God’s forgiveness is one of my favorite parts of the gospel. I did not deserve to be loved in such a way, yet God loved me enough to even send His Son to die so that I could be forgiven. It does not matter what I have done in the past, Christ can and will forgive me when I confess my sins. John tells us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). God does not give any other caveat to His forgiveness, other than confessing our sin. He does not tell us that He will forgive… unless we have done this particular sin; nor does he say he will forgive… as long as you never sin again. God says He is faithful and just and He will forgive our sins.
Sadly, many believers stop there. Praise God He has the power to forgive sins, but Christian, He can do so much more. At the end of the book of Jude, Jude gives a song of praise to God. The very first truth he writes in his hymn of praise is the following words: “Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Did you catch it? God not only forgives us when we sin, but He is able to keep us from sinning! God can give us the strength to say no when we are tempted to sin. When Jude uses the words, “that is able,” he uses the present participle form of the word. By doing so, he is saying, “It is God’s nature to uphold the believer in this way.” God has the power and authority to keep His children from stumbling. He is vitally concerned and active in aiding His own. What does this mean for us? It means that we are not left alone in our struggle with sin. Unlike the haughty, independent imposters that Jude describes at the beginning of his letter, a true saint keeps his strength in God, who can preserve him that he does not stumble.
God is able and will forgive all of our past present and future sins – and praise God for that; but He also has the authority and power to keep us from sinning in the first place. Where are you placing your strength to fight temptation? Christ is the only one that has the power to defeat the devil and his lies. Tapping into that power will allow us to “keep ourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21).