Sunday Morning Sermon Notes

  • “You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Set You Free!”

  • Is This The Beginning Of The End, Or Is This The Beginning Of The End?

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“You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Set You Free! - To Forgive Or Not To Forgive!"

  09-16-2018  Part 23

Let’s return back to our newest topic that we started last Sunday called, Seeking and Receiving God’s Forgiveness When We Need It For Ourselves!

For with God’s help, this will be a close-up look at one of the most important subjects in all the Bible.

Listen, seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves, is often times misunderstood by many who believe that God‘s forgiveness is either automatic.  Or, it is unconditional.  Or, there are some who think that you can reject or neglect God‘s forgiveness And there will be no eternal consequences! Or, you have received God‘s forgiveness as a child of God, and therefore there will be no, “you reap what you sow!”

But do you and I really understand what it is to personally seek and receive God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves?

Just using the words seeking and receiving God‘s forgiveness, throws a lot of people off!

Remember, last time we defined what it meant to seek, or to be seeking someone or something?

For this is what I am referring to when I use the words, seek or seeking!

This is someone who is not just waiting around, or procrastinating.  But initiating, and being intentional on their part, to pursue the desired goal or outcome no matter what!                                                      And that is what I am referring to when I use the word, seeking!

Next, to receive or, the receiving from someone or something.                              And this is what I am referring to rejecting my pridefulness and embracing humility.

Listen, to be able to acknowledge to myself that I need help or assistance.

Also, to be open and willing to let someone or something do for me, what I cannot do for myself.  And that is what I am referring to, when I use the word, receiving!                           And lastly, the Words God’s forgiveness.                                                                     And this is what I am referring to, God’s willingness, ability, and sovereignty to give complete remission and an absolute pardon.

Listen, God’s forgiveness is God’s refusal to bring up, or revisit the matter.  God‘s forgiveness is His desire to reconcile and restore the fellowship between you and Himself.  But for the unsaved person who is coming to saving faith through Jesus Christ.  God’s forgiveness is His desire to reconcile, and therefore, God bringing forth a new birth and a new relationship with that person and Himself!

And last Sunday, we acknowledged that there were two groups of people that God is willing and able to forgive!

For we are either in one group or the other!

For example, the first group you might be in which God is willing and able to forgive those who are seeking and receiving His forgiveness to be saved, born again, and to become a true child of God.  Because they know with God’s help, that they are a sinner, and they need and want God’s forgiveness!

Next, the second group you might be in which God is willing and able to forgive those who are seeking and receiving His forgiveness are those who have been saved, born again.  And by God’s mercy and grace they are a true child of God.  Yet, they also know that they need and want God’s forgiveness because unfortunately they still sin!

So which group are you in?                                                                                    The first group, or the second group!

This Sunday, let’s continue to address the first group that you, or someone you know and love might Be in.  Because that person that has been seeking and wanting to receive God’s forgiveness, they recognize that they are a sinner.  And that they are spiritually dead.  Yet, they can also know with the help of the Holy Spirit, that only God can saved them, and cause them to be born again, and truly forgiven by God!

But before we begin, let’s briefly address a concept that we are very familiar with, and is an obsession within our current culture, and that is the pursuit of fairness and Equality, Justice, or Justice for all!

Question, but why do you and I care so much about such things as fairness and equality, or justice, or justice for all?

Listen, from our childhood, even until now whatever our age is, this concept really matters to you and me!

But again, why do you and I care so much about such things as fairness and equality, or justice, or justice for all?

Quote Genesis 1: 26a.                                                                                               “Then God said, let Us make man in Our own image, according to Our likeness.”

The answer is, because this concern within, this care that we have, it comes from God, and He has given it unto all who are made in His image, and in His likeness.

Listen, God really, really, cares about fairness and justice!

Now notice Romans 3:                                                                                                     Vs. 10.  As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one;                                      Vs. 11.  There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.            Vs. 12.  They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.                                                                  Vs. 13.  Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips;                                                                Vs. 14.  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.                                                    Vs. 15.  Their feet are swift to shed blood;                                                                     Vs. 16.  Destruction and misery are in their ways;                                                         Vs. 17.  And the way of peace they have not known.                                                         Vs. 18.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.                                                         Vs. 19.  Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world, all of its inhabitants, may become guilty before God.

But there is some good news, because there someone who can forgive us in our guilty state!

Now notice Mark 2:                                                                                                          Vs. 5.  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, or Palsy, son, or child, your sins are forgiven you!                                                                                      Vs. 6.   And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,       Vs. 7.   Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?                                                                                                                   Vs. 8.  But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit, that they reasoned within themselves. But Jesus He said to them, why do you reason about these things in your hearts?                                                                                                 Vs. 9.  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic or Palsy, your sins are forgiven you, or to say, arise, take up your bed and walk?                                                           Vs. 10.  But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, then He said to the paralytic or Palsy.

By the way, did Jesus ever claimed or called Himself the Son of Man?

Notice Matthew 16: 13.  And when Jesus came into the coastline of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, saying, who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?

Now notice again, Mark 2: 11 continues, And Jesus I said unto the man, arise take up your bed and go to your house.

Listen, Jesus healed the man, after He Had forgiven the man!

Question, does the Son of Man Who is Jesus Christ, have power or authority on earth to forgive sins?

Ephesians 1: 7.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace.

Notice Colossians 1: 13&14.                                                                                  Vs. 13.  Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son:                                                                            Vs. 14.  In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Question, but does the Son of Man who is Jesus Christ, have power, or the authority on earth to forgive any kind of sins?

For example, notice Galatians 5: 19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,                                                          Vs. 20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,                                                                      Vs. 21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.  Of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Final question, does the Son of Man have power, or the authority on earth to forgive sins permanently?

Psalms 130: 3&4.                                                                                                        Vs. 3.  If You, LORD should mark, or retain, or treasure up in memory.  iniquities, O Lord who could stand?                                                                                           Vs. 4.  But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared, or to be held in awe, or admiration, or reverence.

