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  • May 10 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)

05.10.2015

05.10.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

Download Notes in a .RTF file

The ‘No Mores’ of Jesus

John 5:14 (Pastor Brian)

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’”


 

  1. Isaiah 43:25 “For my own sake”
  2. Jeremiah 31:34 “No more”
  3. Hebrews 8:12 “No more”
  4. Hebrews 10:17 “No more”
  5. John 5:14 (also John 8)

Writer to the Hebrews is saying, “Hey! Don’t go back! Keep on keepin’ on! Keep on trusting in Jesus. He’s FINISHED it. You can’t go back.” There are many severe warnings about going back (apostatizing).

What was done in type and shadow in the Old Testament is now FULLY fulfilled in Christ. Don’t go back to Moses, Abraham -> they all spoke of Jesus’ coming.

Jesus is the ULTIMATE hope.

  1. The Law doesn’t offer forgiveness, it merely opens our eyes to our sins so that we can see more clearly. We know there are consequences for our wrongdoing and sin – he is just, he will punish, but he is also merciful.
  2. By our own experience and observation, we can also see that SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES.
  3. Satan, the accuser of the brethren piles it on. “Call yourself a Christian? Ha~~~ Look what you just did ‘Christian’!” But by the blood of the Lamb, we overcame him.

There is a way of victory – through Christ.

Through various demonstrations, God wanted to show his mercy – he gave LIFE where death was threatened – even in the Garden of Eden when they ate of the tree. He spoke of the coming of his Son – he promised salvation at the birth of humanity. LIFE was promised despite the act that brought about the deserved death of humanity.

Where there’s LIFE, there’s HOPE.

Throughout the Old Testament, there were examples of life and hope and the forgiveness of sins.

  1. The shedding of animal blood, the provision of the Tabernacle and the temple, the priesthood, the atonement, the sin offering. The Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement was the day that God expressed his desire to forgive sins and the people expressed their desire to be forgiven.
  2. There was also the example of the cleansing of the leper. Two birds were there – one killed, the other dipped in its blood and released – signifying Jesus’ blood sacrifice to free us from our sins.
  3. There was the type and shadow of the scapegoat – one goat was taken out into the wilderness “carrying the sins and the guilt” of the people and it was killed or pushed off a cliff or otherwise not allowed to come back into camp.

There is no approach to God without the shedding of blood. This ALL points to Jesus (Jesus IS in EVERY book of the Bible).

So, we can see throughout the Old Testament Laws and rituals, God’s willingness and want to forgive sins.

In fact, why repent if there is no forgiveness of sins? One goes along with the other. Repentance leads forgiveness and forgiveness grants repentance – one leads into the other. God prompts repentance, grants forgiveness, then grants greater repentance.

Jonah – the reluctant prophet.

He didn’t want to go to Ninevah – yet, God “persuaded” him with a “big” messenger (whale) – he was coughed up on shore and went to Ninevah and the king and the people and the animals repented, prayed, and left off sinning.

Jonah waited under a tree (with popcorn) awaiting the fiery destruction of Ninevah – which never came…

God chooses NOT to fulfill his just judgment when there is genuine repentance.

JOB: Elihu –

“He looks upon sin and if any man says, ‘I have sinned and it profited me not’ – he (God) shall save the man from the pit and carry him into the light.”

CHRONICLES: God –

“If my people, called by me, turn from their sins, and call on my name, I will heal their land.” (IF my people – God identifies with his people – “humble themselves” – “pray” – “I will hear from heaven” – “pardon their sin” – “heal their land”) Beginning with a conditional, this single verse walks through the entire process of repentance and forgiveness.

Throughout the Bible, we have Psalms and stories and the church (later) who prove and show that God WANTS to forgive his people.

“He who believes in Jesus is justified from all things that he could not be justified by in the Law of Moses.”

After OUR forgiveness…

We must FORGIVE.

Spurgeon: Was talking with a man, he left. The next man came up and told him of a previous misdeed of the former man. But Spurgeon said, “I’d totally forgotten – so it was a wonderful thing to be totally unbegrudging toward him.”

If you forgive someone, do it from the HEART – again and again and again (forgiveness often isn’t a ONE time thing – especially if you were painfully offended or hurt).

These things were seen in the Old Testament and reiterated in the New Testament – particularly Hebrews.

Here, today, let’s look at when and how JESUS says “No more.”

God in Christ (the 3 Fs)

  1. Faced up to sin
  2. Forgave our sins
  3. Forgot our sins (did not call to remembrance – remember that forgetfulness is an infirmity – but CHOOSING to not recall something is gracious)
  4. (Today) FORSAKE our sins – Jesus advocates this in John 5:14

Sometimes, when we forsake our sins (so long as we continue to LOOK to the Lord), he continues to forgive us and guide us, empower us.

  1. John 5: (a man’s story)
  2. John 8:1-15 (a woman’s story)

But Jesus went to the Mt. of Olives. At dawn, he appeared again and sat down among the people to teach them. The teachers brought a woman into the midst of the crowd who’d been caught in adultery – they were trying to trap Jesus by accusing her. But he bent down to write in the sand. They kept at it, but he said, “OK, whoever is without sin – you start the stoning.” Eventually, they all started to leave, until she remained alone.

“Go now and sin NO MORE.”

John 5:1-15 The healing at the pool of Bethesda

Some time later, Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda – there were a great number of disabled people lying there. When Jesus saw the sick man lying there, he asked, “Do you want to get well?” The man said, “No one can help me” Jesus said, “Pick up your mat and walk.” He did so. The Jews said to him, “Hey man, it’s the Sabbath – you can’t DO that.” But he said, “The man who made me well told me to.” But they couldn’t find Jesus as he’d slipped off into the crowd.

Later…

“Sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There were many major feasts in Jerusalem – (but this was probably the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles – to remember the duration of the pilgrimage through the desert for 40 years).

Jesus went up to the Sheep Gate, there was a pool (Bethesda) – surrounded by 5 large covered areas. They were waiting for the waters to be “stirred” by an angel of the Lord to be healed. The healing mineral waters likely helped them get well – it may have been like a spa.

This man had been sick – very incapacitated – for 38 years. Jesus saw him and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” This might seem strange – he’d obviously wanted to get well for 38 years, right? Well, sometimes people who are ill give up hope – especially if they are getting a state pension for example – some people get a lot of attention – ego boost. There are various reasons WHY a person might NOT want to get well.

And actually, the man doesn’t give a straight answer. Jesus just cut through all of that and said, “GET UP!” Boom! He did. And he walked. Imagine that after 38 years.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath. The Jews said to the man, “It’s the Sabbath, buddy! That’s illegal!” He replied, “The man who healed me said, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” They said, “Who is he?” The man didn’t know because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd. The man later met Jesus at the temple – probably to offer thanks to God for his healing. Jesus said to him, “See, you are well again. Go and sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus obviously knew that the cause of his suffering was sin. Perhaps sexual sin, or something else that had caused him to suffer in his body. (There is no CLEAR source of his suffering here, but this is a pretty good guess.)

That’s a pretty severe warning – he was lost, diseased, hopeless, helpless – until Jesus came along and healed him and then gave him a very solemn warning.

Peter, Jude, and others write of this “returning to sin” after receiving the blessing of forgiveness in such a way:

“A dog returning to its vomit.”

Peter knew well the meaning of sinning and repentance and forgiveness – what was actually the difference between Peter and Judas? Both sinned against Christ – only Peter went back to Christ for forgiveness.

Peter: “Be diligent, sober, watchful because your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” RESIST and be steadfast in the faith.

That’s what sin is in God’s sight: vomit. Would you be a dog who returns to it?

“Go and SIN NO MORE.”

Sometimes when people return to the original sin – it becomes WORSE than it was before. Some people think that they cannot go back to God again.

Hopefully the man took heed, certainly he was very grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus. He went on and demonstrated that it was Jesus who’d healed him.

John Piper’s thoughts on John 8: this section is either in italics, or footnotes.

Most NT scholars DON’T think this was a part of the gospel of John but was added centuries later.

“Despite the best efforts to prove this was part of the original version, the evidence is against them and the modern versions of the Bible are right to keep it separate.”

The conclusion: It wasn’t originally in John’s gospel, but was added later.

Piper agrees. Part of the conclusions are:

  1. The stories are missing from all the Greek scrolls before the 5th century
  2. All the scholars pass over this portion in their writings
  3. The story flows well from the previous story to chapter 9
  4. The Eastern scholars didn’t use it until the 10th century
  5. This shows up in DIFFERENT places in different manuscripts
  6. This story, in style and vocabulary is more unlike John’s gospel than any other part.
  7. Saying all that assumes a lot of facts – part of “textual criticism”

So, what’s a preacher to do?

Don Carson and Bruce Metsger think this event REALLY happened and that the story circulated and was later put into the gospel of John – it has all the earmarks of historical truth. It’s just the way it was juxtaposed and put into the gospel at a later point.

Yet, this doesn’t have the authority of Scripture – because it wasn’t in there originally – so, I’ll prove it’s points from OTHER Scriptures. Let THOSE be the authority.

  1. Jesus exalts himself above the Law
  2. He re-establishes the story of Grace over Justice

This is an effective echo of the WHOLE of the New Testament.

  1. The woman is caught in adultery
  2. The Pharisees put Jesus to the test (we’ve seen this more than once already) – will Jesus contradict Moses’ Law? Deut & Lev. say “if a couple is caught in adultery, BOTH of them must die.” – so…… how committed to the Law are they really?
  3. The were USING the Law to get rid of the woman and get rid of Jesus (bring a charge against him)
  4. Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – this is no way to work justice, right? even judges are sinful. Yet, here is Jesus standing against the Pharisees’ understanding of justice and showing grace.
  5. Go and understand this: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
  6. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” – Jesus exposes their own misuse of the Law.

The point is: Righteousness and Justice should be founded on a gracious spirit. Otherwise, there is no mercy – and no mercy for the one who shows no mercy.

When they leave, Jesus says, “No one condemns you? Neither do I. GO AND SIN NO MORE.” – She’s received grace and mercy and now she must walk in that grace and mercy and cease the sins she’s been walking in. He’s talking about a change in LIFESTYLE – a lifestyle CHOICE here – because people continually sin and stumble. No one is perfect.

“You’ve met God and been saved by his grace.”

This is the pervasive message of the New Testament: Jesus exalted himself ABOVE the Law

John shows that – and re-establishes the forgiveness of God based on Grace

Thus, John Newton, a slave trader, could write “Amazing Grace” based on his own personal testimony.

We must be holy if you want to see God – he hates sins – he knows what its done to his Son, he knows what it does to us. We may have that way before, but Jesus says, “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Justice in life, in place of grace – makes us cruel and unmerciful.

Jesus came into this world to give grace and mercy and forgiveness. His appeal is “Come to me, all you weary and heavy-laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

  1. Come to Christ for grace, set your face to SIN NO MORE.
  2. His grace is accompanied by his direction: SIN NO MORE.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 12 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)

04.12.2015

04.12.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Remembering God’s Forgetfulness

Jeremiah 31:34 (Pastor Brian)

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins NO MORE!”


 

Remember last week Isaiah 43:53? God was giving his people encouragement that he would blot out their sins and CHOOSE not to remember them. God is a God of mercy, grace, and compassion. If only they turn from their sins, they would receive an outpouring of grace and forgiveness.

Here, in Jeremiah, God declares what he will do for his people when they call out to him.

Here is another blanket proposal from the Lord to blot out their sins and not even keep them in his remembrance.

Charles Spurgeon + Harbor = two preachers who were meditating on God’s truth from these Scriptures.

  • Spurgeon = “The Non-Remembrance of God” – says God blots out the ledger of our debts so that he will no longer remember them.
  • Harbor = Jesus “faced our sins” to take them and bear away the iniquity and shame in his own body on the cross and blot out the ledger of indebtedness (sin) that we owe.

