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Summary: God is faithful to forgive us.

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Gracious Forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9)

I. Condition

a. The clarity of God’s invitation

i. Rev 3:20

ii. Eternity in their hearts

iii. Grace of God has appeared to all men

iv. Not willing any should perish

v. No pleasure in the death of the wicked

vi. Thief on the cross

vii. Saul (Paul)

b. The big IF

i. All of God’s covenants are conditional (but Noah and David)

ii. Love demands freedom

iii. God does not force men to be converted

iv. Love, joy, peace…conditional

v. Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, church membership…no way around this condition

vi. God’s justice demands confession

vii. We can deny that we have sinned (many do)

1. How God feels about liars

II. Confession

a. What?

i. “Thayer definition 1) to say the same thing as another”

1. Be exact

2. Be complete

ii. Evidence of repentance

1. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Pro 28:13)

2. “Fruits meet for repentance” – changed life

a. Illustration – stepping on toes

Recently, a young man appeared before Judge Killien on charges of car theft. The judge saw no reason to keep him locked up while he awaited court action. He released him on his own recognizance.

A short time later, Killien’s own car disappeared.

Police quickly found the stolen car, and the one who stole it. Then, Judge Killien was in court in a new role, not as a judge, but as a witness, against the same young man he had released, who stood accused of stealing the magistrate’s wheels.

A forgiven car thief is still a car thief if no change of character takes place.

3. Early (2nd century) church (Tertullian) taught that “only one act of postbaptismal repentance was permitted”

iii. Reformation vs. confession

b. Why?

i. Came not for the righteous, but sinners

1. No, not one

ii. Resists the proud and gives grace to the humble

iii. Confession is an act of rebellion against our old master – the father of lies

III. Certainty

a. Forgive

i. Deepest human need

ii. Wondrous

1. Seriousness of sin

2. Compare OT with NT (death penalty)

a. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Act 13:39)

b. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Heb 8:12)

i. NT in Christ’s Blood

Not long ago there died of benevolent doctor, and it had been his custom as he went through his books and saw this debt and that, one after the other, and realize that it was not paid because the patient could not pay it, it was his way to put a red pen mark through the debt, and write by the side of it, “forgiven; unable to pay.” That man died, and after his death his wife looked through his books, and she came upon these marks. “my husband what has forgiven people a lot of money. I could do with that money very well now,” and she took it into the county court, and their sued every one of those debtors for the money. The judge said to her, “how do you know the money is owed?” “I have it in my husband’s book,” and she put the book up and showed it to him., Oh, yes; is this your husband’s writing?” he asked. “yes.” “then,” he said, “no court in the world will give you a verdict against those people when your husband, with his own hand, has written, ‘forgiven, unable to pay’.”


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