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November 14, 2021 7:00 am
The director of a psychiatric institution once said he could discharge half his patients. If only they could be assured of forgiveness. The weight of guilt lies heavily on the human race and the race does not its remedy and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically today, as in all ages. People cry out for true forgiveness, unaware of the fact that God is already made provision for the burden of their sin. Join Dr. Boyce as he considers the concept of forgiveness and Christ's prescription for attaining it from the petition we know as the Lord's prayer. Not long ago I was talking to a Christian psychiatrist, and in the course of our conversation because I had been thinking about the subject as part of our study of the Lord's prayer. I touched on the problem of forgiveness and the need.
Men have for it. The psychiatrist said far as I am concerned most of what a psychiatrist does is directly related to forgiveness. People come to him with problems and they feel guilty about their part in these problems there really seeking forgiveness.
In effect, they confess their sins to the counselor and find that he forgives them, and then a pattern is set up in which they can show their change of heart in tangible ways toward the other person or persons psychiatrist concluded by observing that the great needs to be forgiven by men that many persons feel is only a shadow of a far greater need that all men have for God's forgiveness and its true in one of his most recent books. Dr. John RW Stott, minister of all souls Church in London quotes the head of a large English mental hospital as having said I could dismiss half my patients tomorrow if they could be assured of forgiveness. He also cites the Scottish churchman George MacLeod is having written.
We live in a world where literally thousands of church members not to mention others are in need of release.
We live in a vacuum where men simply are not freed.
None of these statements is in the least exaggerated or in our day. As in all ages of man people are crying out for real forgiveness and an assurance of it. It is this that the Christian message brings now the second area of requests for our own needs that occurs in the Lord's prayer which we been studying concerns this subject of forgiveness. But if we are to understand this request accurately. We must realize that it is speaking of forgiveness. In one sense only the forgiveness that is given after his justification to a disobedient child of God we must realize that before this forgiveness is possible.
It must be preceded by another type of forgiveness by which one becomes a member of God's family in the first place. You see the request given here is certainly not a prayer for forgiveness in the same sense that we ask for forgiveness and we first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. That request involves the acceptance of Christ death is the one sufficient sacrifice for our sin, past, present and future, and it's something that is done once for all.
If the fifth petition in the Lord's prayer is referring to this initial forgiveness, will, and we can have no real security before God.
We cannot say as Paul does, that he US begun a good work and you will keep on performing it until the day of Jesus Christ.
We cannot say with Jeremiah, God will remember our sins no more.
We cannot say as far as the east is from the West so far at the removed our transgressions from us. All of these verses would be meaningless if that forgiveness were meant know the Lord is not speaking of the forgiveness we receive in the first moment of our salvation. He is speaking of a forgiveness that comes later that comes repeatedly forgiveness that restores a broken relationship with God.
Most Christians will immediately see the need for this forgiveness and will immediately see the distinction between the two types. Unfortunately, there have always been some who felt that sin could be eradicated in the Christian during this life, since they generally apply this to themselves. Therefore, come to believe erroneously that they at least no longer need this forgiveness. This is wrong, of course, in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ directed all of his disciples to ask for forgiveness refutes it. We need to get one great principal straight when a sinful human being becomes a Christian, he does not cease to be a sinner any more than he ceases to be a human being only as a new nature planted within him by God and the new nature does not sin.
The new nature will constantly lead them along the paths of holiness of he will yield to it. But the Christian also has a sinful fallen nature that he will never eradicated in this life he will carry it with him to the grave, this old nature will get him into trouble again and again and every time it breaks out, he will find that it also breaks the fullness of his fellowship with God. But what is the Christian to do in these circumstances, the Bible teaches that he is to return to the Lord and and again to confess his sin and to ask for forgiveness and cleansing. If we neglect to do this we will lose all of the joy of salvation. If we ask for forgiveness. We will enter increasingly in the joy of an deepening fellowship with God. What is more, this will involve our attitude toward others.
We shall not experience the fullness of God's forgiveness toward us. According to Jesus, unless we extend the same forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Thus verses further on, Christ says, for if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Why is this so well it's not because God waits for us to earn his forgiveness by forgiving others. We can never earn any of God's favors.
It is simply because we cannot truly ask for forgiveness unless our heart is right regarding other people also. God does not work by halves.
You will not allow us to come to him confessing half the sin while hiding under the other half must be all or nothing.
Most if we confess our sin, that confession must of necessity involve a forgiving attitude toward others, Dr. Harry Ironside, with one who knew this and he wrote correctly on this passage, the government of God his father over his own children. Our forgiveness of daily offenses depends upon our attitude toward those who offend against us. We refuse to forgive our airing brethren. God will not grant us that restorative forgiveness for which we plead when conscious of sin and failure is, of course, is nothing to do with that eternal forgiveness which the believing sinner receives when it comes to Christ. It is the father's forgiveness of an airing child which must of necessity take into account the attitude of the field one toward other members of the family how Jesus said forgive us our debts as we forgive others, and this certainly means among other things, that we are to pattern the scope of our own forgiveness upon God's eye. We cannot go on to consider other parts of the Lord's prayer without pausing to see one other great truth about this matter.
Forgiveness. The truth is this. When a person comes to God through Jesus Christ confessing his sin and asking for forgiveness.
He need not be uncertain of the outcome.
Instead he can be absolutely certain that God will provide the forgiveness that he asks for. You may be saying or how can I be sure of that. Well, in the only way that we can be sure of anything else of the spiritual nature, how can we be sure that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was the one sufficient sacrifice for our sins.
How because God says so he says. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
How can we be certain that once we believed on Jesus Christ.
We will never be lost because God says so. So Jesus said my sheep you're my voice and I know them and they follow me and I given to them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand and how can we be certain that God will forgive our sin when we come to him confessing it. It is the same answer because God says so. Most in first John 19 we read, if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. There cannot be a greater promise than that bird says that we can be absolutely certain of the forgiveness of sins, and that we can be certain, because the forgiveness is based upon the faithfulness and justice of God what is God faithful to his promises. Of course, God's promise to forgive and he does not break his word. What is more, he is just in his forgiveness.
This means the because the Lord Jesus Christ has paid the full price for our sin, the justice of God necessarily requires them to grant us full forgiveness on that ground full forgiveness. It's a wonderful truth, for it means that God has made provision in advance for our daily and sometimes hourly cleansing from sin and that is faithfulness and justice stand behind these promises. And isn't it true that God has assured us in advance of this full forgiveness precisely to keep us from sinning. Certainly it is for. No sooner is John written if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and he goes on to say my little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. In other words, God says that the truth that will most keep us from sinning is the promise that we will be forgiven by God, even if we do many years ago now an incident that occurred in the life of Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse.
That is the perfect illustration of this truth. Dr. Barnhouse had been holding a series of meetings on a college campus in this country and it been approached by one of the young professors at the close of a meeting. He had a sad story to tell. During the war before you become a Christian. He had fallen in with bad companions and while in Paris, had lived a life of great sin that we had returned home to become a Christian and fallen in love with a fine Christian girl who also loved him. However, he hesitated to tell her of his love because he feared that his proclivities toward sin might cause him to sin again and thus wound the heart of the girl he now loved what should he do. He stated his problem and he waited for an answer. Dr. Barnhouse prayed for a moment and then after he assured himself that the young man was a believer advised him to share the story of his past life with the girl arguing that if they were to live their lives together. There should be no barriers between them and saying that her knowledge of his weakness would help them at every turn of the road this point. However, he began to tell a story of two other people who would come into his life sometime before and would shared a similar set of circumstances demanded lived a life of great sin, but had been converted and eventually had come to marry a fine Christian woman he had confided to her the nature of his past life. In a few words as he had told her these things. The wife had taken his head in her hands and had drawn into her shoulder and it kissed him saying John, I want you to understand something very plainly. I know my Bible well and therefore I know the subtlety of sin and the devices of sin working in the human heart. I know you are thoroughly converted man John but I know that you still have an old nature that you are not yet as fully instructed in the ways of God is, you soon will be.
The devil will do all he can direct your Christian life. He will see to it. The temptations of every kind will be put in your way.
