Forgiveness in the Family
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
There are two kinds of righteousness mentioned in the Bible. There is the righteous that God gives and there is the righteousness that we live. It’s never one-sided with God; our choice to participate is a factor in our relationship with Him. God’s side of righteousness is the free gift of salvation due to the finished work that Christ accomplished on the cross. He offers a position of right standing by being reconciled in relationship – a restored position in His family as a returning son or daughter. God’s grace is available to everyone, but not everyone will receive it.
Our side is to receive grace by faith - faith being more than belief, but also obedience. Our submission is a requirement for salvation to be complete. Our submission is more than a one-time experience where we make the initial choice to turn our lives over to Christ and experience a spiritual rebirth. The spirit is changed, but our body hasn’t been changed. Our soul is not immediately changed. When a person is genuinely born again, the spirit, or the heart, desires righteousness. Our soul and our body, what the scriptures refer to as our flesh, will need to be brought into submission. God offers to help us with the process of renewing our minds and the strength to overcome the desires of the flesh. God gives us the position and He also helps us with the process. Our side is to respond to His love and to receive from His grace through our submission. Our side of righteousness, as someone who has right standing with God, is to walk right with God, not in our strength, but in being yielded to His.
What happens if we disobey after becoming a Christian? Does it affect our right standing? When someone has truly made Jesus their Lord of their life, then they are saved and in the family of God. Just like in our natural families, if we wrong someone in our family, that doesn’t mean that we’re not in the family anymore. It will, however, affect our fellowship with that family member. If we want to restore that relationship, we need to repent and be forgiven. With God, we have our position in the family; however, sin needs to be repented of to have fellowship with God. I John 1:9 is written to the Christian, and it says that if we sin, God forgives, and our fellowship with God is restored. Hallelujah! That’s the power of grace!
Application: Christians have been positioned in the family of God. If we sin, God offers forgiveness and restoration of fellowship. We don’t despise grace, rather we respect it and let it have its work in us. Philippians 2:12