God faced up to the reality of our sins, he wants us to face up to them as well and look to the source of our forgiveness – his Son Christ on the cross.

God not only forgives sins, but forgets. The forgiveness is KEY. “How truly do we believe this?” – the unrepentant man isn’t bothered by it – until the Holy Spirit gets a hold of him and converts him – and he realizes that there is an eternity to be enjoyed with God in heaven (either that, or torment for eternity away from God).

These are the truths that Jesus came to reveal. Jesus spoke of Hell more than any of the other apostles and teachers. He came to save souls from Hell and bring them to heaven.

Here are some thoughts from the two preachers that have been blessed with a deeper understanding of these things to pass on to us.

  • Jeremiah – “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Just last week in Communion in Jungbu’s joint service, I mentioned how sometimes we try to find relief in different ways (like the Law) and they always fall short (it doesn’t forgive sins, just brings knowledge and condemnation of sin). To look to the Law doesn’t bring any hope.

  1. Our conscience agrees with the Law that we all deserve God’s justice and death. By our own experience, we all know we’ve sinned, and God would not be the God of justice if he didn’t mete out justice for our sins – we all know this.
  2. We have experience in our lives and can see it in the lives of others. We witness sin and scandal, murder, adultery, unforgiveness, grudge-bearing, and all of these have their own “fruit” that we reap. Sin has consequences.
  3. Satan also condemns us and accuses us. He “craftily cooperates with the Law, conscience, and observation” and where these 3 would drive a person to despair, Satan takes this further and says, “OH yeah! You’re totally worthless – no hope for you.” and can lead us to utter despair.

However, Jesus is our advocate, our “lawyer” who stands up for us against the accusation of Satan.

All of these things lead us to dependence on someone else – Jesus – who was able to fulfill ALL the demands of the Law. “Which of you convicts me of sin?” – No one could – even the centurion at the cross said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” – he knew how Jesus forgave sins and went “as a sheep before the shearers” to his crucifixion – mildly and humbly.

The apostle Paul depicts Jesus as a very righteous husband, always right and perfect – and we, the church, are imperfect and married to him. The only thing we can do – the bride – is DIE. We recognize Christ’s death, die in identification with the Lord, are buried with him, and rise again to a newness of life (symbolized in baptism).

The Law is not going to die. So the only option is for the people UNDER the Law to die and rise again under a NEW covenant – under Christ, in Christ, we have forgiveness and hope.

Yesterday, we saw the marriage of Joshua and Jade and the Scriptures we read were from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS (like God says he won’t)…”

Here, Paul says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” – it rubs out the record so that in God’s sight, it is no longer there. This is a HARD truth to realize and appropriate. Men disbelieve it for themselves and doubt it where others are concerned. We keep records of wrongs, we aren’t speedily ready to forgive. Sometimes we require time to release offenses. But (Psalms?) we are encouraged to “not let the sun go down on your anger.” ACT like true children of God – FORGIVE as you’ve BEEN forgiven.

  • Hebrews 8:10? “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
  • (Also Hebrews 10:17)
  • Colossians “God has taken those things away and nailed them to the cross.”
  • Micah “The Lord delights in mercy and will not keep our sins forever but will bury them in the sea (of forgetfulness).”

We need to meditate on these truths: YES – I am forgiven.

Remember that God has LET THEM GO – and wants us to have that same attitude in our own lives.

  • Hebrews 10:1 “The Law has a shadow of things to come, but not the very substance/reality…”
  • Leviticus 14 – the “Law of the Leper” is another picture of the atonement of Jesus in taking away our sins.

The cleansing of the Leper:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘These are the regulations for the unclean person at the time of his cleansing when he is brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside and examine him, if he’s been healed, the priest will order 2 live clean birds and scarlet wood and hissop to be brought to the water. One bird shall be killed over the water, and dipped with the other things into the blood of the bird over water. 7 times he should sprinkle the diseased one and declare him clean. Then, release the live bird into the open field.”

This is a type/shadowing of Jesus. Two birds, one killed over running water (Jesus’ crucifixion), the Live bird is dipped into the blood of the dead bird and released into the open heaven (Jesus’ resurrection).

