"Where Jesus is Lord!" - Sermons & Lessons
                             "Where Jesus is Lord!" - Faith Christian Temple Church

 Divine Forgiveness

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (First John 1:9).

          Today we want to talk about some of the spiritual benefits of divine forgiveness through salvation in Jesus Christ. God’s forgiveness does not come by our works, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8 and 9).

          Jesus Christ paid the cost for our eternal redemption when he died on the cross for the sins of the world. Romans 10: 9 and 10 tell us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Forgiveness alone does not bring salvation, but it opens the door. Salvation brings righteousness and righteousness brings benefits because we have divine forgiveness through Christ.

          In the natural realm we are afforded certain benefits because of certain things that we have, own or possess. In America, we are entitled to certain benefits as citizens of the United States. We have certain rights and privileges, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to due process under the law, the right to bear arms and the right to vote. For those who have career level jobs or professions, they are afforded the opportunity to partake in employee fringe benefits, such as free health, medical or dental insurance. Paid sick leave, vacation leave and holidays and retirement pensions.

           In the spiritual realm, we can rejoice in knowing that our spiritual blessings under divine forgiveness through salvation in Christ out weights and out last any temporal blessings. Let us look at some of our blessings under divine forgiveness in Christ. Justification by faith is a blessing of righteousness. Justify means to pronounce a person or thing free from guilt or blame. 

            God justifies us by our faith in Christ. God declares a sinner righteous when the sinner accepts Christ as his savior. Christ has borne the sinner’s sin on the cross and has settled all the claims of the law. Justification comes from the foundation of God’s grace (Titus 3:4-7). Romans 4:5 says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”  Galatians 3:11 says, “But that No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.”

            Galatians 2:16 to says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus, that we might be justified by faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the law shall no flesh be justified”  Hebrews 11:4 and 5 declares, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

            Mark 2:3-5 states, “And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”  They were justified for bringing the man there by their faith in Christ.

            Peace with God is another blessing of divine forgiveness. Peaceis a state of calm or tranquility or quiet. It is freedom from disturbance or turbulence. It is a harmonious relationship with God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  Luke 1:79 tells usChrist shall give “light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God. Which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

            Do you have the peace of God in your life? In your marriage? On your job? Are you faced with sickness or terminal illness in your family? Bereaving the death of a love one? Experiencing financial hardship? Job loss? Problems with your children? Problems with the law? The blessing of forgiveness is peace. God forgives sin through the saving power of His Son Jesus Christ. Come to him for forgiveness and peace.

            Access by faith into God’s grace is also a spiritual blessing of divine forgiveness through righteousness in God. Access means having the availability of contact with a person, place or thing. Access means having the freedom to be with or talk to or receive or give something to someone, place or thing with no problems at all. Access is a doorway or entrance to what we want or need.

            The Apostle John (First John 5:14 and15) says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.” Here we learn that access to God involves asking according to His will. We have access to temporal things, our bank account, email account, internet websites, our houses, offices, church buildings and business facilities.

            Salvation from God’s wrath is a benefit of divine forgiveness through righteousness. Wrath is a strong vengeful anger or indignation; retributory punishment for an offense or crime; divine chastisement. Or it is the boiling agitation of the feelings which will eventually subside or disappear or settle down into a more abiding and a settled habit of mind with the purpose of revenge.

            First Thessalonians 1:10 says, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  First Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Revelation  6:15-17 states, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

            Atonement is a blessing of divine forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Atonement is the covering over sin, the reconciliation between God and man, accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is that special result of Christ’s sacrificial sufferings and death by virture of which all who exercise proper penitence and faith receive forgiveness of their sins and obtain peace.

            Exodus 30:15, 16 says, “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel and shalt appoint it for service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for your souls.”

            Will you receive your eternal benefits today under divine forgiveness from God?  Will you have your sins forgiven today? Will you accept God’s atonement for your sins through the finished work of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ? Jesus paid the price for your redemption when he died on the cross for you and me. Will you reap the benefits that come through having your sins blotted out and your name written in the Lamb’s book of life? Will you accept the righteousness of God? Acknowledge that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Bishop R. McPherson, Ed. D.
Faith Christian Temple Church
July 22, 2018

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