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Faithful and just

I was confessing a sin this morning and asking the Father for forgiveness. I heard Him then quote 1 John 1:9 to me that says this:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

As soon as I heard these words ring in my spirit, the Lord revealed to me something I had not only never seen before, but I have never heard anyone preach on before. I perceived the Lord saying that His forgiveness, of course is faithful, meaning that there is never a time He withholds it no matter how "bad" the sin is. But it is also just no matter how bad the sin is!

I confess, I secretly set sins on different levels in my heart and thus give some more weight and others less weight. {I have repented for that too!} For instance, in my mind/heart it's fairly easy for me to agree with forgiving someone for breaking the speed limit if they have a "darn good reason" even though the Word mandates that we obey authority where we live. However, it is much more difficult for me to forgive the woman who was guilty of holding a gun to an elderly couples’ heads even though she came from an extremely abusive situation and "didn't know any better."

Along with this sort of cataloging system of sin ranking in my heart, lurks the question; the notion of justice. In the U.S. we generally, as a people group believe in "justice" and because we subscribe to the idea of justice, we are fairly confident that we fully comprehend exactly what justice is. Although we no longer consider ourselves barbarians as such in our penal system, {the way we classify the "justice systems" of some middle eastern countries} we still believe in and execute corporal punishment for particularly heinous crimes, and prison terms for "lesser crimes." This is our idea of "justice." Sure it's not really "an eye for an eye" but it sets our consciences at ease knowing that the "bad guys" get what they "deserve." Can anyone relate?

However, I would like to propose to you that God's justice is not the same as ours. He thinks about justice completely differently as a matter of fact. In the old testament, during the time between Moses and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, God commanded an "eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." It was only law during that two-thousand-year period and then something happened. Jesus came. When Jesus appeared and began His ministry, over and over He encountered people who were caught in their sins. Everyone from the woman actually caught in the act of adultery, to the people who thought that they were sinless because nothing "bad" had happened to them {see Luke 13:1-5}. In each and every case, the Lord admonishes them to just repent and turn to Him so that they could receive forgiveness. What was happening spiritually, however, is that every time someone who was on earth at that time did repent and follow the Lord, God was counting it to them for righteousness and placing their sin in an "earnest" account if you will until the time that Jesus would be resurrected and pour out His blood as atonement on the mercy seat in Heaven. Then of course when He finally did that, the sins were all forgiven and atoned for truly. I am laboring this point because it is imperative that you have a solid understanding here. Once Jesus poured out His blood, all sin for all time was forgiven...period. Thus, when we sin now, whether knowingly or unknowingly, our sin has already been forgiven. However, when we repent from and confess our sin, God faithfully forgives us out of the system He has set up and this forgiveness, He says is justice!!! The reason that it is justice is because God gave His Word that all sin for all time would be atoned for and wiped from memory by the innocent blood of Jesus. {See Hebrews 6:4} Further, He said that "as He {Jesus} is, so are we in this world." {1 John 4:17} Since, therefore, Jesus never sinned and we are as He is, then it is as though we have never sinned and it follows then that forgiveness, no matter how "bad" the sin is the only just thing to offer! This is outstanding! What a revelation, what a paradigm shift! Beloved my prayer for you is that you come to a full understanding of the significance of grace in your life and that you see yourself as God sees you- justly forgiven- so that you do not even so much as think of yourself as "deserving" any "justice" that the wicked one would offer because of what you have done!

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