Athlete, You are Freed by Forgiveness
Romans 4:7,8 (New International Version)
Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.
God’s grace unleashes a ton of blessings to those who put their faith in Him — that makes for an extraordinary life. Forgiveness is one of those blessings because it gives us freedom that we can find nowhere else.
Take the worst offense or the smallest infraction that we committed against God’s holy standard — it alienates us from God. All of our attempts to become acceptable to Him could never reverse our condition.
When Jesus died on the cross, He became our substitute. There was nothing in us that could satisfy God’s wrath, but God was completely satisfied with Jesus’ payment on our behalf. When we give our lives to Christ and trust that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for us, God forgives us of our rebellion against His standards.
So why does forgiveness give us a radically different life?
Without forgiveness, we are stuck with guilt. Many will live with a nagging awareness they fall short of God’s holy standard. Others will live in fear of the day they will die and have to answer for their offenses against God.
Some people will dull their consciences over time to escape their guilt. Others may proclaim their freedom by throwing off any restraints in life that God’s holiness demands.
The word forgiveness literally means “to release, to set free.” That is why forgiveness makes for a radically different life. We have been released from the insurmountable debt we owed God, and have been freed to live for Him.
Most of us find it hard to believe that we stand totally forgiven. In Christ we <i>are</i> totally forgiven. Check out Psalm 32 for what God has to say about forgiveness.
(See more about Tom’s ministry at http://www.catapultministries.org/)