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"There is therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom.8:1-2)

Hallelujah! This would have to be one of the most revealing, powerful, uplifting messages in Scripture. Paul brings to our attention in chapter 4 what David said in Psalm 32:1-2, "BLESSED are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered! BLESSED is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin."(v.7-8) I KNOW that there are many believers "out there" who live in constant condemnation because of their past sinful, often wicked life, and the "lawless deeds' which they have committed. I KNOW what it feels like, because for years I also felt, and believed, that God could NOT have possibly forgiven me, because of the same sinful acts committed over and over again, and the thought that nobody could ever have been as "bad" as I was. I truly believed that the God of Scripture who was so holy, so righteous, so pure, and demanded such holiness and righteousness from us could not forgive me - ever. I thought of Him almost as a bully, who possibly wished I wasn't around, and would beat me up with His big stick for even daring to wake up in the morning. My Bible spoke of Him as being loving and forgiving, but Satan kept me in bondage to my belief that God could NEVER forgive me....and therefore I could not forgive myself either. I lived in torment and dread of my past. I felt SO unworthy of Him, I could not believe He could EVER forgive this sinner! I dragged my past around like a truck drags its determined my days, and my future because I could not SEE, let alone FEEL, or SENSE God's forgiveness. Do YOU? It was God's mercy taking me DEEP into Chapter 15 of Luke that truly showed me God's forgiveness and love for me. Those three little stories that Jesus painted such a POWERFUL word-picture of His love for us. The first - the lost sheep, speaking of our Shepherd who cares so much for even ONE lost lamb that He would put himself into danger from predators in the dark night to go looking for that one lamb, FROZEN in terror, to bring it back to the fold, bonding that lamb to Him by lying it across His shoulders. Then there was one lost coin......of such value to its owner that she would search EVERYWHERE for it, even in the darkest corners her broom would enter until it was found! SO MUCH REJOICING! - over ONE SINNER SAVED! Then we read of the prodigal son, who, having known his Father and having lived in his Father's house decided he didn't want to any more....he wanted to go and party and live like the world - until he realized how empty and unfulfilling it was - there was NOTHING in the world that could give him more than what he had HAD in his Father's house. And now he had nothing! Just like us all when we turn away from God's goodness. But there was a welcome waiting for him back home, if he would only come to the end of himself, step out in faith and take hold of it....he needed to walk it out, and when he did, his Father was waiting for him with NO condemnation (Rom.8:1) and a welcoming party - just like the parties after the lost sheep and the lost coin were RESTORED TO GOD! MY sins, YOUR sins are TRULY forgiven....there is therefore now NO condemnation to us who are in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah!

When Jesus died on the Cross for you and me, understand that He would have done it just for you, had you been the only person in the world, and living a sinful life! His love for us covers not only the WORLD (John 3:16) but each of us personally! His death for you and for me was PERSONAL and COMPLETE..As He died, He exclaimed, "It is FINISHED!" Done. From the hole in His side flowed two things.....WATER and BLOOD! We are cleansed, washed in His blood. (See 1 John 1:9) and from Him FLOWS the water of LIFE, HIS Life (John 14:6) that He spoke of at the Well to the Samaritan woman (See John 4:10-14). Her sins were great. But forgiven. Paul, on the road to Damascus, heading off to persecute and possibly kill more Christians, how great were HIS sins - but not only forgiven, but he became probably the greatest teacher and follower of Jesus since our Lord.

Drink from that well of everlasting Water that flows from our Lord....KNOW that you are forgiven, forgive yourself, and give thanks! You will be thankful to God for the rest of your life when you FEEL and KNOW that He has touched you, forgiven and cleansed you, raised you up and you are now clothed in the robes of Jesus' righteousness before Him! What glory this is! He loves you, and rejoices over you! Hallelujah! Repent - turn away from the past and the sins that have held you chained in captivity! Leave it behind and follow after Jesus!

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