Close with Micah 7: 18&19.                                                                                          Vs. 18.  Who is a God like You, pardoning or forgiving iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?                                                 For He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.                 Vs. 19.  He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue or capture our iniquities.  And You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

09-23-2018 Part 24

Let’s return back to ur topic that we called, Seeking and Receiving God’s Forgiveness when We Need It For Ourselves!

For with God’s help, this will be a close-up look at one of the most important subjects in all the Bible.

Listen, seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves, is often times misunderstood by many who believe that God‘s forgiveness is either automatic.  Or, it is unconditional.  Or, there are some who think that you can reject or neglect God‘s forgiveness and there will be no eternal consequences! Even some Christians misunderstand this area also, believing that after you have received God‘s forgiveness as a child of God, many think that there will be no, “you reap what You sow!”  Yet, there will be both spiritual and physical consequences to be endured !

So then, understand what it is to personally seek and receive God’s forgiveness Do you and I really when we need it for ourselves?

So, for the last couple of Sundays, we have considered based on what the Bible says, that there are two groups of people, the unsaved and the saved that God is willing and able to forgive no matter what they have done!

And by the way, concerning the unsaved, and God’s willingness to forgive them No matter what they have done.

Two important things to know!

First, the unsaved person must personally believe and trust only in the Lord Jesus Christ to be both Lord and Savior of their lives.

The unsaved person with God’s help must personally repent from sin and sinful practices in their lives.

Listen, all of this must be done in this life, before one’s own physical death!

Because to reject or neglect God‘s forgiveness that is only attainable In Jesus Christ, therefore there will be eternal and irrevocable.  Both spiritual and physical consequences to endure!

Quote St. John 8:24, Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Now, the second important thing to know concerning God’s willingness to forgive the unsaved person no matter what they have done, but we need to know there is one serious exception!

For the unsaved person to willingly participate in the sin of unbelief, rejecting, or denouncing personal faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s Savior and Lord.  They choose not to repent Biblically.  Later at some point, they physically die.  Now, their fate and eternal destiny is forever sealed, and can never be changed! And this is why there Is the one serious exception concerning God’s willingness to forgive the unsaved.

Remember St. John 8:24, Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

What about the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit, is that also another serious exception concerning God’s willingness to forgive the unsaved?

See Mark 3: Jesus is speaking.                                                                                 Vs. 28.  Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven of the sons of men, or human beings, and of whatever blasphemies they may utter or Have spoken!    Vs. 29.  But he or she who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, can never have forgiveness, but will be subject unto eternal condemnation.                                 Vs. 30.  Because they said, stop there!

But who are the ‘they’ in vs. 30?  Is this a group of sinners at that time, making fun of Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

Notice vs. 22.  And the Scribes who came down from Jerusalem and they said, He has Beelzebub!  And by the ruler of the demons Beelzebub, He casts out demons!

Now back to vs. 30 again.

Because they said, He (Jesus) has an unclean spirit, either demonically or satanically He is possessed.

So why are the Scribes saying this about Jesus? What had He done wrong now?

Well, notice Mark 3:                                                                                                  Vs. 10.  For Jesus healed many! So that, as many as had afflictions they crowded around Him to touch Him. Vs. 11.  Even the unclean spirits (demons), whenever Spirits saw Jesus, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, You are the Son of God!

Finally, notice v. 22 again.  And the Scribes who came down from Jerusalem and they said, He has Beelzebub!  And by the ruler of the demons, Beelzebub, He casts out demons! Wow!

Also, see Acts 10: 38.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Listen, the major reason why today no one unsaved or saved can blaspheme the Holy Spirit, or have committed the unpardonable sin, and thereby forfeiting God’s willingness to forgive them is, an unsaved or saved person would had to have lived during the days of Jesus in Israel.  And had been an eyewitness of Jesus actually ministering to someone.  And therefore, maybe you or I could have then blaspheme the Holy Spirit by slandering the works of Jesus at that time. Saying, blaspheming that His words, His miracles were not truly being done by the Holy Spirit at work in Him.  But it was the devil and his powers at work in Him!

Blaspheming by saying it is an act of collusion, that God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and the devil Himself. That all three are Working together to deceive!

But listen, there are still today quite a few things we can do against the Holy Spirit that are sinful and wrong, and there will be consequences if there is no repentance, and the seeking of God‘s forgiveness.

For example:                                                                                                                     •We can lie to the Holy Spirit!  See Acts 5: 1-11.                                                               •We can grieve the Holy Spirit!  See Ephesians 4: 30.                                                        •We can quench the Holy Spirit!  See I Thessalonians 5: 19.                                    •We can’t disobey the Holy Spirit!  See Galatians 5: 16-18, and Galatians 6: 7&8.        •We can resist the Holy Spirit!  See Acts 7: 51.                                                             •Lastly, or we can desire the Holy Spirit’s power so much to be at work in us, that we would seek to buy or earn it!  See Acts 8: 18-24.

Now this Sunday let’s consider the second group hopefully that you are in.  In which God is willing and able to forgive those who are seeking and receiving His forgiveness because they have been saved, born again.  And by God’s mercy and grace they are a true child of God.

Yet they also know that they need and want God’s forgiveness because unfortunately they still sin, not regularly!

But from time to time.  In various ways that are contrary to the Word and the will of God!

Because even the saved, need to know what the Bible says about God’s willingness to forgive what we have done, or what we are still struggling with.

And often times there Is a misunderstanding that we have about God‘s forgiveness.  We to can easily think that it is automatic.  Or, it is unconditional. or, as a child of God for us there will be no, “you reap what you sow!”

But we will say more about these things next time as we continue our study.

Because with the time we have left I want us to focus on a very important section of the New Testament, the Book of I John Chapter 1.

And let’s notice I John 1:                                                                                                  Vs. 3.  That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.                                                                                                       Vs. 5.  This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.                                                    Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  Vs. 7.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.                   Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.                         Vs. 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                                                    Vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Now see I John 2:                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Vs. 2.  And He, Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Now notice again I John 1: 3, 6, & 7.                                                                               Vs. 3.  That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.                                                                      Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Vs. 7.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Listen, we are out of time, but next time we will take time to understand this word fellowship that is used in vs. 3, 6, & 7.

