are making press heavily on them.  You can see this in the faces of many of them. They need our intercession.

Rather than hitting up social media to gossip and rant, hit your knees and cry out to God for our nation.  Cry out to God for all people!  Cry out for those who are lost without God!  People’s lives and souls are at stake.  What we do matters.

Time to Sanctify Yourself

I am a firm believer in God’s grace and mercy.  He has been so patient with me during seasons of willful sin and in my failings in general.  However, the time has come for many of us to grow up in the Lord.  It is vital that we open our Bibles along with our prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom to rightly divide His word.

When reading His word, you will discover areas of your life that need to change.  I have discovered the same.  Instead of trying to change what the Bible says or justify ourselves, let’s surrender to Christ and allow Him to change us.  It is not pleasant to the flesh, but it is vital.  The world needs to see a people on fire for Jesus and so in love with Him that we allow His love to radiate through us so others can see.

Time to Fast

Christians, it is time for us to push the plate back to show our true desire for God’s will in our lives and for the salvation of our lost people.  I love to eat as good as anyone, but I find that fasting has turned the heart of God.  It is His desire to show mercy.  It is His desire to save.  It is His desire to heal and deliver, but we have to allow Him to drive out that which is not godly in us so He can put more of what is Him in us.

Read the book of Esther and Jonah.  Fasting turned away God’s wrath and brought mercy and healing to Nineveh.  Fasting turned God’s heart to pour out divine favor on Esther as she went before the King without being summoned, which could have led to her demise.  Jesus instructed us to fast.  When giving instruction concerning fasting, He said, “When you fast…”  He did not say “If you fast…”  How you go about that process is something your should seek the Lord about particularly if you have diabetes or some other ailment.

Time to Act

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The time to do more than talk the talk has come. It is time to walk the walk.  It is time to demonstrate God’s love and faithfulness to those with which we come in contact.  For some, it might be to stay in to keep from spreading the pandemic.  For others, it is to be on the front line bringing aid.  For all of us, we can pray.  We can look after the elderly.  We can encourage each other and pray for our leaders.

Yesterday is gone.  The time is not tomorrow or next week.  The time to do God’s will is now.

Free Book

I am giving away PDF copies of my book, Overcomer.  It was released in September of 2018.  Below is a link for you to view some information about the book.

If you are interested, simply send an email to allisonambermitchell@gmail.com, and I will get it to you as quickly as possible.  God bless you!

Is Progressive Christianity Biblical?

Progressive Christianity is known as movement that seeks to change Christianity.  When I say Christianity, I mean biblical Christianity.  Attempting to re-write the Word of God or dismiss certain portions of it is dangerous.

For the past several years, I have avoided speaking out on this issue.  Why?  Honestly, I knew it would open a proverbial can of worms.  However, if I refuse to speak truth, I will answer to God.  So will you.  Keep in mind that I am not suggesting that God’s people suddenly start beating people over the head and becoming combative.  I am simply saying that it is time to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Experience Over the Bible

Taming the tongue
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An alarming trend has been on the horizon for many years now.  I fear that it is becoming more than a trend.  Christians are beginning to trust more in their experiences and emotions than they do in the Word of God.

Once again, I believe we can have spiritual experiences, but they must line up with the Bible.  If your experiences are contrary to scripture, they must be dismissed.  Our emotions are real and should not be ignored, but they should not take priority over God’s word.  For example, I might not feel like walking in love.  The feeling is real, but the Bible says I must walk in love, therefore, I need to deal with my emotions and obey God’s Word.

If visions and other spiritual experiences are contrary to the Word,  God’s holy word must be valued over my experience.  1 John 4:1 states that we are not to believe every spirit, but we must try the spirits to see if they are of God.  We are also told that many false prophets have gone out into the world.  1 Thessalonians 5:21 states that we must test all things and hold to that which is good.

Failing to evaluate experience with the Bible leads to false and heretical teachings.  Both Islam and Mormonism were founded upon dreams and visions.  1 Corinthians 4:6 warns us not to exceed what is written.

