Al Jennings • May 28, 2021
What Is Forgiveness in the Bible? Pt. 1
John 19:30 (ESV)
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus said, "It is finished." What did He finish? He finished the Old Covenant law. When Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom.
Typically, when a curtain is torn, it’s torn from the bottom up. But this veil was torn from top to the bottom. I believe an angel (who was big in size) tore the curtain.
When the veil was torn, God moved out of the earthly tabernacle for good. He now takes up residence in the heart of the New Covenant believer.
If you are born again, God now lives on the inside of you in the person of the Holy Spirit. You are a new creation, created in true righteousness and holiness.
This is the New Covenant. God is merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and lawless deeds, He remembers no more. God has no memory of your sins. When Jesus died on the cross, He took all of our sins (past, present, and future).
Some say that this only refers to past sins. Well, the Bible doesn’t say He took our past sins. It does say however, that by a single offering, He has perfected for all time...
Hebrews 10:14 ESV
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Jesus’ single sacrifice for sins was good for all time!
Hebrews 10:12 (NLT)
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
It also says that He perfected for all time. Think about it. All our sins were future, when Jesus was on the cross.
Praise God that our sins have been removed. Our sins are not covered as they were under the Old Covenant. No, our sins have been blotted out.
Hebrews 9:28 (ESV)
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
When Jesus returns, He will not deal with our sins because He already dealt with them on the cross.
Al Jennings • May 18, 2021
Galatians 1:6–7 (ESV)
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (Emphasis Added)
We are called in the grace of Christ.
Paul refers to the grace of Christ as the gospel of Christ.
Acts 20:24 (ESV)
24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Emphasis Added)
The gospel and grace are used interchangeably in scripture. The gospel of Christ is the grace of God. And the gospel of grace is this: Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins forever; he died on the cross and took your sins past, present, and future. The gospel of grace is over the top good news that your sins have been done away with on the cross.
Grace is God's unmerited, unearned, and undeserved favor.
Adam was the federal head of the human race and he committed the sin of high treason in the garden. And he brought sin into the world and every man born after him inherited his sin nature. So, God had to judge sin. That is why Jesus is called our Savior because He died on the cross to take away our sins. He took our place on the cross. Sin had to be judged so Jesus went to the cross and took our place. The condemnation went on Him for our sins.
Hebrews 10:10–14 (ESV)
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Emphasis Added)
On the cross, Jesus offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins. His work on the cross was good for all time. That means your past, present, and future sins have already been forgiven. God judged Jesus for the sins of the whole world forever. Sin is no longer an issue. God is not judging the unbelievers for their sins. Sin has already been judged. People do not go to hell because of sin, but rather because of rejecting Jesus who is the solution to the sin problem. Even after you are saved, sin is no longer an issue. After we are born again, God does not judge the believer for his sins.
God is not punishing you for your sins. He is not mad at you when you make a mistake. He already punished Jesus for all the sins that you will ever commit. They have already been judged.
Beware of the devil who will try to condemn you because you do something wrong. He tries to bring people under condemnation because they make a mistake and tells them that God will not answer their prayers because they did not pray today, or because they have not been to church for two weeks, or they did not read their Bible all week.
That is the law, and we are not under the law. That is performance-based living and God does not relate to us anymore based on our performance. He does not bless us or answer our prayers because of what we do, but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
God loves you as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23), and when He sees you, He sees His son Jesus. As Jesus is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). We are in Christ Jesus and God sees us in Him.
Al Jennings • May 11, 2021
Luke Chapter 15 gives us a beautiful picture of who God is. It starts out talking about a lost sheep and how the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one sheep who was lost.
Next is the parable of the lost coin and how the woman swept the house to find it.
Then, there is the story of the prodigal son who took his inheritance and left his father’s house.
When the son came home, the Father saw him from a long way off. This tells me that the father must have been looking for him every day. When he saw him, he felt compassion for him, embraced him, and kissed him.
The boy had his confession speech all prepared, but the father didn’t even let him finish. Neither did the father scold him for leaving or punish him. Instead, he had the best robe put on him, gave him a ring, some shows, and threw a party for him.
You see, that story is in the Bible to show us what God is like. He’s not ready to pounce on us and punish us when we do wrong. All He wants to do is bless us and do us good. That’s the nature of our heavenly Father.
All of these parables are about the Father’s love and how He diligently goes after that which is lost.
Prior to Jesus, all humanity was lost and in need of a savior. God pursued us with passionate love by sending His very best - His only son to go the cross and die for us. He took all of our sins (past, present, and future) on the cross.
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
God didn’t send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it.
Jesus brought salvation to all men. To receive salvation, all you have to do is accept what He did for you on the cross.
Let’s look at the area of repentance.
God doesn’t send bad things to get us to repent. The word repent doesn’t mean to cry until you’re sorry; it means to change your mind.
Romans 2:4 (NKJV) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
It is the goodness of God that leads people to repent. This means that God’s method of getting people to repent is to see His goodness first. Once they see how good He is, people will gladly want to repent.
I hope this article has helped you to see who God is and what He is like.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Do you want to have God in your life?
Say this, I receive Jesus as my Lord and savior. That’s all there is to it. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ, which means that you are right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Your righteousness is not based on your behavior; it’s based on what Jesus did for you on the cross.
Al Jennings • May 04, 2021
Who is God?
