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Meditation: Forgiveness

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2024 12:00 am

Meditation: Forgiveness

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 19, 2024 12:00 am

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The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

What you're about to hear is the way that your soul can most certainly be redeemed. God has provided a perfect salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cast yourself entirely and without reserve on the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross as your only hope for salvation. God has given us the greatest gift through our Lord Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins. It's a free gift of eternal consequence that brings us peace and reconciliation with a holy God. Hello, I'm Bill Wright and today on the Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green shares a special message titled Free Forgiveness.

So let's join our teacher right now in the Truth Pulpit. You ever stop and think, you ever stop and wonder why it is that people die? Scripture attributes it to the death penalty that God requires for sin. Death entered the world through sin, Romans 5 verse 12 says.

If you've ever had someone close to you pass away, someone close to you die and you know that awful feeling of separation and the sorrow and the grief that attends it and the weight of that. Well, that's just a, the measure of that gives us some sort of a measure of the sense with which God views sin. It is a weighty matter of sin and guilt and death. The horror of its guilt, the weight of the severity of the condemnation it deserves can be measured in part by the effects that it produces. And when we feel that weight of separation that occurs at death, we get a measure of how much God hates sin and how dark and severe our rebellion is.

Now, let me ask you a question, every one of you, let me ask you a question. Does that seem too severe to you? Does that sound like an overreaction on the part of God toward us? I mean, after all, aren't we all kind of trying to do our best? I mean, we stumble a couple of times, but this is what happens?

Well, no. No, if that sounds too severe to you, if the death penalty sounds too severe to you, maybe you have missed a fundamental aspect of the character of God. A fundamental aspect of the character of God found in His holiness, found in His utter righteousness. And another familiar passage can remind us of this, of His holiness. In Isaiah chapter 6, beginning in verse 1, the prophet says, In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above him, each having six wings.

With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of Him who called out while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah saw a vision of the holiness of God revealed to him, and he was shattered and undone.

He was immediately convicted of the weight of his sin and the guilt of his tongue when he was exposed to the holiness of God. In a similar manner, the prophet Habakkuk says about this God, he says, Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you cannot look on wickedness with favor. You know, you all hear stories from those of a charismatic persuasion, their teachers, their TV personalities. Oh, I saw the Lord and blah, blah, blah. People write books about how they went to heaven and saw Jesus or whatever. You can know for certain that those things are not true by the reaction that they describe in having seen the Lord. Never in those stories do you get a sense of the majesty and the majestic holiness of God. Never are the purveyors of these false visions saying that I fell down at his feet undone by my sin. But that's the scriptural testimony with those who truly see him. You look at the book of Revelation, the Apostle John, when he saw a same reaction, fell at his feet like a dead man. In light of these truths, the holiness of God and the universality of our guilt and the depth of our guilt, beloved, what are we?

What are you and I? Except miserable sinners in the eyes of such a holy God. And we cannot deny that.

We cannot deny our condition. Scripture says in 1 John 1, if we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. In like manner, in the same chapter it says if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

This is the reality of it. Our great need for forgiveness, our great need for cleansing, our great need to be washed from sin, to be cleansed from our miserable guilt. And even as Christians, even as Christians, God's word says in James chapter 3 that we all stumble in many ways. Some of you of more tender conscience, more tender disposition, feel the weight of that. And you weep tears of remorse over the ongoing nature of your sinfulness.

You feel that. Some of you perhaps are a little bit too self-confident and cocky in your spiritual life. But scripture would reduce us to utter humility. And you know if you think about it, my friends, I speak as one needing these words as much as I speak them, needing to hear them as much as I speak them.

Think with me if you would. Even the best things that we do are marred by sin, are marred by inadequacy. J.C. Ryle says this. He says, our faith, how feeble. Our love, how cold. Our works, how few. Our zeal, how small. Our patience, how short-breathed. Our humility, how threadbare. Our self-denial, how dwarfish. Our knowledge, how dim. Our spirituality, how shallow. Our prayers, how formal. Our desires for more grace, how faint. We simply cannot and we do not measure up to this holy God on our own, do we?

Do you? Sin is like a burden that needs to be lifted from our back. Scripture describes it as an arrow missing its mark. It is like a debt that needs to be paid.

It is like a terminal disease that needs a miraculous and radical cure. We are all great sinners. We all need a great forgiveness.

