Sunday, 02 November 2003 00:00

I Am Forgiven

Philippians 4:1-11 (KJV)

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are hones, 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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

What is it that saves you from the wrath, anger, and righteous condemnation of a holy God poured out upon sinners?

Most people would respond:

  1. My faith in Christ
  2. My repentance of sins

There are many problems with the answer (infants, works, imbeciles, etc.). The Biblical answer to the above question is found in I Timothy 1:15.

How does Christ save sinners?

Answer: He secures forgiveness for them through His death on the cross

  1. Romans 8:32
  2. John 6:35-40
  3. John 10:25-30

What kind of forgiveness does God grant His people?

Answer: Full and complete

  1. Colossians 3:13: "having forgiven you all trespasses"
  2. Ephesians 1:4: "According as he hath chosen us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame."
  3. Ephesians 1:7: "In whom we have . . . the forgiveness of sins."
  4. Jeremiah 31:31: "Behold, the days come saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . I will forgive their iniquity and will remember their sin no more."
  5. Psalm 32:2: "Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity."

"It is shallow nonsense to say God forgives us because He is love. The only ground upon which God forgives us is the cross" (Oswald Chambers). "The Bible knows nothing of mere pardon. There can be no pardon except on the ground of satisfaction of justice." (Geoffry Wilson)

Two points of application:

  1. Though God forgives at the cross, assurance of forgiveness for any individual comes through faith in Christ and repentance of sin. "Sin forsaken is the best evidence of sin forgiven." (Anonymous)

  2. A lack of a forgiving spirit is often evidence of a lack of a forgiven spirit. "A man may as well go to hell for not forgiving as for not believing" (Thomas Watson). The Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

I feel unworthy/unacceptable. I am accepted. Psalm 139, II Corinthians 3:5-6
I feel alone. I am never alone. Hebrews 13:5b, Romans 8:38-39
I feel no confidence. I am courageous. Proverbs 3:26, Hebrews 10:19
I feel out-of-control. I am His. Philippians 1:6, II Thessalonians 3:3
I feel confused. I am wise. I Corinthians 2:16, II Timothy 1:7
I feel depressed/hopeless. I am joyful. Romans 15:13, Psalm 16:11
I feel not good enough. I am perfect & complete. Hebrews 10:14, Colossians 2:13
I feel there is nothing special about me. I am chosen Psalm 139, I Corinthians 6:11
I feel I don't have enough I am blessed. Philippians 4:19, Ephesians 2:4
I feel fearful/anxious. I am free from fear. Psalm 34:4, II Timothy 1:7
I feel weak. I am strong. Daniel 11:32, Psalm 37:34
I feel defeated. I am victorious. Romans 8:37, II Corinthians 2:14
I feel not very smart. I am wise. Proverbs 2:6-7, I Corinthians 2:14
I feel in bondage. I am free. Psalm 32:7, John 8:36
I feel miserable. I am comforted. John 16:7, II Corinthians 1:3-4
I feel I have no one to take care of me. I am protected. Psalm 32:7, Romans 8:28,29
I feel unwanted. I am adopted by God. Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5
I feel guilty. I am forgiven. Psalm 103:12, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 10:7
I feel a sinner. I am a saint. Romans 3:24, I Corinthians 1:30, 6:11
I feel no strength. I am with power. Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:19
I feel I can't reach God. I am a priest. Ephesians 2:6, I Peter 2:5,9
I feel condemned. I am blameless. John 3:18, Romans 8:1
I feel there is no direction/plan. I am guided. Psalm 37:23, John 10:10
I feel like nothing will ever change. I am a new creature. II Corinthians 5:7
I feel afraid of Satan. I am superior in Christ. Colossians 1:13, I John 4:4, Revelation 12:11
Sin overpowers me. I am dead to sin. Romans 6:11

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