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The Freedom of Forgiveness

Power Point / Jack Graham
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2021 7:00 am

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Power Point / Jack Graham

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December 30, 2021 7:00 am

There is, of course, great freedom in the forgiveness we receive from Jesus. And while we find that freedom from our own sin and guilt and shame, there is also great freedom to be found when we let go of the bitterness we hold on to when we fail to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us.

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Welcome to this edition of PowerPoint with Jack Graham. A man was sitting behind the newspaper drinking coffee and guzzling down, slurping down his breakfast. Wasn't paying any attention to his wife at the breakfast table. Finally she had had enough so she just pulled his paper down, looked him right in the eye and said, you don't even know what day today is.

Do you? Immediately he was panic stricken. But he covered and said, I know what day it is. How could I forget this day? So he hustled off to work and he began making phone calls on his cell phone to the office and in the afternoon his wife received 12 long-stemmed red roses. Little later on a beautiful black negligee. Little later on came a box of chocolates. And so when he came home that evening and walked through the door he noticed something was different. There was candlelight everywhere and there was a white tablecloth and he smelled a wonderful meal and his wife came and embraced him and welcomed him.

I mean she just was knocked out, beautifully dressed and it was just amazing. They sat down and had this beautiful meal and she looked at him and said, sweetheart, thank you. Thank you for making this the best groundhog day ever. You know there's some things you ought to remember to forget and there are other things you must not forget to remember. Isn't it amazing some of the things that we remember that we ought to forget? About 40 years ago when I was in junior high, maybe more.

No, that's about right. I learned a little song. Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? When your mama says not to chew it, do you swallow it in spite? Can you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right?

Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? Now how do I remember that? That stupid song is still in my head. They say, you know, you never forget anything. Your brain just sort of sucks it all in and keeps it until somehow you can recover it. I can remember that stupid song but I can't remember the scripture I memorized yesterday.

There are some things that we need to remember and of course we remember those things, these things that are important by repeating them and rehearsing them again and again and again. So turn in your Bibles, to II Peter chapter 1. Now remember freedom is bought and paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ at his cross. And freedom is not about your rights but freedom is about what is right. One man said, no man can become free until he has become a slave of something higher and greater than himself. We are slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That's how Peter identifies himself in chapter 1 and verse 1. A slave, a bondservant, an apostle of Jesus Christ. We have been set free by the power of Jesus and his forgiveness. The Bible says the Lord gave freedom to the prisoners. We are set free. We are free of guilt. We are free of the power and the grip of sin. We are free of the fear and the power of evil. We are free and God made every one of us to live free in him. He said, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

And that freedom of forgiveness, of just living in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ is the only way to live and it's the only way to die. And so in II Peter chapter 1 verses 12 and 13, Peter writes, for this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things though you know and are established in the present truth. Yet I think it is right as long as I am in this tent.

He wasn't talking about a pup tent. He was talking about his tent, the body. He said, as long as I'm here, in this body, I want to stir up and remind you of some things knowing that shortly I must put off my tent. In other words, I'm pulling up stakes and packing my tent and I'm heading home to heaven just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover, I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my sin in the Holy Ghost that these important spiritual truths and lessons, it is the lesson that we need to learn and keep learning so that when we live in the freedom of forgiveness we'll not fall back but rather we will keep moving forward in our freedom and living in that freedom. And so that's why he said, I've written this book. Now this II Peter is the last book that Simon Peter gave And it's an important book because these are his final words. Here was a man who walked with Jesus faithfully as an apostle, following him as Lord and King. He knew something about failure in his own life. But now, Peter no longer is impetuous and impulsive, but he is filled and infused with the power of Jesus Christ. And he said, here's some things that I've learned sometimes the hard way. Remember when he denied Christ three times and he was so broken up because of his failure and because of his fall when he was ashamed of Jesus? He said, I've learned some things along the way in my sin and in my recovery and restoration that I want to remind you never to forget what are they.

Four things very briefly. He said, I want you to remember the reason for the Christian life. That's why he said for this reason in verse 12.

What reason? What is the reason for the Christian life? Well verse 3 earlier in the passage he talks about the divine power of Jesus Christ. And that we've been given all things that pertain to life and Godliness.

Do you see it there? And then look down in verse 4. That through these you may be partakers of the divine nature. Partakers of the divine nature. Do you know that when you become a Christian the divine nature of Christ begins living in you? You were dead in trespasses and sin.

Dead. But now you're made alive and the very spirit of the living Christ lives in you. You've been made our partaker of the divine nature.

And therefore the reason that we live, the reason for the Christian life is that we continue to grow and develop as believers in Christ. It's wonderful that some of you have come to Christ for the first time. That you've been introduced to Jesus Christ. Some of you say, well I've met Jesus for the first time.

That is fantastic but this is just the beginning. Because as you now know Christ in your life. As the spirit of the living Lord is in you.

Now it's time to remember the reason. And the reason is that you, the goal of Christ in your life, what is it? It is to be like Him. God is forming in you the very person, the likeness of Christ. And your whole purpose and plan for life is in Christ. And somebody may be thinking, well I can't live like Christ. I can't do this.

I'm not even going to try because it's just too hard. Remember, God would never command you to do anything that you could not do. When God guides, He provides and you have the living spirit of Christ in you. And therefore you are to remember that.

Remember the reason but also remember the resources that He has given you. In verse 3 again He says, you've been given all things that pertain to life and godliness. In other words, when Christ came to live in you, you are fully equipped to grow up in Christ. Just as a baby, a healthy baby is born with the capacity to grow. He's a little guy or a little girl but everything is developing. Genetically planned, divinely programmed to grow up.

I mean we're not born like pollywogs where we grow stuff later. But we have all of the capacity to grow within us. Now in Christ, we have the capacity to grow and we are promised that if we will commit to Him and give due diligence to growing our faith that we can become more and more and more like Christ.

All things. Christ is sufficient. Christ is all. It's not Christ plus anything. It's not Christ plus an emotional experience. It's not Christ plus Bible study. Though the Bible study is so very important and the Word of God will be added to your life.

But it's not Christ plus secular psychology. Every need you have is found and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. And you know the biggest need that every one of us have is forgiveness. Forgiveness.

And then to live in the freedom of that forgiveness in Christ and Christ alone. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, The Freedom of Forgiveness. We hope you're enjoying today's message and we're excited to share that for a limited time, your gift to PowerPoint will be doubled up to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Thanks to a generous matching grant to say thanks for your gift today. We'll send you the most popular and encouraging messages from this past year together in one collection called The Best of Twenty Twenty One.

This is the last week of this offer. So call today. Call one eight hundred seven nine five four six two seven. That's one eight hundred seven nine five four six two seven.

You can also text the word PowerPoint to three one three one three one text PowerPoint to three one three one three one. And don't forget to visit Jack Graham dot o r g where you can shop our store, give a gift online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional. Our Web site again is Jack Graham dot o r g. Now let's get back to today's message. The freedom of forgiveness. So everything that that we need to live a godly life and not fall back. Some of you are already thinking, you know, I've made real commitments to Christ in recent days. How do I know I'm not going to fall down? How do I know I'm not going to go the other way?

How do I know that I can keep going forward and not fall? Because that's what Peter's talking about. He says later on in the passage that we've been cleansed from our sin.

Verse 10. And then if you do these things, you will never stumble. You don't have to stumble, fail and fall.

Peter was saying, you don't need to make the terrible mistakes that I made. If you will remember the reason, the reason for the Christian life is to become more and more like Christ. If you will remember the resources and that is we've been given all things in Jesus Christ that pertain to life and godliness. But you also need to remember the resistance. That's why Peter wrote down in verse 4, the last sentence of verse 4.

You see that there? It says, we have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Now the world is a system that shapes many people. That's why the Bible says don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Too many of us are being conformed to the world rather than being transformed by the Word of God. We're to be different than the world.

We're to look different, talk differently, dress differently. But rather we are to live in our hearts having escaped the corruption, the rottenness of the world system. Not talking about the world that Jesus loves and died for, for God so loved the world that he gave his only son. God loves people, all people. But the world is the anti-Christ, anti-God system. This world is hostile to God and is no friend to grace.

And so there's this resistance. I mean God doesn't take us unto heaven. He leaves us in the world and as long as we're in this world, the Bible says in 1 John chapter 2 that the world and all that's in it, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, that's the world, we're constantly engaging the world. And we're either being shaped by the world or shaped by the Word, the Word of Christ. That's why in this passage of scripture, if you don't want to be shaped by the world and sucked in to the world system and go back in the wrong direction and start living for the world and the things of this world that do not love Christ, if you want to keep going and live for the kingdom of God, he said in verse 5, look at it.

Look at verse 5. But also for this reason, giving diligence, add to your faith. Add to your faith. Remember I said earlier, this is just the beginning of faith for some of you. For some of you, you've been in the faith a long time, maybe since you were little children. But you've not been adding to your faith.

You've not been building on the foundation and the forgiveness of your faith. He says, give diligence to this. And that means intensely dedicated to it. Some of you are dedicated and diligent to sports. You're diligent to video games.

You're diligent to your social life. But you're not diligent to grow your faith. But he said, if you don't want to fall backwards, you must be diligent. Not doing things half-heartedly but wholeheartedly. Not presenting God things that are just half-baked.

But all the way, add to your faith. Just like you want to get in shape physically. Too many times people promise, you know, I'm going to get in shape. I'm going to start eating better.

I'm going to start exercising. They go out. They put on the running suit they got for Christmas. They go out and they run like crazy. They're pumping iron. And the next day, they hurt so bad.

What doesn't hurt doesn't work. And they quit. But others commit and stay with it and give diligence to it. They stay after it. They get after it.

And as a result, physically, they change. What we need today is to add to our faith muscle, spiritual muscle that we may grow and develop stronger, better, more muscular in our faith every single day. And he said the way to do that is to add to your faith.

Look what he said to add. Virtue, that's moral character and strength. Knowledge, that's wisdom and discernment, how to make good and godly decisions. Self-control, that's especially self-control related to our passions sexually.

Endurance, which means perseverance. And then godliness, which is reverence and worship and kindness, brotherly kindness, which means fellowship and friendships and relationships in the body of Christ the Church. And then love, the agape love of Christ, the love of sacrifice, the love of the cross. He said, here's the list.

Does that sound familiar? That list, by the way, is akin to the fruit of the Spirit, isn't it? It's the character of Christ being formed in us. So it's moral excellence and it's knowledge and it's self-control. And it's love and it's brotherly love. And all of this God has given us in order that we might experience victory over the world.

We do have resistance, but that resistance can be overcome. And there's one final thing that Peter says, and that is to remember the reward. Remember the reward.

Now, don't miss this. For he says, if you do these things, down in verse 10, you will have an entrance, verse 11, supplied to you abundantly in the everlasting kingdom of the Lord. An abundant entrance into heaven.

It's a word picture that Peter used. He had seen this, no doubt, many times when Olympian athletes would return from a victory to their town and there would be parades and cheers. There would be an abundant entrance back into the town.

They were excited because of the championship that was won. Peter is saying, if you live like this, if you live in freedom and forgiveness and faith, you're to remember the reason that you're to be like Christ. You're to remember those resources that you have that you can grow, everything you need to grow, that you can remember the resistance, know that you're in for a spiritual battle, and add to your faith therefore the strength that you need to win. Then you will have this abundant entrance into heaven. You'll be rewarded. Not everybody's going to have an abundant entrance into heaven. Some people are going to barely get there. They're saved but barely saved. But if you win for Jesus Christ, he said, if you don't stumble and fall, you're going to have an abundant entrance into heaven.

