Freely you have received; freely give.
—Matthew 10:8b (NIV)
Freely you are forgiven. Freely you receive. Freely you give it away. This freedom is the marvelous result of the Grace of Jesus Christ working in your life. But perhaps you don't live it. Maybe you don't live in His freedom because you don't “get” in your mind what He has given you.
Forgiveness costs you nothing. But it cost Jesus His life. He paid the whole debt for your complete forgiveness. What does His work of Grace mean in your life? You don’t withhold from others what He has freely given you. No one owes you for your forgiveness. There is nothing they have to do or to act upon for you to forgive them. The perfect work of Grace teaches that by faith, you have received His blameless life for your sinful one. The Grace of Jesus that saved you is now freely yours without any cost—without fear of punishment—without fear of rejection—without debt. There is no one to blame.
Human love has conditions. It says, “I will forgive you if you forgive me.” The love of Jesus is unconditional. It says, “I forgive you without cost. There is nothing you have to do to win my love.” You may have asked Jesus into your heart, but if His Grace has not transformed the way you think and you can’t forgive yourself for the sins that Jesus has forgiven, then how can you forgive someone else?
If you believe you are unforgivable or unacceptable, then you, in turn, become the same way toward others. If you don't think Jesus forgives you, you pass along that debt to others. They owe you affection and love. They owe you attention. When you have a revelation of what His Grace accomplished for you on Calvary, you can forgive yourself as He has forgiven you. You have no debt to pass along to others. However, if you don’t understand (just like the servant in the parable in Matthew 18), you don’t believe your debt has ended. In your misunderstanding, you pass along a debt that someone else can never pay. To be set free, you need to be molded by the Word of God and seek His spiritual awakening to the Grace He has poured into your life.
You have no debt. Jesus, who had no sin, became your sin so that you might become His very righteousness—so you might receive his blameless life. He came, not to condemn, but that the world, through His Grace, might be saved. There is no more need to blame anyone—not yourself or anyone else. Guilt, shame, and fear of punishment are over. You are free to live an abundant life filled with His Grace.
Yes, He disciples you, but discipleship is not a burden. It is joyful and rewarding when you know who you are in Jesus—when you realize the cost He paid so you might be free of sin’s condemnation. You don’t have to grovel and plead for God to accept you. Jesus tore down the wall that separated you from His Father. He gave you His Father as your own. You, who have received forgiveness, can forgive yourself and others without cost.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher