(week 16/10)

Many New Testament Christians erroneously think that once God forgives you, He forgets immediately and does not chasten (or judge 1 Cor. 11:31-32) us any more for our sins.

This is true for sins we committed before we got born-again: when we became new creatures in Christ Jesus; old things were passed away and all things became new: the sins and iniquities of our past life are remembered no more.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 MKJV: (17) so that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (18) And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us.

Hebrews 10:16-17 MKJV: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My Laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” (17) also He adds, “their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.”

However, after we get born-again and become children of God, while God forgives us instantly when we confess our sins, like He did for David, He now chastens us so that we will find sin unattractive and become partakers of His holiness.

Hebrews 12:5-11 MKJV: and you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him; (6) for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” (7) If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? (8) But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons. (9)Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (10) For truly they chastened us for a few days according to their own pleasure, but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. (11) Now chastening for the present does not seem to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 MKJV: (31) for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Recall that God chastens or judges us by removing His protective covering around us like He did for Job (Job. 1:8-22) so the enemy can hit us: it is Satan who does the stealing, killing and destroying (Jn. 10:10) not God; however, God allows it when we have sinned to chasten us.

2 Corinthians 12:7 KJV: And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Proverbs 20:30 NIV: Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.

Proverbs 27:6 MKJV: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

John 15:14 MKJV: you are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Observe that the chastening of the Lord causes you to be partaker of God’s character of holiness and the peaceable fruit of righteousness (if, like Manasseh (2 Chr. 33:9-16) because of the chastening, you forsake sin and start doing righteousness by the Spirit), so you will be a true son and not a bastard; that is one who was originally born of God but has NOT developed God’s character: a strange child.

Psalms 144:11 KJV: Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

Romans 9:6-8 MKJV: Not however that the Word of God has failed, for not all those of Israel are Israel; (7) nor because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children. But, “In Isaac shall your Seed be called.” (8) That is, not the children of the flesh are children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for a seed.

Romans 8:13-14 NIV: for if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (14) because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Furthermore, it is instructive to note, that after we get born-again, a record of our deeds is kept whether they are good or bad, that will determine our reward in heaven. While the details of our sins may not be remembered, the record of their effect on our eternal reward is kept. This is to motivate us to a life of purity as much as possible so we can have a full reward:

2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 John 1:8 MKJV: Look to yourselves, so that we may not lose those things which we worked out, but that we may receive a full reward.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 MKJV: (11) For any other foundation can no one lay than the one being laid, who is Jesus Christ. (12) And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, (13) each one’s work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one’s work as to what kind it is. (14) If anyone’s work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward. (15) If anyone’s work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire.

Revelation 22:12 MKJV: And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according as his work is.

The good news is that even if you have committed some terrible sins after being born-again, you can nullify their effect on your eternal reward by now performing many greater acts of righteousness and purity:

Romans 5:20 MKJV: But the Law entered so that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,

Proverbs 28:13 ESV: Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

James 2:13 ESV: For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

As a daily habit at the beginning of each day, judge yourself and receive mercy to triumph over judgement with a prayer like:

Father I confess our sins, in Jesus Name we have life’

I judge myself (1 Cor. 11:31) and condemn all my wicked actions and attitudes of omission and commission hitherto. I receive mercy unto eternal life (Jude 1:21) to soften my heart to enable to repent and be faithful (1 Cor. 7:25); receiving wisdom and instruction and have victory and triumph over judgement (Jam. 2:13, 2 Cor. 2:14) in Jesus’ Name.’

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 MKJV: (31) for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

So, as a New Testament Christian, you should avoid sin as much as possible, be quick to confess, repent and forsake sin when you do sin; do great works of righteousness and mercy so that mercy will always triumph over judgement in your life!