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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 7: Accepting God's Forgiveness

We accepted the fullness of God’s forgiveness and his spiritual eradication of all our misdeeds and shortcomings.

Once we have confronted our mistakes and misdeeds, confessed them to God and to a trusted friend, forgiven all who have wronged us, asked forgiveness of those we have wronged, and made our amends, we are entitled to experience the fullness of God’s forgiveness and confidently take our places in the Father’s universal family. With God’s help, we have faced down our fears, disowned false pride by acknowledging before another what we have done, apologized to those we harmed, and to the best of our ability, set right the mistakes of our pasts.

Now comes a crucial act of faith: we must hand over all of these matters to our Father, and allow him to remove even their memory. We have dealt with these past mistakes to the best of our ability and are entitled to be free of their dead weight. We must now cease any further consideration of these errors, leaving them abandoned and forgotten while we move forward into the future God has prepared for us. Bad memories become unreal as nightmares upon awakening as God heals our souls. We have shown mercy to those who have wronged us and should not imagine that our Father will be less merciful towards us. The Father understood us from the beginning, our errors and how we came to make them; he looked upon our frailties with a parent’s merciful eye. God forgave our mistakes even before we asked, because his forgiveness was not conditioned on anything we did, but existed naturally as a parent’s love. God had already forgiven, even though our experience of that forgiveness was unavailable until we had forgiven, asked forgiveness, and made amends.

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REFERENCES

God is divinely kind to sinners. When rebels return to righteousness, they are mercifully received, "for our God will abundantly pardon." "I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." 2:5.4

The forgiveness of sin by Deity is the renewal of loyalty relations following a period of the human consciousness of the lapse of such relations as the consequence of conscious rebellion. The forgiveness does not have to be sought, only received as the consciousness of re-establishment of loyalty relations between the creature and the Creator. 89:10.6

"Every one who is called by my name I have created for my glory, and they shall show forth my praise. I, even I, am he who blots out their transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember their sins." 97:7.10

"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'" 131:2.10

"Let the wicked forsake his evil way and the unrighteous man his rebellious thoughts. Says the Lord: 'Let them return to me, and I will have mercy on them; I will abundantly pardon.'" 131:2.11

"And this is the sum of duty: Let no man do to another what would be repugnant to himself; cherish no malice, smite not him who smites you, conquer anger with mercy, and vanquish hate by benevolence. And all this we should do because God is a kind friend and a gracious father who remits all our earthly offenses." 131:4.6

"This religion of the Wise One cleanses the believer from every evil thought and sinful deed. I bow before the God of heaven in repentance if I have offended in thought, word, or act--intentionally or unintentionally--and I offer prayers for mercy and praise for forgiveness. I know when I make confession, if I purpose not to do again the evil thing, that sin will be removed from my soul. I know that forgiveness takes away the bonds of sin." 131:5.5

"When men and women ask what shall we do to be saved, you shall answer, Believe this gospel of the kingdom; accept divine forgiveness." 150:5.2

"I admonish you to fear none, in heaven or on earth, but to rejoice in the knowledge of him who has power to deliver you from all unrighteousness and to present you blameless before the judgment seat of a universe." 165:3.3

"Divine forgiveness is inevitable; it is inherent and inalienable in God's infinite understanding, in his perfect knowledge of all that concerns the mistaken judgment and erroneous choosing of the child." 174:1.3

The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival. Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. Jesus' death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice--mere technical right and wrong. 

Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all weakness resulting therefrom. Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. 

Salvation does not slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with mere forgiveness. The Master's love implies rehabilitation, eternal survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption if you mean this eternal rehabilitation.

Jesus, by the power of his personal love for men, could break the hold of sin and evil. He thereby set men free to choose better ways of living. Jesus portrayed a deliverance from the past which in itself promised a triumph for the future. Forgiveness thus provided salvation. The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart, forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil. 188:5.2&3



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