Broken Chains

Text: Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (NRSV)

In my years as a pastor and a military chaplain, I have noticed that one of the hardest things for many people is to forgive themselves.  Maybe another way to say that is, it is seems hard for people to accept the forgiveness that God offers them.

We read in our Bibles that forgiveness is a gift from God and is not based on any work that we must do to receive it.  In our text today, Paul writes that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  And, yet it seems that past sin still somehow has a hold on us.  We beat ourselves up over past mistakes.  We continue to carry the guilt of pour judgement or outright rebellion with us even after God has forgiven us.

Jesus tells us that he came that our joy may be full (see John 15 & 17).  It is hard to be full of joy when I continue to carry guilt and believe that ā€œIā€ must still somehow pay for my sins when Jesus has already paid the penalty of my sin in full.

What is it that you continue to carry with you which God has already forgiven?  What penalty for past sin do you believe you must pay when Jesus has paid it all?

Pray with me.

God of grace and forgiveness, fill me with the joy of a burden that has been lifted.  Break the power of cancelled sin that seems to take over my life at times.  Give me the courage to trust in the truth of your Word that I have been forgiven in the name of Jesus.  AMEN.

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