Psalm 32:5 (NIV) 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Luke 15:20 (NIV) 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Let’s look at this painting inspired by Luke 15:11-32: Daniel Bonnell, The Road Home, 2003-2004. How do you think the Prodigal Son felt on the road home?
“The story of the kingdom of God teaches us to not be shocked by struggle but to be prepared for it. For we serve a Messiah who brought the kingdom through the cross, and he advances his reign through the church’s faithful endurance amid the brokenness of the world.” (J. Treat, Seek First, p.183)
We rejoice in having passed from death into life and in the Spirit’s abiding presence. However, the victories in the already now are accompanied by the defeats of the not yet. We can walk in the tension amid the brokenness of the world and advance his reign through the church’s faithful endurance.
Let’s pray: Lord, you are compassionate and gracious. Amid the brokenness of the world, help me not cover up my sins, but confess and receive your cleansing and purifying afresh. In Jesus’ name, amen.
1 John 1:7 (NIV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
To walk in the light means to become increasingly conscious of sin that would hinder our fellowship with God and our fellow Christians, and that as that sin is revealed, not to run away into the darkness again. Rather we bring it, by faith, to the God whose Son gave his life that all our sins might be forgiven and removed. As we do so, the barriers to fellowship are removed and we continue in that relationship with God. (D. Jackman, John’s Letters, p. 31)
We are no longer slaves to sin and have been freed from bondage to sin. After being saved, we can now live in victory over sin in everyday life as we humbly turn to God in repentance and are restored in our relationship with God and with others. As those who have been forgiven and clean, we can now have true fellowship with one another.
Let’s sing “Love won’t give up” (click here) by Elevation Worship
Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Forgive me for allowing wrong views (impossible to change, love, or be in real fellowship with) to hinder true fellowship with them. Help me to see things in the light of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
1 John 1:7, 9; 2:2 (NIV) If we walk in the light, as he is in the light… the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all (every) sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
“One further thought at the end of verse 7 is that as the light of God reveals our sin, we shall keep appropriating the cleansing that comes through Christ’s death, by our own repentance and faith. Notice that the present tense, purifies, denotes continuous action. ‘Keeps on purifying’ would be an equally good translation. Frequently we Christians are deprived of the enjoyment of walking in the light because we feel we have failed so often, perhaps in a recurring or besetting sin, that we dare not come back to God to ask for fresh forgiveness…There is a glorious inclusiveness about this present tense and its application to all sin. We can never come too often to God when we come in humble penitence and active faith.” (D. Jackman, John’s Letters, p. 31)
Let’s pray: Lord, I praise you for you are light; in you, there is no darkness at all. Help me to come to you often in humble submission and confession and enjoy walking in the light. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Romans 6:6 (NIV) For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
“Humankind is objectively delivered through Christ’s victory over the powers of sin, death, and the devil; but this deliverance does not make contact with the sinner until the gift of the Holy Spirit awakens faith. The Spirit’s outpouring completes Christ’s salvific activity. His atoning work is finished, but the fruits of his redemption need to be applied to God’s people by the Spirit if they are to be saved de facto as well as de jure. Through regeneration by the Spirit, imparting faith and love, the sinner is set free from bondage to sin and enabled to achieve victory over sin in everyday life.” (D. Bloesch, “Sin” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, p. 810)
In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin—(the Sin, the world, the flesh). We are children of God who can experience victory over sin in everyday life.
Let’s worship to the song “No Longer Slaves” (click here) by Bethel.
Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for rescuing me from the power of sin. I turn to you today and ask for your forgiveness and cleansing from my sins. Help me to live in victory and in the Spirit’s power today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!
“United to the resurrected Christ, we can experience healing, reconciliation, and peace today. But remember, it’s all just a taste. One day we will be seated at the king’s table in the new creation, and we will fully taste and see that the Lord is good. Until that day, we rejoice in the victories and we lament the tragedies as we follow our crucified and risen king.” (J. Treat, Seek First, p. 179)
As Christians, we are daily living in the already and not yet of the kingdom of God. In Christ, we have been freed from the penalty and power of sin. In Christ, we are made holy and are given an incredible hope for the future. Yet, daily we sin and experience the effects of sin. How are we to walk in the tension? We need hope for tomorrow, power for today and an embracing of the tension of the already and not yet of the kingdom of God.
Let’s worship to the song “Love Like This” (click here) by Lauren Daigle.
Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for your love and the incredible hope of the fullness of your kingdom that is yet to come. Help me to live in the “already” today: in freedom, healing, reconciliation, and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.