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Have you heard this
lately?, “I don't go to
church, what I hear Sunday just does not ring true in my everyday life. I want to know a way to really live.
The government and Church have a lot in common - they both tell me what to do
and both demand large percentages of my money. So far neither of these
organizations seem to get it right." This is an easy person with whom to identify. I
suggest that they think they are over taxed. They are rejecting a sin centered message
and they want a forgiveness centered message.
Most sermons we hear today
are about what we do rather than what we are. Instead of what it is that changes a person,
we hear about works such as, double your efforts, give more,
less, love your neighbor, and be more faithful? We know works follow
faith but we teach faith follows works.
We have come up with the idea that constant challenges will motivate people to live Christian
lives of faith.
Most are neither for or against the call to
achievement. The young people tend to reject the
message of performance and search elsewhere. Home Bible studies and similar expressions have
started all over the
country. We have God's word from long ago, but it is lost in
the religious garbage hiding the very life of Jesus. We are overlooking
the forgiving, Christ centered life of love which God has promised us.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT FOR OUR LIVES?
At this point in a paper, sermon or teaching
message my wife tells me, "If you say that they will not listen." I,
in some way reply, "If I leave it out, I have nothing for them."
My college bible teacher said to me in
private when I was nineteen years of age, "if you do not grasp that
God's - once for all - total forgiveness - was for all sin - past, present
and forever - you do not know God's plan - do not become a Bible teacher".
God plans to change our lives
with His forgiveness. The Gospel is, in Jesus Christ, God has released us from our
sins. Paul said, “For I delivered to you of first importance what I also
received according to the Scriptures." If you know Jesus Christ in a personal way, every sin you have
ever committed-past, present, and future-is totally and completely forgiven.
Even the bad ones. Even the sins that may hurt others. All!
We think we understand this, but do we? There are certain characteristics that God says will result in the lives
of those who are counting on Christ for their forgiveness that simply are not
present in the lives of most of us today.
For example, we as believers in Christ generally
have a low image of ourselves partly because we
think God is down on us. Forgiven? Hardly. We see ourselves
as not measuring up. We look at our actions rather than at Christ. Thus we
lack confidence before God. The tendency is to be afraid of Him, rather than to
be in love with Him. We see ourselves as having failed.
If - we realize - we are depending upon Jesus Christ as having
cleansed us from our sins, we - realize - God sees us as perfect.
“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are
sanctified." (Hebrews 10:14). There is nothing
that we can do to improve on that which God has declared perfect! And He can say
this because through Jesus Christ we have met Him on His terms.
God’s ways are so
contrary to our ways.We have a hard time understanding His acceptance of us because so much of
the teaching we have had is how to achieve. We went to Sunday school and
worked for awards. In scouts we worked
for merits. In high school, it was the football team, or some club. The same in
college and then off to impress the guy who signs the check. Is it any wonder that when
God comes along and says He’ll take us just as we are that we don't believe
it? We learned
long ago that nothing is free. But God says that
Jesus Christ has qualified for us and that now we are perfect in Him. Could this
When God says we are perfect in
His sight, we are! It removes the pressure from us and frees us to the real life by the power of His life within us.
Read that sentence again and pick up on the words: perfect, His sight, we
are, removes pressure, frees, real, power, His life, within us.
What kind of message is it that says the cross
satisfied God for eternity but not for time. God says we are forgiven now! Both
for time and for eternity. You are a new person if you are in Christ. Your sins
are forever gone. And it is not just your acts which are forgiven; you are
looks at you
as being clean. He has remade the real you. You may or may not look new but the person inside is
Not knowing the truth about forgiveness
highlights the matter of guilt. Guilt
is based upon past wrong doing. Proper understanding of forgiveness removes us
from what went on before; therefore, instead of problems with guilt, we
can jump for joy with
Where there is no
assurance of forgiveness, there is no basis for our relationship with God to be
without fear. If we do not understand that He has dealt with our problems of
the past, guilt will be the result. It is complicated all the more
when we read in our Bibles that our lives are to be
different inside and out — and they’re not.
In Hebrews 10,
Outlines the Old Testament sacrificial system and then applies
these truths to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Example: had
the animal sacrifices really worked, the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had
consciousness of sins. Listen! This is so good. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder
of sins year by year.
God says that a reminder
of sins is, just the
opposite from not being conscious of sins. In Jesus Christ we need no longer be
plagued with a guilt ridden awareness of our sins. The Old
Testament sacrifice was a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus which was to
come. Since the death of Christ on the cross did satisfy God’s demands upon us
who were guilty, we can say that His sacrifice “worked.” Instead of
remembering our sins, as did the Israelites on the Day of Atonement, God wants us
to believe they are forgiven and gone, not even being
conscious, never to haunt us again. Listen, don't miss this for your life
on earth depends on it.
