Pastor Jim Hammond | May 23, 2021
We will always be more at peace when we keep Christ central in our thinking. When we keep Christ central, we know that our sins are forgiven. We are free to forgive others. We will recognize that shame doesn’t have to stay in our lives, for God’s forgiveness is full and complete. This is what Pastor Jim reminded us this past weekend. Staying conscious of our righteousness will remind us that we can take God’s blessing for our lives and live in freedom because God truly loves us unconditionally.
Are we forgiven for our sins? Yes. Do we live like we are? That is the question Pastor Jim continued to address this past weekend. Too many times we get stuck on what we have done wrong and live like we haven’t already been forgiven. We live by the letter of the law.
But God doesn’t want us to live that way. He doesn’t want us to forget what He has done for us and the freedom He purchased for us through Jesus’ death on the cross. He wants us to live freely, embracing the sacrifice of Jesus on a daily basis. In order to do this, we need to keep our focus on Christ. Secondly, we need to forgive ourselves. Get rid of the idea that we must be punished for our wrongdoing and realize that Jesus has already received our punishment. We can choose to live in freedom. The more clearly we see Jesus as our punishment for sin, the more we release our own selves from shame and guilt.
Right now, God is at peace with each one of us. That means you can be at peace with God. When you are at peace with God, you have a better chance of being at peace with your own self, and the more you know you’ve already been forgiven, the more you’ll forgive yourself and forgive others.
Acts 10:34 Amp.
And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
2 Peter 1:2 Amp.
May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
2 Peter 1:5–9 Amp.
For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), and in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), and in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. … So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].
2 Peter 1:12 Amp.
So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message. And the believers from among the circumcised [the Jews] who came with Peter were surprised and amazed, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed and poured out largely even on the Gentiles. For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and extolling and magnifying God. Then Peter asked,
2 Corinthians 10:5 Amp.
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
Romans 5:1 KJV
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Luke 7:43–48 Message
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”
Hebrews 8:6–8 Amp.
But as it now is, He [Christ] has acquired a [priestly] ministry which is as much superior and more excellent [than the old] as the covenant (the agreement) of which He is the Mediator (the Arbiter, Agent) is superior and more excellent, [because] it is enacted and rests upon more important (sublimer, higher, and nobler) promises. For if that first covenant had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one or an attempt to institute another one. However, He finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Hebrews 8:10 Amp.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Romans 8:1–2 Amp.
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:3 NEB
What the law [Ten Commandments, etc.] could never do, because our lower nature robbed it of all potency. It says God has done: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He has passed judgment against sin within that very nature.
Hebrews 10:10 Amp.
And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One).
Hebrews 10:8 Amp.
When He said just before, You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings—all of which are offered according to the Law—
Romans 3:26–28 KJV
It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]
Romans 4:3 KJV
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Galatians 5:1 Amp.
In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
Galatians 5:1 KJV
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Hebrews 8:11 Amp.
And it will nevermore be necessary for each one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or each one his brother, saying, Know (perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted by experience with) the Lord, for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them.
Hebrews 8:11 KJV
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
1. What is your default response when you sin? What can you do to ensure that you remember God’s forgiveness?
2. What is your default response when you see other people sin? What about when other people hurt you? What does God want your response to be?
3. How does remembering God’s love for us keep us centered on our freedom and away from shame?
4. How can our lives look because we have been completely liberated from the Old Covenant?