“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
There’s no greater honor other than the recognition of being loved by God. There’s no greater good other than that which benefit, not only one person, but the entire world. Love bears the highest understanding. Best of all, love keeps no record of wrongs.
When God wanted to remember our wrongs, He caused Christ to die on a cross for all of them. When He wanted us to be sure that he no longer remembered them, He came in the person of the Holy Spirit and resided with our human spirit to not ever separate from us.
He remembered our wrongs no more, that’s a benefit of the new covenant. No further remembrance, no further need for sacrifices.
As we break bread 🥖 and share wine 🍷 in remembrance of Christ, we are to do so in celebration of the forgiveness of our sins, the sins of the entire world. Such moment is to never be an occasion of guilt-sowing, nor should it ever be an invite to be asking God for further forgiveness as if what was rendered at the cross freely by the love of God wasn’t enough.
“God forgave us all our sins.” (Colossians 2:13)
“Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
“In Christ, God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
My hope and prayer for all of us is that we get to remember these words,
-so that we are discharged of our self-imposed guilts by forgiving ourselves as God forgave us in Christ, and discharge others of their guilts with the good news of the forgiveness of their sins, for “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation” (Isaiah 52:7)
-and that we are comforted in our sufferings to no longer perceive them as punishments but as opportunities to grow spiritually as we learn the depths and widths of the glory of God within us. For Christ Jesus, our Lord, who suffered, had said, “You must follow me.”
-and that we are encouraged to go on and live by grace, the living hope, Christ in us, His understanding in us, His Spirit in us, and reflect his presence within to ourselves and others in words and deeds in our relationship with one another. For, as Christ had said, “by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
There’s no “if” about it. The translation of that verse may convey doubts about such things ever taking place and that it is the burden of the disciples to try and love each other by their own understanding and human efforts. Christ knew that the disciples would be loving each other to a degree they were never familiar with before. He knew they would be loving each other, not just as they loved themselves but more importantly as God loves them and gave Christ as a sacrifice to pay up for their sins. The verse would be better translated as, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, when you love one another.” And this was bound to happen as soon as Christ was to open their minds about the Scriptures and come to reside in them through the person of the Holy Spirit. Such residence gave them strength to love, forgive, hope, endure, rejoice, suffer even while in their decaying bodies.
How are we related? We are loved by God.