It's freedom. Someone encouraged me to watch several years ago the edited TV version of Brave Heart and I did that. It was a story of William Wallace. Some of you, of course, know that story. You may not know that William Wallace was a great believer in Jesus Christ and a servant of God. It came time to die because of his beliefs and because he would not recant certain things to the king. The final scene of that movie, he is in his prison cell and he's praying because he's to be executed the next day. And as he's praying, he's praying, oh God, let me die well.

God, give me courage to die. So they brought him out the next day for the execution. They gave him a choice. They said, look, if you will recant before the king right now, we'll kill you quickly.

It puts you out of your misery. But if you don't, we're going to torture you to death. He would not recant so they put him on the rack. History tells us that he was tortured to death. He was put on the rack and you remember there on the rack, if you happen to have seen this, as they're pulling him joint from joint, he did not cry out.

As they begin disemboweling him, he did not cry out. But as he was ready to die, he summoned all the courage and strength and faith that he could. And with one final word, he cried out, freedom! William Wallace had an abundant entrance into heaven. You can have that same abundant entrance by knowing and following Jesus Christ. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, the freedom of forgiveness. As we prepare to step into our 28th year of ministry, generous partners like you are enabling PowerPoint to harness technology to take the gospel into closed countries and hard to reach regions.

And lives are being transformed by Christ. But in order to seize every opportunity God sends our way, your support is vital to ensure PowerPoint finishes this year on a strong financial footing. That's why we're excited to share that some generous friends have offered to double your gift this month, up to $150,000.

To say thanks for your gift, we'll send you the best of 2021, a CD collection featuring 10 popular messages from this past year that will help you deepen your faith. This is the last week of this offer, so call today. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131. That's PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit JackGraham.org where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online, or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional.

Our website again is JackGraham.org. Pastor, what is your PowerPoint for today? In 2 Peter, the apostle talks about four things we need to keep in mind to truly live the kind of life that God has called us to live. First, it's important to remember the reason for the Christian life. As followers of Jesus, you and I are called to grow and to develop. And the moment you become a Christian, something wonderful begins to happen.

The divine nature of Christ is living in you, and you are now a brand new person, a new creation. But this is just the beginning, because the goal of the Christian life is to become more like Christ step by step, day by day. This is the reason for the Christian life, that we can be born again and then grow up in our faith. The second way to live the kind of life that God wants you to live is to remember the resources that God has given you in Christ. In Him, you have the capacity to grow up and develop, and you must take responsibility to access all the resources that are provided for you, the word of God, prayer, the church. And then we should discipline ourselves to develop in our faith so that we can become more and more like Christ. Third, it's important to remember that we will face resistance when our goal is to honor God. But thank God He has given us His word, He has given us the presence and the power of His Spirit, so that we can experience victory over any resistance we face.

And finally, the way to live a life that God desires us to live is to remember the reward of heaven. Now maybe today you'd admit that you're not sure you'd go to heaven if you died. And if so, I'd like to invite you to pray a prayer of faith right now and invite Christ into your life.

Simply but sincerely pray like this. Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned and broken your commandments, but I turn from my sin and I trust in you. I believe you died for me and rose again. And right now I receive you as my Lord, my Savior, my Master, and my Friend. Come into my life, Lord Jesus, and may I live for you in the power of your Spirit until you come for me. Now if you will pray and receive Christ into your life, I want to welcome you into the family of God.

And that is today's PowerPoint. Today if you prayed that prayer with Dr. Graham and accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we'd love to hear from you so we can help you begin your new life with Christ. Please call us at 1-800-795-4627.

That's 1-800-795-4627. And join us again next time as Dr. Graham brings a message about the overwhelming, life-changing love God has for you. That's next time on PowerPoint with Jack Graham. PowerPoint with Jack Graham is sponsored by PowerPoint Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-25 12:36:15 / 2023-06-25 12:46:05 / 10

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