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The Power of Forgiveness

John Bradshaw


God describes Himself as being a forgiving God. Join Pastor John Bradshaw and discover how the power of forgiveness can revolutionize your life.


John Bradshaw

President of It Is Written



  • November 17, 2020
    4:30 PM
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Well, thanks for joining me. I'd like you to pray with me now and we'll together for God's blessing. Let's do that Father in Heaven. Thank you that together we can gather around the Bible. We ask for your wisdom. We pray for your Grace. We thank you for your leading. We expect that you will feed US with the bread of Heaven. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. If you mention Smithfield, Market, Smithfield market to anyone who knows much of anything at all about London England. And they'll know what you're talking about. Smithfield Market is a landmark and I call him that is it's historic for over a 1000 years. Smithfield was the side of London live stock market. That's why there is a cow Cross Street there today. The used to be a Goose Alley, a face into Court, and a dock Lane and more redevelopment meant that they are now no more. Smithfield, today is still a meat market among other things. But what's next door to Smithfield Market is what surprises people. Right next door to the historic market is something called City j. and it's a power plant, but the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom. And there it is right in the city of London. Since 993 city Gin has been producing enough power for 11 and a half 1000 times, and then it captures the byproduct heat, sends it off via a network of tunnels to buildings in the city of London. It also provides chilled water, which is used for cooling in several properties, Air conditioning systems. Every day people go to the market. Every day people drive all, probably more likely walk along Cha to House Street without even realizing that behind those walls of that facade on Chahta House Street. There is a real life power station. As unlikely, as it seems right there in the city of London. Now a similar thing could be said about New York City. You've seen pictures of steam coming up out the ground in New York City. Did you ever Wonder where it comes from? Why this steam coming up out of the ground, out of the sidewalks in New York City. That's actually Consolidated Edison moving steam around New York City as part of the largest commercial steam system in the World. It's so Big that it's a larger than the next 9 largest steam systems combined. All that energy being moved around the city and the vast majority of people don't even know that they are in such close proximity to great energy, real power. There is power in places that you might not expect. And I want to share with you right now, that there is power in forgiveness. I want to start by looking at an important Bible story. A passage starts as a story, and then segues seamlessly into a parable that Jesus taught. And you know that Jesus spoke in parables, not because he wanted to confuse US. But because he wanted US to really grasp the meaning of something. And so Let's begin together by both in Luke Chapter 7 and verse 36 showed you my Bible, and now I'm working on my tablet. And there's a simple reason for that, and that is, it's easy for me to see Luke 7 and verse $36.00. Let's look at this together. It says and one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisees House and sat down to meet or sat down at the table sat down to eat. Well, who were the Pharisees? We know this, the Pharisees were the religious up a Colossus, at least in their own minds. They would solid diligent, rigorous, strident in their observance of the law, the written law and the traditions. And if there was ever a group of people who suffer from delusions of grandeur, this was them. But they believed they were favored of God. And we see that attitude play out in the ensuing bushes. Pharisee encounters Jesus. And in verse $37.00, it says this. Remember, Ferris see invited Jesus for dinner, verse $37.00, and behold, a woman in the city which was a Cinna. When she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisees House brought and alabaster box, of which as you know or should suspect, was valuable. It was expensive. Now we have a contrast, a cinema and a cinema. 2, very similar things. Yes, except the contrast is one sin, it evidently knew that she was a sinner and the other Sena. This men was not nearly as conscious of his sin, as the woman was of who it pays to be conscious of your sin and your sinfulness. In fact, It's not easy to be close to Jesus and to be unconscious about your sin or even about sin itself. If you've ever driven towards a mountain range, Let's say for example, the Rocky Mountains. You might have seen the Rocky Mountains in the distance and thought to yourself, they're not so high. But then the closer you get to the Rockies, the law, they appear in your view. It's like that with sin. When you off from dog, you probably don't see your sin as being nearly as bad, nearly as terrible, nearly as a Lodge, as it is. But the closer you get to God the law your sins and your sinfulness appeal for this Lady persons appear to lauch. There was a man, though he could be a only see his sin. Evidently, his