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July 18, 2022 8:00 am
I know you're like me in the your own sin has a way of wearing you out you you give weary of of the struggle with temptation get weary of of realizing that you fallen short yet again hello and welcome to the truth with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio where Don teaches God's people. God's work. I build right as believers in Christ, we often view our lives through the prism of our family rather than through the prism of what Christ is done for us by his death and resurrection today.
John will remind you that we must overcome this false way of looking at our walk with God in order to more fully enjoy the abundant grace he has bestowed upon us friend, you're not going to want to miss the second of this brand-new series called when you're weary with sin. Just before we begin done reversing a lifelong pattern of self-flagellation over our sins and failures isn't going to be easy but it's not impossible with God's help is not right. We know Bill. There are no answers for sinners who are looking inside themselves in order to find forgiveness for their sins. We must look outside of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ my friend in love the Lord Jesus laid down his life at the cross to give forgiveness and new life to everyone who believes in him, and that includes you.
The offer goes to you and so, my friend. I want to assure you today that you can have the gift of salvation stay with us to find that out as we begin our series titled when you're weary with sin. Thanks so much Don friend right now. Let's join our teacher with part one of today's lesson here on the truthful as we come to communion.
Today we come to an opportunity to refresh our joy to to come.
Perhaps weary with sin but through the teaching of God's word and through this remembrance of the Lord has appointed to be able to walk out refresh because we understand what Christ has done for us and were going to do something a little unusual here today, at least for pulpit. What I want to do today is were going to look at three centers from the gospel of Luke, whom Jesus forgave and use those three centers as pictures of how completely he has reconciled us to God through his life through his death and through his resurrection, and along the way were going to answer three questions about your sins in relationship to Christ to give you confidence about the forgiveness that you have in Christ.
I know that that some of you, perhaps more than I realize struggle with the issue of assurance and you're not sure whether you belong to Christ in your your you you don't walk through with the confidence day by day that I belong to Christ and all of those things have been settled well. All of those perspectives are answered by the Scriptures were going to look at today and so were going to answer three questions about about your sins here today as a believer to give you confidence that that you can approach God through the Lord Jesus Christ with bold and confident access, confident that you are reconciled to God and that all of your sins have truly been forgiven at the cross of Christ and then we will receive communion with with grateful hearts having had our minds refreshed. In this way, here's the first question I'd like to answer about your sins here today if you're here is a Christian and you calm in your your conscious of the struggles of the past week and we think about what Christ is done, you might ask yourself this question, are there too many. In other words, have I have I committed so many sins that Christ is finally going to refuse me and not receive me any longer. Perhaps you're here and you know that you're not a Christian I know that there are some like that in a room of the size and energy are contemplating the cross you you think know I've I've committed to many sins and I've I've sin my way out of grace. Well, what would the Scriptures say about that as we read the Gospels, as we read what our Lord did as he interacted with sinners, we find that the Bible delights in telling us about unworthy men, unworthy women just like you who found complete forgiveness from God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's start with one picture of this kind of forgiveness in Luke chapter 7 were going to look at three examples from the gospel of Luke here today. Luke concludes his gospel in chapter 24 saying that that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in the name of Christ. That's Luke's version of the great commission well before he got to that capstone.
He gave us several illustrations of individual sinners who found forgiveness from Christ. Even despite their unworthiness. So as we answer the question, are there too many sins in your life so that Christ would not receive you, the answer is no, that's not the case. Look at Luke chapter 7 verse 36 not one of the Pharisees was requesting him to dine with him, and Jesus entered the Pharisees house and reclined at the table and there was a woman in the city who was a center, probably a prostitute and when she learned that he was reclining at the table in the Pharisees house.
She brought an alabaster vial of perfume and standing behind him at his feet. Weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and kept wiping them with the hair of her head and kissing his feet and anointing them with the perfume when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself.
If this man were a prophet he would know who and what sort of person this woman who it is who is touching him that she is a center from the Pharisees perspective you would not let a sinful woman touch you, because it would it would it would contaminate you. It would hurt her uncleanness would convey ceremonial uncleanness upon you, and he said if Jesus for prophet he would understand this, he would know who this woman was in the fact that he is letting this woman deal with him in this way to the Pharisee was assigned that Jesus was not who he claimed to be well. The Pharisee was looking down on this woman because of her past what was known and he said look at this sinful woman look at what she's done in the past. If Jesus for profit if he were the son of God, this woman would not be able to approach him well. What did Jesus say about that.
What should we say about this Pharisee, this Pharisee was missing the whole point of repentance.
He was missing the entire nature of God's salvation being on display right in front of him, though he was a religious man, he completely misunderstood and had no clue as to what genuine salvation was like Jesus did not miss it Jesus instead displayed to him his own ignorance and in the process confirmed this woman in her faith.
