The saying is trustworthy
and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners, of whom I am the
foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV)
Recently a woman came to
me and told me she had been unfaithful to her husband several years ago. Not long
after that another woman told me she had an abortion, and yet another told me
she had been intimate with many men. All of these things took place before
these women were Christians and yet all of these women struggled with remaining
guilt and shame. None of them said they experienced freedom in their Christian
lives, and they all said they felt used, dirty and damaged.
Such is the state of our
world and in this generation where sex is easy many are learning the hard way
that love isn’t free. Sadly these women are finding things are not so easy, and
that indiscriminate sex comes with a price.
Each woman has told me she
cannot forgive herself for these past indiscretions, and in the case of the
woman who aborted her child, she says she cannot forgive herself of killing the
All the women are church going
women who hide behind a mask of fear of being exposed. They fear someone, anyone finding
out who they are and what they have done, so they isolate. They may attend your
Bible study or small group or prayer circle but let me assure you, they are
very alone and trapped in a secret world of pain.
The women attempt various
kinds of penance, wrongly thinking that some sort of restitution is needed and
required by God. One woman promotes marriage weekends, another volunteers at
the crisis pregnancy center, and the last one works in youth group hoping to
steer young woman away from her path of promiscuity.
These dear ladies need to
realize that help and hope and healing are theirs in Christ. The erroneous
message of forgiving yourself is not biblical and nowhere in the Bible can we
find Jesus telling anyone to forgive themselves.
The women I wrote about
today have read the account of the adulterous woman in John 8, are familiar
with Mary Magdalene, and the woman who wept at the feet of Jesus. None of
those women asked Jesus how to forgive themselves; they sought Jesus’ forgiveness
in repentance. When they received forgiveness, they obeyed His command to sin
no more in that manner. They became His followers and lived their lives in
obedience and they began to live for Him.
We could learn a lot from
these women and their immediate response to Jesus. Beloved, when Jesus forgave
them, it was done. His forgiveness was complete and total. When He forgave you,
it was finished the ransom was paid and you were freed!
To ever think that you can
add anything to His payment for your sin or to think you’re your self-abuse
will obtain forgiveness is blasphemy. The guilty feelings that you hang on to
that you somehow believe will help atone for your sin are actually adding sin
to your heart and life!
Some will not accept this
and maintain they must do something believing it is just too easy to just place
it at the foot of the cross; that they must pay a price or have a
penalty- something! Dear
ladies, consider this: if there is more to be done to secure your
forgiveness then Jesus’ sacrifice was incomplete, our redemption is not assured,
and God is a liar.
Rest and trust that He has
paid the penalty for your sin and the truth is that you are complete and secure