self righteousness kept him from really getting it. And so now little could look 7 in verse 38 with just read about the woman with the alabaster box of oil. She stood at his feet behind him, a weeping, and she began to wash his feet with her TIA's. And she did wipe them with the his head and kissed his feet and anointed them with Mint. So this Lady, you can understand who would do this. She was deeply moved. She had been broken evidently because of a sin. And here she was annoying to Jesus and blessing Jesus and demonstrating who great love for Jesus. Verse 39 says now when the Pharisee which had bidden him which had invited Jesus put into saw this. He spoke within himself saying, this man, if he was a prophet, he would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him for she is a sinner, isn't this an amazing thing? Let's pause here for a moment. Isn't this an amazing thing? Jesus, the Bible says, came to the World to save sin is to seek and save those who were lost and he was in the process of the Salvation taking place. And there were those nearby who just looked down then no, At what was happening. Let's never be in the place where we are. So self-righteous that when Christ extends Mercy to somebody, we sit in the place of judgment. We don't want to do that. What does the Bible say there? She was kissing Jesus' feet annoying Ting. Those feet with the oil meant that she had bought and there was a man who well, it's clear that this man didn't get it. And I don't fault him for that too much. That is, he was a product of his environment. He was a product of his culture. That's how he was raised to feel about people. That's how the Pharisees felt. Now his ignorance turned out to be a blessing for US because Jesus corrected him and therefore he helped US to see straight. So what happened to people, Jesus in the room, there were others, one Lady, she is Hot broken and she does something beautiful and tender for Jesus and she weeps at his feet. And another man is standing around saying, why is this woman being such a waste of 40 of Luke Chapter 7 and Jesus honoring sit on him. Simon, I have somewhat to say under the and he said, must say yawn. Teacha. Tell me what you've got to say. Now there is a detail here that you need to get. Make sure that you don't Miss this. It's found in a parallel account of this happening in mock 14 Bush story. You read where the Bible says and being in Bethany in the House of a sign in the left. As he said at meet there came a woman having an L. A best, a box of point of Spike, not very precious. And she broke the box and poured it on his head. Simon had been a leper. He had had a terminal illness. He had been given Well handed a death sentence, and then received from Jesus a New lease on life. Simon had stated certain death right in the face, and he being rescued for that. Now get that he be knocking on Death's door and Jesus had miraculously healed him. Graciously healed him, but evidently, although his body had been healed and his Hot head not being similarly touched, Jesus had something to say to him and Simon said, Say on, we will look in those 41 Jesus now began to teach a parable. He said there was a certain credit Which had to death one man, 2 different individuals owed him money. The one Desa owed him 500 Pence and the other 15. Now if you compare this to other place in the Bible, you may conclude you may deduce, I think appropriately, that the one man owed the credit to 500 days, wages. Now Let's just think about that today. Let's say people work 5 days a week. There is 50 weeks in a year because you took 2 weeks off $250.00. Today we might say, 2 years salary. What's the average salary? You're talking about tens of thousands of dollars now. And the other and 50 Pence, a 10th of that amount. One man, a considerable sum, one man, Oh dear, rather a vast sum those $42.00 says and when they had nothing to pay, he the creditor frankly for gave them both. Jesus said, Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most, Simon. And said, I suppose that he'd to whom he forgave most and he, Jesus said to him, you have a rightly judged Simon starting to get it. I don't know yet. If he knows that he gets it. But he's starting to see it. The lights are coming on. An interesting passage. One man is owed money by 2 different individuals, one man lesser say owes him a little. The other man owes a lot. He clears the debt of both of them. And Jesus asks the question, Which of them will love him? Most summers is probably going to be the one who said The great a debt forgiven. Jesus turned to the woman and he said to Simon, this is verse 44, Simon. You see this woman? I entered into your House, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with tears and wiped them with the his ability he'd. You gave me no kiss. But this woman, since the time I came in as a stop kissing my feet, my head with oil, you did not anoint. But this woman has anointed my feet. We're going to Mint and we Wonder why the difference, why the different reaction Jesus helps US understand that in verse 47. Wherefore I say unto you her sins, which are many Forgiven for she loved much, but to whom little is forgiven. The same love of the little you said to her, Your sins are forgiven. They that set at the table with him began to say within themselves. Who is this man who forgive