Look at verse 40 Jesus answered the Pharisee knew what he was thinking and said, Simon, I have something to say to you, and he replied say it teacher Jesus told a parable gave him an illustration for them to think about is that a moneylender had two debtors, one who owed 500 and there I which was approximately a day's wages, and the other 50. There's two debtors here Simon there's there's one who owes over a year's worth of wages almost 2 years worth of wages to a moneylender and another who owns who owes 50 maybe almost 2 months worth when they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both.
So which one of them will love him more. Simon answered and said, I suppose the one whom he forgave more and he said to him you judge correctly.
It's an obvious point is in it. Those with a lot of sin who come to Christ and find forgiveness. Have a great love for Christ.
In response because they realized the great debt that has been forgiven to them and so as we consider the question kids, it is impossible to commit to many sins, so that suddenly Christ won't receive you know if you're here and you're not a Christian and you are conscious of all of the sins that the way down on your conscience realized that Christ calls even you and says yes I will receive you, I will forgive you. Christ invites you to come.
He says the one who comes to me on ever cast out. Perhaps you're here today is a Christian and you you know you've wandered away you you straight from God's word.
You've been mediocre and lifeless in prayer and you can men and you're just mindful of that and it just seems like you are a thousand miles away from God today as you come to realize that, but all the more you calm and you realize that this cross which we celebrate at communion. This cross was for sinners just like you Christ would not have you away.
Christ would not have you stay sunk in your sins. He would have you come in rise in realize at the cross was for you and complete full and free forgiveness for your sins is found in that you would use the occasion of the recognition of your sin to be that which draws you in love to Christ. Just like it was for this woman who was weeping and and and cleaning Jesus's feet with her tears and with her hair look at how Jesus applies.
The parable in verse 44. Turning to the woman he said to Simon, he said you see this woman, I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss but she's since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet.
You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with perfume I'll stop right there for just a moment. What Jesus is describing was a gross violation of hospitality in that day.
The streets were dirty, often muddy, and so it was a common courtesy for host to provide for the washing of his guest feet to greet them with affection, with a kiss on the cheek to anoint their head and to give them away to give them a drop of oil to sweeten their aroma as they share time together. Simon did none of that and and by his by his refusal of the common hospitality of the day manifested the hostility in his heart showed that that he did not love Christ that he did not give him even the honor due to a common houseguest he had insulted Christ richly by his failures of the attention of the cultural customs of the day, but what about this woman. Jesus says you can give me water for my feet. She washed them with her tears. You can give me a kiss on my cheek. She hasn't stopped kissing my feet since she came you didn't anoint my head with oil. She anointed my feet with the expensive perfume that she had. She's extravagantly anointed me in a way that you showed not even the slightest inclination toward me. What do we say about this with verse 47.
For this reason I say to you, her sins which are many have been forgiven, for she loved much but he who is forgiven little loves little.
Then he said to her, verse 48 your sins have been forgiven Jesus.
Jesus was not saying it's because she's loved me that I forgive her sense persons were a manifestation of her true repentance. Her repentance and her faith in Christ, as shown by the love that she demonstrated toward him were manifestation of the reality of her interfaith they were an outward expression of an interfaith and an inner love in Christ says I see that love, I see that repentance and her many many sins as the town prostitute.
I have freely forgiven by my authority as the son of God. Notice what he says in context of the way that were setting this up here today. Notice the offhanded way that he says in verse 47. Her sins which are many have been forgiven.
He acknowledges the sin, it's not that it's not that he ignores it or says that it's not a is not an issue. He acknowledges Ebony says she has come to me and repentance. She has come to me in faith. She has come to me and love. I gladly forgive her of everything that she is ever done you realize as a Christian that that's exactly the way that God has dealt with you. It's been clear about something here you and me, your sins, whether you realize it or not, your sins are many, your failure to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength in mind. Your failure to love him and to be honest and to be sincere. Your your willingness to accept a mediocre spiritual life is sinful.
It's wrong. It's an affront against God. The Christian what we see what we were mindful of today is not the guilt of our sins, but the grace that says yes I am aware of all that sin.
And when you come to me in repentant faith. I forgive it all.
I let it go. I will not take into account in my dealings with you. All of those sins in your life Christian through faith in Christ are no longer a barrier to you approaching God freely and in love with the assurance of his forgiveness of all that you've done the grace of Christ is greater still look at verse 49 here in Luke seven. Those who were reclining at the table with him began to say than to themselves who is this man who even forgives sins. They knew that only God had the prerogative to forgive sins. And here's Jesus in their midst saying I forgive you of all of your sins.
It was an assertion of his divine prerogative, speaking to the fact that he is God incarnate and he has the authority to do exactly what he had just said he had done. He said woman go in peace, your sins are forgiven.
Your faith has saved you go in peace Christian today as we come to the table is your faith in Christ is renewed and restored and we bring this back to remembrance in the same way as we come to the table as believers here today. Christ speaks to us and says your sins are forgiven. Christ comes to us and says your faith has saved you go in peace. So as we come today to the table as Christians to partake of the elements we do so with a with it with a conscious knowledge based on the Scripture not on our feelings that that God has forgiven all of our sins in Christ are many, many sins have been wiped away now. Perhaps sin has caught you in a web of lies and shame. And there's no way out. You've broken trust with those who are closest to you.
