Summary: God promises that He will forgive if we are willing to ask Him for forgiveness.
Recap-We have looked at faithfulness, wisdom, peace, purpose, and today his forgiveness. Some parts of this sermon were gleamed from sermons on SermonCentral and Illustrations I found there.
This morning we will look at forgiveness.
Forgiveness is something that all people desire and seek, but most cannot do themselves.
Un-forgiveness haunts us in every aspect of our lives. Our relationship with God, our relationship with others, and yes, even our forgiving ourselves.
We pick and choose who we will forgive so we struggle believing that God not only loves us but freely will forgive us if we would ask Him.
Let’s define forgiveness. Both what God says about forgiveness and how the world without God looks at forgiveness.
“To give up a resentment of a claim; to pardon one’s enemies.”
What is God’s definition of forgiveness?
Before we can answer that question, we must have an idea of who God is and how we obtain forgiveness from God.
Most look at God as a candyman. Whatever you do, whatever you say God will be understanding and forgiving and will reward you. It is not based upon your behavior but on theGod who forgives. That is a half truth. People who grab the half truth are the same people who have a hard time believing that a loving God would let anything bad happen to us, and when it does, they blame God for allowing it to happen.
God is a holy God! God cannot tolerate sin. God has provided a way for our sin.
Sin had to be dealt with. God is not okay and will not rub shoulders with sin.
God sent Jesus Christ to atone for or take care of sin in our lives.
His death, burial, and resurrection were the payment for sin in mankind.
God offers forgiveness freely, but it comes at the foot of the cross. Forgiveness comes to us in Jesus name!
God freely offers forgiveness, but it came at a cost.
It comes through Jesus Christ. For us to be forgiven it has to come from Jesus.
The Pharisee’s invited Jesus to dinner. That had to be a moment, because Jesus and the legalistic Pharisee’s got along so well. We know the Pharisee’s were not there to learn from Jesus, but to entrap Jesus.
When a women who had lived a sinful life came to the feet of Jesus.
I am convinced that she had heard Jesus preach and that she had repented and was determined to live a new life.
I believe she came to Jesus knowing that she could be forgiven.
She came out of gratitude and she brought Jesus the best she had. (Her alabaster box of perfume.)
While Jesus reclined, she wiped his feet with her tears and her hair and poured herself out to him.
I believe she had intended to anoint his head, but settled at the feet of Jesus.
(39) “When the Pharisees who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, if this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of women she is.”
That she is a sinner!
Jesus does not even respond to the Pharisees, but directs his attention to Simon.
“Simon, I have something to tell you.”
Church, Jesus has something to tell us today too!
Listen to this and figure out who I am talking about.
He proclaimed a holy war against Christians everywhere.
He threatened anyone who claimed to be a follower of Christ.
He traveled the Middle East to spread his religion and wouldn’t allow any other god.
Who am I talking about? Apostle Paul, who then was Saul. But I could have been talking Osama Bin Laden also.
911 is still fresh in my mind, even though that was 14 years ago.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the twin towers being hit by planes.
I remember the anger I felt for the American people, learning about wife’s talking to husbands moments before the towers fell and unborn babies that would never see some of their parents.
People living normal lives one moment and then tragedy hits and they were plunged into chaos.
Do you see how close the actions of Bin Laden and Saul of Taurus are?
Both had religions that opposed Christianity.
Zealous of their faith.
Both persecuted, arrested, beat Christians.
What would Jesus say to Bin Laden? The same that he said to apostle Paul.
I know the evil you have done.
I know the lives you have taken.
I know the hatred in your heart.
I know the violence you are capable of.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at, man looks at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”