Summary: As we continue to look at the Apostles Creed we consider what it means to believe in the "forgiveness of sins." Are your sins forgiven?
1. Call in education among many today to go back to basics - "the 3 R’s" - reading, writing, and rithmetic. It may be easy to learn all kinds of other things, but if basics not there a student is in trouble.
2. Today I call on us to go back to basics. To look at the 3 R’s, but these 3 R’s are the 3 R’s of forgiveness perhaps we could say 3 r’s of our faith. Wasy to get into many other things as Christians, but unless we have the 3 R’s down we also are in trouble.
3. Today we consider the statement in the Apostles’ creed that says "I believe in the forgiveness of sins". All believers should say this but do we really believe and understand what we are saying? For us to believe and receive this forgiveness we need to know and do three things - the 3 R’s of forgiveness.
1. First thing we need to receive forgiveness is to RECOGNIZE OUR NEED TO BE FORGIVEN.
2. In the parable Jesus presents to us there are two men who went to the temple to pray. Both worship God and both recognize that God is the one who enables them to live righteously.
3. Obvious that the Pharisee has something wrong with way he views things he - does not consider himself a robber, evildoer, or adulterer and he thanks God for this.
a. Is it wrong for us to pray to God together thanking Him for enabling us to overcome the sins that others have? To thank him for causing us to worship Him and tithe to Him? Perhaps the man has some sense of His need for God to enable Him to live a good life, but the problem is that he does not recognize the reality and depth of sin he has.
b. OK to say thanks but to say that he is not an evildoer - that reveals a lack of recognition is there anyone here who would say they are not an evildoer? Please don’t tell us because what I am about to say will only embarrass you and I don’t want to do that publicly.
4. For this man and maybe for some of us, sin is doing something wrong - stealing, murder, lying
5. But this is like saying that we are like a bruised apple when we should be saying we are rotten to the core. Not nice thing to say - "I am rotten to the core" - but it is something we must say and believe if we want to understand and receive forgiveness.
a. For this man did not go home justified before God and so will we
6. There is a difference in what the tax collector recognized about his sin. He did not list the sins he committed.
a. Often do we not come to go and present a list of the wrongs we have done? Instead the man comes before God and presents not a list of sins but himself - a sinner.
b. We say "hate the sin but not the sinner". There may be some truth in this but I don’t read it in Bible - although we are to love but when apply to self there is a great danger.
7. To be forgiven we need to recognize ourselves for who we are. Not to bring bushel of sin and lay at cross and then all is fine.
a. It is to admit that the trouble is our sinful nature, which as the HC says, we need to struggle against all our lives
b. It means recognizing that I was created to depend on God and glorify Him but basically I depend on self and seek to glorify self. I never met anyone who does not struggle with this and even after forgiven and justified.
c. We still struggle our sin follows us into our new lives as Christians tax collector justified but he still was a sinner.
That is why we are both sinners and saints.
8 We must not look down at others as Pharisee did but to see ourselves for who we are.
9. To recognize our sinful nature means to take full responsibility for it so easy to blame others.
a. Not my fault, I was born that way - blame my parents.
b. We are responsible for who we are - regardless of whether we were born that way.
c. Some say we were taught to act this way at home - my father swore or he always lost control he taught me how to behave and so that’s why I’m like this. I don’t know any better. I didn’t know this was wrong and now it’s a habit that is hard to break.