Again, speaking of the atonement of Jesus, it also speaks of OUR lives and deaths (spiritual) and rebirths – we’ve died to sin and been reborn into newness of life in Christ.

“…The man must stay outside for 7 days, then shave EVERYTHING, wash his clothes and himself and he’ll be clean.”

This man was “unclean” and outside the camp previously (this is a picture of sin) – it was a terrible existence. And yet, sometimes, God healed a leper – he had to go and prove that it was gone. When the examination took place and it was found to be gone, he had to go through this ceremonial cleansing. This is all a type/shadowing of Christ.

“…The priest takes one of the male lambs and offers it as a guilt offering – slaughter it in the Holy Place – like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest. Take some blood and put it on the right ear and the thumb of the right hand and the big toe of the right foot. (This symbolizes cleansing).”

  • Ear = what we listen to
  • Thumb = what we work on
  • Toe = where we walk

“…The priest will take some oil, dip it on his hand and sprinkle it on the man 7 times, put the oil on the ear, the thumb, the toe, ON TOP of the blood offering.”

The blood is CLEANSING – before we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The oil then, is symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we receive after we are cleansed.

All of this speaks elegantly and symbolically about what Jesus ACTUALLY, LITERALLY accomplished on the cross and through his resurrection.

All these types were given to show God’s mercy. The Law itself was given to show mercy to those who’d broken the Law in different ways. This is the first point.

#2: God shows his mercy by giving Life.

Genesis “On the day you eat of the fruit, you shall surely die.” Satan tempted them, they ate, their eyes were opened, and the damage was done. But God in his mercy didn’t immediately kill them. He COULD have, for he is just and requires justice. But in mercy, he set them out on the earth (not without consequences – thorn and thistles for the man’s work, terrible pain for women in child birth). He also set out a prophecy that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would crush the head of the serpent (Satan). This was a reference to the coming of the Messiah.

Right from the beginning, God showed his mercy, gave them life, gave them promise.

What he did with Adam and Eve, he does with us. Are you alive? Then you have HOPE. “A living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Proverb) But life needs to be practiced by receiving Christ for eternal life.

Right at the beginning, God promised that one would come and grant eternal life – and throughout the Old Testament, he gave further proofs that he was willing to show mercy. Not only did they have the Mosaic Law (condemning), but also the Ceremonial Law (allowing cleansing). This allowed the people to have fellowship with him – he showed his mercy and grace through this.

And Paul writes, “In the fullness of time, God sent his Son to redeem them…”

God did indeed send his Savior in the right time and the right place in order to fulfill his will.

All of these clues, hints, shadows, pointed to the substance that is Christ.

Remember the healing of the 10 lepers, and that of the 1 leper who said to Jesus, “Lord, if your are willing, you can cleanse me.”

Thinking about this, there weren’t many healing recorded for leprosy in the Old Testament (Miriam got it for about a week for rebellion at one point). Interestingly, this “Law for cleansing the leper” may not have been used much in the Old Testament – it isn’t recorded, and Jesus told this guy to go and get cleansed (he didn’t, he ran out and told everyone).

Of the 10, Jesus sent them to do this ceremonial cleansing and only 1 came back.

If these lepers had gone to the priests, they probably wouldn’t actually know what to do – because it was so uncommon. This is why Jesus wanted the leper to go back and show himself to the priest – it might have opened their eyes to the truth about Jesus as well.

Jesus made a point of telling that the Samaritan leper came back and said “Thanks” – yet he was the recipient of God’s mercy and showed his gratitude.

We see here that this was an act of God’s mercy. This is a tremendous picture of sin – it rots the body from the inside and limbs may even fall off. But God was willing to heal of his physical disease (and spiritually healed him/forgave him as well).

Now, as we close, let’s meditate upon Christ, who took our sins upon himself and faced up to our sins. He’s forgiven them and forgotten them – to be remembered “NO MORE!”

