We have the forgiveness of sin.

 

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7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:7-10

The large problem standing in between our union with God is sin. Its the problem Jesus came to deal with as He came from the communion of God, took on flesh, was born of Mary, crucified on the cross, buried in the tomb and raised from the dead. The word for sin here indicates a “trespass” against God. Trespassing occurs when we cross a boundary and enter space that is not ours. Its not that we have entered God’s space, but that we actually left the bounds of His character, will, and word. In leaving that boundary we have been taken captive. Now Jesus came to pay the price.

Jesus paid our redemption price so we can be united with Him again and become participants in the full union work He is planning: the union of things in heaven and things on earth. Jesus’ redemption price – the giving of his blood – is constantly available to you for the forgiveness of sin. When it seems like we are being taken captive by sin again, its time to enter into God’s glorious purpose for you: Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of your sin that you might be with Him!

What the heart desperately needs

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“Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Mark 2:5

Outrageous! Four friends break through the roof and let their paralyzed friend down through the roof to Jesus’ fee. Jesus had just announced forgiveness for a man let down through the roof by four friends. They wanted healing for their friend.

The first healing Jesus offered was forgiveness for sins. That’s the first miracle.

“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5

The religious in the crowd were outraged. The social posture toward suffering would have lead them to wonder what the young man must of done to merit such punishment. But Jesus interrupts this thought. “Son your sins are forgiven.”

Forgiveness is outrageous. It always costs.  The cost must be borne by the one giving the forgiveness. The damage must be metabolized by the one who says, “you owe me nothing.” Jesus did not simply speak for God. He was speaking authoritatively as God. Jesus perceives their indignation and says,

Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” (Mark 2:8-11)

The second miracle is what the friends came for. But the first is the deep need of human hearts. Jesus has the authority to meet our heart’s deep need for restoration with God through forgiveness of sins.

It’s personal

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2And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”  Matthew 9:2

It was a fact; this young man was a paralytic. That’s public information. What was not so public was the deepest need of his life: forgiveness.

His friends brought the young man to Jesus, so he could be healed. And he was healed first from the inside and then in his external relationships and capacities. That’s what forgiveness does. Jesus used the physical miracle here to demonstrate the reality of His authority for the spiritual miracle of forgiveness. The wonderful thing about it: there was nothing the could do to earn such forgiveness. That’s grace!

Only God can forgive sins: the act and condition of acting and being separate from Him. Jesus came from the communion of the Father and Spirit with a mission: to deal with our sin problem. His announcements of forgiveness were a prelude to the cross.

 

Our sin – God takes it personally.

 

(50 Day Gospel Challenge: Matthew 9-10)

Power to Forgive Us

Power to Forgive Us

 

Jesus said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”   Luke 5:20-21

 

Forgiveness.

 

It must be delivered by the one

 

who has been offended or treated dishonorably.

 

We see that the religious people

 

listening in on Jesus’ conversation

 

with the paralyzed man

 

were rightly offended for as far as they knew

 

Jesus had no authority

 

to forgive

 

sin.

 

We see a paralyzed man loved by four friends,

 

lowered through a roof,

 

meeting Jesus and he’s forgiven, set free, and healed.

 

We see our deathly independent condition rendering us incapable

 

of merit, of sacrifices, or of goodness

 

sufficient to satisfy the heights God’s holiness.

 

But we see Jesus

 

who has authority to forgive;

 

It’s because of who He is.

 

He came down from the Father, and

 

suffered the humility of the Cross,

 

to forgive us

 

of sin.

 

Who will love us enough to bring us to Jesus?

Love is not a cover-up

Scripture:  1 Peter 4:7-11 (Focus on verse 8)

7The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Observations:

Above all:  of great importance.

Keep on loving one another earnestly.

Since, love covers a multitude of sins.

Application:

At the end of an exhausting and stressful day my margins were spent and my mouth was the evidence:  @&! *%^##!!!!

The next day I was amused and convicted as my wife proceeded to tell me how glad she was to hear me express my frustration.  Ha!

Love is a not a cover-up when it comes to sin.  There is no pretending about reality.  Rather love deals with and metabolizes sin in an effort to value and build up the relationship.  We leave and are done with sin because of a greater experience and vision of love.  Being confronted, forgiven, and loved is life changing.

Love is a choice.  The importance of being earnest cannot be underestimated!  Earnestness is an attitude that keeps us leaning into the relationship.  As a follower of Jesus we lean in with grace seeking to call out the Holy Spirit’s deep yearnings and longings for us to be to revealed as God’s children.

How can we be this way in the church?  Where is the earnest community of Jesus’ disciples?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me with a long-suffering enduring love.  Thank you for the grace of Jesus that mercifully covers our sin.  I need your healing touch again today and the Spirit’s reminder to freely give.  AMEN.