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How do I know if I have a forgiven heart?

Faith and forgiveness.

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Forgiveness of sins is only available through belief in and obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ. We must believe that he is God’s promised Messiah who lived a sinless life and died to redeem us from our sins.

John Baptist bears witness to him.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus says of himself.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Peter and the other apostles bear witness of him.

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Forgiveness of sins requires belief.

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Forgiveness of sins requires repentance.

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Forgiveness of sins requires baptism.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Baptism gives remission of sins that have been committed prior to baptism.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

After baptism we must live a new life by the commandments of Christ.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

We will still sin but in Christ we can have our sins forgiven if we confess them in prayer.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus

Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:1 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:

The commandments of Christ that we must live by:

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Our neighbour includes our enemy.

Matthew 5: 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:

If we believe the gospel, repent, are baptised by immersion in water and live a new life by the commandments of Christ, we are assured that our sins are forgiven. We will not ‘know’ it except by self examination. When we ask ourselves have we done that which is commanded for the remission of our sins and our conscience answers ‘yes’, then we can believe that our sins are forgiven. If we have not done what is commanded our sins are not forgiven.

Meeting together to share bread and wine was inaugurated that we might regularly examine ourselves in the light of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is written of the early converts:

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

We will not easily forget our sins and will probably continue to recall them throughout our lives, but we have the assurance and comfort of scripture that if we are ‘in Christ’ God will remember our sins against us no more and raise us to eternal life when Christ returns.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith

 
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