But let me just say this, as a result of such fellowship we enjoy the many blessings and benefits that comes from being in constant, uninterrupted fellowship with God.  For example, we have the LORD’s guidance, His patients, His joy, His discernment, His enablement and empowerment for faithful service.  His loving acceptance and approval.  And His mighty power, so that we can overcome any temptation.  In addition, we are beneficiaries of the peace of God.  The grace of God.  The love of God.  The protection of God.  Having our needs met.  Having a God given insight and understanding when reading and studying the Bible.  And having an unwavering faith or confidence that trusteth in the LORD, that enables one to endure any trial or test that comes.

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Is This The Beginning Of The End, Or Is This The Beginning Of The End?

10-06-2018  

Now, notice Habakkuk 2: 3. For the vision is yet for an appointed time. But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it may tarry, wait for it. Because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Now listen to this paraphrase of Habakkuk 2: 3.

This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end of something, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently. Because, it will surely take place.  And it will not be delayed.

As most of you know, last weekend for two days, we as a congregation, as members, and those who attend our church regularly.

For two days last week, we paused and we reflected on God’s faithfulness.

We gave thanks, and we gave praise unto God Who has been so gracious over these 30 years.

And even today on this first Sunday in October, we bless the LORD Who has blessed us over these last 28 Years to be at this location, on 135th. & Avalon.

Being a part of this neighborhood, and reaching out to this community in this part of Los Angeles.  In which we say again, great is thy faithfulness!

However, this afternoon with God’s help I would like to challenge each and every one of you, the way the LORD has been challenging me.

Question, is this a new beginning for us, or is this the beginning of the end!

Listen, we have a unique challenge ahead of us as a local church ministry.

For we must ask ourselves, so what is next?                                                                     What do we do now?                                                                                                     Is this a new beginning, or is this the beginning of the end?                                           Are we going to pay it safe for the next several years to come?                             Will we seek now Just to be intimidated comfortable and at ease?

Or, will we become over reactive and not proactive, about the issues the body of Christ is facing today, and in the days to come?

Will we be bullied and by the world and the culture around us.

Will we become indifferent or uninvolved with this neighborhood and community.  How about this country and all the nations around the world whom the Lord Loves, and desires that they know Him?  But will we care?

Or, will we as a Local church ministry see this time as a new beginning for our church!  Think about it, could it be that the LORD Has taken 30 years to get us ready for such a time as this?

To be a part of a vision, a movement, a revival, a spiritual awakening.  Having the opportunity to re-defined what local church ministry could look like in these last days before the return of Christ!

And each and every one of us can participate and play an important part in the Kingdom work of God through the local churches that we are a part of, and they are a part of us!

Listen, in Jesus name, we can dare to be different, it’s in our DNA as a local church ministry! To take risk. Doing some things that have not been done before by us! To thinking outside the box, beyond the four walls of this building! To embracing Godly change, and not being afraid of it. And willing to be influencers and Ambassadors for Christ, and not play church!

Now I want to show two videos to help us to re-defined what local church ministry could look like in these last days before the return of Christ!

This first video shows a group of lighthouses in the midst different kinds of environmental conditions. Each lighthouse you are going to see is unique in its size, where it is located. Listen, but the most important thing about a lighthouse is, it’s purpose, and those who are committed to its purpose! https://youtu.be/moHV-SS7aec Note: if you can adjust your sound bar on this YouTube video link on your device and bring the sound down to zero sound.  Because the song that is used in this video was not used in this portion of our message today. Check it out!

The second video is from a popular tv series of the 90s about hospital life, an ER Trauma Center in an urban environment. Individual specialists of doctors and nurses trained and equipped for whatever, and for whoever comes into their facility. But listen, the most important thing about a hospital, an ER Trauma Center is, it’s purpose, and those who are committed to its purpose! https://youtu.be/9jfqPYA7O2c Note: if you can adjust this YouTube video link by the time length of time above the video.  Move it manually to two minutes, is where we began the portion that was intended for our message today.  Check it out!

Now, let’s consider for just a few minutes in your bulletin two papers that are stapled together, that describe somethings about our church that you may not be aware of.  Or, that you may want to be a part of.  Or, you would like to develop and lead.

May something briefly about each one these Pastoral desires that God continues to reveal within my heart which I would like you to embrace is well!

First, A Praying Church.  Totally dependent upon God.

Next, A God Centered, Christ Centered Church That Is Not Man Centered.  Totally focused on God and not ourselves.

Next, A Pure Church. Totally set apart from the world within and without.

Next, A Life Changing Church.  Totally convince that God’s Word will not return unto Him void, and therefore all people are welcome to attend our church, as God brings about salvation and transformation to every heart that repents!

Next, A Persevering Church. Totally courageous and unwavering in the midst of Trials.

Next, A Progressive Church.  Totally excepting of divine change when necessary!  By the way, the word ‘progressive’ today for most people carries only one idea. I’m not talking about political, or social, or a liberal point of view. But the word, progressive can also mean evolving, or changing, or developing advancing to a higher state, or level of effectiveness.  Listen, a progressive church.  Totally excepting of divine change when necessary!

Next, A Multi-Racial Church.  Totally accepting of anyone.                                                                           Finally, A Giving Church.  Totally helpful and involved in many ways.

Now close with II Chronicles 7: 12-14.                                                                     Vs. 12.  Then the Lord appeared to King Solomon by night, and said to him: I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.                           Vs. 13.  When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,                                                 Vs. 14.  Yet, if My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

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10-21-2018   Part 25   

Let’s return back to our topic that we called, Seeking And Receiving God’s Forgiveness As A Child Of God When We Need It For Ourselves!

Do you and I really understand need what it is to personally seek and receive God’s forgiveness when we it for ourselves?

Now this Sunday, let’s consider God’s willingness to forgive those who are seeking and receiving His forgiveness.

Even though they have been Saved, born again.  And by God’s mercy and grace, they are a true child of God.