They might come please God, that it never shall. But they might come when you will succumb to temptation and fall into sin. Immediately, the devil will tell you that it's no use trying that you might as well continue on in the way of sin and that of all you are not to tell me because it will hurt me. John, I want you to know that here in my arms is your home. When I married you I married your old nature as well as your new nature and I want you to know that there is full pardon and forgiveness in advance for any evil that may ever come into your life. As Dr. Barnhouse was telling the story to the college professor. The professor had bowed his head and covered his face with his hands. However, when this point of the story came young man lifted his eyes to Dr. Barnhouse and said reverently, my God, if anything could ever keep a man straight that would be it know how true that was that would be at the end that is it for every believing child of God. God has given us full provision in advance for every sin that may ever come into your life and he is done this precisely that you might be kept from sinning not forget that there is nothing in you that can ever astonish God or taken by surprise. He knows what you are. And yet he has recommended his love to you on the basis of the fact that it was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us, other is just one other point that comes to us from this great text in Matthew and comes from the little word debts this context, the word refers to our sin in the verse is a prayer for forgiveness. Since we ceased to become debtors to sin by means of confession of God's forgiveness after we have come, confessing our sin and receiving forgiveness. However, we then become debtors in another sense the same sense that occurs in Romans one verses 14 and 15, when Paul says I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians post to the wise and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also is a this is a debt on two levels. First we become a debtor to God. We were nothing before him we were going our own way. We were serving ourselves. We were not even understanding spiritual things God came to us first in Christ Jesus to redeem us from sin and then in the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to his truth than to lead us in his way. Because of these things we are debtors to God to serve him with all our heart and soul and mind, and to carry out his purposes in this life. We are also then debtors man, have you known God's forgiveness you've ever come to them confessing your sin and your need for his son to be your savior. You've confessed that you know it.
If you ever come to a communion service eating the bread and drinking the wine that stand for the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will declared your knowledge of that forgiveness. If you know this, then you are also acknowledging your indebtedness to declare that same forgiveness to others, you must tell them you must tell them. As Jesus said unto whomsoever much is given of him shall much be required in our father, we thank you for the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus Christ. There are those listening today who would never known that forgiveness or who need to experience it a new one so we knew fellowship with yourself. Grant that these words might lead them once again to yourself and provide for them, but joy that comes only from your self or we pray in Jesus name, amen. You're listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce to prominent issues in the lives of Christians are repentance and forgiveness. What does biblical forgiveness look like and what does it accomplish. Find out in our free CD offer entitled the power and practice of forgiveness by authoring teacher David Garner. This free CD offer is just our way of saying thanks call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be pleased to send you a copy of the power and practice of forgiveness, that number again is 1-800-488-1888 if you'd like to help.
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Please consider making a gift with extra impact before midnight Eastern time that firstname.lastname@example.org you can also call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you for your support. The message you just heard as well as other content from Dr. Boyson many reformed teachers, authors and speakers is email@example.com that's reformed.org by Mark Daniels. Thanks for joining me today when Christ was tempted in the wilderness.
He resisted the devil.
We attribute that victory to his divine nature.
But Jesus never relied on his divinity for victory join Dr. James Boyce next time of the Bible study hour as he reveals Christ secret for overcoming temptation, one that could be applied in our lives as well. The temptation referred to in the Lord's prayer is not the temptation that comes from God as a trial to strengthen our faith more primarily the temptation that comes from within, from our own sinful loss.
The temptation that Jesus meant was the temptation that comes the believer from the devil.
What is the secret to resisting this type of temptation. The secret is found in the last verse quoted from James we read elsewhere that the temptation that comes from the flesh is to be resisted by fleeing from it is why Paul writes flee youthful lusts and flee fornication will to resist the temptation that comes to us from the world by allowing God to transform us by the renewing of our minds that we may prove his perfect will for us. But when it comes to the devil. Scripture says submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. I think that at this point, we must be very clear about the point that James is making James says submit to God and resist the devil, we are to submit and resist. But how are we to do that. What does submission mean and how can we resist the wisdom and the superior coming of Satan. We need to answer these questions clearly, for we are sensitive to spiritual things. We know that Satan is stronger than we are. We are unable to resist them in ourselves we are weak beside him. Therefore, no how we are to seek deliverance from the one who is defeated Satan men will one day imprison them forever.
Next time on Bible study hour preparing you to think and act biblically