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Faithlife

Are Your Sins Forgiven

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Introduction

Let me start by asking you a question..... Ready?
Would you go to a gas station that was known to frequently have a little water in its tanks?
Not a lot mind you, it might even be a friend that owns the station, but everyone once in a while, enough that we notice… there is a little water in the storage tanks.
Would you keep going?
Now I bet, I just bet I know the answer to that question...
No....
Why? You don’t want the hassle, you don't want the problems associated with water in gas and you certainly do not want to hurt your car or its engine.
All that is costly… costly in many ways.
So the answer is simple, we will find a new gas station.
You will avoid the old one for the fear of it causing you trouble...
Now here is another question?
So, what about sin?
If we know something is sinful, do we keep going back to it?
And this is where the line blurs some,
Oh, hear me, the line is not supposed to blur!, but people and yes, Christians blur it because we tend to justify sin.
We categorize sin… bad, really bad… oh you going to hell for sure..
But to God.. Sin is sin.
And if we know something is sin, why do we return to it?
People tend to justify it
My friends, the choice is black and white… we either do or we do not.. correct?
Now in the Old Testament, we find that Israel, the children of God are toying with sin, playing it , not worried about it. Justifying it...
God has taken notice and as sent His a prophet to speak to them, to declare the word of the Lord to them...
It is Isaiah...
If you have your Bibles this morning lets find the Old Testament prophet of Isaiah.
and lets find chapter 59...
Isaiah 59:1–2 ESV
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Isaiah 59:1-
Now the 59th chapter says a lot more in regard to sin, and the problem it causes. But these two verses are enough for us to see that sin separates us from God.
Sin is the one thing, the one problem, the one disease that keeps us from being used by God to the fullest of our ability.
And Sin is the one problem that often robs us of our peace, joy and yes, even blessings.
So this morning I want us to consider two main thoughts today about sin, any my topic: Are your sins forgiven?
So lets begin today....

1. What do we know about sin?

Sin is like many things in life, man knows a lot about sin. And why not, they are listed, talked about and we are warned against them in the Holy Scriptures.
Sin is dangerous, I propose to you my friends that it is far more destructive than TNT, it is more destructive than war and it is more destructive than disease.
Now how can I say that.... war is horrible. Explosives are powerful and deadly and disease can kill and whip out many, many thousands of people quickly, silently.
Sin my friends is just as destructive.
Here is what sin does.....

A. Sin separates us...

Have you ever considered the effects of sin on the person. The very first thing sin does is separate us from God.
Look back at our text again...
Isaiah 59:2 ESV
2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Isaiah 59:1–2 ESV
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Verse 2 says that our iniquities have separated us, placed a dividing wall between us and God.
Verse 2 says that our iniquities have separated us, placed a dividing way between us and God.
The word iniquities (literally sin) here refers to the sinful actions of Israel, these actions - iniquities is the Hebrew word Ba-dal means that a wall or curtain has been raised, it has divided and separated the children of Israel from God. It was their doing, God was there but they chose to leave him out.
Separation is a terrible thing.
Consider this thought.....
Have you ever been away from home and you didn’t have the means to talk to your loved ones?
It’s hard, it makes us sad and lonely. We would do anything to be able to stop and speak to them.
Now consider your relationship with God...
How do you think God feels when His children raise up a wall of division between Him and them. How do you think He feels knowing we chose something over Him??
It’s terrible my friends, just terrible.
Separation is not the only by-product of sin..
Now lets switch gears just a bit, have you ever thought of sin as a disease.
a virus, a sickness that spreads, infects and brings death if left un-treated?

B. Sin Contaminates us .....

Have you every thought about sin as something that contaminates you?
When I consider that thought I think about the concept of being “unclean”
The state of being a Jewish citizen and having been pronounced as “Unclean” meant that you were unable to be around others, unable to participate in the daily life of the community, often being forced to living outside the camp or the city.
And finally, being “unclean’ meant you were not able to worship with others, you are not able to interact or participate in the community worship of God. you could not give sacrifices, you could not stand in the temple area, nothing was possible because they were “unclean.”
The same is true of us, when we are contaminated by sin, have unforgiven sin or sins in our lives we are cut off from God.
Why? remember sin separates. .
When we allow sin to stand in our lives, I want you to know this truth… Don't think you will be ok, and certainly do not think God is ok with it either.
Sin separates, it hinders our prayer life, our interaction between us and God. Sin hinders our relationship between God and others as well.
The solution… cleanse yoursleves....
So we are asked to make our selves clean before the Lord
Let me share this passage with you…
2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
Chapter 7 here in 2 Corinthians, is a “therefore” chapter. what do i mean?
Verse 1 says ‘Since we have these promises..” what promises?
Those things previuosly mentioned in the book… , for example Reconcilation in chapter 5, Grace in chapter 6, it is because of those precious promises that we have been given, we are to cleanse ourselves from every defilement, contaminate....
why?
There is no place for sin in the life of a Christian.... It is like walking around with a bad, unwanted disease .. and we do not have too.
We do not have to remain in that condition.
Those outside of Christ, they do not have to remain this way ....
And those in Christ....we do not have to remain in sin either.
So what is the remedy? Well without a doubt Jesus is the remedy. And the word of God has told us what the Lord desires.

