March 2007



As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were your in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 1 Peter 1:14-16

1.         "In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Eph 6:16

Scripture clearly identifies Satan as the great accuser. The Roman shield which serves as the metaphor in this passage was so large the soldier could stand behind it while pitched arrows were shot toward them. The Roman shield was treated with special chemicals which would quench the arrows when they struck the shield. Let us quench Satan's accusations by picking up the shield of God's pro­mised forgiveness in Christ.

2.         There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus -Rom 8:1.

Christ's death on the cross has paid the penalty for all our sin, past, present and future. We are innocent of all sin when it comes to the threat of divine judgment and hell which the unbelieving will face at the Great White Throne of judgment - Rev 20:11-15.

3.          If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse
             us from all
unrighteousness. 1 John 1:12

Even after we are forgiven legally by God as our righteous Judge and are delivered from the threat of damnation in hell, we still need to keep our communion unhindered through ongoing confession as a child before a loving Father. Just as sin can harm the relationship between a child and parent, sin still hinders our relationship with our Father even though Christ paid the penalty for all our sins. But the sins which we commit after our salvation still need to be freshly forgiven to maintain the purity and intimacy of our communion with our God, otherwise we will grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit -Eph 4:30. [Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.]

4.            As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from
              us. Psalm 103:12

If we have been saved, all our sins in a legal sense have been removed from us. Never again will we face God as a judge with hell at stake. The threat of judgment and damnation has been removed from us. As Ps 103 states, our sins have been removed from us so far they are infinitely separated from us as the metaphor of the distance between the east and the west illustrates.

5.            For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:14

God knows that until we are glorified and as long as sin dwells within us, Romans 7, we are going to have many occasions where we are going to have to confess our sins and receive "paternal" forgiveness from our heavenly Father.

6.            Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; Romans 8:33

When we placed our faith in Christ, believing that His death on the cross paid for all of our sins, God justified us. Our all knowing God has declared that in Christ we are holy and blameless and no one can bring a charge against us for any sin that we commit because Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us. His righteousness has been reckoned or credited to our account. We thus can boldly come before our infinitely holy God before whom we are laid bare and receive grace to help us in our time of need notwithstanding the sad reality that we still fall short of God's righteous standards and we still sin against the God we would die for if martyrdom were required of us - Heb 4:13,16.

7.           If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness
 with You, that You may be feared.
Psalm 130:3-4

We are not to presume upon God's promise always to forgive us when we come to Him with sincere confession. Our response should be one of homage and obedience. Our infinitely holy God readily forgives us because of the sufficiency of Christ's holy, perfect sacrifice of Christ which fully satisfied the demands of God's justice.

8.          The more we are forgiven by God, the greater should be our loving obedience in response to such underserved, divine mercy and grace. Luke 7:40-47. 

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427