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HOW CAN A CHRISTIAN KNOW WHEN I REPENT AND PRAY THAT I HAVE TRULY BEEN FORGIVEN?
 
            Well, we must put our trust in the Word of God as little children. John said, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 Jn. 2:1) An advocate is one who pleads the case of another. This is what Jesus Christ does for us in the presence of the Father. Just before this verse, John assures us in chapter one that if we walk in the (the light of God’s Word), the blood of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin (vs. 7). In vs. 8, we are told that all people sin, but “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (vs. 9). This verse clearly tells us that Christ will not fail us because He is faithful. This simply means that when we confess our sins, turn from them in repentance and pray to the Father through the Son, that forgiveness is guaranteed and granted in full measure! The sins are gone completely and God will remember them no more which is mentioned by the Hebrew writer (Heb. 10:17)
            Now, at this point, we need to follow the example of the apostle Paul. He said “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14.) So then, we need to forget what sins we have repented of and press on! To press on means to walk in the light! It means to serve our Lord with all of our strength. And if we do this, our thoughts will be turned from sin and will be focused on our Lord and what we can do for others in His service. Therefore, do not dwell on that which you have repented of because that gives place to the Devil to tempt you again (Eph. 4:27)
            Now occasionally, Christians will fear attending worship because of distress over sins. But, God wants all of us to never forsake the assembling of the church because it is a sin (Heb. 10:25). Yet, it is during the assembling that: We gain strength and are edified. It is a time to provoke one another unto love and good works (Heb. 10:24). It is a time when we are spiritually fed the Word of God, without which one would die spiritually.
            So, if one has turned from their sins and prayed to God through Christ for forgiveness, it is done. The Hebrew writer said, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5) Nothing can separate you from His love. Paul said, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)

Robert Notgrass

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