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February 28, 2022 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. That's what it means to be forgiving. You see, there are no strings attached in any of those verses. That's about forgiveness within the question is how do we obtain the forgiveness for joining up today on this additional fellowship in the work. Pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is most of you know I'm from the great state of Pennsylvania known as the Keystone state fact that's been the case in 1802 at a Jefferson Republican rally in 1802, Pennsylvania was toasted as the Keystone and the federal union and later newspaper referred to as the Keystone and the Democratic art. The modern persistence of the designation is justified. In view of the key position of Pennsylvania and the economic, social, political, development of the United States. Now for those of you don't know what I Keystone looks like you'll find on the label of the best catchup in the world. Heinz ketchup gave at the Keystone.
I look up the definition of the Keystone and one of the definitions was this the central principle on which all else depends not not sure that was ever an accurate description of the great state of Pennsylvania, but the word Keystone. I believe does describe one of the most important words ever uttered by human beings and never felt human beings. The word is forgiveness.
I believe that forgiveness is the Keystone of all relationships in a fallen world.
Our relationship with God, our relationship with each other in a way in which we can, whether or not we can even forgive ourselves comanager the eminent psychiatrist said that he believed that 75% of all the patients he ever saw in his lifetime could have got up and walked out healthy. Had they been able to really truly receive and give forgiveness. Forgiveness a biblical understanding of forgiveness is not only important for eternal life. It is important for everyday life. How you feel about forgiveness will have a lot to do it whether or not you're a happy person glass all the time. What's the key to marriage some forgiveness she will want to say none of the key to marriage should be that we never do things we have to forget you have to live in different homes and has to be something else going on. She forgiveness means that much. John McArthur says this people who come for counseling generally fit into one or both of these two categories. There are some who need to understand how God's forgiveness is extended to the center and there are others who need to learn to be forgiving. In other words, some people are struggling with her own guilt. Others have a sinful propensity to blame others and withhold forgiveness for wrongs done in many people. Unfortunately, he says struggle with both guilt and blame both tendencies are spiritually and emotionally debilitating capable of making life wretched. Both can spawn a multitude of related problems and both can be remedied only by a better understanding and obedience to what the word of God says about forgiveness.
So that's the goal of the series to give you a thorough clear biblical understanding of what forgiveness is. It is the Keystone of all relationships this morning. What I like to do is I would simply like to raise for general questions about the forgiveness of God toward us. Question one. Do we need to be forgiven. Question two is God's forgiveness real question three what then does God do with our sin and question four how do we obtain the forgiveness of God into the first question open your Bibles to first John chapter 1 that I first question probably seems kind of ridiculous or absurd to you. The very first question is simply this, we need to be forgiven not normally an over history of the church is to be question when human race, but we live in America and America really struggles with this question you see in America. The prevailing view is we really don't have sin in America. We basically have illnesses and disorders not necessary sent in first John chapter 1 verse eight just that one verse John says this. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves. Unfortunately, I think that's the description of so many that live in our country.
There's no question about the American psychiatric Association publishes a very thick book to help therapist diagnose new diseases. It's called the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. There's 1/3 edition I now make something called the DSM-III-R and just a couple of the disorders that are listed as new disorders or illnesses that Americans are suffering. One is a conduct disorder. The conduct disorder is a persistent pattern of conduct in which the basic rights of others and major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are being violated. I would love to have that as a kid that's a disorder and others called the oppositional defiant disorder that is a pattern of negative hostile and defiant Hager so if you know someone is negative, hostile, defiant. They have an illness.
They have a disorder but they surely don't have sin. Scripture is pretty clear. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
You know, to me it's almost as though culture knows it's kind of just blowing smoke or to me there so many in culture, the realized none of this really makes sense, every single week or month. You have a new disorder and new illness. Something else needs to be treated medically and pharmaceutically five months before 9/11, Newsweek magazine, FrontPage had an article called the roots of evil. This is written from Newsweek's point of view and Newsweek wrote this the traits of temperament and character from which evil springs are common as flies on a carcass the capacity for evil, was a human universal says psychiatrist Robert I Simon, director of the program in psychiatry in law George Don diversity school of medicine. There is a continuum of evil course ranging from trivially was like cutting someone off in traffic, the greater evils like acts of prejudice to massive evils like those penetrated by serial sexual killers both within all of us. There is simply the roots of the right Scripture would concur.
Romans 323 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 623.
The wages of that sin is death or separation from God. So we need to be forgiven. Yes, absolutely. And if were not forgiven. We have no hope is God's forgiveness real God really does turn your Bibles to Exodus chapter 34 the context of Exodus 34 is Moses is getting his second set of stones. The second time he gets 10 commands remember the first time you got the thing to manage the neighbor having a party.
You know what a golden calf and all that Moses roamed on.
So now we have Moses getting a second set everything that up in verse four when he says he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones diversified is the Lord ascended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. And then these two verses then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed this Lord. The Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity and transgression sin, and yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations human rabbis call these verses the 13 attributes. In other words a come away with her. Here's a case where God reveals his essence.
