Have you perhaps done something in life that you feel you cannot be forgiven for? Or do you perhaps know someone and they feel that they have done something awful that they cannot be forgiven for? Perhaps they murdered someone or perhaps raped someone. Perhaps they have had an abortion. Perhaps their marriage failed, or they did not raise their children the right way. Or their children did not get raised in the faith. For whatever reason, they feel this enduring feeling of doubt, guilt, or shame. Or they feel something is wrong with them. They do not know what but somehow or other they do not feel like they are in Yahweh’s shalom.
Well, because of these things it can affect not only our relationship with the Most High, it can also affect our relationship with our neighbors. Therefore, we need to learn how to deal with these kinds of things. That is why in this presentation we are going to talk about how to accept Yahweh’s forgiveness.
When we talk about Scripture there are certain themes that show up time and time again. One of these main themes is Yahweh’s commandments (or His laws). Because Yahweh is a Great King. Therefore, He has laws for his people to live by that we might live in an orderly way.
Another major theme is Yahweh’s love for His people. Because His people are always breaking His laws, He sent His Son to die, to take the penalty for our sin. And the reason He died to take the penalty for our sin is so that we might receive His forgiveness. And we are going to see a major theme here. We are going to talk about the relationship between Yahweh’s love and Yahweh’s forgiveness.
So, let us take a look at Matthew chapter 22 starting in verse 37.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:37-40:
“Yeshua said to him [tells us], ‘You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind [or our strength].’ This is the first and the great commandment.
And the second commandment is like it: ‘You shall love our neighbors as yourself.’
Upon these two commandments hang all the Torah and the Prophets.”
But now if we think about it, if we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, then does it not make a big difference how well we love ourselves? Because let us just say we love ourselves completely, let us say we love ourselves 100 percent. Then when we go to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we can also extend that love. We can love our neighbors one hundred percent also. But if we do not love ourselves very well, let us say we love ourselves thirty percent or forty percent, then when we go to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we can only love them in a limited way also.
And if this is the rule for love then what about Yahweh’s forgiveness? Because if we do not know how to receive Yahweh’s forgiveness it is going to make our relationships with others very harsh. Because not knowing how to receive His forgiveness, we are also not going to know how to extend His forgiveness to others. And as we are going to see, that is going to impact not only our relationship with others, it is also going to impact our relationship with Yahweh Elohim. It is not His will for us.
Now let us take a look. In the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 6, starting in verse 9, in the Disciple’s Prayer, Yeshua gives us a great teaching about the importance of forgiveness. And many people do not realize the overall purpose of this prayer is to teach us humility and to teach us forgiveness. He says:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 6:9-13:
“In this manner therefore, pray: Our father who art in heaven, Your name be set-apart.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses [our sins] as we forgive those who trespass [who sin] against us.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. A’mein.”
But notice as He continues, He says the purpose of this prayer (the summation) is forgiveness.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 6:14-15
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.”
So, what we see here is that if we do not receive Yahweh’s forgiveness and we do not know how to extend that forgiveness to others it can impact Yahweh’s desire to forgive us, because we treat our neighbors badly.
Okay, let us continue with Yeshua’s words. Yeshua has a lot to say about forgiveness.
Marqaus (Mark) 11:25-26 Yeshua says:
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
But if you do not forgive neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your trespasses.”
So, He emphasizes forgiveness again and again and again.
Luqa (Luke) 17:3-4 Yeshua says:
“Take heed to yourselves.” [Now this is a very important phrase, any time we see the phrase “take heed to yourselves” that means watch out! That means this is easy to miss or it is easy not to know how to apply it to ourselves, and we need to know how because this is a critical thing.]
“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he sins against you up to seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him.”
So, what this shows us is the critical dynamic; if our neighbor sins and we rebuke him and he repents, we are to forgive him. It is very simple. But now if we repent to our Father Yahweh for something we have done wrong, is not He also going to be faithful to forgive us?
