Pondering the Awesomeness of God’s Forgiveness
DATE: 20 Nov, 2005 AM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
DATE: 20 Nov, 2005
PLACE: BBC Mallow
I. Introduction (Luke 7:36-47) (Hymns: It is Well, Old Account)
A. A Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus over for supper one evening
B. As they ate and talked, a woman of “low-degree” came into the dining room, and moved to the feet of the Lord Jesus where she began to weep and wash His feet with her tears as she opened and poured out an alabaster box of precious ointment, pouring it embarrassingly onto Jesus and His clothes
C. Simon, ever the pious zealot for purity was repulsed at thinking anyone would allow themselves to be even near much less touched by such a sinful woman
D. She was well-known as a sinner, and was very bold and thoughtless in her approach to Jesus
E. And yet Jesus said nothing until Simon had thought within himself that how Jesus be a prophet if He didn’t realise just what kind of woman this was
F. It was then Jesus taught Simon the Pharisee about the wonderfulness of forgiveness and how to live the Forgiven-Life (Luke 7:48)
G. That act of forgiveness, in response to her brokenness, changed this woman’s life forever, like nothing else ever could!
H. Wouldn’t it be nice if forgiveness actually changed US too? It definitely will affect your love life!!!
I. This morning I feel very compelled to preach on forgiveness! A kind of forgiveness that just crushes bitterness and history and hurt and discouragement. A kind of forgiveness that frees and liberates a person. A kind of forgiveness that can bury the past, and can do it because someone has been tortured, and beaten, and brutally murdered for that pain, and hurt, and sin against you!
A. The Awfulness of Sin (Ps 51:3,4)
1. Just think for a few minutes of the awfulness of:
a. Lying to those who love you and trust you – letting them down
b. Stealing from people
c. The wickedness of Lust and pornography
d. Fornication - rampant
e. How about adultery – both physical, and mental adultery
f. How about hate, and bitterness
g. What about rebellion and bad attitudes
i. Any of that grieve you like it does me?
2. Five thoughts about the awfulness of sin
a. Springs from the heart of all places
b. Scars the soul – ruins us
c. Stains everything we do
d. Slaughters the world – the cause of all that is wrong in this life is sin
e. Sends people into an eternity in hell
3. There is NONE righteous, no not one (Rom 3:10)
B. The Awesomeness of Forgiveness (Ps 32:1,2) “Hymn – It is Well”
1. The greatest miracle of all time is the miracle of forgiveness
2. The fact that a debt has been “covered” as in paid for by someone else – “I’ve got that covered!”
3. Impute is to hold someone accountable, responsible
4. To NOT impute a sin to someone is to NO LONGER hold them accountable – because they have been removed (Ps 103:12)
5. Forgiveness is blessed because it removes even the STAINS of sin – makes it so that we have no guilt or shame anymore – nothing to hide – that’s what David means when he says, “in whose spirit there is no guile” – nothing to hide anymore – it is all under the blood!
6. Hymns: Burdens are Lifted at Calvary,
C. It doesn’t just happen!
1. Forgiveness is not imposed, or inherited, or even earned
2. It is just received, on another’s account – at His expense!
3. Somebody must pay for that hurt – for that pain – for that sin against you, and against your family, and against your name, and against your potential, and against your reputation
4. Well, somebody did pay – Jesus!
D. Oh that somebody in this room would find it true that you can be fully and completely forgiven, and that you can fully and completely forgive, all because of that Person in history?! And oh that we all live in that mindset!
III. Message – The Blessedness of Forgiveness
A. Awareness – Starts with sin! Three things makes us aware of our sins
1. We are made aware of sin by Our Conscience (Rom 2:14,15)
2. We are made aware of sin by God’s Laws (Rom 7:7)
3. We are made aware of sin by Open Rebuke (Pr 27:5)
4. How blessed it is to become aware of our sinfulness – ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to sin and evil
B. Conviction – realising just how bad we hurt both God and others with our sins! This is the hard part of sin – the hurting of others, especially GOD (Ps 51). This is a very necessary step to appreciating the greatness of forgiveness
1. A guiltiness – shame for what we have done – being convicted of a crime
2. A surrender to the wrongness of our actions and attitudes, and the rightness of God’s condemnation of those things
3. Accepting the guilt and shame – not hardening ourselves to it, not ignoring it, not running and hiding from it
4. It is so blessed to get to this place – oh that everybody would get to the place where we stop being so self-righteous (I’m not that bad mentality) and humble ourselves as the sinners we really are!
