Summary: One of the greatest needs in our lives is the need for forgiveness. We need this in every area and every relationship of our lives.
*THE GOOD NEWS CONCERNING FORGIVENESS*
Isaiah 55:6 – 9
(Note: About 1/3 of this sermon would have come from an outline in Zondervan’s 2013 Pastor’s Annual.)
I. THROUGH FORGIVENESS, GOD LETS US GET RIGHT WITH HIMSELF.
1.) God offers us forgiveness as a gift of his mercy.
A.) There is no way by which sinful people can atone for their own sin, can purchase redemption from punishment, or can be good enough to earn God’s favour and title to an eternity of fellowship with God.
B.) The good news in Jesus Christ is that we do not have to depend on our own merits.
ba.)And certainly, that is the greatest of good news.
bb.) God has made it possible through the pure sinless life of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross to atone for our sinfulness.
C.) Jesus Christ is good news to mankind because through Him we receive both the mercy of God, and also the Grace of God.
ca.) In God’s mercy, he does not give to us what we deserve, and that is God’s wrath, vengeance, justice, judgment, and an eternity separated from His presence in that eternal Lake of Fire called Hell.
cb.) Likewise, in His grace, He gives us what we do not deserve, and that is forgiveness of sins, fellowship with God, peace in our hearts, hope for both the present and the future, and an eternity in the wonderful presence of God.
II. THROUGH FORGIVENESS, GOD LEADS US TO GET RIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER.
1.) Because God has forgiven us, we should be forgiving toward others
A.) The forgiveness of God is not something we experience in and of itself for us alone.
B.) Once we have experienced the forgiveness of God in our own lives, ours is the responsibility to show the forgiveness of God in our dealings with those around us.
ba.) In the Lord’s prayer and other portions of Scripture we are told that the forgiveness we receive from God will be according to our willingness to forgive others.
bb.) Matt. 6:14-15
III. THROUGH FORGIVENESS, GOD ENABLES US TO GET RIGHT WITH OURSELVES.
1.) Some people find it exceedingly difficult to forgive themselves for their own sins.
A.) With many of us, the person who is the hardest one for us to come to forgive is ourselves.
aa.) I John 3:19-20
2.) We Christians do ourselves, God, and others no service by continuing to dwell on our own past failures and sins. A.) We must forgive ourselves if we want to live in God’s love and grace.
aa.) Phil. 3:13
aaa.) These words of the Apostle Paul we often will use at this time of the year as we think of the New Year.
aab.) They are also words we need to think on and remember so hat we can free ourselves up from our past sins, and be of use and service to the Kingdom of God.
IV. THROUGH FORGIVENESS, GOD ENCOURAGES US TO WORSHIP WITH JOY.
1.) A sense of guilt can be good only if it leads to confession and an experience of forgiveness and cleansing.
A.) Once our guilt has brought us to repent of our sinfulness, and confess that sinfulness before God, God will forgive us of that sin.
B.) When we know that our sin is forgiven, it should always bring us to a place of experiencing the joy of our forgiveness and salvation.
ba.) After David had sinned sexually he had great shame and guilt.
bb.) In the midst of that as Nathan the prophet confronted him, he prayed for the joy of his salvation.
bba.) Ps. 51:12
bbb.) Like David of old, we can experience the joy of our salvation when we know our sins are forgiven.
bbc.) That is truly good news, and news that should move the heart to worship.
2.) God wants the time of worship with his people to be a time of joy and victory.
A.) The very fact of our forgiveness is what gives us the joy and victory that allows us to even come before the Presence of God.
B.) This same joy and victory that God has brought into our lives should move our hearts to excitement in the worship of our God.
ba.) There is an old Sunday School Chorus whose words go:
It's bubbling, It's bubbling,
It's bubbling in my soul.
There's singing, and laughing,
Since Jesus made me whole.
Folks don't understand it,
Nor can I keep it quiet
It's bubbling, bubbling, bubbling,
bubbling, Bubbling, day and night.
bb.) This should be the theme song of each one who is experiencing the joy of salvation in their lives.
V. THROUGH FORGIVENESS, GOD INVITES US TO ENGAGE IN SERVICE.
1.) After Isaiah experienced cleansing from the filth of sin, he was able to hear the voice of God calling for those who would serve him