Am I Forgiven?
by Gail Ramsey
You promised in your Word that "If we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9); but it seems like people aren't as willing to give us the forgiveness that you are, especially church people.
I continually see more judgement, criticism, and unforgiveness in the church than I do in the world. How am I supposed to deal with this?
Your Disappointed Daughter
One of the most powerful tools the enemy uses to keep you from walking into your divine destiny is the opinion of others. If satan can keep you from receiving God's grace, then He can keep you in bondage forever. God's opinion of you makes mans' opinion irrelevant!
You quoted the perfect scripture for your situation. (I John 1:9) That's God's Word. God backs His Word. God's Word never changes.
When you repent for you sins, God washes you in the precious blood of His Son, Jesus, and you become justified. "Justified" means just-as-if-I'd never sinned! God says: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)
Satan, however, tries to convince you that you haven't been totally forgiven. He often uses people to speak through, Christian people as well as the unsaved. If he can stop you from receiving the grace (unmerited favor) of God, then he can stop you from walking in the fullness of the power that Jesus died to give you. The blood of Jesus washes you COMPLETELY clean! This is the awesome privilege we have as Christians! We can go to God when we sin and KNOW that if we truly repent from our heart, He forgives us, washes us white as snow, and remembers our sin NO MORE! (Read Jeremiah 31:34) The unsaved person does not have this privilege.
The great apostle Paul must have dealt with this problem a great deal. Before Jesus opened his eyes, Paul hated Christians. He murdered them! Imagine the criticism, skepticism, and slander that he must have endured after he repented and God forgave his sins! Perhaps that's why he said "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13&14) Surely Paul would never have gone on to write two thirds of the New Testament had he not been able to tune out the opinions of man and tune in to the voice of God. I encourage you to be like Paul. Keep your eyes on the prize!
Gail Ramsey, an ordained minister, portrayed the role of Susan Moore on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. She had other roles on the TV programs Mike Hammer, Generations and California Dreams. Today, Ramsey leads Semeion Ministries, where readers can write her at P.O. Box 77, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.