Yet they also know that they need and want God’s forgiveness because unfortunately they still sin, not regularly!

But from time to time in various ways that are contrary to the Word and the will of God!

Because even the Saved, need to know what the Bible says about God’s willingness to forgive what we have done, or what we are still struggling with.

And often times among the Saved there is a misunderstanding that we have about God‘s forgiveness.

We too can easily think that it is automatic.  Or, it is unconditional. Or, as a child of God for us there will be no, “you reap what you sow!” “no consequences for one’s sins.”

Now, let’s notice I John 1: 3, 6, & 7.                                                                            Vs. 3.  That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.                                                                       Vs. 6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Vs. 7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

So then, what is Biblical fellowship with God all about?

In I John 1: 3, 6, & 7, the English word ‘fellowship’ in most English Bibles comes from the Greek word ‘Koinonia’.

Koinonia can mean, an association with others.  Or, being in community with others, as brothers and sisters in Christ.

But also, Koinonia can mean, having a relationship that is more personal and beneficial for us the recipients, by God, who is our benefactor.

For example, there can be companionship or a partnership.  There can be intimacy and closeness.  Or, there can be harmony, unity, and togetherness.

Listen, the God of Heaven greatly desires and has made it possible for those who are truly saved and forgiven to have an abiding fellowship with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

But, most importantly, we can have an abiding fellowship with our Heavenly Father, with the Lord Jesus Christ, and with God the Holy Spirit.

And therefore, as a result of such fellowship we enjoy the many blessings and benefits that comes from being in constant, uninterrupted fellowship with God.

For example, such blessings and benefits we enjoy are, having the LORD’s guidance, His patience, His joy, His discernment, His enablement and empowerment for faithful service.  His loving acceptance and approval.  And His mighty power so that we can overcome any temptations.  In addition, we are also beneficiaries of the peace of God.  The grace of God.  The love of God.  The protection of God.  Having our needs met by God. Having a God-given insight and understanding when reading and studying the Bible.  And having an unwavering faith or confidence that trusteth in the LORD, that enables one to endure any trial or, test that comes.

Listen, often times we who are saved misunderstand when it comes to God‘s forgiveness.  For we can easily think that God‘s forgiveness is just automatic.  Or, God‘s forgiveness is unconditional.  Or, as a child of God when we receive God‘s forgiveness there will be no, “you reap what you sow!” “no consequences for one’s sins.”

Now notice, I John 1: 6, 8 &10.                                                                               Vs. 6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.                             Vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

But what is sin and walking in darkness?

*Simply put, sin is exulting oneself to be above or to be equal with God.              *Sin is, rebelling or disobeying God’s purposes, or His plans, or His will, or His Word, the Bible.           *Simply put, sin is when we deliberately and premeditatedly transgress the laws of God, Quote James 4: 17 says, therefore to him or her who knows to do good and does not do it, to them it is sin.

But what is walking in darkness?

To walk in darkness is when both sin and falsehood are at work within oneself, causing them to be against God, and to be against others.

Now what does the Bible say about sin which is God’s revelation and disclosure about this matter, is it really that serious?

See Romans 3: 23.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.               See Romans 6: 23.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

See I John 3: 4.  Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Also, does Satan and His demons use certain temptations, worldly desires, and our fleshly-fallen nature, to influence us, to provoke us, and to lead us to sin against God? Yes, absolutely!

See later Luke 4: 1-13.

Finally, what does God say sin is?  Because that is what sin is.  Whatever God says sin is!

Because our culture, or our society, or my family, or even myself will not understand, nor see sin the way God sees it, and detest it.

For example, see Galatians 5: 19-21 and ask the people that you know, and share this list with them from the Bible. Then ask them what do they think about each one of these items mentioned, and would they see these behaviors and practices as a sin that displeases God, and is something to be avoided?

See Galatians 5:   Vs. 19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,      Vs. 20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish-ambitions, dissensions, heresies.                                                                         Vs. 21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

And finally, do you and I really know how to seek and receive God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves?

Notice I John 1:                                                                                                                   Vs. 9.  But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                                             Vs. 7.  And if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Now once again, as a result of such fellowship we enjoy that comes from being in constant and uninterrupted fellowship with God.

We can be reassured that according to I John 1: 9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But what does I John 1: 9, really mean?

First explain the word ‘confess’ in I John 1: 9.

Most people when they hear this word confess they would understand it to mean, to admit to something that you have done wrong.  Or, to tell the truth or to give the facts about a matter!

But actually, here in I John 1: 9 the word ‘confess’ which appears in most English translations of the Bible, comes from a New Testament Greek word.  Note, a Strong’s Definition: homologéō, a compound word.

This New Testament Greek word has several different meanings. 

But the primary meaning of this Greek word means, to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, or give assent to.

Listen, therefore according to I John 1: 9, the actual way that we are to confess our sins unto God, is not just admitting to something that we have done wrong. Or, telling the truth about a particular matter!

Because if you think about it an all-knowing Omniscient God, already knows everything that concerns you and me, for we could never conceal, nor surprise, nor shock, God. He knows about everything!

But according to I John 1: 9, the actual way that we are to confess our sins unto God is to say the same thing as another, and in this case, it would be God!

We must agree with God!                                                                                             Listen, whatever God says sin is, that is what sin is.  Whatever God says sin is! Amen!!

I am not to be in agreement with, nor, say the same thing as my culture, or my society, or my family, or even myself.

But I am to confess or to say the same thing as another, and in this case, it would be God!

We must agree with God!                                                                                         Whatever God says sin is, that is what sin is.  Whatever God says sin is!  Amen!!

For example, notice Ephesians 4: 25-32, one of many lists from the Bible that we should know and use that can reveal to us certain behaviors and practices that we might be doing that are sinful, that are displeasing God, and is something to be avoided.

But most importantly, these lists from the Bible like, the 10 Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus in Matthew 5,6, &7.

These lists from the Bible both in the old and the New Testaments will truly help us to confess, or to say the same thing as another, and in this case, it would be God!

We must agree with God!                                                                                           Whatever God says sin is, that is what sin is.  Whatever God says sin is!  Amen!!

Notice Ephesians 4:                                                                                                         Vs. 25. Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.                                                       Vs. 26.  Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,       Vs. 27.  nor give place to the devil.                                                                                                                    Vs. 28.  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.   Vs. 29.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.                                     Vs. 30.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.       Vs. 31.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.       Vs. 32.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

10-21-2018   Part 26  

Now for the last couple of Sundays with God’s help, we have been challenged by the Holy Spirit with a thought-provoking question!

As a true child of God, Do You & I Really Understand What It Is To Seek And Receive God’s Forgiveness When We Need It For Ourselves?

Because unfortunately we still sin, not regularly!

But from time to time. and in various ways that are contrary to the Word of God, and the will of God, we still sin!

Quote Romans 7:                                                                                                                    Vs.  19.  For the good that I will too do, I do not practice.  But the evil I will not too do, that I practice.     Vs.  20.  Now, if I do what I will not too do, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that dwells in me

And what is Sin?

Simply put, sin is, whatever God says sin is, those things He has revealed unto mankind in the Bible, that is what sin is!

Even though my culture, or my society will disagree what God says is sin.  Or, if my family or even my own flesh would detest what God says sin is!

Nevertheless, sin is whatever God says sin is!   And that is exactly what  I John 1: 6, 8, &10 is addressing!

Notice Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.                                                                            Vs. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.                                        Vs. 10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

Remember sin is, whatever God says sin is!

But good news!  The divine solution, that which solves our problem and addresses God‘s concerns, is found in here I John 1: 9&7.  Amen!!   I’ll show you what I mean!

Notice vs. 9.  But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Vs. 7.  And if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

And once again, as a result of such fellowship mentioned in vs. 7 that we enjoy that comes from dealing with our personal sins, whenever they occur as well as, being in constant, uninterrupted fellowship with God.

Therefore, the LORD has made a way for the saved person, to stay connected, in fellowship with Himself.

So, we can be reassured that He will help us, and He will forgive us, no matter what!  And that is what I John 1: 9 & 7 is all about!

Now notice again vs. 9,

But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, what does I John 1: 9 really mean, and what are we to really do?

Well, last Sunday we looked at only the first phrase in I John 1: 9 that said, “If we confess our sins!”  And we should not be like those in vs. 6.

See vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, then we lie and do not practice the truth.  Nor, do we do like those in vs. 8.    See vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  And neither should we do like those in vs. 10.    See vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

But according to I John 1: 9a, “We are to confess our sins unto God!”  Amen!

And this is most helpful, and very necessary so that we can know if we are, in compliance, and that is doing what God said to do, and not what we think we should do!

So, this afternoon let’s Look at the second Phrase that appears in I John 1: 9.  And it says, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And Who is the ‘He’ in I John 1: 9?

Notice in the middle of vs. 7, “And the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Back to vs. 9, so then, He (Jesus Christ) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Also, in I John 2: 1, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.     Vs.  2. And He, Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Notice the word ‘Propitiation’.

The Amplified Bible describes it this way;    “An atoning sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God, that would otherwise be directed at all of us because of our sinful nature, our worldliness, and our lifestyle choices.

Now see Psalms 32:                                                                                                     Vs.  1.  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.                   Vs.  2.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose Spirit there is no deceit.      Vs.  5. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.                                                                                                                               Vs.  6. For this cause everyone who is Godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him or her.

When can this take place that I can acknowledged my sin unto God, that I can confess my transgressions unto the Lord?

See I Corinthians 11:                                                                                                            Vs.  28a.  But let a man examine himself.                                                                         Vs.  31. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

And finally, the LORD has truly made a way for the saved person, to stay connected, in fellowship with Himself.

So, we can be reassured that He will help us, and He will forgive us, no matter what!

Listen, according to I John 1: 7, which says,

And if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all sin.

First notice again vs. 7a.  And if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another!

Notice 1 John 1: 5.  This then is the message which we have heard of Him and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

See Isaiah 2:5.  O, house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

See Ephesians 5: 8, For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light.

And lastly, notice vs. 7b, And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all sin.

The Amplified Bible says it this way, “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin, in all its forms and manifestations.”

See Ephesians 1:7.  In whom, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace.

See Revelation 1: 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. *unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

See Psalms 139:                                                                                                                Vs.  23. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts;           Vs.  24. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

10-28-18   Part 27    

As a true Child of God, do you and I really understand what it is to seek and receive God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves?

Because unfortunately we still sin, not regularly!

But from time to time.  And in various ways that are contrary to the word of God, and the will of God, we still sin!

And last Sunday we began to look at What The Bible Says Is A Pathway For Forgiveness With God, When We Need It For Ourselves!

First, the pathway to forgiveness with God is seen here in I Corinthians 11: 28a, But let a man or person examine themselves.

Also, in vs. 31, for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be Judged.              Vs. 32.  However, when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Question.  But how do we do that correctly, that is examine ourselves and judge ourselves?

The answer is, we need divine help!  God’s help!  God’s assistance!

Notice Psalms 139:                                                                                                  Vs. 23.  Search me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:                                                                                                                    Vs. 24.  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Now remember our question, how do we examine ourselves and judge ourselves, according to I Corinthians 11?

Now see I John 1: 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And again according to I Corinthians 11, how do we examine ourselves and judge ourselves?

Now see Psalms 32:                                                                                                     Vs. 5.  I acknowledged my sin unto You and mine iniquity have I not hid.   I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

Vs. 6.  For this shall every one that is godly pray unto You in a time when You maybe found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him or her.

Listen, with God’s help after we have examined ourselves and judge ourselves by spending some personal time with God, acknowledging and confessing to God our own sin or sins.

For it is at this point we need the Holy Spirit, who is the only one who can change us and transform us through the repentance that He so freely gives.

But yet, we so seldomly know how to receive this repentance that the Holy Spirit wants us to walk in!

Now say something briefly about the Biblical idea of repentance.

Now see II Timothy 2:                                                                                                Vs. 25.  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;                              Vs. 26.  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Question, what should you and I expect when the Holy Spirit produces change and transformation through the repentance that He so freely gives?

First, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a divine strength to turn from, or, to turn away from anything or anyone that would cause you to compromise or be tempted, or become disobedient and sin against God!

See I Thessalonians 1:                                                                                             Vs. 9.  For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God,   Vs. 10.  and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Next, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, the fear of the Lord!

See Proverbs 9: 10.                                                                                                     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.

Listen, when it comes to true repentance, in what ways does the fear of the Lord make a difference within you and me?

And here are at least three things you and I will noticed at work within our hearts.

First, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction and commitment, so that I don’t want to displease Him.

Next, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction and commitment, so that I don’t want to experience the LORD’s chastisement or correction upon my life, reaping what I sow!

And lastly, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction and commitment, so that I don’t want my testimony and my witness to others, to be in vain!

11-04-2018   Part 28     

Again, as a true child of God, do you and I really understand what it is to seek and receive God’s forgiveness when we need it for ourselves?Because unfortunately we still sin, not regularly!

But from time to time.  And in various ways that are contrary to the Word of God, and the will of God, we still sin!

And last Sunday we began to look at what the Bible says about Biblical repentance.  Especially in the way that the Holy Spirit can produce in you and me if we cooperate.  A lasting change and an authentic transformation through the repentance that the Holy Spirit so freely gives.

In fact, we have been considering what you and I should expect when the Holy Spirit produce this kind of change and transformation through the repentance that He so freely gives!

And last Sunday we considered the first two areas in which the Holy Spirit will produce in you and me this kind of repentance that is life-changing and real!

So then, this afternoon lets finish up our brief look at divine repentance by considering these last two areas by which the Holy Spirit can produce in you and me, this kind of repentance that is life-changing and real!

Now, let’s consider this first area of repentance that comes from God and not from self, can produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and over my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Explain a little bit about how this can work.

Listen, there will be a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and over my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD, why?

See Ephesians 4: 30.                                                                                                    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Listen, because we are connected spiritually with the Holy Spirit, and because the Holy Spirit dwells literally inside you and me, then we will feel what He feels.

If the Holy Spirit is grieved, then you will feel grieved because you are connected spiritually with Him.

Now again, this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

An example. Remember (Peter) in Matthew 26: 75.                                          And Peter recalled the word of Jesus who had said to him.  Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.  So, Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Also, remember (Judas) in Matthew 27: 3&4.                                                              Vs. 3. Then Judas the Betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned by the chief priests and elders, the KJV says, “Judas repented himself.”                                                                                              But the NKJV says, “Judas was only remorseful”. For Judas brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and Elders,    Vs. 4.  Saying I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.  And the chief priests and elders said to Judas, what is that to us?  You see to it, or you deal with that!

Remember this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over our sins and over our sinful ways, even though we have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Now notice see II Corinthians 7:                                                                                  Vs. 10. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading unto Salvation which is not to be regretted.  However, the sorrow or remorsefulness of the world produces death.                       Vs. 11. Therefore, observe this very thing that you sorrowed, or were saddened in a Godly or different manner.

For example, *What diligence it produced in you.  Next, *what clearing of yourselves.  Next, *what indignation.  Next, *what fear.  Next, *what vehement desire.  Next, *what zeal.  And lastly, *and what vindication.  So that in all things just mention, you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Quote Matthew 5: 4 Jesus said, blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Now remember that this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over our sins and over our sinful ways, even though we have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Notice see I John 3: 20.                                                                                          For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, for He knows all things.

Listen, our God knows the difference between weakness or rebellion that lies within each one of us!

In other words, God knows when we are spiritually weak or spiritually immature, and therefore we will struggle with certain sins, or, we are easily overwhelmed or overcome by them and by the enemy unfortunately!

Yet, on the other hand, God also knows when we are in rebellion, or being hard- hearted or stiff neck, or being self-centered about certain sins that we truly desire and could care less about the consequences, or of the loss of fellowship with God!

Again, our God knows the difference between weakness or rebellion that lies within each one of us!

Again I John 3: 20 says,  For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, for He knows all things.

Finally concerning this last area of *repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a Godly desire to seek out Godly help, and counsel, and accountability.  That is my willingness to be discipled by another, or to be spiritually mentored by another so that I can be an overcomer, and not overcome.

See Proverbs 27: 17.                                                                                                       As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Now, see Proverbs 17: 17.  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Lastly, see Proverbs 18: 24.  A man who has friends must himself be friendly, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Again, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a Godly desire to seek out Godly help, and counsel, and accountability. That is my willingness to be discipled by another, or to be spiritually mentored by another so That I can be an overcomer, and not overcome.

11-11-2018   Part 29   

Well, with God’s help we are almost at the end of our series concerning the subject of forgiveness and unforgiveness and what does the Bible has to say about such things.

In fact, over the past several months, off and on, we have learned together about forgiveness and unforgiveness we can have towards one another.

And recently we’ve finished up learning together how important it is, to seek and receive God’s forgiveness and repentance that he so freely gives.

However, this afternoon as we begin to finish up this long series, we need to address one more particular matter when it comes to the subject of forgiveness.

We must address a very popular notion that exists today among certain groups that believe or teach that you and I should know how to forgive our own selves for whatever we wave done in the past! 

Listen, if you were involved In a secular or maybe Christian drug or other substance abuse recovery program at one time.

Or, if you were Involved in a secular or maybe Christian psychological counseling program.  The chances are, you were probably exposed to the notion that you need to forgive yourself for whatever you have done in the past.

Or, you may have been misinformed or misled by some popular tv & radio talk shows, or certain podcasts, or certain youTube videos that over emphasized the notion that you need to forgive yourself for whatever you have done in the past.

Because for a lot of people this sounds good.  And for many they may think it is the right thing to do!

But, what does the Bible Have to say about this popular belief? 

Does the Bible teach either, dual forgiveness, or self-absolution?  For example, dual forgiveness teaches that we are first forgiven by God.  But then, at some point in time you are to forgive your own self as well!

On the other hand, self-absolution teaches that we or some other person can absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices we have made.

