Text: “If My people (Redeemed by Christ’s Blood), which are called by My Name (Christian), shall humble themselves (confessing our sins), and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways (full repentance from sin); then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If we (professing Christians) say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins (to God alone), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:8-9.
Good morning, forgiven and restored Christian! You and I, like the apostle Peter, have sinned many many times since that wonderful day that the Lord God granted us repentance and faith to believe in Christ’s Sacrifice for us at the Cross of Calvary. We sin naturally, because we are natural born sinners. This is merely a fact we have to face up to, and live with, daily.
However, our Holy Lord God cannot abide sin, and therefore if we would consistently fellowship with Him, we must always acknowledge our sins; confess our sins to the Lord God, turn away again from our sins; and receive His continual forgiveness. This is what we call Progressive Sanctification. (Isaiah 59:1-4)
“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did hear the reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore My bowels (emotions) are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:18-20)
Our selected Bible reading for today sets forth one of the most wonderful aspects of God’s forgiveness of our sins - sins we naturally commit even after we are graciously saved! When the Lord God forgives, He forgives completely.
The Lord God in His matchless grace, makes Divine reversals in the lives of His redeemed people! He makes all things new. Praise His Name! (Revelation 22:4-5)
The risen Lord Jesus called His disciples from the boat to the shore; fed them bread and fish; then made one of the greatest Divine reversals of sin recorded.
The Lord Jesus reversed all three of Peter’s public denials of Himself.
“Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now (prior to Christ’s Crucifixion)? I will lay down my life for Thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake? Verily, verily (truly), I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice (three times).” (John 13:37-38)
“Peter then denied again; and immediately the cock crew.” (John 18:27)
In verse fifteen, through to verse seventeen of today’s Bible reading, John records how Christ asked Peter three times whether or not he really loved Him:
“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?…Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?…Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?” (Vs. 15-17)
When the repentant Peter answered in the affirmative, the Lord instructed him to "Feed My lambs…Feed My sheep…Feed My sheep."
By asking the repentant Peter this same question three times over in such a brief discussion, with the rest of the disciples as public witnesses - we can believe that the Lord Jesus was literally reversing Peter’s three denials of Himself, following His initial arrest. The Lord Jesus makes all things new. Praise His Holy Name!
Furthermore, we learn from this Scripture passage that the Lord is willing to forgive you and I - His latter-day disciples - when we fail, and falter, and fall into Christ-denying sin. Repentance is the sinner’s passport to God’s full forgiveness; and a progressive sanctification from all our sins. (1 John 1:8-10)
Not only did the Christ reverse Peter’s public denials, He restored the big fisherman to full service and ministry to the sheep of His Blood-bought Fold. Glory to the Lord!
Thought: You and I betray the Christ every day in some manner. Let us come quickly before Him in repentance, knowing His willingness to forgives us. We cannot serve Christ while our sin is unconfessed. Let us now repent and pray.