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Forgiveness of Sins

Booklet Outline:

Overview
A. Receiving Forgiveness
     Key Scriptures for Meditation
     Steps in Confession and Forgiveness
     Some Scriptures for Identification of Sins
     Some Scriptures for Things to Receive from Christ and to Put On.
     Questions for Meditation or Discussion
     A Summary Prayer
B. Extending Forgiveness
     Some Scriptures for Meditation
     Steps in Extending Forgiveness to Others


Overview

Manís sinful ways began in the garden of Eden. God gave Adam free reign in the garden but told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was asking man to trust and depend upon Him instead of determining for himself what was best for him. God warned Adam of the consequence of disobedience: "The soul that sins shall die."

God created a woman to be a helper for man. The pair had daily fellowship with God, which they lost when Eve, deceived by Satan, succumbed to the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit and then gave some to Adam.

Adam and Eve did not die physically when they sinned, but their spirit became separated from God. They lost access to the continual impartation of Godís life into them.

When the time came for their customary fellowship with God, the couple felt the guilt of their sin and were ashamed of themselves. Be-cause of their shame, they tried to cover their private parts. When confronted with only their self-made covering, they tried to blame others for their sin rather than admitting their own wrongdoing and taking personal responsibility for it. This only compounded their guilt, which built up more shame. This pattern of sin, guilt, shame, and blame still exists and is part of the reactions and feelings of many.

God pursued Adam and Eve, confronted them with their sin, and exposed their self-made coverings and excuses for what they were--worthless. But God also provided another way; He killed one of His own creation to make a covering of animal skin for them. The death of the animal was a symbolic representation of the death that was due to Adam and Eve. Throughout the Old Testament, God provided the shedding of blood--the giving of the life of an animal--as the means of dealing with the sins of man.

This sacrifice of animals was still only symbolic of what must be done. God sent His Son Jesus as man, as the complete sacrifice for our sin. Jesus willingly took our sins upon Himself, enduring the punishment of suffering and death that was due us.

Now, when we acknowledge our need of Jesus as our Savior, and confess our sins, we can receive Godís forgiveness. Jesusí righteousness becomes ours, and our sins become His, through the confession of our sins and our belief in and acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. We can experience freedom from the guilt and shame of our sins by receiving and giving Godís forgiveness of sins.

A. Receiving Forgiveness

The Biblical word "forgive" is translated from the Greek word "aphiemi" which, according to Vineís Dictionary of New Testament Words, means "to send away from," or "to depart." God wants our sins sent away--removed--from us. Sin enslaves us, causing us to sin repeatedly. Sin breeds sin. Ephesians 2:1-3 says that we were all slaves to sin. God wants us to accept His way, the sacrifice He has provided for the removal of our sins, and the impartation of His nature into us. God wants our sins to be put on Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He is the one of whom Isaiah prophesied:

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrowsÖ But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquitiesÖ the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJ)

The forgiveness of sins is the foundational blessing of being a Christian. I no longer need to fear Godís wrath, since Jesus took my sin upon Himself and bore Godís wrath on my behalf. I no longer need to fear continuing to live in sinful ways, since Jesus overcame sin for me. He said, "No!" to sin for me, and now He is able to impart His life and His righteous-ness into me. He not only died FOR sin for me, He also died TO sin for me. Now I can receive from Him a life that wants my old ways to be put to death, and a new life of holiness through the power of His Holy Spirit to grow daily.

The strongholds caused by unconfessed sin can therefore be removed. The strongholds of sinful behavior patterns, addictions, hopelessness, guilt, shame, despair, and the weight of sin, can therefore be broken. I can confess my old sinful ways, and I can live in the new ways available to me through the impartation of the life of Christ.

Meditating on Scriptures can increase our faith and understanding; following the steps listed below can help appropriate these truths.

Key Scriptures for Meditation

Psalms 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NKJ)

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJ)

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)

Ephesians 4:22-24
...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (NKJ)

Romans 5:17
For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

Romans 13:14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (NKJ)

Steps in Confession and Forgiveness

1. Acknowledge your need of a Savior to pay for your sin and to give you a new life of freedom from your sinful ways. Thank God that He has provided Jesus to do this. Ask Jesus to live in you, helping you to confess your sins and to bring your sinful ways to death.