sins? Also, he said to the woman your faith is saved. You go in peace here we see the power of forgiveness. Mary had been forgiven much and she knew it. And this called forth from her a response, a reaction, a reaction based on and immersed in love. Jesus had forgiven her and she knew it. And she was transformed by that forgiveness. Your sins are forgiven. A remarkable thing for Jesus to say, and we've looked at verse 49 in verse 50 already and people question what in the World was going on? Jesus spoke to those beautiful Woods. Your faith has saved you and he tells you To go in peace. That's because 50 Your faith has saved you. Now Let's think about this. The power of forgiveness, Simon, Unlike Mary, hadn't considered himself a sinner in need of God's great Grace and forgiveness. And therefore, his life hadn't been touched as was Isn't that something? Let's think that through for a moment, but speak to that. If you're cognizant of God's forgiveness, being at work in your life, that's going to have a tremendous and a transformative power on your life. Or in your life, maybe one of the things we need to do is actually start familiarising ourselves with the great sinfulness of sin. We live in a challenging age for that today because this is an anything goes something that was scandalous, a generation today, not so scandalous. Now what that means is we look at the same sin as our mothers and fathers looked at, but we see it through a different lens. It's not that we're more enlightened, it means that we're more jaded. You know, I don't want to sound too old hat, but there were some things that you couldn't say or c.e.o. portrayed on television just a generation ago. Some of that probably a little bit unnecessary. But some of probably not. And today we just let it go and don't give it another thought. You understand what I'm saying. And so we become jaded a little bit hard and towards sin. And so that should, that sin be in our life. We don't see it in the same way as we really should. We don't see it as being the great danger that it really is because we become inoculated against sin just a little bit. And we learn to dwell happily in its presence. And we learn to take less offense by and we start to feel a little less like we need to be careful and a little more like it just doesn't medicine much. If we aren't cognizant of the sinfulness of sin, it's going to be difficult for US to appreciate the power of forgiveness. You know, the Bible says that the wages of sin is you can finish it for me is what? That's right. The wages of sin is death. Sin leads to death. It was sin that nailed Jesus to that old rugged Cross. It was your sin, my sin that held him there that broke his heart, causing it to rupture in his chest cavity. It was sin that did that. You understand. It's deadly. You know, one thing that the coronavirus pandemic taught US is that when we have feel like we might get sick and there's not much we can do to keep it away. We get fearful. I'm not saying all that was wrong, you know, you wanted to take precautions and you want to be careful and that's appropriate. But people went to great lengths. Societies went to great lengths, businesses went to great lengths, communities went to great lengths. Nations went to great lengths to avoid a virus. Oh, don't think I'm talking it down. It was a devastating virus. And you know, there were whole countries that locked down for weeks and weeks and weeks. Economies were so badly affected and people couldn't go to funerals and folks couldn't have weddings and you were unable to travel anywhere at all. There were some parts of the would you be arrested if you stepped out your House? Because we were trying to avoid a virus to get me to understand what lengths people are going to to avoid sin. Imagine if we locked ourselves down in order to avoid sin. If we really felt like it was deadly, we might do a little more locking. Then we custom accustomed to doing if we really believe that the wages of sin is death and that sin could take your life, there might be places that you wouldn't You wouldn't go to a crowded. You wouldn't go to a crowded restaurant. You wouldn't go to a crowded reception hole because who knows who might be positive, a covered 19, and you might come home with an illness that to kill you. Well, Let's think about that from a spiritual point of view. Go to a crowded bus or a crowded nightclub or some Entertainment place, or could be any o. place, and you mix with the wrong people and give you the wrong things. And you've taken the wrong stuff. You might end up with an infection that you never shake off and it may cost you a whole lot more than your physical life may cost you your eternal life. Sin is deadly. Jesus came to save US from our sins and when you understand that and when you appreciate that, and when you, when you really get that, then you're going to be able to say all or I'm just so grateful and the power of God's forgiveness in your life is going to engender a reaction that be transformative in your experience. Only challenge you just a little bit, you know, what's easy. Now I've been around churches, you know, you know, different kind of churches or different, or different stripes and cons and sizes. I mean, years ago, I'm going to go to some churches where the Big emphasis is on how you feel. It's on the, on the moment. It's