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Repentance and Forgiveness --
Two Gifts from Jesus

BOOKLET OUTLINE:

Repentance through Jesus Christ
     Meditation on repentance
     A Prayer
     A lesson from the Word of God
Forgiveness through Jesus Christ
     Part I. Receiving Godís forgiveness
     Part II. Extending Godís forgiveness to others
     A prayer
     Meditation on forgiveness
          1. Repent
          2. Forgive
          3. Continue living in repentance and forgiveness
A personal note from Rich Fick


Repentance through Jesus Christ

When addressing the high priest and his council, Peter said:

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:30-1 NKJ)

Jesus is our Leader and our Savior. He demonstrated to us a new way of living. He lived in constant communication with His Father, through being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When man had sinned, he lost his communion with God-- his ability to be in continual fellowship with Him. Jesus came to restore us to Godís original plan for us, which was for us to communicate with Him through our spirit and to follow Him as He imparted His ways and His life into us. Jesus called for man to repent, to learn a new way of living from Him. He came to show us the new way, and to be the new way for us. Jesus wants to give us repentance and forgiveness. He preached:

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15 NKJ)

(metanoeo), the Greek word that is translated "repent," implies a change (META) of oneís perception or mind (NOEO). Jesus is saying, "Change your attitudes--the way you think; your purposes--and believe the good news." Jesus demanded repentance. It was necessary to enter into Godís Kingdom. BUT, He also said, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Fatherís good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32, italics added). Jesus recognized manís need, and came not only to offer us a solution, but to BE our solution.

The first and basic need of man is a repentant heart toward God. We have accepted the misconceptions we have been fed--lies like, "God is too busy to care about little people;" "He is an angry God who is just waiting to punish us;" "God is an impersonal force whom we can never really understand or communicate with." Satan, the father of lies, has also told us lies which we have accepted about life and ourselves, such as: "Sin is fun;" "Itís good to be independent;" "You can do it if you try harder;" "Itís no fun to be too holy;" "You can never really be changed, so just make the best of it, or learn to cope with it."

Jesus came into this world of misbeliefs and said, "Repent, and believe the Gospel." He came committed to doing the will of God. He came to show us Godís love and compassion. He came to destroy the lies of the devil which man had received. He came to model for us a new way of living. He came to show us the blessedness of living in the will of God, being dependent upon God for direction and strength. He said:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." .... "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." (John 5:19, 30 NKJ)

"I am the vine, you are the branches ...without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 NKJ)

He recognized our need to be changed--to be converted, to be dependent as He was upon His Father. He said:

"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3 NKJ)

We need to repent; we need to be changed. And the good news is that we can be changed! We can know and experience the blessedness of doing Godís will, of living as He wants us to live, of being empowered by His Holy Spirit and showing others the life and love of our God. Repentance is available to us through Jesus.

Meditation on Repentance

We need new inner desires, a new heart, a new nature. We need to want to become like Christ, freed from our independent nature that wants to do its own thing, and to receive a nature that wants to know and do the will of God. We need to ask God to give us new desires, new attitudes, and new ways of looking at life. We need to know God as our friend, as One who is vitally interested in us, and who wants to live within us, influencing our decisions and actions. We need to repent of our wrong attitudes and desires.

This is what Jesus offers. If we receive into our very being the new life Jesus offers us, and believe by faith that He will come to those who ask Him, we can experience the fruits of repentance. A prayer like the one that follows can begin Godís work in us, which will lead us into ever deeper levels of repentance.

A Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Come into my heart and impart to me Your life--Your attitudes--Your desires. I repent of my self-centered ways and of my self-sufficient attitudes. Come and change me into the person You want me to be. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A Lesson from the Word of God

1. According to 2 Corinthians 5:15, what is one of the reasons Jesus died for us?

 

2. What does God do when we acknowledge our need of Jesus and receive Him, according to John 1:12?

 

3. What is one of the characteristics of a son of God, according to Romans 8:14?

 

4. According to Galatians 5:16, what happens as we are led by the Spirit of God, as Jesus was?

 

5. What are some of the results of following our old ways of living, called "the flesh" in Galatians 5:19-21?

 

6. According to Galatians 5:22-23, what are some of the results of following the Spirit of God?

 

 

7. What does 1 Corinthians 2:14 tell us is the plight of man in his natural state?

 

You and I, and all mankind, have a choice to make. We can remain in our natural state, follow our own ways and live for ourselves--or we can, like Jesus, live to do what we believe God wants us to do. If we receive what Jesus is saying, and believe in His ability to empower us so that we can know and follow His Holy Spirit, we can have a new life. In this new life we will abide with God forever, beginning now.

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Forgiveness through Jesus Christ

When addressing the high priest and his council, Peter said:

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:30-1 NKJ)

Jesus Christ has been exalted by God, to give the gift of forgiveness. We need to be forgiven, and we need to forgive others. While He was on earth, Jesus taught these things to those who came to Him. He modeled a life of forgiveness, culminating in His cry to His Father concerning those who crucified Him, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."

Part one of this section deals with our personally receiving Godís forgiveness; part two deals with our need to forgive others.

