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A Picture of Forgiveness

"14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
I Corinthians 5:14-20

Good Morning Beloved,

Welcome to worship!
We're so glad you're here today, thank you for joining us.

Let's bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, we give You thanks for this day, for the opportunity gather together in worship of You.
To offer up our praise, to study Your Word for us, we ask Lord, that You would touch each of the hearts present, here and around the world, till up the hardened places, plant the seeds of forgiveness, cultivate them, nourish them to grow. Open our eyes and ear to hear the incredibly powerful, poignant message You have for us.

Lord, let us all be changed by Your truths, that we might make a change in the lives of others. Reveal those to us who are hurting, who need ministering, who need compassion, all these things You have freely given unto us, who are undeserving. Yet, through Your grace, we have received this and more,
in abundance. Let us freely share with others, what we've been given. Help us to be the kind of pure believers and church, that you redeemed us to be
In Christs precious name

Don't Take Revenge: Vengeance is Mine says the Lord — St. Luke ...
Revenge and vengeance is the theme of this present age, forgiveness is not. We can see the evidence of this in our society, with lawsuits running rampant for even the most idiotic of things. We can see this in the news media today, we see it on social media, and in movies. We see that the world is drunk on wrath, and this is evidenced in road rage, drive by shootings, crimes of vengeance and the increasing number of shootings among our youth.

Ephesians 4:31-32 teaches us, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

There are generally, two main issues that are addressed in Christian counseling. The first struggles with guilt, those that cannot forgive themselves and the second is replete with those that have a sinful propensity to blame others and withhold forgiveness for wrongs done. And, of course, there are those that fall into both of these categories to some varying degree.

However, both of these categories point to people that are miserable; and the only true way out is through a better understanding of what the Word of God teaches us about forgiveness. If you doubt that the Word of God can solve these problems, then you are putting a limit on God, casting doubt on the power of God and his word.

When you forgive someone, you make an active decision, a choice to look at that person and acknowledge that person for what they are, an imperfect human being, just like yourself. You choose to look at that entirety of a person with kind and loving eyes, a warm heart as you tell them: I understand why you did what you did was wrong and I, forgive you.

How we picture God has an affect on our view of forgiveness. How we picture God has an affect our view of forgiveness.
Do you picture God as a being that is watching and waiting for you to drop the hammer on you?
Do you envision God as a being that is just waiting for you to make a mistake so that He can squash you like a bug?
Do you picture God as being unmerciful and unforgiving?
Do you picture God as being ultimately neutral and forgiving, and that He looks the other way when we sin and that we have nothing to fear from God at all?

All of these views are not just wrong, I believe, they are dangerously wrong when we're looking at the issue of forgiveness. We will take a look at the basis of all forgiveness and how often we ignore this and, quite honestly, making hypocrites of ourselves in the process.
Self centered views of forgiveness.

Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He."

How we view forgiveness, can be quite often self centered. On one hand, don't we all expect to be forgiven and consider it highly virtuous when true forgiveness is extended to us, however, when we are the person hurt by offense we so often cry out "It's not fair to forgive! They must pay for what they did to me!"

Forgiveness, mercy and justice are three of the highest of virtues. So, how do we bring them all together? How do we reconcile them to each other? How can God forgive us as wretched sinners?
God can do that, that's what God does, you may say. He is God, and God can do what He pleases, you may say. He could forgive all sins, and therefore, none would go to Hell.
Hand of God...the arm of the Lord is not short... | Jesus art ...

However, when we think in these terms, we hold God to an unbiblical standard. Scripture does not contradict scripture. Scripture does not contradict scripture. And God will not contradict Himself. God is a God of love, but He is also, a God of perfect justice. To look the other way, would violate His perfect justice. God cannot do that.

Here's the bad news, the bad news, apart from salvation through Christ, God will indeed punish each and every sin that occurs on planet Earth!
Galatians 6:7-8 says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life."

And, Nahum 1:3 teaches, "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet."

God hates sin, and all who sin are His enemies!
"God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day." Psalm 7:11

God describes the relationship with Him and sinners as one of enemy to enemy.
Romans 5:10, "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

I have often heard people say, "But I'm not that bad! I only sin a little. I'm basically a good person, and yes, maybe I've told a white lie here and there, and I might even said a curse word on occasion and even had some bad thoughts from time to time, but surely that not enough to send me to Hell. I do a lot of good too! God knows that!" However, that view is not biblical!

So, allow me to make something very clear, even the slightest, single sin makes us a criminal in God's judicial system, and there is only one penalty for both the murderer and batterer, the shoplifter and the armed robber, the man with impure thoughts and the rapist.

In fact, James 2:10-13 tells us that minor sins are the same as breaking every commandment.
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment."

And in Psalm 5:5, which says, "The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity."

Proverbs 17:15 says, "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord."

All it takes is one sin, a crime in God's system to condemn.
God Is Perfectly Righteous, Holy and Flawless. Because of His perfect righteousness, His sense of justice and judgment is also perfect. He would sin, if he were to violate His perfect justice, is something God would never do. In the above scripture, God calls those who condone sin an abomination! An abomination is worse than other sins; abomination means "a thing that causes disgust or hatred." Something "foul smelling and repulsive to a holy God." So God could never, just let sin go by unpunished.