on the emotions, you know, and there will be people who are praising God and they're in a Rapture, and they're having just the most wonderful time and they're getting lost in the emotion of it all. That's Ok. I mean, I'm simply saying I'm not being critical of them. And then they leave and go right on back to a life of sin and go back to like a, like a pig going back to its own Dog going back to its own vomit. To use a biblical metaphor. So you've got some people over here with this kind of touchy, Feely Christian, emotional Christian. Over here, you've got another group of Christians that took Christianity and ran all the emotion right out of it. So there's no emotion. No, it's just a very cerebral approach. Yes, that's a doctrine and I agree with it. Yes, that's the teaching and I agree with it. Yes, that's the practice and I do it is a little bit of ferrous, a isn't in there. Sometimes where people are resting on what they do and what they believe for their Salvation is important to do right? Oh, sure isn't important to believe right. A man, a man that's why it is written, exists to help guide people in a right pot in the Word of God. That's why I'm here. But you can be right and wrong all at the same time. So Let's look at another passage. We'll go to John chapter 3, and of course you're thinking of John 3 in verse 16. So Let's start with John 316. It says, For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Let's pause right there. That's John 3 and a 16. So what was that? God loved the World because we were going to perish. So that now if we believe in Jesus, the Son that God sent into the World, we want perish. But we'll have everlasting life. 70. It's like the great unsung hero verse of the Bible. It's a beautiful John, 317, For God sent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through Him might be saved. All right, Saved from what? You shall call his name Jesus, Jesus, parents were told for he shall save his people from their sin. So Let's talk about this belief. Let's discuss this. In fact, I need to make sure I got this right here in my Bible, John chapter 3. And Let's look at it. We saw verse 16, we saw verse 17, and now verse 18. He who believes on him is not condemned. He that believes not, is condemned already because he hasn't believed in the name of the Only Begotten Son of God. Let me ask you a question about belief. What is it you believe? Now careful. If you believe that Jesus came into the World, if you believe that the 10 Commandments are valid, if you believe in the judgment, if you believe that the data with the date ought to be and go right on down the list, then that doesn't demonstrate that you're any further ahead in this thing than the Devil himself, because the Bible says that the Devil believes all the Devils believe and tremble. So understanding with your head, a cerebral approach to Christian faith and knowledge in certain doctrinal facts that does not make you a genuine Christian entering into the experience where Jesus touches your heart and takes away your sin and remakes you in the image of God. No, that's a starting to get down to brass tacks here. What do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus came? Yes. Do you believe that he came to save you from your sins? Do you believe that he is able to save you from your sins? Do you believe that Jesus takes away your guilt and gives you something in its place? For when we talk about forgiveness, we must not merely talk about a transaction that says, I'm sorry I forgive you. Because what sin and forgiveness it goes further than that we say Lord, Oh Lord dog, we are sorry. Take away my sin and Jesus forgives US. But He gives US something. He gives US his righteousness in place of our sin. No. Do you believe you can believe on the surface, but you need to have a Christian faith that goes more than a quarter of an inch deep. We got to go deep, deep, deep down into the Word of God and into an experience with God. Jesus came into this World and died for our sins and He died for you. And now we believe. What do we believe? God save may be told the story an awful lot on the wall about him growing up was a, was a framed pluck. My father had received when he was a teenager was from the Royal New Zealand Humane Society. You done something heroic during a swimming Rice. My father was way out in front. It was Cross, it was across the high that he grew up on the banks of the, on the edge of every That would have this race and my father compete in the race. And he was a terrific swimmer. It was miles in front and he turned around and he noticed that back there, there was somebody in the water with a head up. In fact, it was just a hand up. They were basically under the water. Father realized that person was drowning. Forgetting the rice, of course, he turned around and he swam back and he grabbed hold of the fellow and lifted him up above the water and why even got someone's attention and it was recognized for his good deed and awarded this certificate. And we had it on the wall of our home for decades. Save somebody's life, men would have drowned. Men would have just been a memory after that, but my dad stepped in and saved him. Do you think that fellow was grateful from that time on? You think he was, I think he was, how could you go through life knowing that someone had saved you and