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Why Is Forgiveness So Important in Christianity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2023 5:17 pm

Why Is Forgiveness So Important in Christianity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 17, 2023 5:17 pm

Episode 1143 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. If I am saved, why are my thoughts consistently sinful?

2. Does Mark 3 and Matthew 12 teach that Christians can “bind Satan”?

3. Why is forgiveness so important in the Christian life?

4. Is there something wrong if I am not moved to tears during worship?

5. Why do we need to pray if Jesus is interceding for us?

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Why is forgiveness so important in Christianity? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and in fact, you can watch Adriel right now on our YouTube channel and send him your question through YouTube. Plus, you can always email us your question at First up today, let's go to Jared calling in from Texas.

Jared, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I was just wondering about, so my question has to do with assurance of salvation. I've been dealing with blasphemous thoughts and, you know, just besetting sins for for a long time. I know that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and yet there's still this haunting fear that I could somehow be lost or that maybe I haven't come to Christ the right way.

Is there just any scriptures or counsel on how to battle this? Jared, thank you for reaching out, and my heart goes out to you, brother, as one who, you know, as a believer has had periods where I wrestled also with assurance and this question. And I'll say that the more your confidence is in what Christ has done, which is secure, and not in your own performance, the stronger your assurance is going to be.

Now, that doesn't mean that we just go and live however we want and then have this sense of false assurance, but for many people, for many people, I think, you know, they get caught up in the navel gazing where it's like, man, I look at my life and I see these sin struggles, these patterns that I hate and thoughts that I have that I know we're not honoring to the Lord, and you're trying really hard not to have those thoughts, and it seems like the harder you try not to have those thoughts, the more those thoughts seem to flood, and it can be really, really discouraging. And so this is where I think it's so important for us to first and foremost recognize that assurance of salvation has to be rooted in the work of Christ in the gospel for us because that is secure. Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is our perfect High Priest. It's through him and through his work that we have bold confidence to come to the throne of grace as those in need. If anyone sins, John says in 1 John chapter 2, we have an advocate with the Father. In other words, as you struggle and even when you fail, Jesus does not stop being your advocate, and that's the great hope that we have. He himself is the propitiation for our sins.

And so as someone who's trusted in Christ and turned to Christ, I think it's important for us then to be able to rest in that new identity, what God has done for us in Christ, the fact that we've been justified, now we can have peace with God, doesn't mean that the battle is going to go away. And of course the passages of scripture that I would point you to are the are the the book of Romans in particular chapters 6 through 8. Earlier he had talked about justification, that free grace, that forgiveness, that God justified us as sinners. You see that in Romans chapter 4. And then as he's calling the the Christians in Rome to walk with the Lord and to present themselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, the instruments of their body, no longer as as tools for unrighteousness, for wickedness, but as tools for serving the Lord. That's who you are, believing in Jesus Christ.

You're justified. Now present yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead, and the Spirit of God is at work in your life to put to death those struggles, those sinful thoughts. And later in Romans you have that that beautiful appeal from the Apostle Paul in Romans 12. I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

And so here's how I'll summarize all of this. Brother, you can have confidence by faith in Jesus Christ through the work of Christ for you. That needs to be your the primary ground of your assurance. And you need to see yourself in Christ as one who is alive from the dead, justified. Now there is peace between you and a holy God.

And with that peace, present yourself to God as one alive from the dead, your body as a pleasing, holy, acceptable sacrifice, to God. And even when you fail, when you struggle, know that you still have that advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous one in heaven, pleading for you, praying for you, and continue to seek him in the grace that he has given to you. And so let me just take a moment now to pray for you, Jared, and thank you again for reaching out.

Father, we lift Jared up to you. I pray for your hand to be upon him. I pray for your blessing in his life. I pray, God, that you would help him to rest on the rock-solid ground of Jesus Christ and his work. And I pray, God, that as he has confidence in your love for him, in the fact that his sins are forgiven, Lord, that each day he would present himself to you as one alive from the dead, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, and that you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, would strengthen him to resist sin and temptation, to purge his mind from those blasphemous thoughts, Lord, that his mind would be washed with the water of your word as he prays to you, as he studies scripture, as he sings to you, Lord, fellowships with the church, God, that that would shape his mind, his heart, and that he would be blessed, Lord. And so please be with him and strengthen him, I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Jared, thanks so much for your call and for listening to CORE Christianity. And Adriel, thanks for those great words of assurance and just for stressing what we always need to put our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for us, not our feelings on any given day or any given moment. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Kevin calling in from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Adriel, I had a question about binding Satan, and it comes from, I hear a lot of preachers say that you can't find Satan, but in Mark 22-30, where Christ is being called Beals Above by the Pharisees, and it's also in Matthew 12, 22-32, they're calling him Beals Above, and he says in 29, he says, or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up a strong man, then he can plunder his house. Is that not a binding of Satan, a reference to it? Yeah.

Hey, Kevin, thanks for that question. No, you're absolutely right that this is a reference to the binding of Satan. Now, the question is, who does that binding? Is that something that you and I do as Christians, as followers of Christ, or is this something specifically that Jesus Christ did in his earthly ministry, in particular through the miracles he was performing? Here in the context here, Jesus had just healed a man who was blind, and that's why the religious leaders are, you know, they're sinning against him, they're blaspheming, and they're saying, well, he does that by the power of Satan, essentially, and Jesus's response is, what are you talking about? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out, verse 27, therefore they will be your judges.

But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. And then he gives that story of the binding of the strong man. How can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man?

Then indeed he may plunder his house. Now who binds the strong man? I don't, you don't, Jesus does, he did, and he's plundering the house of Satan now through the proclamation of the Holy Gospel. Now, of course, you look in the Gospels and Jesus, you know, gave a degree of authority to his disciples. He sends them out, he says, I've given you authority over, you know, snakes and scorpions, and they're casting out demons as well. So there is a sense in which, you know, through the ministry of the word, the proclamation of the Holy Gospel prayer, we are engaged in this conflict. But I would just want to be really careful and say, look, Jesus is the one who conquered, destroyed, binds Satan. We are his children. He's the one who protects us, who guards us. My fear, Kevin, is that, you know, sometimes when I hear Christians talking about spiritual warfare, I think they go about it in a way that puts the focus on them as the ones who are conquering the evil one through, you know, doing any number of things. I'm binding Satan in this way or the other. No, we look to Christ, who has conquered and bound the evil one, trusting in him, and we walk in his victory, not some victory that we're trying to create for ourselves.

And so even there in the context of Matthew 12, and it's also in Mark chapter 3, verse 27 and following, Jesus is the great binder of the evil one. Thank you. God bless.

Really well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Perhaps there is a passage of scripture that's always kind of stumped you, and you've really needed some clarification on that. Well, Adriel will be glad to talk to you. Also, if maybe you have any doubts about the Christian faith, if you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist and just stumbled on this program and would like to call and ask Adriel why he believes that Christianity is the only true way. He'd be happy to answer your questions as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. I want to tell you about a great resource we have available for you. If you ever get into a conversation with someone, maybe a friend or relative or work associate, and they ask some tough questions about the Christian faith and you're kind of stumped, you're not really sure how to respond, well, this resource would be just for you. Yeah, we got a short booklet called Tough Questions Answered. It's something that you could read in an afternoon, but it really covers a lot of the really important questions that that Christians get today. There's a chapter on science, world religions, on the Bible and the authority of scripture.

Chapter four is interesting. It's on morality, answering questions like isn't the Bible's view of sexuality overly restrictive? What about the Bible's view of gender?

Is that outdated? What about what the Bible says about slavery? I mean, moral issues that people still talk about today and have questions about, I mean, really talk about today. If that sounds interesting to you, and I think it should in light of what people are talking about, the way in which we want to share Christ with our friends and neighbors, get a hold of this resource for a donation of any amount over at Once again, it's called Tough Questions Answered, and we would love to get that into your hands. Again, you can find that at forward slash offers, forward slash offers. We have a lot of great resources at our website.

