In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ. Ephesians 1:7-9
Has the Lord Jesus forgiven your sins? -- all of them? -- even that super-secret, really bad transgression?
Years ago I called upon one of my members who had lost a leg to diabetes. As I visited him, he told me that he was experiencing "phantom pain." Phantom pain was a new concept to me.
I looked it up. I learned amputees often have very real pain or feeling coming from a limb that has been removed. Their minds tell them their missing hand can make a fist; the lost leg can hold their weight; their missing finger needs to be itched; the amputated foot is hurting.
In the same way, I know Christians who have a spiritual phantom pain.
They feel convicted by a sin that God had long since taken away.
Their spiritual phantom pain is very real, although the sin is not. The sin is gone, as far as the east is from the west; it is gone (see Psalm 103:12). The Bible tells us, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). The Bible goes out of its way to inform us that "... the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7b).
Without qualification or restriction, without condition, limitation, or hesitation, the Bible tells us God's people can commit no sin that is stronger than the Savior's blood-bought forgiveness. That means, if your repentant heart still doesn't "feel forgiven," you can be sure that feeling comes from Satan and not from your Savior.
So what can you do?
You've carried around that sin for too long; you need to hear the reassurances of God's Word. You need to know and believe you are forgiven. God's Word reassures you of this fact: you are, in God's eyes, a new creature. Christ's death -- Christ's resurrection on the third day -- assures you that your sins are gone.
Even the worst of your sins is gone.
That's right. Jesus' nail-pierced hands have taken that sin, torn it up, thrown it down, and ground it into a powdery dust, which has blown away.
That is what the Savior has done for you.
It is what He has done for all of us. This is why we who have been given faith can be confident of our forgiveness and spend our lives rejoicing. We can rejoice because we are people who have been touched by the wonders of God's grace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may know and believe Jesus' blood-bought forgiveness is mine. When Satan accuses me of a forgiven sin, may I be confident that Jesus' victory at the open tomb is my assurance of Your great love. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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