On page 4 of his book “Free by Divine Decree,” Paul Johansson writes, “The book of Romans is fully understood only by revelation. It is a revelation that will dawn on you. We may have built a system of beliefs that requires us to earn our salvation. Some people may mistakenly think that service to God, if one well, will earn a way to heaven. No deeds can purchase our salvation. It costs too much. It cost Jesus his life. Only Jesus Christ was able to afford to pre-pay the full extravagant price of our salvation with His perfect sacrificial death. His payment was the final evidence that the Judge of all mankind needs to declare you and me, ‘Free, by divine decree.’”
Thinking about what Johansson is saying, it seems to me that most people understand the problem. Others have harmed us in ways they can never repay. We have harmed others in ways we can never repair no matter how ashamed we may be of what we have done. The fact is that no act on our part can “fix it.” Paul, the apostle, refers to this reality as being a body of death. Fortunately, God provides a pathway to life in Jesus Christ.
Having just said that, in some ways the problem hides from us. You see, we live in a society influence by centuries by Christian thought, we have lost track of the fact that forgiveness is entirely counter intuitive. Christian Missionaries to the Vikings invented the word “forgive” to express what Jesus Christ did. The word expressed the picture of the person we owe standing in front of us (for) opening his or her hand. They drop the bill of charges to the ground (give). Don’t you see? Others choose to forgive us even though we don’t deserve it.
I will be exploring the idea of freedom through forgiveness in a series of mediation found on my YouTube Channel. I encourage you to use each meditation for a week. Each week you will find a video to use.