not being grateful? You might be grateful to a Doctor who discovered something in your experience and in-situ on the right course and saved you from dead. You might be grateful to a, someone who donated an organ that organ donation may have saved your life. Let's think this through. Jesus has saved our life. And now what do we do? We lay a hold on that forgiveness by faith. We believe that Jesus died on the Cross for US. We believe that and we say, Lord, I'm going to believe that never changed my life. What happened to different people with a given one man was saved from certain death, leprosy cleanse. All we invited Jesus of War did that was nice, had not been touched in transforming and there was a woman that we believe had a checkered past. And Jesus had forgiven her and it changed a lie. God extends forgiveness to you not so you can go on being a Pharisee not so you can go on being the most wrong. Right. Person in the church. Not so that you can go around town talking about what to believe, but you Rip people off in your business transactions. So everybody thinks that the whole church is full of people like you. Not so that you can be forgiven by God and then you go home and treat your spouse disdainfully and your children. Disrespectfully. No, that's not. That's not the power of forgiveness. You haven't experienced forgiveness unless it has changed your life. Christ died on the Cross. This is why we talk about the Cross. It was there at Calvary that Jesus died. What's he doing at Calvary? He's dying for your sins. This is the Gospel story. Jesus dies so we might live. He takes our sin so we can take his righteousness and we enter into that, and it's got to powerfully transform US. He or she that believes on him is not condemned. What are you doing with that belief? Do you believe or have you go no further than a set of doctrines? Ok, I agree that that's right. That's not celebration. That's important. We ought to agree with what's right so that those doctrines can lead US deeper into the heart of God and help US understand them or set our feet on the right. Trends for US. But do we believe it will happen at the Cross? Jesus died for you, has it had that transformative effect on you? Then ahead on Mary in our story, who and she went to great lengths to give Jesus this Great Gift. What are you bringing Jesus? Are you bringing him your? Are you bringing him? Your finances? Are you bringing him yet talent? Oh, he saved me, but I'm not living in his life. Hold on a minute. I'm wondering then if he's saved, you will not go to go past ferrous, say a cool living and into into a living relationship with Jesus. Forgiveness the power of forgiveness. 1st John one and verse 9 says if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive US our sins and to cleanse US of water. To cleanse US of all unrighteousness. Let's go back and think about our story. In Luke 7, some, I've got something to say, Dia side on 2 men will forgiven. Who will love the most? The one who is forgiven most. All right, Simon. But Here's this woman kissing my feet and shedding, who teaches dry my feet with her own hair. And she spent this King's ransom on a gift to express who love me. She's been forgiven. If you've been forgiven for and believe it, enter into it, let that forgiveness alter your entire existence. Change your heart, change your mind. It'll do so if you allow it. There is power in the Gospel is power in some places you might not always expect that power station right there on a busy city Street and nobody would expect it's even there. And there's power in the forgiveness that God extends to you. I want to encourage you today to let your Christian experience be real. Would you do that? I want to encourage you today to enter into a transaction with Jesus. That goes way beyond something, cerebral, theoretical doctrinal. I'm not against doctrine, but you can be right and still be wrong. Have you entered into this experience where you believe that Jesus died for you? Will you believe now that therefore you are a child of God? If you've been forgiven, you have received the righteousness of Christ, Which comes into your life. As the Spirit of God brings it into your life when Jesus via the Holy Spirit, the personal presence of Christ is brought into your experience. We experiencing that? Do you believe? You believe that Jesus died for you and His forgiveness will transform you and remake you, you know, when Jesus comes back, he's looking for a group of people on the sewer reflecting his character to the World. There's not a single reason that you could not be in that group. And so I want to pray for you now and I ask that God would give both you and me the ability To experience the power of forgiveness. Come on, Let's pray together. Our Father in Heaven. We are ask you together To allow US to experience the power of forgiveness. We thank you. It all on that Cross, Jesus bore our sins. We thank you for that remarkable verse that says if we can face, you will not only forgive, but Clain, you will make US children of the Heavenly King. Can you believe that today and would you experience the power of forgiveness? We thank you Lord. And we are still blessing now and ever In Jesus name. Amen and Amen. Thank God for you. Thanks for joining me today. God bless you.


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