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    Chapter 6—Faith and Acceptance

    As God’s Holy Spirit brings to life the spiritual powers of your mind, you begin to see how evil and strong sin is. You feel the guilt and sorrow it brings, and you hate it. You feel that sin has separated you from God. Its power has made you a slave. The more you try to escape, the more you know that you cannot help yourself. You see that your life has been filled with selfishness and sin. Your heart is unclean and your desires are not pure. You want to be forgiven, to be clean, to be set free. But what can you do to be one with God and to be like Him?STJ 46.1

    You need peace—Heaven’s forgiveness and peace and love. Money cannot buy that peace. Study will not give it. The mind cannot find it. Being wise will not provide it. You can never hope to receive this peace by your own work and power.STJ 46.2

    God offers His peace to you as a gift. “It will cost you nothing!” Isaiah 55:1. It is yours if you will reach out your hands and take it. The Lord says, “You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. “I will give you a new heart and a new mind.” Ezekiel 36:26.STJ 46.3

    You have confessed your sins and chosen to put them out of your life. You have decided to give yourself to God. Now go to Him and ask Him to wash away your sins. Ask Him to give you a new heart, a new mind. Then believe that He does this, because He has promised. Jesus taught this lesson when He was on the earth. You must believe that you receive the gift God promises and that it is yours.STJ 47.1

    Jesus healed the sick people who had faith in His power. Healing them made them able to see that He could help them in other ways. It led them to believe in His power to forgive sin. Jesus explained this when He was healing a man who was too sick to get out of his bed. He said, “I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Jesus then spoke to the sick man, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home!” Matthew 9:6.STJ 47.2

    John, the disciple of Jesus, told us why Christ healed people. He wrote, “These have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.” John 20:31.STJ 47.3

    Read the Bible stories about Jesus healing the sick. From them you can learn something of how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Turn to the story of the sick man at the pool of Bethesda. The poor man was helpless. He had not walked for 38 years. Yet Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home!”STJ 48.1

    The sick man did not say, “Lord, if You make me well, I will obey Your word.” No, he believed Christ’s word. He believed he was made well, and that very moment he tried to walk. He chose to walk. And he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. The man was healed.STJ 48.2

    Now look at yourself. You are a sinner. You can do nothing to take away your past sins. You cannot change your heart or make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. Believe that promise. Confess your sins and give yourself to God. Choose to serve Him. God will surely keep His promise to you if you do this. When you believe, God acts. You will be made clean and whole, just as Christ gave the sick man power to walk when he believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it.STJ 48.3

    Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Say, “I believe it. It is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.”STJ 48.4

    Jesus said, “When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.” Mark 11:24. There is something important to remember in this promise. You must pray for those things that God wants you to have. God wants to free you from sin and make you His child. He wants to give you power to live a holy life.STJ 49.1

    You may pray for these blessings and believe that you receive them. Then you may thank God that you have received them. You may go to Jesus and be made clean and stand before God’s law without shame or sadness. “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.STJ 49.2

    When you belong to Christ, you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. “God paid a ransom to save you..., and the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.... But he paid for you with the priceless lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18, 19, TLB. Because you believe what God has said, the Holy Spirit creates a new life in your heart. You are as a child born into the family of God, and He loves you as He loves His own Son.STJ 49.3

    Now that you have given yourself to Jesus, do not turn back. Do not take yourself away from Him. Day after day say, “I am Christ’s. I have given myself to Him.” Ask Him to give you His Spirit and keep you by His grace. You became His child by giving yourself to God and believing in Him. You are to live in Him in the same way. The apostle Paul wrote, “Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him.” Colossians 2:6.STJ 49.4

    Some people feel that they are on trial and must prove to the Lord that they have changed before they can receive His blessing. But they may receive the blessing right now. They must have His grace, the Spirit of Christ, to help them overcome their weaknesses. Without it they cannot fight against sin.STJ 50.1

    Jesus loves to have us come to Him just as we are, sinful, helpless, and needy. We may come, foolish and weak as we are, and fall at His feet in sorrow for sin. It is His glory to put His arms of love around us, heal our wounds, and make us clean.STJ 50.2

    Thousands believe that Jesus pardons other people, but not them. They do not believe what God says. But every person who truly repents can know for himself that God freely pardons every one of his sins.STJ 50.3

    Do not fear. God’s promises are meant for you. They are for every person who is sorry for his sins. Christ sends angels to bring strength and grace to every believing person. Even the most sinful persons can be strong, pure, and righteous by accepting Jesus, who died for them. Christ is waiting to take away our sin-soiled clothes, and to put on us the clean, white clothes of righteousness. He wants us to live and not die.STJ 50.4

    God does not treat us the way people treat each other. He thinks of us with love, mercy, and pity. He says, “Let the wicked leave their way of life and change their way of thinking. Let them turn to the Lord, our God; for he is merciful and quick to forgive.” Isaiah 55:7. “I have swept your sins away like a cloud. Come back to me: I am the one who saves you.” Isaiah 44:22.STJ 51.1

    The Lord says, “I do not want anyone to die.... Turn away from your sins and live.” Ezekiel 18:32. Satan tries to keep you from believing the blessed promises of God. He wants to take away from you every bit of hope and every ray of light. But you must not let him do this. Do not listen to Satan. Say to him, “Jesus died so that I could live. He loves me and does not want me to die. I have a loving heavenly Father. Even though I have turned from His love and wasted His blessings, I will go to my Father. I will say, ‘I have sinned against Heaven and against You. I am no longer worthy to be called Your son. Treat me as one of Your hired workers.’”STJ 51.2

    Jesus told the story of a son who had left home and how he was received when he decided to come back. “He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20.STJ 51.3

    This is a beautiful story, but it cannot fully tell of the heavenly Father.’s love and pity. The Lord said through His prophet, “I have always loved you, so I continue to show you my constant love.” Jeremiah 31:3. The Father is hoping for the sinner’s return even while the sinner is far away wasting his life and money in a strange country. When a person feels a desire to return to God, this is God’s Spirit calling, trying to bring the sinner to the Father’s heart of love.STJ 52.1

    With the wonderful promises of the Bible before you, how can you doubt? How can you think that Jesus will not welcome the sinner who wants to turn from his sins? Put away such thoughts! Nothing can hurt you more than believing such an idea about our heavenly Father.STJ 52.2

    The Father hates sin, but He loves the sinner. He gave Himself when He gave Christ that all who would believe might be saved. He wanted them to be blessed forever in His kingdom of glory.STJ 52.3

    What stronger or more loving words could He use to tell us how much He loves us? He said, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.” Isaiah 49:15.STJ 52.4

    Look up to Jesus if you have doubts and fears. He lives to ask God to forgive your sins. Thank God for the gift of His dear Son. Pray that His death for you will not be useless. The Spirit invites you today. Come with your whole heart to Jesus and receive His blessing.STJ 52.5

    Read His promises. Remember that they tell of His love and pity, which are stronger than words can tell. God’s great heart of infinite love turns to the sinner with never-ending pity. “By the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Ephesians 1:7.STJ 53.1

    Believe that God is your helper. He wants to change your life, to make it like His perfect life. Come close to Him as you confess your sins and repent, and He will come close to you with mercy and forgiveness.STJ 53.2

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