The Prosperity Gospel

Too many ministers have fallen into the trap of placing their focus on money and material possessions.  Certainly, God has no objection to us having possessions, but when people are convinced that they have no faith since they have no wealth and health, the gospel has been seriously misrepresented.

In Matthew 10:8, we are reminded that we should freely give of the things of God because we have received freely from God.  While it is fine to give to ministries, it is not appropriate that receiving funds to be the entire focus of a ministry.

The true gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.  He came to save sinners.  He came to set captives free.  Our wealth, or lack thereof, does not determine our righteousness.  Accepting Christ and placing our faith in Him does.

The Definition of Marriage

I love all people.  More importantly, Jesus does.  However, loving people does not mean that I have to approve of what is sin.  No, I do not sit in judgement on someone in sin, but it is time people realized that speaking the whole counsel of God’s word is not judging.

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When God’s people try to find ways to change the definition of marriage to please people, they are bowing to an idol.  Acts 5:29 reminds us that Christians should be pleasing God rather than man.  While homosexuality is not the only sin, it has to be addressed because many of God’s people have caved to the pressure of the world.  Church by-laws have been changed and attempts to wrongly divide the word of truth have been made.

Please know that if you are involved in homosexual sin, there is deliverance in Jesus Christ.  He came to set the captives free. I have been bound to many sins in my lifetime, but He has proven to be my deliverer.  He can be yours too.

Which Gospel Will You Accept–Jesus Christ or What is False?

The decision to be offended or accept what I have said is yours.  Most of all, Christians need to be searching the Word of God for themselves to see if what I am saying is true. Progressive Christianity has progressed because too many Christians accept the word of others over the Word of God.

Image via Pexels by Pixabay.

It is not a watered down version of the gospel that draws people to Christ.  I have yet to see someone leaving Islam, Buddhism, etc. to become a Christian when he or she sees such compromise.  Christ said that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.  Rather than lift up false teaching, lift up Christ, the true Christ of the Bible.  He loves you, but He loves you too much to leave you in your sin.





Transformation through Praise

Praising God is not only what we were created to do, but it is also what helps transform our minds into spiritual thinking.  As a result, we are able to walk above negative circumstances.  It seems scary, and perhaps strange, to praise God in negative situations.   Yet, the results can be miraculous.

When you praise God while going through tough times, you are inviting heaven to move on your behalf.  Demonic influences can not tolerate praise to God.  While they might turn up the heat of battle for a time, they will not last long under praise to God.

Jehoshaphat and Judah

Image via Pixabay by 4653867.

Jehoshaphat ruled Judah, the southern portion of Israel, before the Babylonian captivity.  During his reign, many enemies came against him.  The number was vast according to 2 Chronicles 20:2.

While I am certain that Jehoshaphat had feelings of fear, he did not allow these emotions to rule him.  He gathered the people and fasted.  Jehoshaphat prayed sincerely acknowledging that he had no clue how to act.  He stated that his eyes were on God.

Praise Comes with Victory

The Lord assured Jehoshaphat that victory was his because the Lord was in control. After talking to the people, Jehoshaphat appointed singers to walk in the front lines of battle.  Putting singers on the front lines is not a normal strategic tactic. However, when God is fighting your battles, He does not use orthodox methods.

The singers marched into the battle along with the others singing praise to God.  When they began singing, the Lord Himself sent an ambush against the enemies of His people.  Most of these enemies were annihilated.  The ones who survived the ambush became confused and slaughtered each other.  The people of Judah looked out to see all of their enemies dead.  They gathered the plunder from their enemies.

Praise in My Personal Life

When my sister passed away in 2002, a gaping wound was left in my soul.  I did not think I could ever deal with the loss.  Depression and despair entered my mind and took over my life.  The Lord dealt with me to begin praising Him even though it was the last thing I felt like doing.  When I began singing praise to God on a regular basis, the heaviness began to lift.  After a while, it was totally gone.

Image Via Pexels by Luis Quintero.

