Summary: When a person truly repents and seeks God’s favor again, more changes than meets the eye. There is underlying power in the forgiveness of God to do more than what we think.
The Power of Forgiveness
Griffith Baptist Church – 4/12/09
Text: Psalm 51:7-13
Key verse: Psalms 51:13 – Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Premise: When a person truly repents and seeks God’s favor again, more changes than meets the eye. There is underlying power in the forgiveness of God to do more than what we think.
Matthew sprained his ankle playing football. The doctor told him to get off his crutches as soon as possible, because the injury would develop scar tissue if he did not walk on it. If an injury develops scar tissue, later on it can be worse and more painful and you lose mobility. Some people live with "injuries" in the lives and never experience forgiveness. They are spiritually crippled because they either will not receive forgiveness from God or give it to others.
When a person truly repents and asks God for forgiveness, it happens. He is forgiven!
What we don’t often understand is the power of forgiveness.
What does forgiveness do besides forgive?
1. The Cravings of Forgiveness
A. Purifying – 7
i. Robert Murray McCheyne wrote to Dan Edwards after the latter’s ordination as a missionary, ’In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God" (emphasis mine). Leading the Way by Paul Borthwick, Navpress, 1989, p. 65
ii. This hyssop was used for the purging of sin:
a. Hyssop was used in the Passover (Ex. 12:22)
b. In the pronouncement of a leper being declared clean (Lev. 14:4)
c. Moses sprinkled blood on the people in the ceremony of Ex. 24:6-8.
iii. Jesus said that pruning and purging is sometimes required - John 15:2 – Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
iv. This is why we are to be careful to keep ourselves pure by thinking on godly virtues - Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things
B. Healing – 8
i. David speaks of his bones:
a. They were not physically broken, but felt like it because his whole person was affected by this sin and the subsequent remorse and repentance.
b. When you break a bone, your temperature rises and you whole body reacts
c. When your bones ache or suffer from some ailment, you know it
d. David wants to hear joy and gladness and rejoice again - Psalms 35:9-10 - 9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. 10All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
ii. He, in essence is looking for healing for his soul and spirit
a. Healing of the heart
b. Healing of a relationship with God
c. Healing of the conscience
C. Removing – 9
i. David requests a judicial act of not just acquittal, but removal so as to be innocent
ii. Jesus did this for us on the cross:
a. Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
b. This does not mean we are sinlessly perfect
c. It does mean that when we sin, we can confess and repent and forgiven.
D. Changing – 10
i. It is so hard to admit change or the need for it. It is like Charlie Brown and Linus. Charlie brown asks Linus "What would you do if you felt that nobody liked you?" Linus responds "Well Charlie Brown I guess I would take a real hard look at myself, ask if I am doing anything that turns people off, How can I improve myself? Do I need to change in some way? Yep that’s my answer Charlie Brown." Charlie Brown says, "I hate that answer."
ii. David wanted a complete change in his life
a. This is where true and false repentance separate
• The truly repentant want to change
• The falsely repentant are just trying to assuage their guilt till the next time
b. This could only come through a work of God
iii. There are two aspects of change that come as a result of true repentance: