Letting Go of the Past
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
John Newton worked in one of the vilest businesses of his day—slave trading. But later, after receiving Jesus as his Savior, he penned the now familiar words to “Amazing Grace” as well as these lines: “In evil long I took delight / Unawed by shame or fear / Till a new object met my sight / And stopped my wild career.” Faith in Christ separated Newton from his dark past. The hope of a bright future is also ours if we accept God’s offer of new life.
No sin is so great that God will not forgive. Certainly some sins wreak havoc on our life as the consequences are played out. We will have to deal with whatever fallout our wrong choices bring, but we don’t have to live with guilt and shame. And when there are repercussions, we don’t have to face them alone.
First, we must accept responsibility for our sin. Confession and repentance mean we must drop our guilt burden at the foot of the cross. Only when we are willing to lay aside the sin and its accompanying shame can we take the second step—accepting forgiveness. We could never do enough to earn God’s pardon, so He freely offers mercy to anyone who will receive it. Christ’s death at Calvary bought every person a life free from the weight and wages of sin, but each individual must accept that salvation gift for him- or herself.
Our newfound liberty is maintained by taking a final step: believing we have a new life in Christ. If we will face our sin, accept forgiveness, and look toward the future, then we cannot be weighed down by the wrongs of the past.
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