But sometimes people have a hard time receiving this forgiveness. For whatever reason something goes wrong, they do not know how to receive the forgiveness or something in them prevents them. They might know intellectually that Yeshua has the power to forgive sin, but they do not take it to heart. So, we should take a look at verses like Mark 2:10 where Yeshua says:
Marqaus (Mark) 2:10:
“So that we may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins– He said to the paralytic,
“Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
And immediately the paralytic arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all…”
We need to accept this forgiveness because it is the primary reason why Yeshua died. Effectively, not to accept this forgiveness is to reject the purpose for which Yeshua came. In fact, we might even say it is effectively trampling on the blood not to accept His forgiveness. Because the purpose of the forgiveness was to bring us back in right relationship with Elohim. And if we do not receive His forgiveness, we cannot come back into right relationship.
To stay with feelings of doubt and guilt and shame, these kinds of things come from the adversary. They are not helpful. It does not help our relationship either with the Father or with our neighbors if we feel that we deserve to be punished for something that we have already confessed our sin and asked Him to help us to turn from our wicked ways. But when we stay in doubt and shame and guilt, these things are not helpful. We need to repent of them.
But sometimes (especially in the Hebrew Roots movement) people say, ‘well, but I do not understand, the punishment in Torah was this. How can I just simply confess my sin and be forgiven?’
Well, Scripture speaks to this. The author of the book of Hebrews (whom many believe was the Apostle Shaul) quoted in chapter 8 from Jeremiah chapter 31.
Ivrim (Hebrew) 8:8-9:
“Behold the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new [a renewed covenant] with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says Yahweh.”
Now we know it is the same covenant, just renewed, but it is treated differently. Why? It is treated differently because of the blood of Yeshua, that is why. So, He is more merciful to us now as He continues in verse 12.
Ivirm (Hebrews) 8:12, Yahweh says:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
So, sometimes people again, do not want to forgive themselves for their past sins. But again, if Yahweh sent His Son that we might receive forgiveness for our past sins and we are still whipping ourselves so to speak, then how can we remain in His shalom? How can we be reconciled to Him? It would be like if you had a child who is a wayward child, and he is rebellious and he is doing his own thing. And then one day he has a change of heart, and he realizes what he is doing is wrong. He says, ‘Mom, Dad, I know I have been living the wrong way and I know I have been doing the wrong things. I want to make a new start, I want to have a new beginning, I want to begin again.’ Are you not going to forgive that child for everything he has done prior to that? That is what happens when we are immersed in Messiah Yeshua. We are immersed into His death, and we arise again new creatures raised unto His life, and then we live our lives in the Spirit.
Now, even if that child makes a mistake after that point, let us say he slips once, he has a bad day and he slips back into his old ways. As long as that child repents again, are you not going to receive him back? This is what happens when we make an error or when we slip up. Whether it is a bad day or whether we make a mistake, so long as we are trying in Messiah Yeshua. It is not that we have a license to sin. It is that as long as we are doing our best then He forgives us our sin. And that right relationship is restored.
Yochanan (John) chapter 3:5-8 Yeshua said:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Elohim.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the spirit.”
Romim (Romans) chapter 8:1 says:
“There is then now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but who walk according to the spirit.
So, as long as that child is doing his best, as long as we are doing our best to stay in Messiah Yeshua, and to abide in Him and to abide in His shalom if we make a mistake we are going to be forgiven.
Qorintim Bet (2 Corinthians) 5:17:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
But people say, ‘But Norman, I do not understand, or you do not understand. I mean, what if I was already a believer and I committed a sin after I was already a believer?’
Well, what we know is that King David was a believer in Elohim when he committed his infamous sin with Bat Sheva (Bathsheba), and also when he committed the sin of the census. The thing is King David confessed his sin with his lips (that is the key) and turned away from his sins. Then the Father forgave him for confessing and turning away. Now, there was still a price to be paid for his sin and the wages of sin is still death, but there was ultimate forgiveness.
Shemuel Bet (2 Samuel) 12:13-14:
“‘I have sinned against Yahweh.’
And the prophet Natan [Nathan] said to King David, ‘Yahweh has also therefore put away your sin; you shall not die.
However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of Yahweh to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’”
Again, there was a price to pay for this sin, but as long as King David confessed his sin and turned away from his sin, King David was ultimately forgiven.
Yeshua even forgave those who put Him to death!
Luqa (Luke) 23:34, Yeshua said:
“‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots.”
