Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
I was reading my devotional today, learning how the Apostle Paul was chosen of God to preach salvation to the gentiles. Before the Lord stopped him in his tracks on the way to imprison believers in Damascus, he had the reputation of hating and persecuting those in the “Way”. (Acts 9)
Paul admitting that he was chief among sinners acknowledges that it was God’s mercy and grace that turned him around: (1 Timothy 1:15)
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”. 1Timothy 1:12-14
God understands our ignorance and unbelief. Jesus openly acknowledged it on the cross and forgave us and the very ones who were crucifying Him. (Luke 23:34)
But with the knowledge of the Truth, there is no excuse for unbelief and turning away from the only way to salvation. Once Saul was converted to Paul by seeing the Truth, he no longer remained ignorant. Paul understood God’s mercy and grace and became a champion in propagating the gospel to those who were near (Jews) and to those who were far away (gentiles).
In his letter to the Ephesians he demonstrates the meaning of God’s Grace and Salvation by explaining it is not through knowledge and works of our own that we are saved, but rather faith; Faith in who, you might ask, faith in Jesus Christ .
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
But not only does He save us, but He maintains our salvation in faith by giving us knowledge through understanding of His Word. So therefore, His grace and loving kindness is everlasting. He is the author and finisher of our faith, keeping us sealed in His unconditional love. He understands our weakness, and empowers us with His Holy Spirit.
(John 16:7, Hebrews 12:2)
Peter, the disciple became Peter the Apostle, even after denying His Lord, three times. He was restored by God’s mercy and grace, going on to strengthen others while preaching the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through his weakness, he learned to rely on Jesus Christ who promised to intercede for Him .
( Matthew 26:34, Luke 22:32, Acts 2: 14-42)
Perhaps you are ignorant of the truth about Jesus Christ. Know that God understands and wants you to know the Truth. God is so merciful that He sent His Son, to pay the price for your sin, and cleanse you by His sacrifice and blood. God is a Holy God (Psalm 99) and cannot tolerate sin, nor abide with sinners. But through His great mercy and grace, He sent His Son in the flesh , who knew no sin, to take on the judgment and punishment for us all. It is therefore faith in Christ’s work on the cross that saves a sinner from eternal separation from God. It is faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection that reconciles a sinner to God. Therefore those who have faith, escape His judgment. Only faith in Jesus Christ pleases a Holy God, for He has required it (Hebrews 11:6). All our righteous acts are as filthy rags in comparison to God’s Righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, if we are to come into the presence of a Holy God, then we must come before Him covered by Christ’s righteousness (Ephesians 1:7). Having knowledge of this truth; ask God to forgive you of your sins (disobedience towards Him) and accept His way of reconciliation through believing in His Son, Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 5:8
Perhaps you are a believer, and have fallen away from following Christ in obedience and service. There is no condemnation to those who remain in faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). All you have to do is acknowledge your ignorance concerning your walk, and accept Christ’s forgiveness. He is interceding for you right now (Romans 8:34). Just as he understood Peter’s weakness, and Paul’s ignorance, He understands you. He will work everything for good for His purpose (Romans 8:28). He is waiting for you to turn back to Him and follow His Word.
My Testimony of God’s Grace
I once was very strong in my faith and in my service. I went astray and committed blasphemy through ignorance of His Word. Satan accused me day and night. I believed I was condemned ( Romans 8:1). Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of my faith restored me to Himself (Hebrews 12: 1-2). I have learned from my error and now abide in His Word, encouraging other believers in their faith.
Know therefore, Christ’s sacrifice and love covers all your sin; present, past and future (1John 1:9). He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him as a loving and merciful God. He is waiting for you to confess, once again faith and trust in His unconditional love and grace.
He can’t love you more or less than He already does, His love is perfect. Neither can He demonstrate a greater love than the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Accept His Testimony of Grace.
( 1 John 4:18, Psalm 103:10, Psalm 52:8)
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns?No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:31-35