sing about it

January 30, 2015

christ on cross

One of the most beautiful words in the human vocabulary is forgiveness. How much pain and unhappy consequences could be avoided if we all learned the meaning of this word.  The Sweet Singer of Israel shared some of the emotion he personally experienced after he asked God to “wash away  my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2, NIV). “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1,2, NIV). In one bold stroke, forgiveness obliterates the past and permits us to enter the land of new beginnings.

The Basis for Forgiveness:

  1. Reconciliation. When God forgives, there is an immediate and complete change in relationship. Instead of hostility, there is love and acceptance. Instead of enmity, there is friendship. “God . . .reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19, NIV).

  2. Purification. The very essence of forgiveness is being restored to our original standing before God. “Purge me. . .and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7, KJV). (See also 1 John 1:9, Romans 4:7.)

Another aspect of purification is that God forgets our sin when He forgives it. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12, NIV). (See also Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17.)

  1. Remittance. Forgiveness results in God’s dropping the charges against us. He will not enforce judgment because of our sins.  Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery,” . . . Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11, KJV). (See also Romans 8:1.)

What a great privilege the counselor has in sharing the joy of God’s forgiveness!

 

 

FORGIVING OTHERS

 

  1. We must forgive our debtors.

Matt. 6:12. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

  1. Forgiving others is an absolute necessity.

Matt. 6:14-15. If you forgive men when the sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

  1. Jesus says we must forgive often.

Matt. 18:21-22. Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven).”

Luke 17:3-4. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, “I repent,” forgive him.

  1. The parable of the unmerciful servant shows how sinful it is not to forgive; God sends judgment on this sin.

Matt. 18:23-25.

  1. Put away bitterness and anger; forgive as God forgives.

Eph. 4:31-32. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

  1. Be imitators of God.

Eph. 5:1-2. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a  fragrant offering and sacrifices to God.

  1. The father of the prodigal son forgave him and accepted him as completely as if he had not sinned. This father represents God. Thus Jesus reveals how God treats repentant sinners.

Luke 15:20-24.

  1. Jesus commands us to forgive others.

Mark 11:25. When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

  1. Love keeps no record of wrongs.

1 Cor. 13:5. . (Love) keeps no record of wrongs.

  1. Love covers (overlooks) a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

  1. Restore with gentleness on who has fallen into sin.

Gal. 6:1. Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

  1. Paul tells us we must forgive and restore one who has sinned against us.

2 Cor. 2:5-11.

  1. Forgive a repentant sinner and affirm your love.

2 Cor. 2:7-8. Now, instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

  1. When we forgive others, we outwit Satan.

2 Cor. 2:10-11. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us.  For we are not unaware of his schemes.

  1. Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery and treated them kindly.

Gen. 45.

Gen. 45:4-5. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ” Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

Gen. 45:9 – 11. “Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘. . .You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me  – you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.  I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come.  Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.'”

Gen 50:15-21.

Gen. 50:19-21. Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of may lives. So then, don’t be afraid.  I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

FORGIVENESS OF SINS (God’s Forgiveness)

  1. Believers are made as white as snow.

Isa. 1:18. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

  1. David sang joyfully after he repented of adultery and God forgave him.

Ps. 32:1-2. Blessed is he whose transgression are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

  1. David was depressed until he repented and was forgiven.

Ps. 32:3-4. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

  1. God readily forgave David when he repented and confessed his sin.

Ps. 32:5. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

  1. David’s confession of sin and his cry for forgiveness occurred only by God’s grace.

Ps. 51:1-17.

  1. God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart.

Ps. 51:17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

  1. How great is God’s forgiveness!

Ps. 103:12. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.

  1. The Lord is kind and forgiving.

Ps. 86:4-7. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  You are kind and forgiving. O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.

  1. God call sinners to seek him and promises them forgiveness when they repent.

Isa. 55:6-7. See the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

  1. Jesus extends a loving invitation.

Matt. 11:28-30. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  1. Jesus forgave the penitent woman.

Luke 7:36-50.

Luke 7:47-50. “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  1. Jesus forgave the murderer on the cross (an example of one saved only by grace).

Luke 23:43. Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

  1. Sinners are forgiven when they repent and believe in Jesus.

Luke 15:11-32. (the parable of the prodigal son)

  1. Jesus tells us to pray for forgiveness.

Matt. 6:12. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

  1. We are justified (cleared of all guilt) by faith in Jesus; in him we find peace.

Rom. 3:21-25. Now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

Rom. 5:1. Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. . .

Rom. 8:1, 4. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . .(for those) who not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

  1. In love Jesus died to make us holy; we are without blemish.

Eph. 5:25-27. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Heb. 10:10. By that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb. 10:14. By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

  1. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.

1 John 1:17. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sins.

  1. God graciously forgives when we confess our sins before him.

1 John 1:19. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Prov. 28:13-14. He who conceals his sins does not proper, but who ever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

  1. God forgives and saves all kinds of sinners, no matter how bad they are; he changes them.

1 Cor. 6:9-11. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves not he greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  1. Zechariah had a vision of the high priest in filthy clothes, which were removed and replaced with pure white garments.

Zech. 3:1-5.

  1. The Samaritan woman, an adulteress, was saved by Jesus; she received living water.

John 4:4-26.

  1. Peter, who denied Jesus, was forgiven and reinstated in his office.

John 21:15 – 19. (Jesus even entrusted Peter with his precious people, for whom he died on the cross.) Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” . . . “Take care of my sheep.”

  1. Jesus gave us the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Luke 18:9-14. The tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

  1. Troubled sinners cry out for mercy, and God graciously forgives; he restores us to his love and favor.

Ps. 130:3-4. If you, O lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

  1. Believers are rescued from the dominion of darkness. They are brought in to Jesus’ eternal kingdom and are forgiven of all their sins.

  2. God has lavished his grace on us, choosing us, forgiving us of all our sins through the shed blood of Christ.

Eph. 1:3-10.

Eph. 1:7-8. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

  1. The prayer for forgiveness must be accompanied by repentance.

1 Kings 8:33-36; 46-53. (Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, prayed that God would forgive his people if  and when they should repent of their sin and sincerely serve him.)

1 Kings 8:33-36. when your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers.  When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

  1. Nehemiah wept and confessed the sins of God’s people.

Neh.1:6-7. Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you.  We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

  1. God sweeps our sins away and wants us to sing for joy!

Isa. 44:22-23. “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Sing for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel

I was going to break this up in three parts but figured what the heck.

Forget your past, forgive yourself, forgive others, rejoice in being forgiven.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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