Part I. Receiving Godís Forgiveness

The Greek word translated "forgive" (APHIEMI) means "to send forth, to send away" (APO--from; HIEMI--to send). God wants us to be free from the guilt and the power of sin. He wants sin to be sent forth from us. By ourselves, we cannot become free from the guilt and power of sin. We canít get rid of the sin that has become a part of us, enslaving us.

Jesus came to remove from us the desire to sin and the effects of sin in us, and to bear the punishment of our sin. He came to deliver us from the effects of the sins of others -- fear, insecurity, rejection, anxiety, and the like. He came to heal us and to remove from us the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual effects of sin, of sinful people, and of spirits of evil in the world. We can be healed; we can be forgiven; we can be made whole. The Bible says:

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4 NKJ)

"ÖBehold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NKJ)

Jesus, the Light of the world, reveals sin to us. His light will reveal pockets of wrong attitudes, damaged feelings, broken-ness, etc., that are in our heart. He reveals these things to us so that we can bring them to Him. As we bring them to Him, He is able to give us His joy, peace, and love. We can be changed. He will change us.

"...the Lord will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts." (1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJ)

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

The miracles Jesus performed were an evidence of His major purpose--to take our sin upon Himself.

"When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:16-17 NKJ)

Man in his natural state enjoys the "pleasures" of sin. He may seek pardon because he fears the consequences of sin, but he will still try to rationalize or to hide his sin; he is not looking for a new outlook toward it. Jesus Christ came to impart to us a new life--Godís life--a life that hates sin and wants to live separated from it. From the life of Jesus, we can receive a hatred of sin, and through the cross of Jesus we can become separated from the sin we have taken in. We need to let the light of the Spirit of God search our hearts, exposing our sins, our sinful desires, and our sinful attitudes, so that we may bring them to the cross of Jesus Christ and be separated from them. The Bible says:

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19 NKJ)

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh", (Romans 8:3 NKJ)

"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." (Psalm 139:23-4 NKJ)

Godís desire is that we enter into His plan for the sin, pain, sickness, and sorrow present in the world, ourselves, and our generations. His desire is to forgive it--to send it away to the cross of Jesus Christ. Often we have received or allowed sinful attitudes to influence us, to come upon us, to become a part of us. We have been influenced by the wrong attitudes and sinful ways of our parents and ancestors. Instead of refusing these wrong attitudes and ways, we have received them. That is why we have been instructed to confess not only our own sins, but to also confess the sinful ways we have received from parents.

God "visits" the iniquities of the fathers upon the children for up to four generations. However, if we agree with God (confess) that these ways are wrong, we can stand against the spiritual powers that want to hold us, our ancestors, and our descendants in bondage. Through the righteousness of Jesus Christ I can be freed from these "generational tendencies" or ancestral spirits. The Bible says:

"...For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me," (Exodus 20:5 NKJ)

"...The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him-self, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." (Ezekiel 18:20 NKJ

"But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers,...then I will remember My covenant...I will remember the land." (Leviticus 26:40, 42 NKJ)

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Part II. Extending Godís Forgiveness to Others

Godís desire is that we enter into His plan for the sin, sick-ness, pain, and sorrow present in people in the world. The Bible says that Jesus died for all, and that God placed upon Him the sin of us all. Now, Jesus wants to share with us the desire He has for all to experience His love and forgiveness. Are we willing for Him to do that for us? Are we willing to be an instrument of His for others? If we desire to see others punished when they sin against us, we have said, "No!" to Godís plan--for them, and for us!

God blesses us by revealing our sin to us, and He asks that we pray for those who sin against us, praying that they too will be convicted of their wrongdoing and will seek Godís forgiveness and life.

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

"But I [Jesus] say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spite-fully use you and persecute you", (Matthew 5:44 NKJ)

That is why Jesus is so strong in His command for us to forgive others when they sin against us. We should not seek revenge, withdraw out of anger, say, "Itís O.K." when itís not, or resort to any other ungodly responses to a wrong. Rather our attitude should be, "What you did was wrong, but I pray you will repent--seek to be changed. I pray you will want Godís life-changing ability, for He can forgive you--sending your sin away from you--as He has done for me." Jesus said:

"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." (Matthew 6:14,15 NKJ)

Godís plan is not for us to be passive about sin--to ignore it, to let it affect us, or to feel helpless against its power. Rather He calls us to forgive--to speak and stand against it, to pray that the sins of ourselves, our parents, and the world be brought to the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus reigns today so that His plan of repentance and forgiveness can be brought to and manifested in the world--through us.

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJ)

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

Repentance and forgiveness--two precious gifts from God.

A Prayer:

Lord Jesus, live in me and help me to receive these gifts, and to let You personally apply them within all areas of my heart. Help me also to extend them to others. Amen.

          We must be changed--thatís the word from a holy God.

          We can be changed--thatís the good news of the Gospel of Christ.

          We can also be used to share this Gospel experience with others!

Meditation on Forgiveness

1. Repent

The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God will for-give us and cleanse us from our unrighteous ways. We need to confess our sins; that is, we need to admit to God the wrong action we have committed, and ask God to cleanse us from the inner attitudes and desires that precipitated such actions. The important thing is to admit to the wrong behavior. Many people confess their sinfulness but do not receive Godís forgiveness because they do not confess the particular actions they have committed.

