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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.04    Forgiven??? Forgotten???


I’ve been thinking about things from the past lately and want to share some thoughts with you.  I’m not trying to “dig up bones”, so to speak, but I do want to maybe share some insight that I pray will help someone.  I especially pray that you can share this with your children and grandchildren, especially the teens (who so often think they are invincable, and that their choices have nothing to do with their future!).

The first thing that I want to share is that the love of God saves us from “all” sin—past, present and future!

The LORD is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger,

and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide:

neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us

after our sins;

nor rewarded us

according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth,

so great is his mercy

toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is

from the west,

so far hath he removed

our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103:12

God’s mercy and grace are truly amazing, and we can rest assured of His forgiveness when we come to Jesus and are born again. God has never withheld His forgiveness to those who come to Him through faith in Jesus death, burial and resurrection for sin!  And while the “love” of God is truly unconditional, His forgiveness IS totally conditioned on a person’s response to the Gospel.  It’s only Jesus who saves, delivers and forgives—all through His blood shed for me and you.

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power

of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom

of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:12-14

What we sometimes forget, is that forgiveness isn’t an eraser that God uses to eliminate our past—good, bad or indifferent; even though sometimes that causes people to doubt God’s forgiveness.   God’s forgiveness is dependable and secure, but we don’t “forget” the life that we have lived with its opportunities and choices; choices made by us which have consequences that can’t be erased.  But they can be eased in our memory, and God often grants us His grace to redeem and restore the outcomes from some of those choices—but not always.

And I will restore to you

the years that the locust

hath eaten,

the cankerworm,

and the caterpiller,

and the palmerworm,

my great army

which I sent among you.

26 And ye shall eat in plenty,

and be satisfied,

and praise the name of the LORD your God,

that hath dealt wondrously with you:

and my people shall never be ashamed.”    Joel 2:25-26

I take great comfort from this passage, especially in regard to the past, my past, and I pray that it will bring encouragement to you; no matter what situations you find yourself in—whether dealing with choice making or unwanted consequences.  This is a principle that we often fail to convey to the younger generations—we are each free to make our own choices, but we are NOT free to set the consequences of those choices. And the consequences will come—maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will come.  I am sharing this hoping to help you “stand fast in the evil day”; for the enemy will come against us with a vengeance using those issues that we can’t erase.

When these things arise, there is another passage that gives me great comfort from Paul’s letter to the Romans, let’s peruse its depths and mine the treasure of God’s faithful Word!

There is therefore now

no condemnation

to them which are in Christ Jesus,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life

in Christ Jesus

hath made me free

from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do,

in that it was weak

through the flesh,

God sending his own Son

in the likeness of sinful flesh,

and for sin,

condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law

might be fulfilled

in us,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.”   Romans 8:1-4

Jesus paid the price for our (my) sin at Calvary so that we are able to be forgiven and restored to a place of joy.  Paul was answering a question that he put forth in chapter 7, “who can deliver us”!  And the answer is, only God can–through Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for sin—provide the sacrifice which imparts forgiveness of sin and restoration to a relationship with God (“Peace with God” is how Paul describes it in Romans 5:1), and a life that can be lived by the power of God’s Spirit within us!  Even when we fail as believers, God has already provided for our restoration to useful service.

If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

David also shows us the beauty of God’s work of forgiveness, healing and restoration of our fellowship with Him!  And it is this beauty which encourages my heart when those unpleasant things raise their ugly heads!

Hide thy face

from my sins,

and blot out

all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;

and renew a right spirit

within me.

11 Cast me not away

from thy presence;

and take not thy holy spirit

from me.

12 Restore unto me

the joy of thy salvation;

and uphold me

with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors

thy ways;

and sinners

shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,

O God, thou God of my salvation:

and my tongue shall sing aloud

of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips;

and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice;

else would I give it:

thou delightest not

in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God

are a broken spirit:

a broken

and a contrite heart, O God,

thou wilt not despise.”   Psalm 51:9-17

David brought his sin and failure to God in contrition, repentance, and a desire to have GOD restore him back to intimate fellowship after his personal sin. And while God honored David’s request, there were still consequences for David in that forgiveness.  Yet remember that God is ever at work in us, using even our errors and sin for His glory, and our good, with His paint brush of grace.

For as many as are led

by the Spirit of God,

they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received

the spirit of bondage

again to fear;

but ye have received

the Spirit of adoption,

whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness

with our spirit,

that we are the children of God:”   Romans 8:14-16

It is God’s power that restores His own, and as we looked at Hebrews 12 recently, those who are God’s will be disciplined by God (child training in all areas), for  God doesn’t waste anything in our lives, even our past failures and sin, our present difficulties, and even the future is His to use in our lives to make us more like Jesus.  Paul gives us God’s assurance that HE is at work in us always. The issue is whether or not I/we will yield to God’s hand and learn the lessons that He is teaching, or will I/we resist His work, and keep having to ‘re-learn’ His principles over and over again.  And while we may be weak, we are never alone!

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth

our infirmities:

for we know not what we should pray for

as we ought:

but the Spirit itself

maketh intercession for us

with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts

knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession

for the saints

according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things

work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,

them he also called:

and whom he called,

them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?”  Romans 8:26-31

God’s Word says it so wonderfully, and we can be assured of our total security IN Jesus!

For I am persuaded,

that neither death,

nor life,

nor angels,

nor principalities,

nor powers,

nor things present,

nor things to come,

39 Nor height,

nor depth,

 nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us

from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus

our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

So, whatever the enemy throws against you or me—we can overcome every time because:

If God be for us,

who can be against us?

 because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.”   1 John 4:4

My point is, no matter how far we have come, the enemy is ever trying to derail us, but God is greater than our enemy!  Yet I want us to understand that our choices in life are important.  They are important to us personally, they are important to others whom we influence, and they are important to God, that we will be a vessel of Honor in His kingdom, and not a shame to our King!

Nevertheless the foundation of God

standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them that are his.

And, Let every one that nameth the name

of Christ

depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house

there are not only vessels of gold

and of silver,

but also of wood

and of earth;

and some to honour,

and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself

from these,

he shall be a vessel

unto honour,


and meet for the master’s use,

and prepared unto every good work.

22 Flee also youthful lusts:

but follow righteousness,




with them that call on the Lord

out of a pure heart.”    2 Timothy 2:19-22

So, may you ever know that God is at work in us, even when we mess up; but when we mess up, we can find forgiveness and restoration in Jesus.  The thing I want us to grasp and pass on to those in our circle of influence, is that once the words come out of our mouth, we can never take them back.  When we do things that harm ourselves or others, we can never put things back like they were before.  You can never “unhear” or “unsee” that which may defile the heart, mind and soul!  We may be able to restore some things, and some relationships, but others, once lost may never be regained—whether it’s because of our failure or our stand for Jesus.  Simply walk “in the Spirit” and guard your heart with God’s help—and check every thought at the door of Philippians 4:8!

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

I can walk in victory over past, present and future, and so can YOU!!   Amen and Amen!!!