Last summer, my husband went before a judge in a final attempt to get social security disability that he had been denied several times before.  The battle was long and hard.  Due to insurance struggles, much needed doctor’s appointments were challenging to obtain.  Without needed medical evidence, it was impossible to get the help we needed.

The Lord reminded us to simply praise Him that the work had been done because He was in control.  By faith, and I mean not knowing the results, we began praising God.  After doing this for a period of time, we both began feeling a strong presence of the Holy Spirit.  God began moving.  My husband’s hearing before the judge went favorably giving us a good outcome.

Praise Brings Change

Mercy Seat 1
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I did not tell you these two stories to make my husband or myself look super spiritual. Believe me, we are very human, and we experienced and yielded to very human emotions at various times.  I am telling you that praising God causes your mind to think differently which is vital.  Praise changes your outlook on life and increases your faith.  Why?  When you praise, your focus is on God instead of all that is wrong. Praise magnifies God while giving in to despair magnifies the problem.

What about you?  Are you facing an intense battle?  Lift up your hands, and by faith, praise God for His mighty work in your situation.  Continue doing this even when your emotions are not in agreement.  Heaven will move on your behalf.

Transformation through Forgiveness

The subject of forgiveness is a touchy one for most people.  I freely admit that I am most people.  The idea of forgiving someone when they have wronged me, or repeatedly wronged me, is displeasing.  Or, should I say it is displeasing to my fleshly nature?

Why does God require us to extend forgiveness to those who have offended us?  Is He simply wanting us to let wrongdoing go and let the offender off the hook?  Through study and my own experience, I can confidently assure you that is not case.  God requires us to extend forgiveness for our own benefit.

Forgiveness from God

Image via Pixabay by Rauschenberger

Quite simply, God has forgiven us a great sin debt.  This was accomplished when Jesus was crucified and died.  Our new life came through His resurrection.  By nature, we are sinners.  No matter how hard we try or how good we are, we are unable to atone for our sins.  Jesus paid a great price to free us from our sinful nature.

God freely gave us His forgiveness.  Once we accept what Jesus did as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, we become born again.  When we sin, we go to the Father, through Jesus Christ, to receive forgiveness.  We did not deserve this grace and mercy, but He freely gave it.

Forgiving Others

Because of the forgiveness we have received, we must forgive others when they sin against us.  Refusing to forgive puts a barrier between us and God.  It also opens us up to being ruled by other sins such as malice, unbridled anger, gossip, and many others.  We become obsessed with getting revenge which can be dangerous to us and others.

Forgiving others does not mean that the offense was not wrong.  It does not mean that is is okay that you were hurt.  It simply means that you release the offense to God giving Him the right to take care of it.  Trust me, God knows how to deal with other people.  Once you have released the offense (an act you might have to repeat several times), you will find that you have joy and peace.  You will realize that the offense was weighing you down.

Image via Pixabay by McCarty V

Forgiving Yourself

Often, the person I have needed to forgive is myself.  You might find the same is true in your case.  When I keep falling into the same sin over and over, I begin to become self-condemning.  Unfortunately, this is not productive.  What is productive is bringing myself to the throne of grace, pouring my heart out in repentance to the Father.  His Word promises that He will cleanse us of our sins when we go to Him.

Once you have repented, leave condemnation alone.  If you try to carry it, you will be of no use to the kingdom of God.  It is not humility.  It is a selfish focus on yourself and an insult to the blood of Jesus.  Whether you realize it or not, you are saying the blood of Jesus is not enough when you walk in condemnation.  We do not need to do penance.  We simply need to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.

So, How about Forgiving?

Image via Pixabay by Artistic Operations

Are you struggling to forgive someone who has done a great wrong to you?  Are you struggling to forgive yourself?  Bring that hurt to the Lord.  He is able to take it and make you new again.

Refusing forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die.  It is dangerous, and it is heavy.  You will feel much lighter when you let go of the offense and allow God to take vengeance.  Forgiveness, whether being given or received, brings transformation.