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Truly Forgiven

Topic # 279 (grace)
A. 1967 – James Robert Ringrose – on FBI most wanted list for over a year.
1. Wanted for writing bad checks.
2. Bounced fraudulent checks all over world.
3. Arrested in Osaka, Japan – spent time in Japanese jail before
being returned to US.
4. When Meeting FBI agents – he told them he had been saving an
item for several years & now he needed it.
5. He then presented them with a Monopoly game card – Get out of
Jail Free
6. Ringrose truly thought it was that simple.
a. Really isn’t.
b. When a crime is committed, one has to pay.
B. Now apply this concept to mankind & the problem of sin.
1. Commit sin – there is a price to be paid.
2. Isa. 59:1-2 – sin separates us from God.
3. Rom. 6:23 – wages of sin is death.
4. With too many people, fear, guilt, shame, and blame are a part of
human reality.
5. No way to live.
C. This is why Christian living is so blessed & desirable.
1. Fear, guilt, shame, and blame no longer are a part of our lives.
2. The Christian clings to the assurance of salvation, redemption,
sanctification, and justification!
D. This is something we must hold near to our heart & appreciate!
1. We’ve been mightily blessed & have so much to be thankful for.
2. Because of Christ, we’re all living spiritually – even though we
don’t deserve it.
E. Today we will talk about the true forgiveness of God.
1. First talk of what God’s justice demands.
2. Then….talk of how God, through Jesus, is willing to truly forgive
3. When sin is committed, something has to die. The justice of God
demands it.

I. What God’s justice demands:

A. God is holy – 1 John 1:5; 1 Peter 1:15-16
1. Hab. 1:13 – God exhibits an attitude of abhorrence and hatred to
all that is wrong.
2. The sin problem we all face – is a matter of our own doing.
3. We created the problem through our own rebellion.
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B. This rebellion does not come without a price – death!

1. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:2-3. We know the story. Did Adam/Eve die?
2. Spiritually. All fellowship/communion with God gone. Relationship
a. 3:8 – fled at the very sound of God as He passed thru the
b. Eph. 2:1 – they were dead in their trespasses and sins.
c. Rom. 3:23 – they had fallen short of the glory of God.
3. Physically. They began to die physically. Gen. 3:19
C. What do these verses teach us? There is a price to be paid for sin.
1. Heb. 9:22 – there is a judicial aspect to this.
2. Our life is payment for sin & it is required of every sinner.
3. God’s justice demands death as payment for sin.
a. We all find our self in a very desperate situation.
b. We have broken the laws of the God of the universe.
c. This has separated us from the Holy God.
d. Price of death hangs over our head. No way for us to pay
the price.
D. Psa. 33:4-5. God is not only a just God. He is also a loving God.
1. God’s love provides a way to pay the price we cannot pay.
2. Done through grace.
a. Grace is where God gives what is not deserved.
b. Romans 3:23-26
3. Done through mercy.
a. Mercy is where God does not give what is deserved.
b. Romans 1:18
E. Praise God for His grace & mercy!

II. God, through Jesus, is willing to truly forgive us.

A. May we truly learn to more fully understand and appreciate what it
means to be forgiven by God!
1. Beginning of the lesson: get out of jail free. Doesn’t work.
Commit crime. Pay the price…
2. Unless pardoned. How many have heard this illustration about
God’s forgiveness?
a. Prisoner on death row pardoned at last minute by governor.
b. All prisoner has to do is walk out of cell. Free. This is how
pardon works.
c. Illustration used to show us God’s forgiveness & our need
to accept it.
d. True. God is willing to forgive us & we need to accept it.
e. May I suggest there is a deeper element we need to
B. July 7, 2007 – Gov. Daniels pardoned Michael Strickler, convicted of a
1980 burglary in Adams County.
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1. Was it legally binding? Effective? Absolutely.

2. Did Gov. Daniels truly forgive the prisoner?
3. Governors & Presidents often pardon people they do not know.
a. The pardon isn’t personal.
b. Mr. Strickler did not personally offend/harm the governor.
4. When Gov. Daniels pardons a state prisoner – does that mean the
prisoner may now come over to the governor’s home, have a
meal together, and put their grievances and hurts behind them?
5. None of that happens. The governor is not truly forgiving the
6. This is why we know there is much more going on in true
C. Lk. 15:11-32
1. 15:11-12 – man had 2 sons.
a. Younger son disrespectful, greedy, dishonorable.
b. Essentially saying: no interest in continuing his life as his
father’s son, wished his father dead & that they were
reading his will.
c. Father gave him what he wanted.
2. 15:13 – wastes inheritance with loose living.
a. Left people who truly cared for him.
b. Uses fathers money to satisfy basest desires:
1. Pays for food/drink
2. Pays for women to satisfy his lusts
3. Pays for others to be his friends
c. No time…his family fortune is gone
3. 15:14-16 – takes work feeding another man’s swine.
a. Sort of labor his family would find shameful
b. Not working for family – working for a wage among unclean
c. This was not the life he was meant to live.
4. 15:17-18 – finally comes to senses, makes decision to return to
his father.
a. Knew that hired hand at the lowest pay grade on his family
farm had it better than he did.
b. Knew that it would never be the same between him & his
1. Brought shame to his father. Insulted & shamed his
2. Everyone back home would know he was
dishonorable, greedy, and selfish.
c. But for the sake of his survival, he would confess his sin &
offer himself as a slave.
5. 15:20 – father sees him approaching home
a. Tradition dictated father regard his son as dead to him.
b. Did something unusual. Runs to greet returning son.
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1. Men of importance did not run

c. Father lavished love on son who hurt the family so deeply.
d. Overwhelming display of forgiveness.
e. 15:25-28 – older son dumbfounded by his father’s
1. His perspective: one thing to accept younger
brothers confession of guilt…but was it necessary to
D. The father knew what it means to truly forgive.
1. He wasn’t just pardoning the son.
2. He wasn’t just erasing the debt or overlooking his shame
3. He truly forgave his son so he could have his son back.
4. He truly forgave so he could maintain a relationship with him.
5. Ever wondered how the younger son felt about being truly
a. Last thing he expected?
b. Younger son didn’t know what it is like to be pardoned or
get out of jail free.
c. He only knew what it is like to be truly forgiven – and it
something he will live with for the rest of his life.
d. May we come to know the true forgiveness of God!
E. Forgiveness is not as simple as a pardon or reprieve.
1. Unlike pardon, forgiveness seeks to reconcile the relationship
between offender and offended.
2. Forgiveness strives for love and fellowship.
3. Not as simple as a truce…or forgetting the past & ignoring what
was done.
a. If forgiveness is not practiced, then the sins & injuries are
on the table.
b. 15:19, 21 – the son confesses his sin & names himself
c. 15:24 – father acknowledged his offenses – buy renamed
him “son.”

A. Isn’t this what God does for us?
1. He had adopted us as His sons & daughters.
2. Through Jesus, He has worked through the cross & in our lives to
B. Eph. 1:3-8a; 2:1-10
C. God says, I do not care about where you have been. I care about
where you are right now.
1. It is not about the messes you have made in your life in the past,
it is about living responsibly now.
2. God wants to forgive people who want forgiveness!
a. He forgives people who realize they need forgiveness.
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b. He forgives people who truly feel unworthy of forgiveness.

D. Repent/Confess your sins.
1. Make commitment to refuse to allow your past to determine who
you are.
2. Trust in the power of God to cleanse you and forgive you of all sin
through waters of baptism.
E. You can be truly forgiven. Will you accept God’s forgiveness?
F. I N V I T A T I O N