Talking about Forgiveness
Talking about Forgiveness
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him —2 Corinthians 5:21
Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins— the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ confronted in people was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the gospel that the message of the gospel has lost its sting and its explosive power.
The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch. God made His own Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint. It is revealed throughout the Bible that our Lord took on Himself the sin of the world through identification with us, not through sympathy for us. He deliberately took on His own shoulders, and endured in His own body, the complete, cumulative sin of the human race. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. . .” and by so doing He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be. And now anyone can experience that reconciliation, being brought into oneness with God, on the basis of what our Lord has done on the cross.
A man cannot redeem himself— redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete. And its application to individual people is a matter of their own individual action or response to it. A distinction must always be made between the revealed truth of redemption and the actual conscious experience of salvation in a person’s life.
by Oswald Chambers
Every believer has the responsibility to be a godly influence. Through our example and testimony, we are to help people gain a better understanding of Jesus Christ and the way to follow Him. From what the Bible tells us about the prophet Daniel, he was a man who used his influence wisely. His consistent witness impacted not just his friends but also four kings and their kingdoms.
Daniel possessed a strong conviction that every word of Scripture was true. He consequently declined to eat food from the king’s table, because Exodus 34:15 forbade consuming anything offered to idols (this was a common practice in Babylonia). Daniel’s commitment to God outweighed any fear of reprisal for turning down royal provisions.
The Lord honored Daniel’s conviction by ensuring that he found favor among powerful men. God also gave Daniel and his friends wisdom and knowledge that would serve them well as royal officials—positions that guaranteed godly influence would spread throughout the kingdom.
In all likelihood, very few of us will have opportunity to influence kings. But our example can have impact in a workplace or neighborhood, or even across generations. As was true of Daniel, a godly influence is rooted in the belief that the Bible is God’s inerrant Word. If our convictions aren’t based on scriptural principles, the pattern of our life cannot be consistent—then, we’ll chase after preferences instead of standing upon doctrine. Therefore, a commitment to stand on the bedrock of God’s Word is not negotiable.
“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:3)
This beautiful Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament book of Isaiah compares the coming of Christ to the rising of the sun.
The rest of this chapter in Isaiah seems to stress His coming in glory at the future end of the age (e.g., “the LORD shall be thine everlasting light,” Isaiah 60:20), but our text verse had at least a precursive fulfillment when the Gentile wise men from the east came to Bethlehem to honor Jesus soon after His birth.
Other Messianic prophecies used a similar metaphor. For example, there is Malachi 4:2: “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.”
Christ Himself made the same comparison. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). He would not serve as the light for only the Jews; He is the light of the whole world!
The theme of global light through Christ is often found in the Old Testament. “I the LORD . . . will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles. . . . It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6).
It will all be perfectly and eternally fulfilled in the New Jerusalem, “for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: . . . for there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:23-25). HMM
As his share is that goetb down to the battle, so shall his share be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall share alike.—1 Samuel 30:24 (R. V.).
WORSHIP or service,—which? Ah, that is best
To which He calls us, be it toil or rest—
To labor for Him in life’s busy stir,
Or seek His feet, a silent worshipper.
CAROLINE A. MASON.
LET us no more yearn for present employment when God’s providence bids us “be still,” than we would think it good to yearn after cessation while God bids work. Shall we not miss a blessing if we call rest a weariness and a discontent, no less than if we called God’s work a thankless labor? If we would be holy in body and spirit, shall we not keep smooth brow, light heart, whether He bids us serve His table, or wait our summons? EDWARD WHITE BENSON.
He who acts with a view to please God alone, wishes to have that only which it pleases God that he should have, and at the time and in the way which may be most agreeable to Him; and, whether he have it or not, he is equally tranquil and contented, because in either case he obtains his wish, and fulfils his intention, which was no other than purely to please God.
O Lord God, … with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. 2 Samuel 7:29
Thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever. — The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It more blessed to give than to receive. — When thou makest a feast call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. — Come, ye blessed my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
The LORD God is a sun and shield.
1 Chronicles 17:27. Proverbs 10:22. Acts. 20:35. Luke 14:13,14. Matthew 25:34-36. Psalm 41:1. Psalm 84:11.
The meek will he teach his way. Psalm 25:9
Blessed are the meek.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill. — A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God. — Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.
Matthew 5:5. Ecclesiastes 9:11. Proverbs 16:9. Psalm 123:1,2. Psalm 143:8. 2 Chronicles 20:12. James 1:5. John 16:13.