Summary: There are many different responses to the offer of forgiveness that Christ offers us. The gift of forgiveness is needed by all, no matter what one may feel or think.
ACCEPTING THE FORGIVENESS OF CHRIST
EPH 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
1. Beloved, as we continue in our sermon series on The Disciplines of the Christian Walk, we come to a topic that we need to seriously pay attention to. It is this topic more than any other that impacts our very souls, and has the devil rubbing his hands in glee, as many are misguided.
2. There are more mistruths concerning repentance and forgiveness, than there are about any other issue of faith. You see, if the devil can get you to believe only a partial truth, then you are led astray, and off course, and ultimately his.
3. The topic that we are going to deal with today, is the topic of FORGIVENESS, and many of you may say, “oh no, I got no problem in that area, and so I ask you today to evaluate yourself and be sure that what you believe is the truth.
4. As we begin, let me share with you that there are many types of responses to the forgiveness of Christ, but today, we are only going to look at three. Let me continue to say, that unless you have the forgiveness of Christ, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, or be united with God the Father.
5. You see “all have sinned and fallen short“, and “the wages of sin is death”, but the gift of life resides in our acceptance of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sins. So if you want forgiveness, it is only to be found in Jesus Christ, The Son of God.
6. If you are fully complete in Jesus Christ, that is buried with Him in His sacrifice, as per Romans Chapter 6, and raised to new life, then God has a promise for you. HEB 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
7. Now the Seeker, that is Jesus Christ, is wanting you to be forgiven, but the choice is yours, He will not force you to love Him, love must be of free will. REV 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
8. The sad thing is, that many cannot, and will not, hear that knock, and think that they can secure forgiveness another way, as a gift of forgiveness, is perhaps just too unbelievable or too easy. Let us now look at three ways that people can respond to the Forgiveness of Christ.
I. I HAVE LIVED A GOOD LIFE
ISA 42:6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
A. I Am Not A Captive, Nor Sitting In Darkness!
1. Friends, we have already seen that all have sinned, and all therefore must die for their sins. I am not going to spend the time this morning discussing the truth about who decides what sin is, let me just say that God the Creator of everything has the right to make those decisions, not the creation.
2. Let me share with you Scriptures.
i. JN 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men
loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
ii. RO 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to
someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one
whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to
death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
3. Beloved of Jesus, if we are not one with Jesus Christ, then we are still captive slaves, living in darkness. You see, only Jesus can set us free, as the price for slaves to sin has been set, and that price is blood. It can either be yours for eternity, or Christ’s blood in your place, and your freedom. JN 8:34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.