This message is still shocking today, even to the church.
What does it mean to be forgiven if not that God chooses to remember your sins and failures no more?
We are only forgiven through Jesus Christ when we are clothed with his life and blood.
That's why Paul the apostle said there is no condemnation in Christ.
When we are in Jesus, we are one with him and darkness can never have a part with Jesus.
Therefore, if you are forgiven, your sins are not only no longer remembered, but they are removed from you as far as the east is from the west.
When you humble yourself, confess your sins, and worship the savior, you are a new creation. That means old things are gone and all things have become new.
As a new creation, you are not identified by your old self and no one can ever use your old sins and failures as gossip or slander against you because it's not you anymore.
The only ones who will try to use your past forgiven sins and failures against you are the devil, the father of lies, and those who follow his tactics.
If anyone tries to slander you or gossip about your past, you have a right to say, "get behind me satan" because only the accuser uses lies to condemn you.
One time, Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother in one day.
Jesus' answer astounded him. He said seventy times seven.
Don't believe that you have to remember someone's past to protect yourself from sin unless that person has not repented and has not been born again.
Even if your brother sins against you 490 times in one day, Jesus still calls you to forgive him and start a fresh relationship with him.
I believe the reason for this extreme answer is the importance to define people how God defines them.
If you believe you're a sinner, you will sin.
Your identity determines your actions.
But if you believe you're a saint, you will do good works unto right living.
That tragedy is when someone in authority over you defines you by your past or neglects the truth that you are forgiven, a new creation, and holy in Christ.
That shocking message that you are forgiven in Christ will turn the church right side down.
Leaders will send out the unqualified as Jesus did with his disciples because they know God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
As long as Jesus is the head then you can be sure something powerful is going to happen when those with highest authority take the lowest positions and those with no authority have the spotlight.
Only the Spirit of God can lead this kind of congregation into truth and praise.
Wouldn't it be better to have the presence of God in the assembly rather than the safety of seminary degrees teaching you from the pulpit?
When you see an untrained, unlearned nobody take the stage with power and authority, speaking truth and the glory of God, then humble yourself because the hand of God is among you.
Jesus turned the world upside down.
Our old nature is to turn it back around again.
That's probably why God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
Only the fools are willing to follow Jesus against the stream and turn things upside down again.
But the key for each of these fools being used by God is humbling themselves, confessing their sin, and being born again as a new creation in Christ.
Forgiven, new, and righteous saints unqualified by the world, but qualified by God will lead the next generation back to the Father.
All to the glory of God alone.