Many times we blame others for the wrong things we have done, thinking that their wrong deeds give us the right to appear justified before a holy God. God forgives what we confess, not what we attempt to rationalize away.

Through our old nature--the natural way in which we operate before receiving the nature of Jesus--Satan tries to have us hide our sins from ourselves, and more importantly, from God. Our inner self is very adept at this. That is why we must ask the Holy Spirit of God to search our heart, revealing our sinful actions and ways to us; then we can bring them before God and be forgiven and cleansed from them. We cannot trust ourselves to do this; we need the work of the Holy Spirit to do it. David prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart, and see if there be any unclean way within me." (Psalm 139:23)

Ask the Holy Spirit of God to reveal to you the sins you have committed. As He brings them to your consciousness, admit them to God. See the darkness that is within you as a result of that sin, going into Jesus on the cross; see the light and the righteousness of Christ coming in to occupy that place in your heart. Jesus was made to become sin for us so that we can receive the righteousness of God through Him, according to 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2. Forgive

Jesus died for all mankind. He paid for the sins of all. He wants all people to repent and bring their sins to Him, so that He can impart the life of God into them. Because of the desire of Christ to see me forgiven, and because of His bearing the guilt and punishment for my sins, Godís righteous anger for my sins has been taken care of. The same Jesus Who cries out for me to bring my sins to His cross also cries out for others. God desires and commands me to extend the same mercy He has shown and given to me, to be given by me to others. That is why Jesus said that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven.

Many of us have been deeply hurt by others. We have deep pain because of the sins of others. We would like to forgive, but we seem unable to live in forgiveness toward those who have so deeply wounded us. Jesus still says, "Forgive them." However, He does not leave us in this helpless state. He offers to take upon Himself the pain we have borne. Isaiah 53:4 tells us that He has borne our griefs and our sorrows. He will not only take our pain upon Himself; He will also impart into our spirit the ability to forgive others. He reigns as ruler of the universe to give repentance and forgiveness to us (Acts 5:31). Receive from Him, through the power of His Holy Spirit, the ability to forgive.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind people who have hurt you. Repent of the anger, bitterness, and resentment you carry, and release these things to Jesus, along with the pain that has come into your inner being. Receive His desire and ability for you to forgive them. Finally, cry out to the Father with Jesus, "Father, for-give them, for they know not what they do." You might begin with those closest to you, dealing with any unresolved anger or bitterness you feel toward them. Ask God to fill you with His love and compassion for those who have hurt you. Pray that through you, these people will come to know the love and forgiveness of God.

Then, deal with parents and other close friends as the Holy Spirit brings them to your mind. As you do this, enter into Godís plan for those who have hurt you, asking Him to bring them into knowing His love and His desire for them to repent of their sins and to experience His forgiveness.

3. Continue Living in Repentance and Forgiveness

Over time you will begin to see the deep levels of repentance and forgiveness needed. The Holy Spirit will show you how deeply ingrained in you are some of the attitudes and ways you possess. Some of these seem to be "inherited" from your parents and ancestors; they are almost like "family traits." As we confess these sins, we will see that we have in ourselves received them and acted upon them. We cannot blame others for the things we have done. The opportunity to receive these family traits was presented to us, and we acted upon that opportunity. We will see that some of these traits had spiritual forces attached to them. These are the unwelcome visitors that "visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children" as described in Exodus 20:5. If we confess our sins and our sinful reactions to the sins of our parents, we can become free from these family traits and/or curses. We can stand against the spiritual forces that have wreaked havoc on ourselves and our family members. We can become instruments of God, effecting a change in our families, rather than an instrument of satan, having these family traits passed on to yet another generation.

[For more on this, see the document entitled "Spiritual Warfare."]

A Personal Note:

My basic perceptions about life have been messed up. I thought I should be able to handle things and to control my desires and actions. I thought I would be liked by trying to please people rather than God. My eyes were on myself and my own abilities and needs, and on other people to give me identity and acceptance. I believed in Jesus, but my eyes were not focused on Him and His glory and power. My ears were not listening continually to his voice. My inner attitude toward people was, "Why donít you give me the honor I deserve? Canít you see how hard Iím trying to please you?" Addiction set in, followed by divorce and rejection. Hopelessness reigned.

But Jesus didnít leave me. He brought me back to His basic truth: repent and believe the Gospel. He reminded me to confess and forgive so I could be forgiven. Then He showed me that repentance and forgiveness were not things I could do by myself, but that they were two gifts He would give me, if I would ask for and receive them. It is good to repent--to confess and be forgiven--and to forgive others--especially when He gives these gifts to you and through His Spirit you apply them.

Richard Fick, 1994

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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:
P.O. Box 210
Wasco, IL  60183-0219

MEETING ADDRESS:
46 W 779 Route 30
Big Rock  Illinois 60511

E-Mail:  cyrusministries@cs.com     Webmaster:  cmi-website@sbcglobal.net

Copyright © Cyrus Ministries International 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010

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