Monday, October 12, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Forgiveness Is More Than Pardon

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ephesians 2:2, 3 is everyone's life story: we "once walked according to the course of this world, ... in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." Thus we can all see how we are potentially guilty of the sins of others; if we had never been saved by the Lord, think of what frightful evil we could have descended to!

So, "Out of the depths [we] have cried to You, O Lord" (Psalm 130:1). As we review our past, anguish covers us. How could we have been so foolish in our childhood and teenage years? If we had had no Savior, the sins of others would have become ours; we are by nature no better than anyone else. "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" No one.

Then there comes this glorious assurance: "But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared [reverenced]" (vss. 3, 4). The music changes from a sad minor key to a glad major key. The Lord has saved us from ruin. "Henceforth" we live in thanksgiving.

Forgiveness is more than pardon; it's the taking away of the guilt and the taking away of the sin from the heart. We hate it now and never want to do it again. No one can do that for us except the Savior of the world, our personal great High Priest.

Ephesians continues: "God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." From being depressed "in the depths" we are elevated to "sit together in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6).

Two solemn truths stand out: (1) We are "just as the others" (takes us down several notches). We are neither sleeping under freeway passes nor confined in prisons for crimes, due to "God's rich mercy." Let's not be proud. (2) Before we were even born, "by grace [we] have been saved through faith, ... it is the gift of God" (vs. 8).

It's time now to sing His praises forever! And live to His glory, not our own.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 26, 2007.

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