We'd love to have you make yourself make those available to you by going to our website today. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in. We get voicemails all throughout the day and do our best to review them each day. And here's one that came in from a listener named Fabrice. Hi, Pastor Adriel. Hi, Brother Bill. I just wanted to say thank you for all you do. I really enjoy the show.

I listen to it every morning on the way to work. My question is about forgiveness. A couple months ago, I was hanging out with a few brothers from my church.

And so one of the brothers started making jokes about me being single. And he's since apologized. He's genuinely sorry. And I do believe it. So I'm struggling with forgiveness. And I know the Lord says, you know, to forgive and I want to forgive, but I don't know, I go back and forth between letting go and holding on to it.

If you have any advice or anything to tell me, please. And also, Brother Bill, I just want to say I really appreciate your sense of humor. I love how you'll throw a joke in every once in a while.

It's not too much where it takes away from anything. It's just right. You really always have me cracking up. So God bless you, brothers.

Thank you so much. Wow, Bill, you found someone who appreciates your jokes. Look at that. Maybe we lost Bill. What a strange place to lose Bill out. Well, and hopefully, Bill got to hear that because that was pretty encouraging.

Let me say, Fabrice, thank you for reaching out to us. Now, this question in particular related to forgiveness is one that is really, really difficult. I remember there was a Barna study that was done some time ago.

And it was a study that was done some time ago. And in the study, it said that Christians—I think it was something like one in four or two in four Christians—say that there's someone in their life that they simply can't forgive. And the reason that's such a big issue is because forgiveness is central to the Gospel and to our identity as the followers of Jesus Christ. We're commanded, even as we ask for forgiveness, to say, God, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, those who have sinned against us. In other words, through the Gospel, Fabrice, because of what Christ has done for you in forgiving your debt, forgiving my debt, we ought to, as the followers of Christ, be generous, willing to extend grace and forgiveness to others.

It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but here's what I think we need to do when we're struggling. We need to take a step back, and we need to remember the great mercy and grace that God has shown to us in Jesus Christ. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said in the book of Ephesians chapter 4, verse 32.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. And so as you think of this brother who is genuinely apologized to, you said, you know what, I should not have been joking in that way. I'm sorry that I hurt you. You feel the pain, you feel the hurt, but you're saying, look, I'm not going to retaliate. I'm going to forgive, and I'm forgiving from this place of having been forgiven. As I think about my own sins, my own failures, my own shortcomings, the ways I've sinned against God and how generous the Lord has been to me in washing away all of my sins, and I still, we still sin against God in thought, word, and deed. Every day we go to God and we say, Lord, have mercy upon me, forgive me, and He does. We who have been forgiven so much and who continue to be forgiven ought to give forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. And so as you meditate, Fabrice, on God's great love for you, His mercy towards you, may that fill your heart so that you are enabled to extend that same grace and mercy to those who have sinned against you. May the Lord bless you, brother, and strengthen you and be with you, and thank you for giving us a call.

God bless. Now, Bill, are you back? I'm back, brother. I'm sorry, my dog was starting to bark there in the background, so I was shutting him up. Oh, forgive me. Well, let's get back to the phones.

Carol is on the line from New York City. Carol, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, my question was about the Holy Spirit moving through a church service. And, you know, I see people, hear people saying that from the pastor on down and I don't feel anything. And I was explaining to Bill that the only time that I if I want to say I feel anything is when I hear the word preached in a way that it's understandable or something. I'm enlightened with something or I'm reading scripture and it just confirms something. And and I just get emotional.

I may start crying, like praising God and thanking him. But during a worship service, I you know, I don't always feel, you know, emotional like everyone else, you know. And I'm wondering, you know, is there something I'm missing or I just want to be correct during a worship service.

