FORGIVENESS AND THE FEAR OF GOD – 15 Sep 2007

Ps 130   If You, YAH, should keep track of iniquities, who could stand, O Lord?  But there is forgiveness with You, so that You may be feared.

Mk 2:5-12   Your sins are forgiven. . . . .Who can forgive sins but God alone?!

Is 33:22   YHVH is our Judge; YHVH is our Lawgiver; YHVH is our King; He will save us!

Mt 1:21   …He shall be called Yeshua, for he will save His people from their sins (iniquities).

YHVH God is our Judge, and He alone has authority to forgive our sins and transgressions and iniquities.  The Father has given all authority to His Son Yeshua/Jesus, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father (Jn 5:22-23).  Jesus has also said that even He will not judge us, but that the Word He has spoken will judge us on the last day (Jn 12:47-48).

As Israel and the Jewish people around the world observe what are called the Days of Awe from their New Year (or, Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets) through the Day of Atonements, God has given His people to consider the state of their souls (heshbon nefesh) before their fellow man and before their Creator God who alone redeems and saves His people and countless others from amongst humanity.

Forgiveness of sin is absolutely necessary in order to be in right relationship with God and with others in our lives.  Without forgiveness, there is no fellowship, no joy or freedom in that person’s presence.  Only YHVH forgives iniquities so that He may be feared and revered!  He alone is righteous, therefore He alone has been the ultimate object of sin– or, the offended Person. 

Being that YHVH is a Savior from sin in His righteous judgment and love, He also can demand of us who are His sons and daughters that have been created anew in His image must also be willing to forgive from our hearts those who have sinned against us.  Otherwise, our Father in Heaven will not forgive us either when we sin; in fact, that is the transgression:  unforgiveness.  Our Father is saying, “Why should I forgive you your sin which you are asking me to do, when you are not willing to forgive another person their sin against you?

The fear of God brings with it respect for those in authority because they have power over our lives to reward or to punish.  In other words, they are our judges.  Parents have responsibility to discipline their own children in order to instruct them in right and wrong; teachers have authority over children not in their own families to discipline them in order to maintain order in a classroom; school principals have authority over teachers and can determine whether or not they remain in their profession; government rulers can place lawbreakers into prison.  If we respect authority and those who have it, God can entrust us with authority over others.  Sin is lawlessness, which acknowledges no higher authority over it (them).  There is no fear; they feel no obligation under God, who is the Judge of all the Earth, to either ask for forgiveness or to grant forgiveness.

The one true God has spoken that the Word of God will judge every one on the last day (Heb 4:12-13).  The Lord Jesus tells us not to fear him who can kill our bodies, but to fear Him who can not only kill our bodies but also cast our souls into Hell. (Lk 12:5)

While Jewish people are still seeking their own righteousness, we who believe in God’s righteousness know that the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins has made us aware of how horrible sin is to our holy Father, and how true it is that all persons should fear God, who alone can forgive sin and change our whole life to love Him who has first loved us.  Our God is full of grace and truth.  How can we ever again turn our backs on Him again?!  Let the lovingkindness of God take deep root within our inmost being, and live in the full knowledge of Him who has brought us out of darkness into His glorious light.

Receiving forgiveness from God for previously rejecting His only way of coming back to Him is truly a ‘new year’, a new beginning where, forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, we can press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  The fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge, of understanding, and of wisdom.

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