James 4:6-8 teaches, "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

So, then how does someone ever get saved? Scripture teaches us, in the book of Romans chapter 4, that God does justify the ungodly.
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,"
He covers their sins.
Verses 7 and 8, "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."
What is Sin in the Bible? | Biblical Christianity
Confused? I know that some of you are probably saying "Now hold on a minute. You just said that God punishes all sins and he would be an abomination unto Himself if he were to do just that." However, we also see that God will cover our sin and refuse to take it into account for those of us who are in Christ!  God has not just a plan, He has THE PLAN! 

II Corinthians 5:18-21 teaches, "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Making your peace with God.

How can God make the sinner just, cover his sins and refuse to take those sins into account without violating His attribute of justice? It is through the ministry of reconciliation, as we see in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 above.

The word "reconcile" is used 5 times in this passage. So, what is the meaning of reconcile? We think of it being an accounting term, referring to reconciling or balancing your checkbook, the accounting books, and so on. The Greek word for reconcile means "to change, to exchange, as coins for others of equivalent reconcile, those who are at variance, to return to favor with, to be reconciled to one  to receive one into favor." Jesus taking over your sin debt and paying it". God sets aside His wrath because, as we see in verse 21: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

God is the author of all reconciliation; He is responsible for the whole process. We can contribute absolutely nothing to this process because of our sin:
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, "And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." Isaiah 64:6

Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins." Dead is dead, unable to respond. The act of eternal forgiveness starts with God, because the offense of our sin is so repulsive to Him that our deeds do not count.

We can't get ourselves cleaned up for Him so that He will accept us, as we could not possibly meet His demand for a purity that equals His own. Perfectly righteous. Perfectly just. Perfect in every way. If we think that we can make ourselves presentable to Him on our own, we slap God in the face. John Bunyan once said "the best prayer ever prayed had enough sin in it to damn the whole world."

We grossly underestimate the bondage of sin in our lives when we are not saved. Which brings us to a point that you need to think about: it's not our hostility toward God that keeps us from Him, it's His wrath toward us! Hard to accept? If you look over the text from II Corinthians 5, again you will see that it is God that makes move toward reconciliation, not us. God is the author and finisher of reconciliation. God has always been the seeker of reconciliation. We can see this in the Garden of Eden, as God sought them out. We can see it in the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and in many other places too. God is, by nature, a Savior.

Look again at II Corinthians 5:19, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. There is a means of reconciliation; God provides the means for reconciliation.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Colossians 1:21-22.

God provides the means. But, as we saw earlier, God also can't just look the other way. He provides the means. II Corinthians 5:21 says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Yet God must mete out His divine wrath, this happened on the cross. What does the cross have to do with forgiveness? With the forgiveness that I give? EVERYTHING.
Two Questions Answered by the Cross of Jesus Christ: Does true ...

There are three key terms that describe what Jesus did on the cross so that we could be forgiven: substitution, propitiation and imputation. In short, Jesus took our place in being punished by God on the cross, that would be substitution. God's wrath because of our sin was whipped on Jesus through both the physical and the spiritual as the absence of that fellowship, that one-on-one relationship that the Godhead had enjoyed for all of eternity, a fellowship that was ripped apart. He willingly took this punishment, this separation from God the Father, so that we would not be separated from Him for all of eternity.
Jesus is also our propitiation, an adequate sacrifice for our sin. The requirement for us to get into heaven is sinlessness. Only Jesus has had that quality. We were lost sinners until our sin was transferred to Jesus, the only spotless, stainless man to ever walk the earth. God gave Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. And in suffering and dying on the cross, satisfying the righteous wrath of God against us and landing on Jesus, our sins were imputed to Jesus and in turn He gave us His perfect righteousness in the legal sight of God the Father, the Judge.

At the cross, God's love and justice meet head on. On one side we see the love that God has for us, that Jesus hung on the cross giving Himself for us. On the other hand, the full fury of the wrath of God that should have been for you and me was put on Jesus Christ His Son. Justice was satisfied. All of the pain that you and I should have endured forever was spent by God on the cross that day. The separation that Jesus suffered we will never have to face. ALL SO THAT WE COULD BE FORGIVEN.

In Closing....

Beloved, God takes forgiveness seriously. So serious that the Son of God died to satisfy the requirements of punishment of sin. Look to the cross, and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made, and the fact that it every claim that Jesus made, all of it was validated when Jesus arose on the third day.
Now give this some serious thought. Since Jesus forgave us of all sin on the cross, each and every sin, and will never hold those sins against us in judgment resulting in a forever death sentence in Hell, how can we have the audacity to withhold forgiveness from those that wrong us? Are we not the world's biggest hypocrites in doing such?

Your feelings are hurt and can't forgive?
You pride was hurt, and can't forgive?
Someone made fun of you, and can't forgive?
You were used by someone, and can't forgive?

If so, my beloved, you are putting yourself on a pedestal about Jesus Christ. He died for your sin, the ultimate act of mercy, love and forgiveness. No matter what the sin, our exercising of forgiveness is mandatory to God.

Take a moment today, and ask God to reveal to you those people that you are holding a grudge against or will not associate with. Ask God to forgive you, so that you will be in right fellowship with Him, then ask God to give you the words and the strength to forgive those that have wronged you. It's what Jesus would do.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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