Yes, your sins are many, but if you've looked to Christ with repentance and faith.
Here's the key for today. Your many many sense they're not too many in the sense that that they now exclude you from Christ that he now will reject you that he won't receive a receipt that's not who Christ is, he is a gracious, merciful Savior, who gladly receives those even with many sins and says the arms of forgiveness are open wide to you. I came into this world in order to save sinners just like you. So we take him at his word today when he says your many sins are forgiven, we calm and we accept him at his word and we receive communion with sense of gratitude and assurance that that is true, Jesus Christ forgives sin. The apostle John said in first John 17 the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. There is no sin that you've committed that exclude you from this table.
If you're Christian today and if you're not a Christian I got good news for you. There is no sin that you committed that keeps you from coming to Christ right now for free, complete, immediate forgiveness, Christ invites you to come and he will forgive all of your sins through faith in him. That's how great a Savior we have this wonderful is it so beloved, I say to you based on the authority of Scripture rest in Christ. As we come to the table today. Jesus gives us this remembrance so that we would remember that his blood was intended for a full and complete cleansing of your sin that there would be no staying on your account with God that there would be nothing that would hinder your full and free access to him why not because there's a little bit of redeemable good and you know it's because there's a perfect good in Christ and his sacrifice for said was perfect.
It was complete. It was once for all, never to be repeated again and so 2000 years before you were born, Christ paid the price for your redemption in a way that you can now comment rest in praise be to his name.
There's another question we should ask about your sins.
Just trying to deal with the questions that come up in confused and broken hearts, and those that Satan has has confused with false teaching. Over the years are your sins too many know know the not too many the prostitutes whose sins were many was freely received, freely forgiven, what about this question. Point number two are they too bad your sins so severe, so horrible that Christ would not receive you, perhaps there is that one dark sin in your past, perhaps in order to cover up one sin you committed other sins, you lied to cover up other sins you know you perhaps you you aborted your baby in order to cover up other immorality.
And you know that and you know that God knows it and you feel the weight of that you feel that you feel that the pressure of that. What can we say to you, Jesus forgives many sins but does he forgive the worst of sins, or is there classification, then you get into that one class and you know that it's a mortal sin and there is no forgiveness for that. That's not true. No, no, just to suggest that is to diminish the cross to say that the cross didn't cover all of the sins that could be committed. Denies the completeness of Christ's work on our behalf to say that there were some sins that that even if we can still get to heaven that were consigned to an outer room where we have to sit in a corner and and reserve the.
The sweetness of close fellowship to God with with those who haven't done the bad things that you've done your sins.
Too bad so that you can't come to Christ no they're not, let me clarify the say that there's an important point to understand here your sins. Every one of them are infinitely evil, your sins are very very bad because in in every sin is is treason and rebellion against an eternal and holy God.
And when Scripture testifies about us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God that there are none who seek God that there are none righteous, no not one will realize that that is serious and that it is bad question isn't whether their bad though the question is a little more precise, the question is whether your sins are so bad that Christ will refuse to receive you if you come to him and humble, repentant faith, the answer to that question is no. Praise be to God, your sins are not so bad that Christ is not a sinner like you he doesn't deal with us. That way he doesn't deal with humanity that way. Beloved on the authority of God's word. I can say to you with complete assurance is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus receives and forgives sinners just like you.
Jesus showed that sinners can find forgiveness through faith in him. Let's look at a parable that Jesus taught in Luke 18 to drive that point home. Luke 18 beginning in verse nine, Luke 18 verse nine.
Remember, remember that that the gospel of Luke is teaching us the exact truth about what Jesus did and taught in the Jesus said at the end of at the end of the gospel of Luke that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in my name going forward. Well, what you have in Luke leading up to that climactic statement is a series of assists. It ends in part as a series of stories, some actual historical events. Others of the parables, all designed to illustrate and reinforce that truth so that you would have the sense that if you would only come to Christ and repentance that he will receive you and forgive you and not hold your sins against you any longer.
That's the whole point that the Luke is trying to convey. What does that repentance look like what kinds of sinners will Jesus forgive and receive Luke 18 verse nine. He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt. Jesus said two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself, God, I thank you that I am not like other people, swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even this tax collector. I fast twice a week I pay tithes of all that I get boasting in his righteousness, boasting in his works and and doing a particularly wicked thing in comparing his righteousness to that of others and congratulating himself and commending himself to God. Based on a comparative human righteousness that he thought that he had been in each of us have the same view of ourselves as this tax collector you been listening to the truth pulpit with Don green and we pray you been blessed today and that you'll join us next time for the conclusion of a message called when you're weary with sin from the series of the same name.
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Simply go to the truth.com that's the truth. Pulpit.com. I'm Bill right and will see you next up is Don green continues teaching God's people. God's word here on the truth