Discover the Book - Mar. 26, 2009
All Sins Forgiven
The New Testament records 37 miracles that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry. These include sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, life to the dead, health to the sick – and many other tremendous miracles supernaturally performed by Christ.
Which one was the greatest? If you analyze them they were wonderful but ALL were only temporary.
- The paralyzed, lame, mute, and blind that Jesus gave back eyes, fingers, toes, and skin eventually lost them all again when they got sick and died some years later.
- Peter’s mother-in-law was miraculously set free from a fever but years later died of other causes which may also involve a fever.
- The food miraculously created by Jesus was consumed by the five and four thousands, and used up – and hunger returned the next day.
- The eyes restored to blind Bartimaeus were used, worn out, and dimmed by the time he died.
- The hearing that the deaf received were subject to the natural downward slide of the human body and faded most likely by their death.
- Those dancing feet after Christ's touch that the lame possessed, soon turned to a shuffle and then stopped working altogether as they lay in bed awaiting death many years later.
- Lepers who found fresh new skin and limbs saw them again return to wrinkles, weakness, and finally immobility as circulation, respiration, and digestion all slowly were assaulted by the weight of many years.
- So yes, Jesus performed many miracles – but all of them but one were TEMPORARY.
So, which was the greatest of all Christ's miracles?
The answer is the one that never faded, never aged, never ended. It was the miracle unfaded by time, untouched by health, unaffected by circumstances. That miracle, the greatest miracle is the one that Jesus Christ is still doing in our midst today. It is the miracle that I have personally experienced. It is the miracle that most of us in this room have also experienced. It is the greatest of all Christ's miracles – the miracle of complete forgiveness.
Today we turn again to the greatest verse in all the Bible for anyone who has ever sinned – and that is all of us.
As we open to Mark 3.20-30 we come to the place where Jesus pronounced the greatest doom of all. In verse 29 Jesus said: whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness. But this morning, side by side with the most gloomy, hopeless verse in the Bible – is the most hope filled, comforting verse in the Bible. Five words that should ring in your heart if you have ever feared the grave, if you have ever feared the judgment, if you ever fear not making it to Heaven. In verse 28 Jesus said: all sins will be forgiven. Those are the brightest words of the Bible --
Side by side in two verses in the Gospel by Mark are the three darkest words of the Bible, and the five brightest words. And there is a message for each of us from those two verses. The messages are:
1. JESUS DECLARES ALL SINS ARE FORGIVEABLE. 3:28
“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter.” NRSV FORGIVENESS IS ABSOLUTE: The drunkenness of Noah, the lies of Abraham, the deceit of Jacob, the murder by Moses, the doubting of Gideon, the adultery of David, and the denials of Peter – they ALL are forgivable, and so is ANYTHING THAT YOU HAVE EVER DONE OR WILL DO! “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). “The doctrine here laid down is the crown and glory of the Gospel. The very first thing it proposes to man is free pardon, full forgiveness, complete remission, without money and without price. Let us take hold of this doctrine without delay, if we never received it before. It is for us, as well as for others. We too, this very day, if we come to Christ, may be completely forgiven. Let us cling firmly to this doctrine, if we have received it already. We may sometimes feel faint, and unworthy, and cast down. But if we have really come to Jesus by faith, our sins are completely forgiven. They have been thrown behind God’s back— sunk into the depths of the sea. Let us believe and not be afraid.”
2. JESUS DECLARED THAT DAMNATION IS ETERNAL. 3.29
A Soul Can Be Lost Forever in Hell. He speaks of someone who is “guilty of an eternal sin” (verse 29). Never be ashamed of what Jesus said. Jesus declares much to the moderate and liberal dismay -- that there is an eternal God—an eternal heaven—and an eternal hell. Sin is an infinite evil. Sin needed an atonement of infinite value to deliver an infinite soul from its infinite damnation. Sin produces an infinite loss on the unbeliever who rejects the remedy provided for it. And that remedy is Christ's blood poured out upon the altar of God’s wrath against sin on Christ's Cross.
Why is it such a big deal to be sure that all sins are forgiven, taken away, erased and removed. Why is this such a huge issue? To understand how God looks at sin He has given us over 75 different word pictures describing sin and its effects in the Old Testament. The most completely described picture of sin is leprosy.
In the Old Testament world leprosy was not only a dreaded disease, and a horrible condition – it was also the most somber warning of the absolutely unaccepted condition of sin being allowed to remain in God’s presence.
To show you what I mean note some verses as we back toward Leviticus in our Bibles. In each of these verses God reveals that when He looks at us He sees all of our sins stuck to us – our sins clothe us like the loathsome disease of leprosy. Flip back to these verses on the way:
Zechariah 3:3-4 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
Hosea 7:2 They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face.
Ezekiel 33:10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of
Psalm 109:18-19 He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. 19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him.
Psalm 73:6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
Now open to Leviticus 13. Note how detailed God describes this disease. He spends longer on this that He does on the creation of the Universe or crucifixion of Christ! Maybe He wants us to be concerned about the horrible leprosy of the soul that sin truly is in His sight.
Leviticus 13:3 The priest is to examine the sore on his skin, and if the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be more than skin deep, it is an infectious skin disease. When the priest examines him, he shall pronounce him ceremonially unclean. Now note verses 4 -8; 20 –36. Now look at this, God so abhors sin that when it permeates a garment v. 52 says burn it.
Leprous garments must be burned.
Sin that clothes a human is like leprosy.
Sin must be burned.
Humans that wear leprous garments on this planet and never get them removed will have to burn forever.
Hell is the garbage dump of the Universe burning the leprous garmented individuals who die without ever being forgiven.
What are you wearing today? Are you clothed in sin or washed and wearing the robes of Christ's righteousness?
And there is only one remedy for sin. Do you see why forgiveness of sins is such a miracle? The greatest miracle?
We are all exposed to the deadly SIN virus. It is a genetic disorder we all have, the Divine Physician had to make a cure and that involved getting a pure and virus free blood to offer as payment for the sin of the world – and that is exactly what He did in Christ. Christ's blood is all that can wash us clean from our garments stained with the leprosy of sin.
Back to Mark 3.28 -- Jesus made the incredible promise that people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter. Too often people miss this promise and worry about the warning in the next verse. But the fact is, those who believe in Jesus will be forgiven of all sins (evil acts, wrong actions, good actions not done, evil thoughts, evil motives, etc.) and of all blasphemies (evil words said against God). When there is confession and repentance, no sin is beyond God’s forgiveness.
ALL OUR SINS ARE COVERED – PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. Psalm 103:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins; 1 John 2:12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. NO STAIN OF SIN IS TOO DEEP FOR CHRIST’S BLOOD TO CLEANSE. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
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