And why is that? Why do we need a great forgiveness? Because, as Scripture says in Hebrews 9, it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Think of yourself truly and according to Scripture. Submit your mind to the analysis of Scripture, of the measure of your soul, beloved, and you'll realize how desperately severe your condition is. That apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, you would be heading toward an appointment with God that held nothing but condemnation and eternal punishment in store for you. Lost and without hope. Guilty and without one to intercede on your behalf. What a sad and miserable condition we are by nature.

Well, that's the condition. That's our need for forgiveness. Somehow, you and I need a spiritual bath. Somehow, we need a thorough cleansing. Scripture says, in fact, that we need a new birth. That being dead in trespasses and sins, we are not able to wash away our own sin. That not only are you guilty, but you are unable to produce anything that would reverse your guilty condition.

Do you see how severe it is? Let's turn the corner to the way of forgiveness. In light of your undeniable sin, where can you find forgiveness? Where can you find cleansing? Where can you find the cure? Where can you find someone to lift the burden off of your back that you cannot reach on your own?

That would crush you into eternal death. Where can you find a pardon and a righteousness that satisfies the perfect standard of God? Well, let's just remind ourselves, let's just remember that you cannot find it at the hands of men. You cannot find it from a pastor. I can't forgive your sins. I can't help you in that way.

I can't help you directly. A priest can't forgive your sins, no matter what they say. To the contrary, there's not a church that can save you. There's not a ritual that you can do. None of that provides the forgiveness of sin.

Nothing can remove the stain. And I realize as we say these things that these are weighty matters that we're considering. Isn't it true that the best thing that we could do is to go to God's word and let it speak to us plainly? Let it speak to us truly?

To push aside the flattery of the world or the flattery of our own hearts that would tell us, oh, it's not that bad, oh, you're really basically a good person? Why would we listen to that? Why would you listen to that from your own heart or from other voices speaking to you when God's word so plainly tells you something directly the opposite? Why would you do that? You wouldn't reject a doctor who has the reports from all of the tests saying you have a terminal disease and say, doctor, you don't know what you're talking about.

My friend Joe down the street told me I was just fine. You wouldn't do that in the physical realm. Why would you do it in the more serious matter of the spiritual realm when you have not a human doctor declaring the diagnosis but God himself telling you the state of your soul?

Why would you do that? And God's word says that you cannot do any good works to evade the judgment. All of your righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.

Isaiah 64 verse 6. And beloved, it's not enough for you to be sorry. It's not enough for you to have regret in your heart or to feel remorse over what you have done and who you have been. That's not enough. A criminal may be sorry for his crimes, but the court still requires him to go to prison to pay his debt to society. It's not enough to be sorry.

There's nothing you can do. You are miserably and helplessly lost apart from Christ. Where then can we find forgiveness? Where can we find a rescue, a deliverance from this miserable condition?

Is there even one to be had? What is the way to God? Well, the words of Isaiah 53 still echo in our minds, don't they? Isaiah 53 and Scripture points us in the direction where there is relief, where there is forgiveness. When it says in verse 5 of Isaiah 53, he was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities.

The chastening for our well-being fell upon him. Verse 6, the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him at the cross. At the cross where the Lord Jesus Christ stood in the place of sinners just like you. Gladly, willingly, voluntarily mark it deep in your heart, lovingly stood in the place of sinners. As it were, gathered their sins upon his own shoulders and received the stroke of the punishment of God, the eternal punishment of God in his own body so that sinners like you could be forgiven. You realize, right?

You understand, don't you? That this was an act of sheer grace and mercy that you did not deserve, that you could not have called down from heaven in your own merit or in your own power. That this was a sheer gift from a merciful God to provide a way out for sinners like that. A gift at the cost of his own life blood. And with that accomplished work of Christ, what is the way to God now? When you cannot work for it?

When you can't be sorry enough? What is the way to God? Again quoting our brother J.C. Ryle. Hear me closely, I know some of you perhaps are here visiting, perhaps someone has invited you, perhaps the gospel is new to you. What you're about to hear is the way that your soul can most certainly be redeemed and it is not through anything that you do with your hands. I quote, The way is simply to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior. It is to cast your soul with all its sins unreservedly on Christ.

You must cease completely from any dependence on your own works. Any dependence on your own doings either in whole or in part and to rest on no other work but Christ's work. You must rest on no other righteousness but Christ's righteousness. No other merit but Christ's merit as your ground of hope. Take this course and you are a pardoned soul.

End quote. God has provided a perfect salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and the way that he has assigned and established for you to partake of that forgiveness is to forsake your own righteousness. To forsake any claim to merit and to cast yourself entirely and without reserve on the Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross as your only hope for salvation.