He reveals his nature and has 13 attributes in these two verses. Ironically and paradoxically, these work.
This verse is repeated or alluded to. 13 more times just in the Old Testament God want to make it abundantly clear.
This is his nature will notice in verse seven who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin, by very hard when you want to know what kind.I am I'm a forgiving God.
In Psalm 130.
The psalmist said, if you will. Lord Record of sins. He says the Lord, who could stand, but with you there is forgiveness. Therefore, you are feared revered at the end of the book of Micah Micah writes this in 718 who is a God like you who pardons and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance, tells me a moment to Isaiah chapter 55 in these two verses six and seven and what's good about these two verses is you have our responsibility to receive forgiveness and God's nature to give forgiveness in these two verses in verse six. Isaiah writes this seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let them return to the Lord is our responsibility and then this part and he will have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon the great Baptist English preacher Charles Spurgeon on this verse writes this, that is to say he will really pardon the forgiveness is valid is valid on earth in the court of conscience and above in the court of heaven. Pardon sinners truly partner no one shall ever condemn him to sin is not merely supposed to be gone is going is not put a little way off from him.
But as far as the east is from the West so far has he removed our transgression from us in the nature of God to forgive some of the struggle that we understand that he's got great power. We understand he is just we fear the idea that is holy, but by God's very nature is very essence is a forgiving God do we need to be forgiven.
Is God's forgiveness real is as real as his essence. Next question though, is this what then does God do with our sin. What does it look like, how does that work with arson kind of interesting. With the Scripture says. First let's look at a picture of Zachariah chapter 3 Zachariah is a postexilic prophet.
He is trying to get the people to respond to God to be back in the land to rebuild the temple, and so is going use imagery here in chapter 3, verse one. Zachariah writes, then he showed me Joshua. He says the high priest of that is not Joshua who was with Moses, this is Joshua Gray, name Yeshua, Joshua the high priest any standing before the angel of the Lord anytime in the Old Testament using the term V with the article angel the Lord is a theophany. In other words, this is this is the son of God. After Jesus Christ is incarnate.
Once you have a son of God be incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ will never again in the New Testament see the expression the angel the Lord the reason is in the person of Christ. But here you have the son of God, the second person of the Trinity ESA standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan was standing at his right hand to accuse him of notice Lord said to Satan, the Lord rebuke you Satan, he said. Indeed, the Lord has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you and then he says something really interesting he says is this not a brand plucked from the fire. I started by Joshua Mason. We don't even understand what a brand is. How about kindling wood. See that's brand coal.
I want to think about this for moment. That's the Lord the angel the Lord the Lord's description of Joshua. Now you can see here. Not only does Joshua represent the nation Israel but Joshua represent you and me.
You see this in just a moment.
But notice his description of him, he says, is this not a brand plucked from the fire. In other words the angel the Lord says are going to the fire and I'll pluck the brand out of the fire by the fires you know represents judgment in Scripture. You see, that's the imagery that you have here now.
The description of what Josh was really like. And unfortunately I'll have to tell you what you're really like now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel not understand. Josh was the high priest and the high priest of Israel is dressed in very unique ways heat. He has some really cool clothing and we all about high priest in his garments, but on the day of atonement the time he wanted to have the presence of God, the high priest wore a completely white tunic as pure white as they can make it. In other words, he had to look as best he could in front of the Lord as pure as possible while here, he says he was clothed in filthy garments. Now that's not a bad word in English met the Hebrew word. This word describing a garments is the Hebrew word so and then betray with that word really means.
It means excrement. That's what the word means. Sometimes it means urine sometimes means dung sometimes means vomit.
Sometimes it means menstrual discharge and I say you said a man's righteousness is as filthy rags used menstrual clots.
That's the description of Joshua necessities filthy.
Now Joshua represents the people and he also represents us.
That's what we look like standing before a holy God in filthy garments. Maybe that's why Isaiah said, while I am undone. I'm a man of unclean lips like a people of unclean lips. This is not a good place for me to see something that you see here is this to God. Sin is not just disappointing is repugnant and that's what you see what Joshua then now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel and I watch what happens and he spoke and he said to those who were standing before him, saying, remove the filthy garments from him and he says, and again he said one see I have taken your iniquity away from you what you mean by that, I forgiven you. Does it look like Joshua a lot to be forgiven and that's the description of the filthy garments you and I have a lot to be forgiven. Yes, he said, I have taken your iniquity away from you and I will clothe you and festal robes. While something the particle doesn't see the idea got the best get up festive robe with put on but let's make a wonderful notice he says and I said let them put a clean turban on his head and so they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel the Lord was standing by. That's the transformation that takes place. That's what happens when God forgives you see. Are you really sure. I mean, so I don't ever lose these festive garments get no but in case you're not really sure. Let me just tell you a few other things through Scripture that happens when God forgives you, according to Micah 17 719. He says you will again have compassion on us.
