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  • Shawn Thornton

Better Than a Presidential Pardon

Friday - January 21st

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:3-14


When you were dead in your sins..., God made you alive with Christ.

He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us;

he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:13-14

When President Gerald Ford left the White House in 1977, he privately justified his pardon of President Nixon years earlier by carrying in his wallet a scrap of paper. That scrap included a portion of the text of the Supreme Court decision in Burdick vs. the United States. The 1915 decision stated that a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that acceptance of it by the one being pardoned carries a confession of guilt.

Disgraced former President Richard Nixon never publicly conceded guilt that would require the action taken by Ford. Still, President Ford felt vindicated that Nixon was guilty and needed the pardon. In Ford's mind, the scrap of paper he carried in his wallet confirmed Nixon's acknowledgment of guilt when he received the pardon.

In Colossians chapter two, Paul expresses how we were condemned because of our guilt before God. But, Jesus died to offer us a complete pardon - full release from the guilt. Christ's suffering on the cross and victory over death in His resurrection provided the full pardon for our sin. Jesus made the forgiveness available to all. But, we must receive that gracious pardon ourselves. Part of that is confessing to our God that we indeed are guilty and need the forgiveness offered in Christ.

Paul told the Colossian believers that Jesus "forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness" (Colossians 2:14). Thus, when Christ ‘canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness," he pardoned us.

All of us must come to the point we see our guilt and the indebtedness of our sin before God to receive the pardon offered by way of the cross. We confess our sin and Christ as our Savior. If you have not done that, you can today! If you have come to God acknowledging your guilt and embracing Christ as your Savior, you have a pardon better than a presidential pardon! Thank God for His grace in canceling the charge of your indebtedness before Him!

Ephesians 1:13-14 describes that pardon, that deal with God, being sealed now and forever by the Holy Spirit being placed in us. The moment we receive God's pardon is the very same moment we receive His Spirit. That is truly amazing grace!

The moment we confess our sinfulness to God and embrace Jesus as Savior, God pardons us and seals that pardon with His Spirit!


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