2. By ourselves we cannot see the depths of our sin, having trained ourselves to ignore, rationalize, or cover it up. Therefore, ask the Spirit to show you particular sins you need to confess. (Psalms 139:23)

3. Confess the whole sin, not just the wrong action. Confess also the sinful attitudes and desires that caused the wrong action. See these old ways and attitudes being put upon Jesus. (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 4:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21, cited above) Remember, "The Lord laid on Him the iniquities of us all."

4. Receive Godís forgiveness. See the blood of Jesus cleansing you from this sin and its ways within you, and sprinkled on the book of life in heaven. Realize that your sin has been blotted out of Godís remembrance through Jesusí blood.

5. Present yourself to God; ask Him to impart His ways to you, through Jesusí life in you. See Him giving you something to replace your sin. (i.e., forgiveness for resentment, love for anger, truth for lying) Receive His ways into your self. (Ephesians 4:24, Romans 5:17 &13:14)

6. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower the new ways, so that they will be written on your heart. (Acts 1:8; Philippians 2:13)

7. Thank God for His provision for forgiving, cleansing, and imparting new life to you. All this is offered to you through Jesus--through His suffering and death, His Holiness, His reigning in heaven for you and His life in you.

8. Repeat this process as the Holy Spirit reveals other things for you to confess. (As a starting point, consider the sins listed in the pass-ages below) When you have "put off" something, remember to "put on" something of Christ in its place. (For an idea of what to "put on," see the Scriptures listed below.) Your focus is then on manifesting the new things God has given you. The changes God has brought about will soon become obvious to all--including yourself.

Some Scriptures for Identification of Sins

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you before-hand,... that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJ)

Ephesians 5:3-4
But fornication and all unclean-ness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fit-ting, but rather giving of thanks. (NKJ)

Colossians 3:8
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (NKJ)

Some Scriptures for Things to Receive from Christ and to Put On

Ephesians 4:24-25
...and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteous-ness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. (NKJ)

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithful-ness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJ)

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (NKJ)

Colossians 3:14
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (NKJ)

Questions for Meditation or Discussion

What are results of sin according to Romans 3:23 and Ephesians 2:1?

 

What does this mean to you?

 

Who is the originator of sin? (John 8:44)

 

What will happen to him and to those who have lived with him? (Matthew 25:41)

 

What is Godís desire? (2 Corinthians 5:15)

 

A Summary Prayer

Father, I confess that I have sinned against You and Your ways. Thank You that You have provided Jesus as the way for me to be separated from my sins and from my sinful ways. Help me to live with You in daily confession and repentance, through Jesus. Amen.

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B. Extending Forgiveness

Jesus offers forgiveness to all. While on the cross He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Through Jesusí desiring that we be forgiven, God extends forgiveness to us. God will work situations in our lives to help us recognize and confess our sins, and to receive His forgiveness for them.

However, Jesus desires that all be forgiven. He calls us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Only as we extend forgiveness to others can we experience complete forgiveness ourselves. Jesus taught us to pray, "Forgive us in the same way we forgive others" (Matthew 6:12). Jesus said that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven. (Matthew 6:14).

God wants the best for us. He knows that unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment remaining in us, will lead to anger, rage, and anxieties, which will eat away at us. He calls us to let Him deal with those who hurt us, reminding us that if they do not confess their sin, they will one day have to answer to Him. Our forgiveness of those who hurt us does not release them from their sin in their own relationship with God. God will judge the sins of all people, even those we have forgiven. Only those who have brought their sins under the cross of Christ through confession will escape the righteous wrath of Godís judgment.

By our forgiveness, we are extending Christís love to those who have hurt us. We are saying that we will retaliate with love rather than vengeance. God may at times ask us to confront those who have hurt us, expressing our love for them, but also warning them of Godís day of judgment. We are thereby following the admonition of Jesus,

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

As Spirit-filled and Spirit-led Christians, we have the authority of Jesus to forgive others. Jesus said,

"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:22-23 NKJ)

The Greek word translated "forgive" in this text has the sense of Ďletting go" or "leaving." The same word is used in Matthew 4:11 when the devil "left" Jesus. The word is used again in Matthew 4:20 when the disciples "left" their nets and followed Jesus, or in verse 22 when the disciples "left" the boat. The idea is that we can pray that those who sin against us will leave their sinful ways--that they will know their sin and the power and grace God has to free them and to enable them to change their ways. The Holy Spirit can enable us to "see" them forgiven, changed and cleansed by God.