Yeah. Well, God bless you, Carol. No, you don't need to feel guilty or like there's something wrong with you because you're not having that emotional experience during the worship service. I assume you're talking specifically about, you know, when the music is being sung in the worship service. The worship service isn't just the part where we're singing. It also includes the preaching of the word. We really need to remember that it's not just one part of worship is the worship. It's, you know, from the moment we're called to worship to the time we leave hearing the preached word, praying together, that's all a part of the worship service. So it sounds to me like actually what you're saying is right on when you hear the word of God proclaimed clearly in an understandable way, man, that's when you're gripped by the work of the Holy Spirit. And and so and so that's good.

That's good. You know, sometimes I think we can have and there's nothing wrong with with emotions in worship and having these, you know, experiences within worship. But sometimes I think we can we can focus too much on that so that we're trying to conjure up this emotional experience. And we feel like we haven't really experienced God unless we had that emotional encounter in worship. But the fact of the matter is, wherever the word of God is being faithfully taught, whether you you feel emotional or not, we are having an encounter with the true and the living God because his word is being proclaimed. So we need to get away from, you know, God is only present when I feel him or when there are tears and so on and so forth. And and there is a biblical support, if you will, for what you're describing. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter five exhorted the Ephesian church. He said in verse 18, don't get drunk with wine.

That's debauchery, but be filled with the spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. What's interesting because in the parallel passage in the book of Colossians chapter three, verse 16, this is how Paul describes being filled with the Holy Spirit. He says, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

It sounds like that's your experience. You are experiencing truly the work of the Holy Spirit in your life through worship, through the word of Christ being proclaimed and dwelling in you richly. And so God bless you in that. And may he continue to fill your heart, your mind with the truth of scripture. And may you continue to encounter the work of the Holy Spirit in your life in that way and don't feel like God is not at work just because you're not having that emotional experience every Sunday or when the music is being played.

Put your confidence not in your feelings, but in what God has said in his word. God bless you, Carol. That's some great counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. And Carol, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always feel free to email us. Here's our email address. It's Just the word questions at Let's go to Suzy calling in from Arkansas.

Suzy, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, in the scripture it talks about to go to God and pray and ask for whatever our need is. And it says, and so it shall be given to you according to his will. But then yet I hear people talking about that Jesus is interceding on our behalf. And I don't understand why, if the scripture says that we pray and it will be given to us according to his will, why does Jesus have to intercede for us?

I don't understand what this process is. Yes, Suzy, thank you for that question. Well, Jesus is our great high priest in heaven. Praise for us in terms of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.

I mean, that's summed up in a couple of different ways. One, it was his once for all sacrifice for us as sinners, atoning for our sins. But his priestly work on your behalf, on my behalf, isn't finished because he continues to make intercession for us, to bring us into the presence of God, if you will. I mentioned earlier, this is why we can come to God boldly. And so that's why Hebrews 7 25 says consequently he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. As our great advocate and high priest, he is pleading our case before the Father. And what this is meant to do is it's meant to give us confidence, confidence in our approach to God, because how often do we do we struggle thinking, man, I don't deserve to enter into the presence of the Holy One.

I failed. I'm a sinner. God help me. Well, knowing that you have a strong high priest who's merciful and gracious and who is for you, in your corner, interceding for you, should encourage you and me to continue to pray and to seek the Lord and to enter into his presence. Romans chapter 8 also talks about Jesus interceding for us.

Romans chapter 8 verse 34, you think of what Jesus told Peter in Luke 22 verse 32, where he said, Satan has desired to sift you, he wants to consume you, but I have prayed for you. And so in the same way that we pray for each other, we have the confidence as the children of God that Jesus Christ, our great high priest, is in heaven praying for us. And brothers and sisters, let me just say his prayers are heard.

He's the righteous one and he is for you if you are in him by faith and that should encourage you to continue to seek the Lord and to pray. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 12:01:23 / 2023-01-22 12:11:17 / 10

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