The Mechanics of Forgiveness | Part IV

What Was Dead is Now Utterly Alive

Because everything is tainted the way that it is, nothing really qualifies as “good” (Is 64:6). In addition, apart from Christ, you are “dead” spiritually, yet His Grace makes what was dead utterly alive…

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Eph 2:1-5)

And where before we were making choices based on a depraved mindset, now we are “slaves to righteousness.” (Rom 6:18)

What that means is that now we process things differently because we not only have the Holy Spirit to alert us to what qualifies as bogus (Jn 16:8), He also provides the resolve and the strength to stand whereas before we simply allowed Satan to play us as fools (1 Cor 10:13; Eph 6:10-18; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8).

A New Creation with a Whole New Set of Tools

When you get to that place where you can connect the dots and realize that Christianity is not just a “tradition” and Christ is not just a spiritual regimen, but instead see it as a Truth that is both practical and profound and embrace Him as a personal Reality – at that point, everything changes.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor 5:17)

Understand that you’re a new creation not because you’ve changed your mind but because of the way Christ changed you.


You see that also in Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

You’ve got a new spring in your set and a different kind of Muscle that you can use to stand against what before would’ve knocked you down (Acts 1:8; Eph 6:10-13).

You’ve got the Holy Spirit living in you. This is what happens when you flip that switch and the authenticity of Christ goes from being a historical fact to a personal Reality. That’s the kind of belief referenced in Romans 10:9-10 and it’s then that the Spirit of Christ takes up residence in your heart and it’s His Preferences that become the determining factor in your life (1 Pet 4:2).

Lose Your Chains!

To be forgiven results in a feeling of relief and restoration. You may have some scars in the aftermath, but while before they were reminders that triggered regret, now they serve as altars to commemorate a debt that was paid on your behalf.

You don’t have to constantly rehearse the mistakes you’ve made and allow them to haunt you and impair every thought that would otherwise be pondered in the context of a clear conscience and an optimistic disposition. You can instead lose those chains that keep you shackled to your shame and let Christ restore and renew that mindset that sees first the empty tomb before your list of wrongs (Heb 10:22).

You have the option to ignore His Instruction and dismiss the Resources He offers, but not without the Holy Spirit creating within you a desire to make things right – not just with those who you have wronged, but with the One that is ultimately offended with every sin you commit (2 Sam 12:13; Jn 16:8; 2 Cor 7:9-10).

You can make it right, you can lose your chains – but you’ve got to ask for Forgiveness in the context of the mechanics outlined in the Word of God: Real confession, genuine reverence and intentional reprentance.

Short of that kind of approach, you’re pursuing a pointless imitation of humility (Jas 4:10) that masquerades as piety but, in the end, is nothing more than a resolve to maintain one’s self as your only absolute (2 Tim 3:5).

But, when you do draw to the throne of Grace, with confidence (Heb 4:16) and a single mindedness to “turn from you wicked ways” (2 Chron 7:14; Jas 4:7-10), you receive more than you could ever hope for and more than any of us could ever deserve.

Those are the Mechanics of Forgiveness!

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