This is what we need to remember when we are tempted to accuse ourselves or listen to the accusations of others.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 29 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Amazing Amnesia of God (Isaiah 43:25)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Amazing Amnesia of God (Isaiah 43:25)

03.29.2015

03.29.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Amazing Amnesia of God

Isaiah 43:25 (Pastor Brian)

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, FOR MY OWN SAKE, and remembers your sins no more.”


Title: The Amazing Amnesia of God

Amnesia = medical condition where you forget things – either temporarily or permanently

Some Writings:

  1. “God’s Non-remembrance of Sin” – Charles Spurgeon
  2. “The Forgetfulness of God”

Here they are combined. God not only chooses to forget our sins, but also NOT remember them.

  1. Isaiah 43:25 = one reference
  2. Jeremiah 31:24 “For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.”
  3. Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.”
  4. Hebrews 10:17 “And their sins and their iniquities I will remember NO MORE.”

NO MORE being the KEY here.

“Let those words ‘NO MORE’ echo through the caverns of despondency and despair.”

Here, there are 4 Scriptures. There must be at least 3 testimonies to affirm some kind of statement (Deut, reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew). There must be numerous witnesses or someone could accuse falsely. So God has said, there must be at least 2-3 witnesses to establish a truth.

Here is not only 2-3, but 4 (and even MORE) of God’s willingness to not call to mind the sins He’s forgiven.

In Isaiah, the prophet speaks of the judgment of God because they’d rejected His covenant. After the Exodus from Egypt, a covenant was established with God and the people promised that they’d keep the covenant.

King Manasseh, Zedekiah, etc were terrible kings – even sacrificing their own children to idols.

God had previously sent prophets to warn them, but they didn’t heed the warnings. In Isaiah, he warns harshly that they will be sent into captivity for 70 years in Babylon.

Yet, even in the midst of judgment, God tells them that he will restore them and have mercy on them – even for their terrible previous sins.

“For my own sake” – is God so fed up with their sins that he can’t stand to look at them? More than that, it’s protecting his own justice, mercy, reputation, etc. Even though he chastises his people, he wants to restore them and shower them with his love and kindness again.

He says, “I’ll do this for my own sake (to show others) that I choose to remember your sins no more.”

These sins are completely blotted out of God’s remembrance. This refers prophetically as well to Jesus’ sacrifice that has blotted out all our sins so that God remembers them no more.

Spurgeon “forgetfulness is an infirmity (problem) – part of aging, human nature” God is not like that – He doesn’t have an infirmity – rather he CHOOSES to (1) Forgive and (2) IMMEDIATELY forget

When someone offends us, we can forgive, but we can’t forget. God doesn’t actually “forget” but chooses “not to bring to mind.” James reference.

  • Brian Harbor “Perhaps the most neglected doctrine of theology is the ‘forgetfulness’ of God – when God forgives, he [immediately] forgets. When he forgives our sins, he ERASES it out of the pages of eternity.”
  • William Cooper “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform” – this is a poet’s way to say that “God acts differently than we do.” This is obvious in the subject of guilt and sin. What we do with these is totally different from what God does.

“It’s impossible to both have a sensitive conscience and a clean conscience at the same time.” i.e. we KNOW we all sin, so we have guilt – ever since Adam and Eve ate the fruit – we’ve had guilt.

  1. Psalm 51:3 “For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.” (King David)
  2. Isaiah met God in the temple “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips, dwelling among a people of unclean lips.”
  3. Matthew 4? The woman caught in adultery – “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
  4. Once a man sent $100 to the Inland Revenue (tax) and said, “If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send more…”
  5. Shakespeare – the Lady Macbeth “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten the hand (that’s committed murder).”

Guilt is universal. What do we do with it?

#1: Rationalize it

A speeding car caught by a police man said, “I speed so I don’t get in an accident – there are so many…”

Rationalize = to ration lies

We need to OWN UP to it – take RESPONSIBILITY.

#2: Deny it

A person bought a Rolls Royce and experienced some mechanical failure – he wrote to the firm in England, and they flew a man out to fix it – he was waiting for a bill, but it never arrived… He wrote back, “Where’s the bill?” They wrote back, “We have no record of a Rolls Royce with a mechanical problem.” DENIAL.