C. Repentance (Luke 24:47)
1. Repentance is A decision – a choice to change
2. Repentance is An attitude – hatred towards what is sinful and wrong
3. Repentance is A turning – a different direction you now go
a. When gossiping, and the Holy Spirit speaks to you about saying something – that’s when you change to subject!
b. When sitting down in front of a computer and heading into porn, you turn away, run away
c. ILLUS: Holding Grudge Against Mule - A visitor from across the mountain leaned on the rail fence, watching his old friend plow. "I don't like to butt in," he finally said, "but you could save yourself a lot of work by saying 'gee' and 'haw' to that mule instead of just tuggin' on them lines.' The old timer pulled a big handkerchief from his pocket and mopped his brow. "Yep, I know that," he agreed, "but this mule kicked me six years ago, and I ain't spoke to him since."
4. Repentance is not enough to change anyone in and of itself – it will not save or change anybody – it just breaks you and I down to the level where GOD can save us and change us! It’s the starting point for change!
a. It is you coming to God as a sinner, as a guilty person
b. Empty, without any other hope or alternative
c. And waiting on God
D. Propitiation (Eph 1:7; 1Jn 2:1,2)
1. A full and complete payment to God – excelling our debt, all on His account (1Jn 2:12)
2. The substitutionary Lamb of God – the innocent for the guilty
3. Jesus Christ was THE final and Full Lamb sacrifice for all sin, for all time
4. Referred to as Full Atonement in the Old Testament
5. Oh how wonderful to know that God did that for you! THAT’s how much just one soul means to Him! He loves you that much (Gal 2:20b)!!!
E. Belief – Believe in Jesus Christ to have accomplished everything necessary for you to be forgiven
1. Jesus Christ’s death was perfect in every way – satisfied GOD the Father (Isa 53:10,11)
2. But that death is no good to you if it is not leaned upon – trusted – believed in (Acts 13:38,39) with no reservations
3. ILLUS: Planes are great for flying, but no good to you if you are not willing to lean on them, and trust them enough to get on board and let them take you somewhere!
4. The blessedness of child-like belief The world today is trying very hard to get kids to believe in Santa again, and in miracles, and in themselves!
5. Jesus earned the right to be believed, folks!
F. Justification (1Cor 6:9-11)
1. It means to pardon – to make wrong things, right
2. To take a sinner, and by paying off a massive debt of sins against God, make him a saint! A glorious saint!
3. God didn’t become Man and die on the cross to make bad men good – He died to forgive bad men – which will make them great!
4. Did you ever think of just how powerful forgiveness is? How great it is to be pardoned? To no longer be headed to hell, and condemned to doing the same old sins, but now made free?
5. Justified – just as if I’d never sinned! Hallelujah!
G. Cleansing – constant, liberating, cleansing
1. A cleansing of God’s records (Heb 8:12)
2. A cleansing of our conscience (Heb 9:14)
3. Because of it, we can fully forgive others (Eph 4:32) who don’t deserve it
A. Awareness – How blessed it is to become aware of our sinfulness – ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to sin and evil
B. Conviction – realising just how bad we hurt both God and others with our sins! It is so blessed to get to this place – oh that everybody would get to the place where we stop being so self-righteous and humble ourselves as the sinners we really are
C. Repentance -
D. Propitiation - Oh how wonderful to know that God did that for you! THAT’s how much just one soul means to Him! He loves you that much (Gal 2:20b)!!!
E. Belief – Believe in Jesus Christ to have accomplished everything necessary for you to be forgiven. The blessedness of child-like belief.
F. Justification - Did you ever think of just how powerful forgiveness is? How great it is to be pardoned? To no longer be headed to hell, and condemned to doing the same old sins, but now made free?
G. Cleansing – constant, liberating, cleansing