After The Storm

shipwreckSTUDY 4 OF 8 :           ROCK SOLID SERIES OCTOBER 2016      PASTOR BARRY                   THE GATHERING CHURCH

 FAILURE Colossians 1:13-14, 2:13-14             Last week we looked at how we were created to do the good works of God  (Ephesians 2:10). In fact, by His grace we were saved from the dominion of darkness for such a purpose, but what happens if we should fail in that task?  What if we  1.) Build our “house” on the Rock of Jesus Christ and follow Him 2.) Stand on His promises daily 3.) Seek to show others His way… and then get knocked on our butt by a storm of life?  Worse yet, what if we are the storm and our actions blow others off course?  What if we backslide in our faith and fall into sin? Worse yet, what if we were to make provisions for a sin that we enjoy?  What if we should utterly fail God in faithfulness?  Is God finished with us?  When we slip into the sea of sin will He leave us to drown?  After the storm, when we have failed God, will we be abandoned?

The answer is a resounding “no!” As a child of God, we will not be cast aside even if we should fail. The Apostle Paul tells us we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That God forgave us “ALL” our sins, having canceled the charge of our (spiritually) legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us”.

FORGIVEN (PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE) 1 John 1:8-2:2, Romans 8:1-17                                  One might well say, “Yes, I believe that I am forgiven for all my sins when I come to Christ but what about sins committed after I know better.  I mean, its one thing to slip into the sea and cry out for help, but it is another thing entirely to jump in against all instruction and then cry out again!”  Yes, it certainly is, but the Bible clearly teaches that your willful disobedience and stupidity doesn’t alter the promise of God.  “He who promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:23

 The Apostle John reminds us that if we confess our sins that Christ will “forgive us of our sins and purify us from unrighteousness”.  He writes so that we “will not sin. But if anybody does sin” he reminds us that we “have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ.”  We have a dumping zone for our present sins in Christ.  Not that we are to continue in sin, however; we have advocate if we should:

Advocate (lit. Greek= Paraclete: One that pleads the cause of another.  Jesus used this same word to describe the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life.  He being the “Spirit of truth” lives within us  (John 14:15-17), He will teach us all things and remind us of all that Jesus said (John 14:26).  He will convict the world of sin (John 16:8).

The Apostle Paul tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear but that He will provide a way out so that we can stand up under our temptations to sin.  That “way out” is through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.  If we should fail, or even fail others, God will not fail us.  He will forgive us as we confess our sin.  He will pull us back up out of the sea of our sinning and He will help us to stand once again on the solid rock of our salvation.  We may experience the bitter consequences of our sin but we will not lose our salvation. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  There will be earthly consequences, there will be      conviction (by the Holy Spirit) not to sin again, but there will never be condemnation for the believer ever again…Christ has dealt with that on the cross once and for all.

FORGIVNESS John 20:21-23, Colossians 3:12-14

Freely you have received, freely give.  Matthew 10:8

 What an amazing gift we who believe have been given.  We have been freely given this gift of forgiveness by Christ and so we are called to pass it on to others.  In fact, as the father sent Jesus to give us this great peace, He sends us to do the same.  There is great peace in knowing you are forgiven of your sins, peace that an unbeliever will never experience.

Jesus makes a strange statement in John’s gospel.  He appeared to His disciples who were locked behind a door and full of fear that the Romans who had tortured and killed their    beloved teacher and friend would soon be after them.  They were no doubt also full of hate and unforgiveness at the same.  Jesus appeared to them, breathed on them and told them to (temporarily) receive the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit filled the believers permanently after Pentecost once Jesus ascended into Heaven: Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, John 16:7).  Then He said “If you forgive anyone’s sin, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”.  What could Jesus have meant by this command?  Jesus had authority on earth to forgive sins (Mark 2:10) has He passed that authority on to us?

When a Christian experiences the forgiveness of Christ and then passes it on to others who have victimized him or her, the power of the Holy Spirit is released in the most powerful of ways and people are saved!  Who could forgive being stripped naked publicly, whipped half to death, paraded through the streets while being mocked, then nailed to a cross and crucified?

Jesus did (Luke 23:34) and a thief on a cross (and a world of others) was saved as a result of His testimony.  When a Christian forgives salvation is proclaimed in the most profound of ways.  If a Christian does not forgive that door is closed.  Seek God to forgive those who have hurt you.  The Holy Spirit will help you do this.  It will free you and present Christ to one that perhaps no one else can ever reach.

We are chosen people, made holy (set apart as righteous) by Christ and dearly loved.  We are forgiven of all our sins; past, present and future.  We may fail at times but we are never a failure to Him.  We may have failed others, but we are forgiven by Him.  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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