So, have you committed a sin so great as to put Yeshua to death? Even so, Yeshua forgives those who do not know what they are doing.
Ma’asei (Acts) 3:17-19, Kepha (Peter) speaks:
“Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. [He explains why].
But those things which Elohim foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Messiah would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. [Yeshua went through these things to fulfill prophecy].
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of Yahweh…
So, that is what we need, to repent so that our sins may be blotted out.
The apostle Shaul relates his experience on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 26:17. Elohim says to him:
Ma’asei (Acts) 26:17-18:
“I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are set apart by faith in me.”
So again, when we turn from our sins, we can even receive an inheritance in Him.
Before I was called to this, I was actually enrolled for a Ph.D. program in psychology. So, I thought it might be helpful to some people to take a look at the difference; because many people try to approach this from a psychological angle, or they want to understand how psychology would look at this. Now they do not credit Yahweh for this which is the great downfall of psychology. But according to psychology, if you are haunted by feelings of doubt or guilt or shame, one of the principles they get right is this. They tell people the first and foremost thing you need to do is you need to sort out your past. And then you need to make peace with your past. And the way you do that is to figure out what it is that you did wrong and then figure out how not to repeat the mistake.
And I say, figure out what you did wrong if anything. Because quite often, for example, with children in homes, children tend to assume guilt even when they did not do anything wrong. Many times, there are children who grew up in broken homes, their parents were fighting and as a child, you sort of tend to assume that things are your fault. So, then you tend to take things on in that way. Many times, we also have abused victims or rape victims, child molestation victims, and they grow up with feelings of doubt or guilt or shame or these kinds of things. And basically, what you have to do in those kinds of situations is figure out how not to repeat the mistake by removing yourself from that dangerous situation.
Now that is what psychology would teach. Figure out what you did wrong if anything, but also figure out how not to repeat the same mistake. How not to do the same things again. And then notice the parallels with Scripture. Now, we give all the credit and glory to Elohim. And the first thing we do is to identify both our past and our present sins. And then we repent of them. And when we repent of our sins Elohim is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and then we simply receive Yahweh’s forgiveness. But we have to receive it, this is where some people are not following through. Then, once we receive Yahweh’s forgiveness, we can enter into his shalom and abide in Yeshua.
Proverbs 28:13 says:
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will have mercy.”
Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So, this is what happens sometimes is people feel the need to hide their sins rather than confess them. Well, it does not work because you cannot lie to the Spirit, you cannot hide things from the Spirit, your sin will find you out.
But again, sometimes people have a hard time with this, and they say; ‘But I do not understand, I mean I was already a believer, I should have known better and still I committed a sin. Have I not trampled on the blood?’ Well, you trample on the blood until you confess the sin and are then forgiven again. Because that is what Yeshua says; no matter how many times a day they sin against you when we confess the sin that is when we are forgiven.
Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:1:
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Yeshua Messiah the righteous.”
We do not have a license to sin just because we believe in Yeshua. We still need to keep the commandments. But He says, but “if anyone sins, remember we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua Messiah the righteous.”
So, how good is it to know that we have an Advocate with the Father? Because His purpose is not to destroy us, His purpose is not to condemn us and to send us to judgment. His purpose is that we might be reconciled with the Father, Yeshua in us and us in Him. Him and the Father and the Father in Him. And thus, the connection that was lost in the Garden of Eden is now restored. That is His main purpose for us.
So, we have to do our part. We have to receive our forgiveness and come back and abide and dwell in His shalom.
Romim (Romans) 5:10
“For if when we were still enemies we were reconciled to Elohim through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
And not only that, but we also rejoice in Elohim through our Adon Yeshua Messiah, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
That is what we need to do is we need to receive His forgiveness so the reconciliation can come to pass. So, brother, sister, if you are plagued by feelings of guilt or doubt or shame, or anything that you have done in the past, and you feel like you should only be punished, you believe that is Elohim’s will for you is that you be punished for the things that you have done. Even though you have already confessed them. Then that itself is a demon and you need to confess that, because that is not His will for us. His will for us is that we receive His forgiveness so that the right relationship between Elohim and man can be restored through the great sacrifice of His Son Yeshua.
So, that is our teaching on the great importance of Accepting Yahweh’s forgiveness.