Faith and Acceptance
As your conscience has been quickened by the Holy Spirit, you have seen
something of the evil of sin, of its power, its guilt, its woe; and you
look upon it with abhorrence. You feel that sin has separated you from
God, that you are in bondage to the power of evil. The more you struggle
to escape, the more you realize your helplessness. Your motives are
impure; your heart is unclean. You see that your life has been filled with
selfishness and sin. You long to be forgiven, to be cleansed, to be set
free. Harmony with God, likeness to Him--what can you do to obtain it?
It is peace that you need--Heaven's forgiveness and peace and love in
the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot
attain to it; you can never hope, by your own efforts, to secure it. But
God offers it to you as a gift, "without money and without
price." Isaiah 55:1. It is yours if you will but reach out your hand
and grasp it. The Lord says, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be
as wool." Isaiah 1:18. "A new heart also will I give you, and a
new spirit will I put within you." Ezekiel 36:26.
You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have
resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash
away your sins and give you a new heart. Then believe that He does this because
He has promised . This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was
on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we must believe we do
receive, and it is ours. Jesus healed the people of their diseases when
they had faith in His power; He helped them in the things which they could
see, thus inspiring them with confidence in Him concerning things which
they could not see--leading them to believe in His power to forgive sins.
This He plainly stated in the healing of the man sick with palsy: "That
ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then
saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto
thine house." Matthew 9:6. So also John the evangelist says, speaking
of the miracles of Christ, "These are written, that ye might believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have
life through His name." John 20:31.
From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may
learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins.
Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer
was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus
bade him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." The sick man might
have said, "Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy
word." But, no, he believed Christ's word, believed that he was made
whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he
did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was
In like manner you are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins;
you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to
do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You
confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him.
Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you
believe the promise,--believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,--God
supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic
power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if
you believe it.
Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, "I
believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has
Jesus says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe
that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24. There is a
condition to this promise--that we pray according to the will of God. But
it is the will of God to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and
to enable us to live a holy life. So we may ask for these blessings, and
believe that we receive them, and thank God that we have received
them. It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand
before the law without shame or remorse. "There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.
Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price. "Ye
were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold;... but with
the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
spot." 1 Peter 1:18, 19. Through this simple act of believing God,
the Holy Spirit has begotten a new life in your heart. You are as a child
born into the family of God, and He loves you as He loves His Son.
Now that you have given yourself to Jesus, do not draw back, do not
take yourself away from Him, but day by day say, "I am Christ's; I
have given myself to Him;" and ask Him to give you His Spirit and
keep you by His grace. As it is by giving yourself to God, and believing
Him, that you become His child, so you are to live in Him. The apostle
says, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk
ye in Him." Colossians 2:6.
Some seem to feel that they must be on probation, and must prove to the
Lord that they are reformed, before they can claim His blessing. But they
may claim the blessing of God even now. They must have His grace, the
Spirit of Christ, to help their infirmities, or they cannot resist evil.
Jesus loves to have us come to Him just as we are, sinful, helpless,
dependent. We may come with all our weakness, our folly, our sinfulness,
and fall at His feet in penitence. It is His glory to encircle us in the
arms of His love and to bind up our wounds, to cleanse us from all
Here is where thousands fail; they do not believe that Jesus pardons
them personally, individually. They do not take God at His word. It is the
privilege of all who comply with the conditions to know for themselves
that pardon is freely extended for every sin. Put away the suspicion that
God's promises are not meant for you. They are for every repentant
transgressor. Strength and grace have been provided through Christ to be
brought by ministering angels to every believing soul. None are so sinful
that they cannot find strength, purity, and righteousness in Jesus, who
died for them. He is waiting to strip them of their garments stained and
polluted with sin, and to put upon them the white robes of righteousness;
He bids them live and not die.
God does not deal with us as finite men deal with one another. His
thoughts are thoughts of mercy, love, and tenderest compassion. He says,
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon
him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." "I have
blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy
sins." Isaiah 55:7; 44:22.
"I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord
God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." Ezekiel 18:32. Satan is
ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take
every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul; but you must
not permit him to do this. Do not give ear to the tempter, but say,
"Jesus has died that I might live. He loves me, and wills not that I
should perish. I have a compassionate heavenly Father; and although I have
abused His love, though the blessings He has given me have been
squandered, I will arise, and go to my Father, and say, 'I have sinned
against heaven, and before Thee, and am no more worthy to be called Thy
son: make me as one of Thy hired servants.'" The parable tells you
how the wanderer will be received: "When he was yet a great way
off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his
neck, and kissed him." Luke 15:18-20.
But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of
expressing the infinite compassion of the heavenly Father. The Lord
declares by His prophet, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. " Jeremiah
31:3. While the sinner is yet far from the Father's house, wasting his
substance in a strange country, the Father's heart is yearning over him;
and every longing awakened in the soul to return to God is but the tender
pleading of His Spirit, wooing, entreating, drawing the wanderer to his
Father's heart of love.
With the rich promises of the Bible before you, can you give place to
doubt? Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to return, longs to
forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from coming to His feet
in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can hurt your own soul
more than to entertain such a conception of our heavenly Father. He hates
sin, but He loves the sinner, and He gave Himself in the person of Christ,
that all who would might be saved and have eternal blessedness in the
kingdom of glory. What stronger or more tender language could have been
employed than He has chosen in which to express His love toward us? He
declares, "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not
have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I
not forget thee." Isaiah 49:15.
Look up, you that are doubting and trembling; for Jesus lives to make
intercession for us. Thank God for the gift of His dear Son and pray that
He may not have died for you in vain. The Spirit invites you today. Come
with your whole heart to Jesus, and you may claim His blessing.
As you read the promises, remember they are the expression of
unutterable love and pity. The great heart of Infinite Love is drawn
toward the sinner with boundless compassion. "We have redemption
through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Ephesians 1:7. Yes, only
believe that God is your helper. He wants to restore His moral image in
man. As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw
near to you with mercy and forgiveness.