#3: Run away from it (avoid it)

Massachusetts man stole a watch. He was stricken in his conscience and tried to give it away, no one took it. He threw it away but was still guilty. Thirty-five years later, he sent money and a note to his rabbi to give to the family.

  1. Rationalize
  2. Deny
  3. Run away

This is how WE approach guilt

God’s method?

Colossians 2:13-14 “When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive in Christ. He forgave us all our sins having canceled the charge of legal indebtedness – he has taken it away, nailing it to his cross.”

What does God do with it?

#1: Faces it

He took our sins upon himself and nailed it to the cross. This is an awesome truth – Jesus (sinless) BECAME sin for us.

How much do we ACTUALLY realize when we say, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” This is a big difference when our conscience is awakened to the truth of this.

If we are guilty and want forgiveness, we want to KNOW we are forgiven and that God has forgotten.

The events of Passion Week (this next week)

  1. Throughout the night, Jesus was harassed, passed from one prison to another. Caesar then washed his hands of it, denying his responsibility, running away from his authority, rationalizing his position to give Jesus to the crowd.
  2. The soldiers ripped off his clothes, pierced his flesh with nails.
  3. For 6 hours, Jesus bore the ridicule of the crowd before (as) he died.
  4. The guilt of ALL people of ALL time was placed on his shoulders – he literally BECAME sin for us.
  5. And by HIS stripes, we have been healed (spiritual healing).
  6. Friday afternoon, the sky turned black, the temple veil torn in two “Surely this man was the Son of God” (Matthew) “It is finished” (John). He didn’t say, “I am finished” rather, “It is ACCOMPLISHED” (the Will of the Father God) – that none need die in the guilt and sins.

This was God’s plan to deal with guilt. He didn’t rationalize, deny, or run away from it. He FACED it, took responsibility for it, forgave us our sins. (On the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them…”)

Jesus fulfilled ALL the types and sacrifices and ceremonies in the Old Testament.

Every year, Yom Kippor – the high priest entered into the holy of holies and sacrificed the lambs for the sins of all the people. This Day of Atonement was repeated year after year – it needed to be repeated.

When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away (not just covers) the sin of the world.” John was the voice in the wilderness pointing to Jesus to show that he was the Lamb who would deal with sin.

When God forgives, he forgets.

  • Psalm 103:12 “God has removed our sins from as far as the East is from the West.”
  • (It’s my birthday today – and my wife read this Psalm on my last birthday.)
  • Jeremiah predicted that 31:34 “God will forgive our sins and remember our sins no more.”
  • Micah “God will cast our sins into the deepest sea.”
  • Paul (Romans 4:7)
  • The poet is correct: “God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.”

What does this all mean for us?

Ex: There was a bad guy once involved in terrible crimes, he was converted to Christianity, and afterward took every opportunity to tell of his change. Just before he was to speak once, someone sent an envelope up to him in the front with a LONG list of former sins he’d committed. His first impulse was to leave the pulpit, but he stepped up boldly and said, “Friends, I’m accused of sins in this very city. I’ll read this list to you.” He read and after each said, “It is true, I’ve done that, I’m guilty.”

“You ask how I dare stand before you to speak of righteousness and truth when I have a list of crimes like this under my name. I’ll tell you, IN HIM, we have forgiveness of ALL our trespasses.”

The enemy is called the Accuser of the Brethren.

If you hear the voice, “How dare you stand up and preach Christ when you are such a terrible sinner?” will you rationalize, deny, run away, pack up and leave? Rather, say, “No, I will stand up for Christ, because he has stood up for me.”

Thank God, he has FORGOTTEN my sin – buried in the deepest sea, covered it up, removed it as far as the East is from the West.

Spurgeon said, “The 4 Scriptures should be enough in an of themselves. I want these Scriptures to be like adament (steel) in letting us know that our sins are forgiven.”

Ask, Seek, Knock – if we lay our guilt at Jesus’ feet, we can perhaps know what it is like to truly experience the forgiveness of God.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen