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Free, Full, Final, Forever, Forgiveness

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2 Corinthians 12:9 But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me.

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No doubt you, like me, hate it when you stuff up; when you fail God, when you fall short in your thoughts, words and deeds in responding to His amazing love; and the guilt of our weaknesses … well, it weighs you down.

You may have noticed here in these Fresh devotional messages that I’m not backward in coming forward in sharing my own weaknesses and failures with you. And there’s a reason for that. You know that old saying … no man is a total loss; he can always be used as a bad example.

Even if, with every fibre of our being, we want to honour God all the time, some days I’m going to fall short and other days you’re going to fall short. And here’s what can happen. Because of our natural weaknesses, our sense of failure and inadequacy can stunt our growth in Christ. They hold us back from being all that God made us to be. Contrast that with the Apostle Paul’s attitude:

2 Corinthians 12:9 But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me.

He isn’t afraid to boast in his weaknesses either, because he knows that the very reason that God’s power is at work in him is because … no, he isn’t perfect. Neither are you and I.

I love how J Sidlow Baxter puts it … We have free, full, final, forever forgiveness in the atoning work of Christ.

We can have complete confidence in Christ because of what He’s done. So don’t be afraid of your weaknesses. Don’t let your sense of inadequacy stunt your growth.

So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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Ethan Crawshaw

Dear Kerri-anne,
It was great to hear from you – thanks for inviting us to address your very important question!
One thing which struck me as I read your email was the argument that, as Jesus was a human being,
it is logical to go straight to God in our prayers, by-passing Jesus, as it were. You are right; Jesus was
fully human but he was also fully God, being at the very beginning of creation.

Consider the amazing claim below from St Paul: Colossians 1:15-20
He (i.e. Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for in him all things in
heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all
things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church, he is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might have first place in everything. For in him all
the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all
things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through the blood of his cross.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches his followers to address God as ‘our Father’ or ‘Abba’ in the
aramaic. It is only when we come to God through faith in Jesus Christ that we are thus entitled to
address God in this familial way. For this reason all Christian prayers have traditionally ended with
phrases like ‘through Jesus Christ, our Lord’ or ‘for Christ’s sake’. The exception is the Lord’s Prayer
itself which is because Jesus himself is the narrator. The writers of the New Testament are at great
pains to stress that Jesus is the one who gave his life for all who would put their trust in him. If he
hadn’t offered his sinless life as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, there would be no means
of forgiveness for us and hence no possibility of our ever being in a fit state to enter heaven.

A number of passages bring out the absolute centrality of Jesus to our faith in God: Acts 4:11, 12
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders (i.e. the religious authorities of his day);
it has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no other name under heaven given among
mortals by which we must be saved.

John 14:6, 7 (words of Jesus)
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know
me, you will know my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
By way of interest, this excerpt from John’s gospel brings out a dimension understood only if one
reads it in the original Koine Greek text. The Greek rendering for ‘I am’ is ‘EGO EIMI’. In Exodus

3:13, Moses asks for an answer from God:
‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The
God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’, what shall I say to
them?” The answer as recorded in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament from
the 3 rd century BC, is ‘EGO EIMI’. This is variously translated as ‘I am who I am’ or I am the I am’. In
fact, these very words from the lips of Jesus, the full meaning of which is lost in English translations,
occur over twenty times in John’s gospel. Thus, Jesus is attesting to his divinity again and again.

May I leave you with some very tender words of encouragement from Jesus himself:
John 15:15
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have
called you friends, for all I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
Kerri-anne, may you be richly blessed as you invite Jesus into your life as both Lord and Master. As
you read the gospels you will come face-to-face with him.
Your brother in Christ,



Kerri-anne Hibberd

I love every fresh issue so much. However, I still find myself struggling. I love God! I love Jesus… But I find trusting Jesus hard. When I go to God, I go straight to God and often bypass Jesus. One day I was musing over this and a voice in my head said “it’s because he was human”. I know that was God’s answer. But no matter how many devotionals I read, I can’t find anything to help me with this issue 😥. Is there anything you could suggest?



Stephanie

Thanks for reminder, that God makes me strong in my weakness (ineptness, negative thoughts and self deprication). God is strong enough to create the entire world (& then some), Jesus raised Himself, (or with Abba, daddy’s help 3 in 1) from the grave, Holy Spirit guide, and full of power.