To receive him, to receive his work by a simple decisive act of trust in someone else and not in yourself. The trustworthy word of God confirms this for us. Acts 10 43 says, Through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins. Acts 13 38. Through Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Colossians 1 14. In Christ we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Why are we thankful?

Why are we thankful this week? Because Jesus Christ in great love and compassion satisfied the demands of the law of God on our behalf. Through his perfect life and redemptive death on the cross he has provided a way of forgiveness for us that we could not have conceived in our mind let alone achieved with our efforts. A gracious God 2000 years before you were born made complete provision for the eternal well-being of your soul.

He had an eternal plan that he accomplished in Christ and now if you are in Christ you are the beneficiary of a loving and gracious, merciful plan of God that you did not invent you merely received. And in total disproportion to what you deserved he has instead given you grace and eternal blessing that we are only beginning to taste of which will one day be culminated in the glories of heaven. Sin has been atoned through his blood. All who believe in Christ receive a perfect pardon.

All who believe receive the righteousness of Christ credited to their account as a free gift that reconciles them fully to this holy God. Who is Jesus Christ? He's the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the Son of God who came into the world to save sinners.

He's the Son of Man who appeared in order to take away sins. In light of his great work how is this salvation received? Turn to the Gospel of John with me. John chapter 1.

John chapter 1 in verse 12. If you are here and you know that you are not a Christian you know that your sins are still on your soul. Your conscience testifies to you that you have not been reconciled to God. You know in truth that you are still a slave to sin. That you have not lived your life for God's glory.

That these thoughts have never even occurred to you. My friend let me invite you to this word of God that promises you an immediate, eternal, perfect gift of forgiveness that can be yours right this moment. In John chapter 1 verse 12 it says, but as many as received him to them he gave the right to become children of God even to those who believe in his name who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God.

Do you see it my friends? Does it echo and resonate in your heart fresh again that the gift of salvation is not something that you earn it was something that you received as a free gift from the hand of a gracious God. That God did a work directly on your soul to open your blind eyes, to unstop your deaf ears, to loosen your mute tongue, to see the grandeur of Christ and the gracious gift of a total and complete salvation from all of your sin. A magnificent deliverance that was perfect in every respect and given to you and received as a gift. Salvation does not come by works but through faith in Christ. What is this faith?

What is it like? For those of us that are in Christ let us remember afresh in what I'm about to read the simplicity and the beauty of what God gave to us and the manner in which it was received. For those of you that are not yet in Christ hear the simplicity of the way that all of your sins can be forgiven and you can be reconciled to a holy God. That you can receive new life in Christ and be set free not only from the penalty of sin but to have the power of sin in your life broken like a dry branch snapped and a new prevailing principle of holiness established in your heart. I quote again from J.C. Ryle.

How do we receive this gift? He says and I quote, faith, simple faith is the only thing required in order that you and I may be forgiven. That we will come by faith to Jesus as sinners with our sins, trust in him, rest on him, lean on him, commit our souls to him and forsaking all other hope, cleave only to him.

This is all and everything that God asks for. Let a man only do this and he shall be saved. For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith and this not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not as a result of works lest any man should boast. Do you know Christ by faith? Have you received him by faith in the way in which we have spoken here?

He invites you now. You can be immediately and instantly forgiven and saved forever by putting your faith in Christ alone. Don't wait thinking that you'll make yourself better before you come to Christ, it doesn't work that way.

You won't get better. And for those of you that are in Christ, remember afresh that it was entirely on that ground that you came. Christ said come to me and I'll give you rest and here you are months later, years later for some of us decades later and we still have that rest because he saved us to the uttermost. That's an important reminder that salvation does not come by our own works but by the work of the Holy Spirit that produces faith in Christ.

You can't earn it, it's a free gift bestowed by the gracious choice of our sovereign God before the foundation of the world. Pastor Don Green will bring you more powerful teaching from scripture next time on The Truth Pulpit and we do hope you'll join us then. But Don, before we leave today, what's your encouragement to someone listening who's begun to realize that maybe they've not received the free gift of forgiveness through Christ yet? Well my friend, if that's you today, I can only encourage you to go directly to Jesus Christ and ask him to have mercy on your soul. You know, the guilty tax collector cried out, said, Lord, have mercy on me, the sinner. Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners and he will receive you if you go to him.

The Bible promises that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. My prayer is with you as you seek Christ in your hour of need. Thanks Don. And friend, don't forget to visit thetruthpulpit.com to learn more about this ministry. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright and we pray you've been encouraged. We'll see you next time for more from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-19 04:47:16 / 2024-01-19 04:55:54 / 9

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