“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” 1 Cor 15:12 (NASB)
The Gospel message: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor 15:3,4
All Christians, as proof of the title, believe that Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried in a tomb, and three days later He rose again. This is the crux of our faith, right? But some, dare I say most, don’t walk in a way that shows this belief. I know there are days I don’t. What I’m referring to, specifically, is the resurrection part.
Christ died for all sin: past, present, and future. Then, He was resurrected by the Spirit of God three days later. We are forgiven of our sin, because Christ died, and we’re then resurrected by the Holy Spirit to have new, abundant life in Christ. We are not only forgiven, but we are NEW CREATIONS. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Cor 5:17. We are new in Him, with the Spirit of God dwelling inside us. He empowers us to live a life free from sin and death. That is what the resurrection does.
So do we, as Christians, really embrace that? What does that mean, to embrace that truth? Are we new or not? I am new. I am made alive in Christ and am no longer dead in my sin. I am made holy and blameless in the sight of my Father because of the blood of the Lamb. And, I can walk upright, a new creation, because of the resurrection of Jesus. I have been resurrected by the Spirit of the living God, and I am called to walk in that truth.
Part of walking in that truth means we believe that our brothers and sisters have also been forgiven of their sin and resurrected by the Spirit of the living God. We believe they can walk holy and blameless in the sight of their Father because of the blood of the Lamb. They can also walk upright, as a new creation, because of the resurrection of Jesus. When we are unforgiving of our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we hold their sin over them, we risk taking that truth away from them. If we can be forgiven by Christ, they can too. And if Christ forgives us, He forgives them too.
Jesus died for me when I was still a sinner. Not only that, but he sought me out when I was a stranger. I didn’t know Him, I didn’t want to know Him, so I certainly did not love Him, but he came after me! He wooed me. He never gave up on me. He never stopped pursuing me. He kept on, and kept on, and kept on, until I finally surrendered. He died for me when I was the worst of sinners. He extended His never-ending love and mercy to me when I hated Him. I didn’t, and still don’t, deserve any of it.
If Jesus did all that for me, how can I hold any forgiveness from anyone else? Whether they deserve it or not, He gave it freely, and so should we. Reminding our offenders of their sin against us keeps them in the bondage of that sin. They aren’t “new creations” when we’re constantly reminding them of their failure. How can they be? Have they not been forgiven and resurrected? Let them walk as such! They are forgiven by Jesus, who are we to say they’re not? They have been raised from death to life, new and abundant life in Christ, who are we to say they haven’t?
Forgiveness. Edification. These are Kingdom things. They are not possible without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We can forgive the unforgiveable because He empowers us to do so. We can build each other up, instead of tearing each other down, because the Spirit enables us to do so. Who reminds us of our sin? Who continues to pull us back to “death”? Who lives to steal our hope and joy? Who tells us lies about who we are and forgiveness? Satan. We’re Kingdom people, so let’s do Kingdom stuff.
Don’t hold sin against one another, regardless of the sin.
Forgive the unforgiveable, Jesus did.