The sacrifices of
old were not God’s final plan; they were but a picture of the sacrifice of
Jesus on the cross which was God’s final plan of forgiveness. Hebrews
10:12 says, "......He having offered one sacrifice for sins for all
time sat down at the right hand of God.” And since His payment was more than sufficient, we need no longer have a
consciousness of sin! After the sacrifice of Jesus, God does not have a
consciousness of sin, so why should you. You should not. You are forgiven. If
this makes you mad, read this over and over again and get glad. Hebrews 10:17
below says it again.
10:17 explains why this is true. God says , “And their sins and their lawless
deeds I will remember no more.” When it comes to
our sins, God has forgotten them.
Are you seeing the reason for the title of this message, does God see our sin, (The bad memory again). He has buried them in the deepest seas.
He has separated
them as far from us as the East is from the West.They are hidden in the clouds.
When it comes to our sins God has a
Guilt is such a screaming thing, forgiveness is
so quiet. We often pay more attention to the noise of accusation than to the
silence of sins forgiven. Guilt does not come from God. It comes over and over
from Satan. Satan condemns and Christ who forgives. How do we listen?
I talk with people who
say, “I committed a sin, and I know God has forgiven me, but I still feel
guilty.” How do we listen? To the
promises of Jesus Christ or how we feel? Trust in Jesus Christ not how we feel.
We must not act on human emotion. We are forgiven
- He means it. How we feel does not change the fact that we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit
lives in us to
personally prove God's promise to us.
God on His own accord forgets our sins. He totally placed them upon
Jesus when He died, He took all of our sins with Him to the grave. If He had missed one of them, we would be
without hope. James said, “For whoever keeps
the whole law yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.If Jesus had to bear every sin in all the world for the sacrifice to be
effectual. And if you have trusted in Him, every sin that you have ever
committed or ever Will commit is totally and completely
In the past I thought,
even as a Christian, that when I died and went to be with God, He would show me
a long list of my sins. God’s plan is that Jesus paid off my debt and no such list exists.
The great thing about becoming a Christian, is God not only clears the list, He throws it away. We pass from death into life. “There
is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are released from our sins.
God's bad memory is only pertaining to all my sins,
He does remember our good works of love.
“For God is not
unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His
name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
What is it that God recalls about you and me for
all eternity? Our good works. The things that result in our lives because we are
trusting Him. Thus, our identity with Him is no longer one of condemnation, but
one of commendation. He has forgotten our evil deeds and rebellion and
sees us as clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
A GREAT AWARENESS OF LIFE
Hear this and really live: if God has forgotten my sins, I can forget them too. The
sin wall does not
exist between God and me any more. That’s what it means to no longer have a
consciousness of sin: to see our sins as God sees them: judged, paid for,
buried, and gone.
So often our attention is
focused on our sin, rather than on Christ and His goodness. We live sin centered
instead of Christ centered lives. We think holiness
involves trying not to sin. God frees us to forget our sins
and trust Jesus Christ for our righteousness.
Now, when you read the next scripture, don't run
off with the first half - stay to read the last sentence of Peter.
In 2d Peter 1:9 he admonishes them to add to their faith
moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness,
brotherly kindness and finally godly love. He says that if these qualities are
in their lives and are on the increase, they will be fruitful in their walk with
God. He then tells them why it is that they aren’t growing as they ought: “For
he who lacks these qualities is blind or shortsighted having forgotten his
purification from his former sins."
What is God’s
analysis of the problem of stunted spiritual growth and development? It’s
clearly not our failure to go to church, devotions, clean thoughts,
and other Christian solutions. Our problem is that we’ve forgotten
we’re forgiven. We’ve failed to remember that Jesus was not kidding when
He said, “Your sins have been forgiven.
When we are trusting Jesus
Christ, life (His life within us) is the beautiful by product. What do you think
about more, your sins or Jesus Christ? You’re forgiven! Trust and rely on
Jesus. He sees you as complete with the
very life Jesus in you. He does not, no, can not see our sin.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also
received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins
have been covered. 4:8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the
Lord will not take into account.”
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My
ways,” declares the LORD. 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your
thoughts. (back to text)
8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set
you free from the law of sin and of death.
6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God,
you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal
Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the
old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
7:19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under
foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.
103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our
transgressions from us.
(8) Isaiah 44:22 "I have wiped out your
transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to
Me, for I have redeemed you."
Isaiah 38:17 Indeed it was
for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my
soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your
(9) James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in on point, he has become
guilty of all.
8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you
have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the
(12) 2 Peter
1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short sighted, having forgotten
his purification from his former sins.
(13) Luke 7:48
And He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven."