DIVINE FORGIVENESS


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:

      1. Paul in speaking before King Agrippa in Acts 26:1-32, told him what the Lord had said unto him on the Damascus road in Acts chapter nine. Note: [verse 16-18 of Acts 26] = "But arise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
      2. Paul speaking in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia said [Acts 13:38-39] = "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
      3. Hebrews 8:12 = "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

    2. THE PURPOSE OF THIS DISCUSSION IS TO CENTER OUR MINDS ON DIVINE FORGIVENESS:

      1. The nature of it.
      2. The need of it.
      3. The cost of it.
      4. The completeness of it.
      5. The blessedness of it.

  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. THE NATURE OF IT:
      1. The guilt of sin is forgiven by God, when it is repented of. Acts 8:22 = "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee."
        [See Luke 13:3].
      2. However, the forgiveness of the sin does not erase the fact that the sin was committed, or from all of the consequences of the sin:
        1. If children were the result of adultery or fornication, they have not disappeared from the face of the earth, nor are we released from the obligated responsibility of them.
        2. If something was stolen [Example: A TV]. The forgiveness is granted by God but the TV is not ours to keep.
        3. It does not blot from the person’s mind the memory of the sin.
      3. The forgiveness is a release from the eternal debt of condemnation by God due to the repentance of the one committing the sin. It is a restoration of a broken fellowship by a penitent prodigal son.
        1. The forgiveness is dependent upon the fact the sin is not committed anymore, or the continued participation in the results of the sin.
          b. Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, John 8:10-11 = "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none by the woman, he said unto her, woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She s aid, no man , Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin nor more."
    2. THE NEED OF IT:
      1. Isaiah 59:1-2 = "Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
      2. Romans 3:23 = "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
        COMMENT:
        • [1] It would then seem impossible for God to hear anyone’s prayer, but consider,
          John 9:31 = "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."
        • [2] Everyone is not guilty of the same sin, but we all are
          guilty. Let us classify the basic sins:
          • a. Sins of the flesh: Lewdness; drunkenness; Etc. Example: The prodigal son. Luke 15:13 = "And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living." [He had lived with harlots, Luke 15:30].
          • b. Sins of temperament: Stubbornness, sullenness, strife, unkindness, envy, unjust criticism, outbursts of passion, self-righteousness, prudishness, ETC. Example: The elder son. Luke 15:25 = "Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing." ….. "And he was angry" (Luke 15:28); and very critical of his brother’s welcome back home (Luke 15:29-30).
          • c. Social sin: Theft, robbery, extortion, murder, the sins of the flesh could also come under this heading as well, ETC. Example: Achan, Joshua 7:21 = "When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, that I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it." ……..Cain, who killed Abel [Genesis 4].
          • d. Religious sins: Idolatry, sacrilege, blasphemy, sorcery, false teaching, ETC. [Galatians 5:19-20].
          • e. Sins of negligence. James 4:17 = "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Example: The priest and the Levite on the Jericho road, Luke 10:30-32 = "…A
            certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
            "
          • f. Sins of misplaced emphasis. Luke 9:59-62 = "And he said unto another, follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back , is fit for the kingdom of God."

    3. THE COST OF IT.
      1. The Divine cost: Hebrews 9:22 = "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." ….. Hebrews 9:13-14 = "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.?"
        ... Luke 24:46-47 = "And said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
      2. The human cost:
        1. It comes at the price of obedience. Acts 2:38 = "The Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
        2. It comes at the price of continued activity. I John 1:7 = "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." ….. Matthew 10:22 = "… But he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
        3. It comes at the price of a forgiving spirit. Matthew 6:14-15 = "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

    4. THE FULNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF IT:
      1. When man meets the conditions God has set forth, God will freely cancel the debt of sin and remember it against us no more. Matthew 18:27 = "Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt." ….. Acts 3:19 = "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." ….. Hebrews 10:17 = "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
      2. When sins are forgiven, God no longer holds them against us. Example: [Luke 15:20-24] When the prodigal son returned to his father, the father did not penalize him or rebuke him, or even remind him of
        his sins. Psalms 103:12 = "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." ….. Isaiah 38:17 = "Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back."
    5. THE BLESSEDNESS OF IT.
      1. Forgiveness removes the barrier between man and God, between man and man. Isaiah 59:2 = "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
      2. It relieves the burden of dread and fear of rejection. I John 4:17-18 = "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
      3. It creates in the soul of the one forgiven the need of his forgiveness of others. Ephesians 4:31-32 = "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." ….. I John 4:11 = "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
      4. It causes the soul to swell up with joy unspeakable. Acts 8:39 = "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his was rejoicing." ….. Romans 4:6-8 = "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. MAN WAS AND STILL IS UNABLE TO BRING ABOUT FORGIVENESS BY HIMSELF ALONE.
    2. GOD SAW THE NEED AND MET THE NEED TO BRING ABOUT THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN.
    3. GOD WILL FORGIVE ALL OUR SINS, IF WE WILL ONLY COMPLY WITH GOD’S TERMS OF PARDON AND REPENT OF THEM.
    4. DO YOU WANT DIVINE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS?

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