Being Forgiven And Being Forgiving

“bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭CSB‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The Gospel is not just for the unbelieving world. The Gospel is very much for us believers too. We must never stop remembering. We must never stop preaching the Gospel to ourselves first, because we are indeed forgetful creatures. We must never stop looking to the cross in awe and wonder of what God has done, at the fact that we ourselves can be forgiven.

It was Charles Spurgeon who once said,

“While others are congratulating themselves, I have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross & marvel that I am saved at all.”

The pardon we receive really is very humbling, but it is also very liberating. How so you might ask? This Gospel mentality frees us and reminds us of the extent of God´s grace towards us in the death of His Son on the cross. It also reminds us of the depth of our own sin and the offense it is to God. Far more offensive and wicked than any sin anyone else has ever committed against us. For our sin is ultimately against our Creator, a God so Holy, so absolutely set apart, and with infinitely more worth than we as mere creatures have in and of ourselves.

But when we “get” the Gospel, really grasping why the death of Christ was necessary and it´s implications, we are freed from thinking higher of ourselves than we ought to. We also must recognize that unforgiveness and bitterness is a poison that is most toxic to our own hearts. And it is often our pride that is at the root of it. We should definitely be humbled by the grace demonstrated at the cross, but this grace should enable us to truly forgive others too. We may struggle at times, when the hurt is deep and person who hurt us is someone near and dear. We may get things wrong and go about things imperfectly. But the Spirit of God in us will cause us to desire to forgive, and we will eventually come to a place of true forgiveness towards others.

As Christians, we should be a forgiving people. Preaching the Gospel to ourselves and meditating on our own standing before God is most helpful when we struggle to forgive others, for it is a constant reminder of God´s grace towards us, AND the depth of our own sin. A sin so wicked and deep rooted in our own hearts, that it was only by the death of the Son of God that it could be paid for.

And it is indeed paid for. There are no more consequences or wrath reserved for us because Christ took it all upon Himself. All of it. For this reason ” there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” For those who are in Him. Yes, even those who you are having a hard time forgiving, if they are believers, their sin is covered. We have been shown a grace so wonderful and a love so transcendent, so beyond our understanding, that we will worship for all of eternity absolutely amazed that we actually were forgiven.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭CSB‬‬‬‬‬‬

So pray, then go ahead and forgive that person. Don´t waste anymore time feeling bitter´and harboring such feelings. Your wounds will heal, and you will grow from this experience. Be “imitators of God,”  by showing grace and being forgiving.

Along with Spurgeon, I too must often..

“..have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross & marvel that I am saved at all.”

If we are in Christ we are forgiven, completely, fully, perfectly. Therefore, one of the distinctive marks of being a Christian, is to forgive others, just as we too have been forgiven.

Written by Antonio Salgado Jr.

Are You Willing?

I sit here reading the several articles about our twenty one brothers who were brutally murdered for their faith. Since being called to pastor a small church here, at the beginning of the year I set a theme I would preach through which is focused on evangelism and discipleship. This month of February I have been preaching on the “The Cost of Knowing Christ and Making Him Known”, primarily from the texts of Matthew 10 and Luke 14. With the events that have transpired in Libya, I sit here with the words of our Lord echoing in my head. Continue reading “Are You Willing?”

Everything Happens For A Reason

 

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.- Psalm 57:2

This morning getting ready to go to Santiago, I woke up to a flat tire. I was supposed to be in Santiago by 8, or so I thought. I was tempted to get mad but didn’t. So Tonito and I went to a local “gomero” (tire fixer upper), and waited for someone to get there. I began to think maybe God let me get a flat tire to keep me from getting in an accident, the people here do drive pretty crazy. Maybe I just got a flat tire for no reason at all…but I seriously doubt that. You see, I believe not only in the providence of God, but the absolute sovereignty of God as well. Continue reading “Everything Happens For A Reason”

What is man?

I often wonder why an Almighty, Holy, and Sovereign God is concerned about my needs.  Who am I? I know Jesus said that we are not to be anxious about food or clothes, and that He provides for the ravens and we are of much more value than them ( Luke 12:24). But why does He provide so many times and is so faithful to do so? Now, I know it is because of who He is. And I know that He does not change, and because of this, whatever He has promised we can trust that He will do. But, in light of who He is and who we are, if God did not answer one more prayer, or provide one more thing, He would still be worthy of worship. It is thinking of all this that leaves me so in awe of Him. There is nothing special or worthy about me or anyone else, it’s just who He is. It’s all grace. Which makes His blessings and answered prayers that much more beyond my understanding.

Continue reading “What is man?”

The fire

We have been so blessed recently as a family. God has provided in many different ways for us, even a place to live while we are home on this trip as our kids do some testing for school. Some friends of ours have a  furnished home in a patch of woods not far from our home church and they let us stay there when we are in town. The kids love it out there. There are lots of trees, and occasionally the old ones fall down and need to be taken care of.  So I usually do some cleaning up with the chainsaw whenever we are in town. It also gives me a reason to do something else I love, bonfires. Continue reading “The fire”

I know, but….

As many of you know I recently spent the day at the hospital. Even after a year and a half in another country you can eat things that just mess you up. I am feeling a little better but the doctors never quite figured out exactly what is wrong with me. I really wanted to think I was getting better even though I knew something was wrong. Even after three weeks I was drinking lots of fluids and even went for a three mile run shortly after getting here to Ocala. I neglected going to see a doctor because of wanting to go see family and spend time with my dad who I pretty much only see once a year. Everyone kept telling me I ought to go to see doctor, but I just kept saying “I know, I know but…” followed by an excuse. Well, after seeing some family but starting to feel worse and worse, I finally broke down and went to the hospital. They said I should have come a long time ago. I was dehydrated and they ran many tests but never quite found out exactly what was wrong with me. But I actually was very sick. The funny thing is that I had deceived myself into thinking that everything was alright. The same is true of our spiritual lives as well.  Continue reading “I know, but….”