Many people are searching for God. They want to know who God is.
The Bible tells us clearly who God is. God wants us to know who He is. And it’s not complicated. It’s actually quite simple. Because God wants us to know who He is, it wouldn’t make sense for Him to make it complicated, would it? What makes it complicated is religion. Religion has many people very confused about God. It paints a picture of God being mean, intolerant, and distant. But that is not who God is at all.
How do we understand who God is?
Jesus is the key to understanding who God is. Jesus walked the earth. He was God manifested in the flesh.
1 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
Jesus is the way to God.
John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Matthew 1:23 (NKJV) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Jesus is the only one who has seen the Father.
John 6:46 (ESV) not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Jesus said whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
John 14:9 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
It is Jesus who gives us a clear picture of God. He is the only one authorized to show us the Father.
John 5:19 (ESV) So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
John 5:19–20 (The Message) So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. 20 The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.
When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t do anything independently of the Father. He only did what He saw the Father doing. If you want to see the Father’s character, nature, and will, look at Jesus. He was the perfect representation of the Father.
John 3:17 (NKJV) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Jesus didn’t go around condemning people. So God doesn't do that.
Jesus went around doing good.
Acts 10:38 (ESV) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
And Jesus never did any harm to anyone. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.
So obviously, He only saw the Father doing good.
James says every good and perfect gift comes from the Father (James 1:17). The Father will only do you good.
Jesus visited with sinners. They called Him a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34).
Matthew 9:10–12 (NKJV) 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
John 1:18 (ESV) No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Luke 10:22 (ESV) All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Jesus came not only to show us who God is, but to reveal God to us as a Father, who loves us. God wants to be your Father. God wants to care for you as a loving Father. He’s someone you can go to with the intimate details of your life.
Religion has presented the wrong concept of God. As a result, people have a wrong view of God. They see Him as a tyrant. They look at God like a big bully ready to clobber them when they have done wrong. They think God is mad, mean, and impersonal. But God is not like that. He is a loving, kind, and merciful heavenly Father who wants to care for us, do us good, and bless us.
Hebrews 1:2 (NKJV) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
God doesn't speak to us through the prophets like He did in the Old Covenant. In these days (under the New Covenant), He speaks to us through His Son.
So if you want to know what the Father looks like, look at Jesus.
John 5:30 (The Message) “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders.
God is speaking today through His Son. It is important that we see Jesus in the Scriptures. Ask the Lord to reveal Jesus to you through the Scriptures. If you ask, you will receive.
God will never be angry with you. He will never stop loving you.
Isaiah 54:9–10 (ESV) 9 “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Jeremiah 31:3 (The Message) God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!
Expect God to keep pouring more and more of His love out on you.
His love for you is not dependent on your performance AT ALL. No good thing you do can make God love you more and no bad thing you do will cause Him to love you less. It's all because of His amazing grace.
God loves you. He's not in a bad mood concerning you.
I want you to know that God is not mad at you, He’s madly in love with you.
Al Jennings • May 01, 2021
1 John 4:8–9 (ESV)
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
God owns His love. You can't add to it. There is no good thing that you can do to get God to love you anymore and there is nothing that you can do to get God to love you any less because His love is not dependent on you. It depends on Him.
The Bible tells us that God is love. God's love is unconditional.
To help understand the unconditional love of God, just look at what God's love would look like if it was conditional.
If it was conditional, it would be based on something you did to earn it or deserve it. If you could do something or work for God's love, that would make His love conditional.
So what is the unconditional love of God? It's a love that doesn't depend on you. It's a love that depends on God alone. It has nothing to do with you. God's love depends entirely on him.
1 John 4:10 (ESV)
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
It's not about your love for God; it's about His love for you.
So don't focus on your love for God. Put your focus on His love for you. Your love for God will be a response to His love for you.
When you receive the love that He has for you, you will love Him and others effortlessly.
This seems simple, but don't underestimate its power. It's simple, but it's deep.
Ephesians 3:17–19 (ESV)
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
We need to be rooted and grounded in God's love. God's love will keep our souls anchored. We need to keep God's love for us at the forefront of our thinking.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Love is greater than hope and faith. Why? Because hope and faith can't produce love. However, love can give birth to both hope and faith in your heart.
When your heart is persuaded in the unconditional love of the Father, you are able to have hope and faith in someone who loves you like that.
God's motive is love. Love is the driving force behind everything He does. He does not put bad things on you to teach you lessons. When you see the true God of the Bible, I am convinced that you will want to put your trust in Him. He wants to do good things for you. Jesus came so you could live an abundant life. He died on the cross to be kind to you. He demonstrated His love for you by His death on the cross.
Religion has misrepresented God. It's presented Him as a mean, intolerant bully who is ready to swat you with a giant fly swatter when you make a mistake. Many churches and religions have caused people to feel as if God is mad at them. They feel that God is condemning, harsh, unforgiving, cruel, and judgmental. Although religion has presented Him as such, that is not God's nature. There is something in you that know that God cannot be the way religion has presented Him.
Matthew 7:11 (ESV)
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
God is our Father and He has good things in store for us. If you are a parent, you want the best for your children. You know within yourself that something is wrong with a Father who is always looking to punish His children for their mistakes. God is not a cruel dictator with a giant fly swatter.
I want you to know that God is not mad at you. He is madly in love with you.