What’s Been Forgiven Stays Forgiven
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t hold a grudge or keep account of our offences? In fact, He doesn’t just not keep an account. He deliberately chooses to cast our sins far away, to the extent that Heaven has no record of them once the penalty for them is under the blood of Jesus. So, our righteousness before God stands on the work of Jesus Christ alone, not our good works.
Nor are we made disqualified for His grace because of our human frailty and our old nature which is given to sin. Wherever and whenever we miss the mark we have an Advocate [1 John 2:1] with the Father Who ever lives to make intercession for us.
Now it is common to all of us, sometimes, to be confronted in our thoughts by things of the past, our offences toward others and the offences of others toward us. In such times we may be tempted, in the unguarded moment, to begin to let those thoughts dredge up old feelings and emotions that have long since been forgiven and put under the blood of Jesus. If we are wise we will quickly take those thoughts captive and put them out of our minds. Instead, we will seize the moment to reaffirm the forgiveness by which they have been removed far from us — forgiveness for ourselves and forgiveness for those who offended us, not allowing them to take route and slowly entangle us in the bondage of unforgiveness.
The only one who would bring those things us to us is the devil, and we do not have to allow him to do it. But we need to be on our guard, because he is cunning [and lurks about trying to find a moment when we are most vulnerable to subtly remind us of our past and thus bring us down to destruction [1 Peter 5:8].And we know it is the devil, because the things that he brings up are never of something good, true, noble, virtuous, praiseworthy or just. It is always something that is intended to bring strife, division, stress, accusation or contempt against another person or against us.
God will never do that to us. His thoughts are always to edify and build us up, never to tear us down or diminish us or another person in our eyes. So should we, also make it our heart’s determination to do likewise.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” Ephesians 5:1