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  • Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Repentance, Forgiveness and Restoration

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:12-18

Sin is real, evil is present in the earth. At their core men are not righteous by virtue of human birth. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23] None are righteous. [Romans 3:10]

This is the common state of all mankind from inception. We are all wrought in sin because of the sin of the first man Adam. [Psalm 51:5]

That is where we begin. Sinfulness is where all human life since that fall begins. Though it may be hard for us to acknowledge it, the most precious baby, born just moments ago, is stained with sin, because the very DNA of all mankind has the mark of Adam stamped on it.

So, is there no hope? Is there no remedy for sin? Are we just relegated to live our lives dying in sin, sickness, disease suffering and then death?

Rarely do we hear much about sin today. And in this present culture men have gone to great lengths to normalize and even legislate to legalize sin, dismissing unrighteousness and un-Godly behavior as a human right, a choice, or just an alternative life style. No one is really responsible for their abhorrent behavior, because everyone is a victim and, therefore, their behavior, no matter how egregious and detrimental to another person’s wellbeing, must be protected and dismissed on the basis of “fairness” and “compassion.”

But these are false notions and they only lead to more lawlessness, violence and anarchy which will ultimately bring men to utterly destroy themselves. Sin is born of evil and evil is the work of iniquity. Now iniquity was founded in the fallen angelic creature Satan who was first known at creation as Lucifer, the angel of light, who was called the covering Cherub.

He was established in the highest and most lofty place among the created beings in Heaven. He was bedazzling to look at and he possessed in his make up every precious stone as a covering and every instrument of music in his body. He was essentially the chief worshipper in all creation. He stood as a canopy over the throne of God and the sound and splendor of radiant light reflected from him as he was present with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in all that they did in creating the earth and even man himself. No other Heavenly creation was like him. His position, his person and his function were uniquely associated with God’s glory.

So what happened? How did Lucifer, this angel of light, become Satan, the devil, the founder of iniquity, sin and death?

By pride, by self-deception, self-aggrandizement and rebellion he sought to exalt himself above God.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…” Isaiah 14:12-24

And in Ezekiel it is written:

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thouwast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. hou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more/” Ezekiel 28:11-19

Now this all took place in Heaven before the Garden of Eden was created on the earth and before man was placed in that garden.

But hear the GOOD, GOOD NEWS!

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord…” Acts 3:19
“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Acts 8:22
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30

Before there can be forgiveness, there must be acknowledgement (confession) of sin. If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [1 John 1:8]

But if we acknowledge and confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1John 1:9]

God does not want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to be saved. But He has left the decision to us. We get to choose. God will not force His love on ANYONE.

His love and mercy, His kindness and compassion are the motivations for all that He does toward all humankind. But He is just and He is righteous. He cannot deny Himself. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, the grave, death and sin have been conquered.

Let us therefore give no place to sin and should we miss the mark, fear not, little flock; there is more than enough love, more than enough grace, and more than enough forgiveness to cover our sins. Confess, repent, return to God with a humble heart and He will lift you up.

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