2. The Remedy the Lord Desires....

Now without a doubt no one likes being sick.
We hate it when a cold or a virus comes along… But we like hearing the doctor say, I know just what you need to get over this mess.
That always makes us feel a little better, does it not?
So he prescribes a shot, maybe some medicine and before long we are starting to feel better and soon we are well.
Now the solution is the same for us, no matter who we are.
When we are hindered and hurt by sin… if you are outside the household of faith, meaning you have never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. There is a remedy to make you well .
And for those of us of the household of faith there is a remedy for us as well.
Now what a person might be asking, it might be different circumstances of course. but for man, it always begins with recognition.
A. Recognition, we might also call this Admit
We come to terms with where we are at? When I was 18, I made the realization that without Jesus I would never make heaven, I wouldn’t see my loved one who had gone on before me an and without Jesus I had no hope.
My recognition was this… I was a sinner and had no hope what so ever…
And today if you are here, do you know, are you certain that Jesus is your Savior and Lord? It begins with that recognition, of that you need Jesus.
And if you are a saved child of God.... recognition for you might be… there is some sin, some dirty little things that I have keep away from the Lord. He knows they are there but you haven’t admitted it to him....
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Recognition is knowing where you are.., and where you need to be.....
Recognition is knowing where you are.., and where you need to be.....
So where are you today?
Are you saved today, you are certain that you have asking Jesus into your heart.
Are you His, but are carrying around some junk in your life?
and then confession must take place...

B. Confession

Confession is like releasing.... You let go of it and you give it to God.
Here is a great example i think
In we find the King of Israel, David. He as categorized as a man after God’s own heart..
But there was sin in his life at times… deals with one in particular. He saw Bathsheba one afternoon taking a bath and he lusted after her, desired her and well, it went down hill from there...
God knew His sin, God sent Nathan the prophet to show him his sin… and here in , David confess it to the Lord.
Listen with me at
Psalm 51:1–6 ESV
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Psalm 51:1–4 ESV
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Do you see his confession....
Do you see his confession....
David had to confess his sinn, that was part of the solution to overcome and grow with God again.
If there is unforgiven sin in your life, we cannot grow in your relationship with God until you deal with it, until you admit to God it is there like He has been pointing it out to you and then confess it.
Also getting rid of it involves repentance.
and then repent

C. Repentance is necessary

Release it, get rid of it, tell Him you want nothing more to do with it.. and He will help you overcome!
Repentance is where were are sorry for our sin, not sorry we got caught, but sorry for the damage it has done, sorry for the separation it has brought and sorry for the hurt it has caused in your life.
Repentance is also a change of mind, we turn from our sin and never visit it again. Literally a 360… we were pursing one direction and we change totally and go another way. The right way
1 Peter 3:11 ESV
11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
We repent and never turn to that thing again.....
Hebrews 9:22 ESV
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
You see the Lord makes promise in the Old testament that we need to be reminded of..
listen to Jeremiah 15:19
Jeremiah 15:19 ESV
19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
Jeremiah
If we return the Lord promises to bless and to help and yes my friends the Lord promises to forgive..
says
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we repent and confess our sin he promises to forgive...
The word forgive in the Greek literally means to pardon, to send away… for the Lord to forgive the Scriptures remind us that He, God casts our sins as far a away as the east is from the west, he places them at the bottom of the sea.
and then He cleanses us.... to rub out, wash, to purify… all of those meanings remind us that we are clean, to be washed in the blood means we are clean that God sees not us, not our sin, but instead he sees Jesus in us.
Hebrews 9:22 ESV
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
His blood, the red, rich redeeming blood of Jesus has provided our pardon, once and for all over sin.
wow
He has redeemed us, bought us back by the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus.
He gave all that to us so that our sins might be forgiven.
There is not a more greater promise for us to look to and hold on to today.
So the question comes back to us again today...
Are your sins forgiven....
1 Peter 3:8–11 ESV
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
Are your sins forgiven… doesn’t matter who you are today. Are your sins forgiven
Isaiah 59:1–8 ESV
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness. 4 No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity. 5 They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched. 6 Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. 7 Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. 8 The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
Isaiah 59
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