And sometimes St. John 20: 23 Is referred to or quoted, but only half of the verse is refer to, the second half of this verse is usually left out!

I’ll show you what I mean!

Now, notice St. John 20: 23a.  Jesus is speaking to the Apostles after His Resurrection and His many appearances.                                                                     Vs. 23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them!” Wow!

And some have suggested and maybe you feel this way to, “If we can forgive the sins of another, surely we can forgive our own selves as well!”

But actually, in St. John 20: 23, we must read the entire verse to understand Its meaning, and who is being spoken unto based on the response, when we share the gospel with another person.

Show you what I mean!

Read St. John 20: 23 from the Amplified Bible.                                                   Vs. 23.  If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven, because of their faith; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained and remain unforgiven, because of their unbelief.

Listen, St. John 20: 23 is not teaching that we or someone else can absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices we have made.

But actually, our Lord Jesus is saying to His disciples both then and now. That, based on a person’s response when we share with them the Gospel, and they personally believe and except with God’s help, and they put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only.  Not by their good works.  Nor, by their religious affiliation, if they have one.  But they simply put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only as their personal Lord and Savior. Then, according to their faith that they are demonstrating, we can with certainty, say your sins are forgiven by God!

On the other hand, based on a person response when we share with them the Gospel and they personally will not believe but reject with Satan’s help, and they choose not to put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only.  But they are depending on their good works.  Or, their religious affiliation, if they have one. Then according to their lack of faith they are demonstrating.  Then unfortunately We may have to say unto them your sins are not forgiven by God!

So once again, is either dual forgiveness, or self-absolution really taught In the Bible?

Can we at some point learn to forgive ourselves?                                                   Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?              And the answer is, not at all!                                                                                       But let me show you why?

Now notice Mark 2:                                                                                                        Vs. 5.  When Jesus saw their faith (notice vs. 3&4), Jesus said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven you.                                                                     Vs. 6.  And some of the Scribes were sitting there and reasoning within their hearts, Vs. 7.  Why does this man speak blasphemies like this?  *Who can forgive sins but God alone?

By the way, this is the only time in the Bible, that the Scribes and Pharisees were correct in their assessment.

Now notice again vs. 7b, who can forgive sins but God alone?                                       That’s good theology!                                                                                              That’s correct theology!                                                                                              Show you what I mean!

See Daniel 9: 9.                                                                                                    To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

Next see Luke 11:                                                                                                        Vs. 2. So He said to them, when you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.                           Vs. 3. Give us day by day our daily bread.                                                                       Vs. 4. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

And lastly, notice Luke 23: 34.   Then Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do!  And the soldiers divided the Lord’s garments and cast lots.  In this case, an ancient form of gambling that would be similar to the throwing of dice in our day to determine a winner.

Now notice again vs. 7b.  Who can forgive sins but God alone?                                 And this is why Jesus response later in vs. 10 to their unspoken statement was so extraordinary!

Notice vs. 10.  And Jesus said, so that you may know that the Son of Man has power or authority on earth to forgive sins. Wow!

So once again, are we supposed to forgive ourselves?

Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?

Now, Philippians 3: 13.                                                                                       Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead!

Listen, it’s not about forgiving ourselves, but it is about forgetting those things that are behind, and pressing on, or moving ahead with God’s help.

We cannot forgive ourselves, but we can except, and receive, and be grateful and free, because of God‘s forgiveness towards you and me!

But from time to time.  And in various ways that are contrary to the Word of God, and the will of God, we still sin!

And last Sunday we began to look at what the Bible says about Biblical repentance.  Especially in the way that the Holy Spirit can produce in you and me if we cooperate.  A lasting change and an authentic transformation through the repentance that the Holy Spirit so freely gives.

In fact, we have been considering what you and I should expect when the Holy Spirit produce this kind of change and transformation through the repentance that He so freely gives!

And last Sunday we considered the first two areas in which the Holy Spirit will produce in you and me this kind of repentance that is life-changing and real!

So then, this afternoon lets finish up our brief look at divine repentance by considering these last two areas by which the Holy Spirit can produce in you and me, this kind of repentance that is life-changing and real!

Now, let’s consider this first area of repentance that comes from God and not from self, can produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and over my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Explain a little bit about how this can work.

Listen, there will be a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and over my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD, why?

See Ephesians 4: 30.                                                                                                    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Listen, because we are connected spiritually with the Holy Spirit, and because the Holy Spirit dwells literally inside you and me, then we will feel what He feels.

If the Holy Spirit is grieved, then you will feel grieved because you are connected spiritually with Him.

Now again, this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over my sin and my sinful ways, even though I have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

An example. Remember (Peter) in Matthew 26: 75.                                          And Peter recalled the word of Jesus who had said to him.  Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.  So, Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Also, remember (Judas) in Matthew 27: 3&4.                                                              Vs. 3. Then Judas the Betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned by the chief priests and elders, the KJV says, “Judas repented himself.”                                                                                              But the NKJV says, “Judas was only remorseful”.                                                         For Judas brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and Elders,    Vs. 4.  Saying I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.  And the chief priests and elders said to Judas, what is that to us?  You see to it, or you deal with that!

Remember this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over our sins and over our sinful ways, even though we have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Now notice see II Corinthians 7:                                                                                  Vs. 10. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading unto Salvation which is not to be regretted.  However, the sorrow or remorsefulness of the world produces death.                       Vs. 11. Therefore, observe this very thing that you sorrowed, or were saddened in a Godly or different manner.

For example, *What diligence it produced in you.  Next, *what clearing of yourselves.  Next, *what indignation. Next, *what fear.  Next, *what vehement desire.  Next, *what zeal.  And lastly, *and what vindication.  So that in all things just mention, you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Quote Matthew 5: 4 Jesus said, blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Now remember that this repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a temporary sadness, or a grieving, or a broken heartedness over our sins and over our sinful ways, even though we have acknowledged and confessed such things unto the LORD.

Notice see I John 3: 20.                                                                                          For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, for He knows all things.

