Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Are you a woman who has had an abortion?
Are you a woman who is still dealing with the guilt of having had an abortion? If so, then you might need to know you are forgiven so you can receive full healing, forgiveness, and release. Maybe you were a Christian when you had your abortion, knew it was wrong at the time, have since confessed and repented, and yet you still have feelings of guilt and remorse. Then again, maybe you are a Christian now, but were not when you went through with an abortion and you have guilt that saps your Christian joy. Whatever your situation, whether you know you have been forgiven in Christ and are healed and are released, or you are still fighting the seeds of guilt and remorse, abortion is a difficult emotional experience for any woman to go through.
"Can you be forgiven? Yes, you can. Of course you can. More importantly, the question is are you forgiven right now?"
Can you be forgiven? Yes, you can. Of course you can. More importantly, the question is are you forgiven right now? If you are in Christ, if you are born again, then you have already been forgiven. Your abortion was a sin, but no sin is so big that the Lord Jesus cannot forgive it. He saved you knowing exactly what you have done, are doing, and will do...and He still loves you. He loves you not because of who you are, but because of who He is.
If you've had an abortion, you're not evil. You are not someone who hates babies or can't be a good mother, and you certainly don't need to be called names by anyone or be stigmatized by people, especially Christians. What you are is a sinner, just like everyone else. We all have our weaknesses and failures and we must all face Jesus with them. The place we need to go is to the cross where He took all our sins and paid the penalty for them.
Punishing yourself with guilt
There is an important lesson you need to learn about forgiveness that begins with understanding two things: justification and sanctification. Justification is God's legal declaration upon a sinner that the sinner is declared righteous in God's sight; this is also known as salvation. Sanctification is God working in the Christian, through the Holy Spirit, to make the Christian more like Christ. Justification is instantaneous. Sanctification lasts a lifetime. Justification is easy because we receive it by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8). Sanctification is difficult because it is something we do in cooperation with God as He works in our hearts daily. If we are not very sanctified in our actions, thoughts, and words, we are still justified; we are still saved because of Jesus. Justification does not depend upon our sanctification. In other words, our salvation is not dependent on our works in any way. This justification (salvation) is based upon what Jesus did. Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Jesus paid for our sins, all of them. They are gone because He removed them. It is all because of Jesus and what He did and not because of what we have done. Praise be to Him.
Now, I have a question for you. Can you earn your salvation or do anything at all to merit forgiveness from God? No. Of course not. That is why salvation is by faith and not by works or faith and works. If you did not get your salvation by your works, then you do not keep it by your works, either. In other words, you do not keep your salvation by doing good or by suffering for your sins so that you might, somehow, be made good enough to be with God. It can never happen!
Finally, to the point. Some Christians, after they have committed a sin, punish themselves by retaining the guilt of their sin and do not receive the full forgiveness of Christ until they have put themselves through enough suffering that they have then "earned" the right to be forgiven. Of course, this isn't the intention of holding on to guilt, but it sometimes is the underlying reason. It is a danger because it is nothing more than trying to earn the forgiveness of God through our works, in this case, through suffering. This is an insult to the cross of Christ.
Now, I am not saying that we should never feel guilty for doing something wrong. I am saying that you should confess your sins and be forgiven (1 John 1:9). Once confessed and forgiven, it is wrong to harbor the feelings of guilt as a way to punish yourself so that you might thereafter feel you've done enough to "feel" good enough to have fellowship with God. That is what is wrong and it is sin. If that is what you are doing, then you need to realize that God does not require you to pay for your sins through feeling guilty. He has already paid the full price. Your part is to humbly and truly confess your sin to the Lord, turn from it, and leave it. By looking to Jesus and what He has done, you can let the guilt and the guilty feelings fall away from you. Put your eyes on Jesus. Praise Him for His great love and forgiveness and continue in your walk of sanctification. Lay it all before the cross.
"I will remember their sins no more"
God says, "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more," (Heb. 8:12). If God chooses not to remember your sins anymore, why should you? Why should you harbor the guilt of a sin that has been forgiven and washed away by the blood of Christ? That is what He means when He says He will not remember it anymore. He simply will not bring it up again once it is confessed and forgiven. So, if He has forgiven you and He will not bring up the sin of abortion again, then from where does your guilt come? It isn't from God. It is from you. You are punishing yourself.
Let it go. Receive the full forgiveness of Christ that comes from a loving and holy God who has saved you knowing exactly what you are and what you have done.
If you were an unbeliever when you had your abortion, but have been beating yourself up with guilt, confess your sin and let it go. Let the forgiveness of Christ wash over you and be released. You are forgiven and set free in Christ. If you were a Christian when you had your abortion and feel even more guilt because you knew better, confess your sin and let it go. Let the forgiveness of Christ wash over you and be released. You are forgiven and set free in Christ. If you are a Christian woman who has had an abortion, but you have found release and freedom from guilt, then glory be to God who has worked His wondrous grace in you.
"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more," (Heb. 8:12).
Rom. 5:1, "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Eph. 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."
Heb. 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more."
1 Pet. 2:24, "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."
1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."