Forgiveness

Who are we to decide if justice was served when the jury acquitted Casey Anthony of the most serious charges in the murder of her daughter, Caylee, when we are worthy of nothing more than death ourselves?  See what the Bible says about it…

Colossians 2:13 – You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

1 Peter 2:24 – He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

Galatians 1:3-4 – 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

Ephesians 2:1-10 – 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

If you don’t understand what those Bible verses say, then I’ll explain.  ALL of us sin (Romans 3:23) and the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and an eternity in hell.  The only way our sin can be atoned for is death or a blood sacrifice.  Since we can’t sacrifice ourselves because it was cause our death, Jesus took ALL of our sins on himself and he was the sacrifice for ALL our sins, now and forever!  Halleluiah!

There is visions of sacrifice all throughout the Old Testament and the Gospels.  This was how the Jews atoned for their sins using an animal as a substitute.  But, unfortunately for them, this is an imperfect sacrifice and it was only as good as the time the animal was sacrificed.  It dealt with the past sin, but wasn’t good enough to deal with future sins.

We are so privileged to have the opportunity to atone for ALL of sins; past and present.  It’s as easy as A, B, C!

A – Admit you’re a sinner (Romans 3:23) and ask for forgiveness for your sins from God, your Heavenly Father, who loves you (Romans 10:13).

B – Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord (John 3:16) and become His child (John 14:6).

C – Confess that Jesus is Lord of your life (Romans 10:9).

What do you do afterwards?  Just talk to God.  That’s all prayer is..talking.  God doesn’t need fancy words.  Tell Him the things I’ve listed above.  Ask Him to show you what to do.  I suggest you get to know Him by reading about Him in the Bible.  Get a good translation that you can understand.  The King James version isn’t for me and it’s not for everyone.  I suggest a reading plan through YouVersion, an online source for the Bible.  It has great reading plans, which is where the link leads to, and many different translations so you can see what translation works for you.  I like this “Why Does God Love Me” series or the “First Steps Reading Plan“.  It’s only 5 days long!  Personally, I follow the “Life Application Study Bible Devotion“, but have done many of the reading plans.  Some are short, some are long.  Find the one that you like.  YouVersion has mobile phone apps as well.

Spend some time talking to God daily.  You might think that since He knows everything, why would you have to tell Him anything?  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  You can’t get to know God unless you spend some time with Him by reading His Word and talking to Him.  Think about how you’d get to a know a friend and that’s what you should do to get to know God.

The last thing I suggest is to find a good place to get solid Biblical teaching.  Christianity isn’t about religion.  Religion is man’s way of dealing with God.  Personally, I suggest a non-denominational church.  I’ve been to many churches in with many denominations.  Denominations generally are very political and some of them aren’t very Biblical.  Find a church that accepts every person, but is willing to deal with sin.  Click on the link for my church to see what we believe, Countryside Christian Center.  We accept everyone no matter how they dress, talk, look, live.  Everyone is welcome!

God will slowly change your life.  Those habits that need to be changed, God will start to work on you to want to change them.  Becoming a Christian does change you, if you really put your heart into it.  You want to learn to love God and to love others, which is what Jesus calls us to do in Matthew 22:36-40.  Remember, that’s it’s by faith by which you were saved, not by works and not by being “good” (Ephesians 2:8-9) and you won’t be changed unless you want to be.  But, if you start to put the things that you’re learning in your heart, you will WANT to be changed.  I was and I am changed daily, but that’s for another story.

So, I return to Casey Anthony.  Who are we to judge her sins?  Matthew 7:1-4 says, ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”  I say, deal with your own issues and let God deal with Casey’s issues, because her life is going to be filled with judgment and harassment and she will never have a peaceful moment ever again.  And…she will meet her Maker someday, as we all will, and we’ll all have to answer for our lives.