Listen, our God knows the difference between weakness or rebellion that lies within each one of us!

In other words, God knows when we are spiritually weak or spiritually immature, and therefore we will struggle with certain sins, or, we are easily overwhelmed or overcome by them and by the enemy unfortunately!

Yet, on the other hand, God also knows when we are in rebellion, or being hard- hearted or stiff neck, or being self-centered about certain sins that we truly desire and could care less about the consequences, or of the loss of fellowship with God!

Again, our God knows the difference between weakness or rebellion that lies within each one of us!

Again I John 3: 20 says,                                                                                          For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, for He knows all things.

Finally concerning this last area of *repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a Godly desire to seek out Godly help, and counsel, and accountability.  That is my willingness to be discipled by another, or to be spiritually mentored by another so that I can be an overcomer, and not overcome.

See Proverbs 27: 17.                                                                                                       As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Now, see Proverbs 17: 17.  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Lastly, see Proverbs 18: 24.  A man who has friends must himself be friendly, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Again, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a Godly desire to seek out Godly help, and counsel, and accountability. That is my willingness to be discipled by another, or to be spiritually mentored by another so That I can be an overcomer, and not overcome.

11-11-2018   Part 29   

Well, with God’s help we are almost at the end of our series concerning the subject of forgiveness and unforgiveness and what does the Bible has to say about such things.

In fact, over the past several months, off and on, we have learned together about forgiveness and unforgiveness we can have towards one another.

And recently we’ve finished up learning together how important it is, to seek and receive God’s forgiveness and repentance that he so freely gives.

However, this afternoon as we begin to finish up this long series, we need to address one more particular matter when it comes to the subject of forgiveness.

We must address a very popular notion that exists today among certain groups that believe or teach that you and I should know how to forgive our own selves for whatever we wave done in the past! 

Listen, if you were involved In a secular or maybe Christian drug or other substance abuse recovery program at one time.

Or, if you were Involved in a secular or maybe Christian psychological counseling program.  The chances are, you were probably exposed to the notion that you need to forgive yourself for whatever you have done in the past.

Or, you may have been misinformed or misled by some popular tv & radio talk shows, or certain podcasts, or certain youTube videos that over emphasized the notion that you need to forgive yourself for whatever you have done in the past.

Because for a lot of people this sounds good.  And for many they may think it is the right thing to do!

But, what does the Bible Have to say about this popular belief? 

Does the Bible teach either, dual forgiveness, or self-absolution?  For example, dual forgiveness teaches that we are first forgiven by God.  But then, at some point in time you are to forgive your own self as well!

On the other hand, self-absolution teaches that we or some other person can absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices we have made.

And sometimes St. John 20: 23 Is referred to or quoted, but only half of the verse is refer to, the second half of this verse is usually left out!

I’ll show you what I mean!

Now, notice St. John 20: 23a.  Jesus is speaking to the Apostles after His Resurrection and His many appearances.                                                                     Vs. 23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them!” Wow!

And some have suggested and maybe you feel this way to, “If we can forgive the sins of another, surely we can forgive our own selves as well!”

But actually, in St. John 20: 23, we must read the entire verse to understand Its meaning, and who is being spoken unto based on the response, when we share the gospel with another person.

Show you what I mean!

Read St. John 20: 23 from the Amplified Bible.                                                   Vs. 23.  If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven, because of their faith; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained and remain unforgiven, because of their unbelief.

Listen, St. John 20: 23 is not teaching that we or someone else can absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices we have made.

But actually, our Lord Jesus is saying to His disciples both then and now. That, based on a person’s response when we share with them the Gospel, and they personally believe and except with God’s help, and they put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only.  Not by their good works.  Nor, by their religious affiliation, if they have one.  But they simply put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only as their personal Lord and Savior. Then, according to their faith that they are demonstrating, we can with certainty, say your sins are forgiven by God!

On the other hand, based on a person response when we share with them the Gospel and they personally will not believe but reject with Satan’s help, and they choose not to put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ only.  But they are depending on their good works.  Or, their religious affiliation, if they have one. Then according to their lack of faith they are demonstrating.  Then unfortunately We may have to say unto them your sins are not forgiven by God!

So once again, is either dual forgiveness, or self-absolution really taught In the Bible?

Can we at some point learn to forgive ourselves?                                                    Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?                   And the answer is, not at all!                                                                                       But let me show you why?

Now notice Mark 2:                                                                                                        Vs. 5.  When Jesus saw their faith (notice vs. 3&4), Jesus said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven you.                                                                     Vs. 6.  And some of the Scribes were sitting there and reasoning within their hearts,   Vs. 7.  Why does this man speak blasphemies like this?  *Who can forgive sins but God alone?

By the way, this is the only time in the Bible, that the Scribes and Pharisees were correct in their assessment.

Now notice again vs. 7b, who can forgive sins but God alone?                                       That’s good theology!                                                                                              That’s correct theology!                                                                                              Show you what I mean!

See Daniel 9: 9.                                                                                                    To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

Next see Luke 11:                                                                                                        Vs. 2. So He said to them, when you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.                           Vs. 3. Give us day by day our daily bread.                                                                       Vs. 4. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

And lastly, notice Luke 23: 34.   Then Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do!  And the soldiers divided the Lord’s garments and cast lots.  In this case, an ancient form of gambling that would be similar to the throwing of dice in our day to determine a winner.

Now notice again vs. 7b.  Who can forgive sins but God alone?                                 And this is why Jesus response later in vs. 10 to their unspoken statement was so extraordinary!

Notice vs. 10.  And Jesus said, so that you may know that the Son of Man has power or authority on earth to forgive sins. Wow!

So once again, are we supposed to forgive ourselves?

Can we or someone else absolve our past sins, or our sinful choices that we have made?

Now, Philippians 3: 13.                                                                                       Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead!

Listen, it’s not about forgiving ourselves, but it is about forgetting those things that are behind, and pressing on, or moving ahead with God’s help.

We cannot forgive ourselves, but we can except, and receive, and be grateful and free, because of God‘s forgiveness towards you and me!