Sermons

Summary: 5 reasons you may not "feel" spotlessly forgiven by God - even when you are.

I. ISAIAH 1:1-9 ISRAEL HAD A PROBLEM

A. Sin & Separation

1. (v. 3) Relationship I have w/ my dog Taser, better than some have w/God

a. what is the intensity of my relationship w/God

b. excitement in it – passion in it?

c. a son woke up Sunday morning – “Mom, I don’t want to go to church. Mother said, “You have

to – you’re the preacher!”

2. (v. 4) Turned their back on God

3. (v. 5-6) Head to toe, end to end – it’s messed up

4. (v. 7-10) Consequence = lost their homes & homelands

B. Multitude Of Sacrifices & Religious “Acts” (vv. 10-15) – What’s This?

1. (v. 11) God said, "What gives, I don’t get it – meaningless"

2. (v. 12) God said, "Who told you to do this – I didn’t"

3. Fumbling and Feeble forms of Godliness

II. ISAIAH 1:16-19 GOD’S SOLUTION – HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

A. “Wash Yourselves”

1. Begins with this!

a. note, this wasn’t written to the unchurched sinner

b. this was written to the churched

2. Wash yourselves – bathe away dirt – stuff we pick up

a. read 1 John 1:9

b. intentional & unintentional sins

c. OT prescriptions even for unintentional sins

3. Every once in a while, every Christian needs a bath

B. Stop Doing Evil – His washing enables / empowers this

C. Not Just Stop, But Start Doing Some Things (v. 17)

1. Avoid even sins of omission

2. No longer turning deaf ear / blind eye – avoidance

D. The Bottom Line - Look What Will Happen! (v. 18)

III. FIVE REASONS YOU MAY NOT “FEEL” SPOTLESS CLEAN – EVEN WHEN YOU ARE

A. Christian Culture That Has Mixed Up Views On Personal Holiness

1. George Barna Research - Among “born again” adults

a. 76% say possible for one to be holy, regardless of their past

b. 55% say they know someone who they would describe as holy

c. 29% say they are holy

- that’s not saying that 29% are actually holy but that 29% think they are holy

- men think they’re better looking than they actually are, women think they’re worse looking

than actually are

– somewhere in middle is truth – same w/ holiness

d. only 35% contend that “God expects you to become holy.”

2. Leviticus 19:2 “Be holy because I am holy”

a. holiness starts with God – his character & work

b. holiness = “being” first– then ekes out in doing

B. Perhaps Because Of Inner “Sin Bent” (Rom 7:13 ff)

1. We each have areas of sin bent

2. Not sin unless we act on it – hold it, defend it

3. Mine is growing prejudice, stereotyping

4. Was never part of my old nature – but w/ me now – dirt of world picked up

5. Constant bath for this

C. Perhaps Because Of Inner Debris In The Wake Of Past Sin

1. Sins forgiven, but toxic waste that remains in its wake

2. Remove the barrels – but the ground still affected

3. Post-traumatic stress syndrome – post-traumatic sin syndrome

4. Psalm 51:7-10

5. Romans 12:1-2

D. Perhaps Because Difficulty Forgetting & Forgiving Yourself

1. Genesis 41:51; Hebrews 10:17

2. God forgives & forgets – harder for us

3. Forgetting doesn’t mean denying facts - (styrofoam pops to surface)

4. Forgetting means refusing to be held in bondage by painful memories

5. Forgetting means taking captive every thought (2 Cor 10:5)

6. Forgetting means relinquishing it to heaven

7. Forgetting means looking for healing lessons

E. Perhaps Because Conscientious Perfectionism

1. Want so bad to be free, worried that not - can’t rest in God’s grace

2. Usually stems from legalistic mindset

3. Counseled with someone who feared God was going to take her child to punish her – legalism will kill you

a. it destroys those who are unconscientious – checklist religion

b. it destroys those who are highly conscientious – never enough

4. Psalm 139:23

5. Illustration: At the hospital, I counseled with a terminally ill woman named Marilyn. She expressed her fear that she was not fully forgiven by God for her past sins. I asked her if there was any hidden sin in her life – yet to be confessed, and she replied that there wasn’t. After sharing with Marilyn scriptures of assurance (including 1 John 1:9), something prodded me to ask the question, “What kind of work did you do when you were not sick?” She replied that she was a homemaker and cleaned houses for a living. I said, “I suppose you were a perfectionist. You worked hard to make sure every home owner was happy and you probably went to bed worried sometimes if your work passed the white glove test.” She said, “That’s right, but what’s that have to do with my feeling forgiven of sin?” I replied, “It has everything to do with feeling forgiven. You are conscientious, and just as you once worried if everything passed the white glove test with the houses you cleaned, you now are concerned that everything related to your spiritual house – your soul – pass the white glove test as well!’ I then reminded her that God cleanses better than she ever could. With that, she found her assurance – and could die in peace.

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