Our forgiving them does not of itself change them; we are not using witchcraft; they must, through their own will, personally come to Christ and receive His forgiveness and His life. What we are changing is our attitudes toward them. We are seeing them forgiven as God would have them. We are simply receiving and acting upon the mind and will of Christ, Who said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

The Bible says,

"If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death." (1 John 5:16 NKJ)

When we see a brother sin, (assuming it is not a sin unto death) we can pray not only for his forgive-ness, but also that God will replace the sinful way with His life-- with His ability to do right. Since a "brother" is one who has the same "Father"--one who has also committed himself to Christ--we know that the presence of Jesus within him wants him to be cleansed from all sin. Therefore when we see him sin, we can pray for God to restore and cleanse him, knowing that He will do this because this is what our brother wants and what God wants for him. We in our flesh too often criticize our brothers when they sin, rather than exercising the authority we have to pray for forgiveness and life for them.

We can release to Jesus the hurt, disappointment, grief, etc., that we have experienced because of the sin of others. We no longer have to be affected by mistreatment or abuse. God can heal us, replacing our woundedness with His compassion, healing love, and grace. He can then use us to bring His love, correction, and forgive-ness to others--especially to those who have hurt us. We have personally experienced this and have seen God heal hundreds as they forgive those who have hurt them, release the pain and the hurt to Jesus, and receive His healing.

Some Scriptures for Meditation

Luke 23:34
Then Jesus said, "Father, for-give them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots. (NKJ)

Matthew 6:14-15
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (NKJ)

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (NKJ)

Acts 5:31
"Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (NKJ)

Acts 3:26
"To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." (NKJ)

Romans 4:7
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; (NKJ)

1 John 5:16 (NKJ)
If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.

Steps in Extending Forgiveness to Others

1. Ask God to show you a particular person who has hurt you

2. Receive the desire and the command of Jesus to forgive them (Luke 23:34; Matthew 6:14-15; Acts 5:31)

3. Ask God to forgive the person (Luke 23:34)

4. Release to Jesus the hurt they have caused, asking Him to heal you. (Luke 4:18; 1 Peter 5:7)

5. Forgive the person; extend words of forgiveness to them, praying that they would repent

6. Ask God to bless them by turning them to Himself and leading them to repent (Romans 2:4; Acts 3:26; Matthew 5:44)

7. Repent of any anger or bitterness you are carrying; release it to Jesus, and receive His compassion for them. (The Holy Spirit may show you the woundedness of the offender, helping you to see them as one who has also been hurt.)

8. Thank God that He has let this situation occur so that you may experience more of His healing power for you and more of His mercy toward others.

9. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you specific things brothers in Christ have done that have bothered you. Pray for them. Pray that they would release their wrong or sinful ways or attitudes to Jesus, and that the life of Christ would fill that area of their heart. Repent of any wrong or critical attitudes you have harbored toward them.

10. Thank God for the privilege, authority, and duty you have in forgiving those who have hurt you, and in praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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About Cyrus Ministries International

Rich and Kay Fick are the directors of Cyrus Ministries International. God has anointed and called them to this ministry. Rich, an ex-alcoholic, has personally experienced Godís love, forgiveness, power, healing and restoration. Their ministry involves helping others come out of their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical bondages into the fullness of the Holy Spirit, enabling them to know and live in Godís plan and purposes for them. They minister to individuals, equip churches for ministry, and disciple others in breaking down spiritual bondages over individuals, families, generations, communities and nations. Their calling and vision is to see Godís people living in the spiritual presence and reality of Godís heavenly kingdom as Jesus manifests His life into them and through them on earth.

The ministry has taken them to churches and groups locally and to many locations in the USA, as well as other nations. (Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Romania, India, Israel, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Bolivia). As they travel, Rich and Kay minister healing, train leaders, and teach and disciple, as well as establishing ongoing networking relationships. Cyrus Ministries provides oversight to ministries and churches in other nations, helping them to come into their calling and destiny. Leaders from other nations are invited to come and spend time at the Big Rock location for training and impartation.

The Big Rock Ministry Center offers a meeting place for both small and large groups.Ü There are regular times of prayer, worship, teaching, impartation of the gifts of the Spirit, and fellowship.Ü


Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

MAILING ADDRESS:
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Wasco, IL  60183-0219

MEETING ADDRESS:
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