You will tread out our sins underfoot and he says and you he says will bury all our iniquities in the depths of the sea, according to Micah 719, he drowned your sins, according to Isaiah 4325 he erases your sins according Isaiah 4422 he dissolves your sins according Isaiah 3817. He puts all your sins behind his back. Jeremiah 3134.
He says I forget all your sins according to Psalm 32 in verse 20 says I cover all your sins according to Psalm 32 verse two he says I do not record your sins, according to Psalm 103 verse 12 he says, I totally remove your sins, according to Ephesians 170 says I forgive your sins.
According to acts 319. He says I wipe them out.
According to first Peter 224 take them all and myself. The second printing is 519. He said I do not charge us into your account. According to second Greg, it's 521. He said I charge them to Christ account, according to Colossians 213. He said I know your sins of the cross. According to Hebrews 1 he says I purge you of your sins to Hebrews 926. He says I do away or put away your sins according to first John 35. He said I put your sins away from you, and according to first John 170 says I cleanse and purify you from your sins, and according to Revelation chapter 1 he said I set you free of your sins what you think. He keeps telling us that because we don't believe it. Some of you are doing machines you have the capacity to feel guilty and then just languish in it.
I mean, that's we have the capacity to do. Hey we need to be forgiven.
Absolutely. Is God's forgiveness real yes is the essence of God's nature. What does God do with our sins, he drowns in the racism dissolves and forgets them discovers them put Sabina's back doesn't record and remove some forgives them wipes them out. Take someone himself is in charge of our account charges and the Christ account knows him to the cross purchase us from them, does away or put some away, cleanses and purifies us from a man such as free from that's what it means to be forgiven. You see, there are no strings attached in any of those verses.
That's got forgiveness within the question is how do we obtain the forgiveness of God. Just think of the most famous verse in the New Testament. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. In other words, he sent them into the fire. He gave his only begotten son he sentiment of the fire men are part that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life shall be forgiven.
That's got all parts clear think about when Jesus on the cross was the first thing he said father forgiven, be honest, I would be your first words you went through what he went through one last passage in the book of acts chapter 10 Peter is giving a sermon. Verse 40 chapter 10 of the book of acts Peter says this God raised him up on the third day and granite that he become visible.
Not all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before him by God. That is to isolate and drink with him after he arose and the dead, and he ordered us to preach or proclaim to the people and solemnly testify that this is the one who was appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. And then here it is pieces of him. Jesus Christ, all the prophets bear witness. We talked about that earlier that through his name. Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins you receive the forgiveness of sins that are part of you gonna see if you done see for so many of us, and especially so many of you coming out a very different background you live under the premise that I think Jesus was really important, and that maybe what Jesus did is give me an opportunity to save myself, but that's not it. See John wrote, he that believes in the son has life he that does not believe in the sun does not have life with the wrath of God abides on him. That's a fulfillment, by the way the Exodus passage 34 that we looked at see you have to make a response one way or the other to Jesus Christ, you can't get your sins forgiven. No man on earth can absolve your sins.
You see, you can't do a sacrament, and then say no I'm right with God can't do that as Christ and Christ alone. You see, it's Christ.
No other name given among men by which we must be saved. It's Christ and what Peter simply says is everyone who believes in him receives a forgiveness of sins and you see what that means that really really forgiven. That's what God is saying, God offers us a tremendous amount of forgiveness, but it's always back in our court during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. There was a postal clerk's name was George Wilson.
Apparently George Wilson robbed the train and killed a guard George Wilson then was captured and convicted and sentenced to hang by the neck until he was dead. There were some who had doubts as to whether or not he was really guilty so Pres. Jackson intervened as he looked over all the material he offered George Wilson a presidential pardon. But George Wilson hated Andrew Jackson. He refused the part he's the first person in American history. To refuse apartment of the present and so they decided this challenging the courts. What we do about this and went all the way to the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice that time was John Marshall, and here's what he wrote, as the decision they made. Chief Justice Marshall said a pardon is a parchment whose only value must be determined by the receiver of the parking it has no value.
Apart from that which the receiver gives it because George Wilson has refuse the pardon. Whatever his reason, he will suffer the full penalty for his crime by being hanged. I think George Wilson describes the story of many people, you guilty you committed the crime.
Your center just like all of us.
The wages of sin is death rate from separation from God. That's the penalty which are being offered something not by the present United States by the king of kings and the Lord of lords, the one who would pay the penalty himself not to simply give your partner pay the penalty himself and then he would offer it to you, and I think so many people do exactly what George Wilson refused part that's tragic, the forgiveness of God is a wonderful thing for you if you've never really received it, I beg you to do so is a gift. If you have received it and take it for granted. Don't take it for granted all we were just simply cannon when the fire we could do a thing to help.
He reached in and I will buy you gonna spend the rest of eternity past you broke your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship lower if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember the great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on today's broadcast. So many of our previous audio programs as well Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that pastor will delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nolan.org that FVC and LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title.
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