TOPIC:“The Beauty of Being Forgiven”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this
man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38).
I believe without question that the most beautiful word in the English language is the word forgiveness. It is the most tender and touching word that can ever be spoken upon earth. Now why do I make such a statement? Simply for two reasons: Because of what it does and what it demanded. What does it do? It removes the sin and guilt from our lives. What did it demand? It demanded the death of Jesus Christ on the cross to accomplish such a task. For mind you, nothing else but the forgiveness of God experienced in the human heart can cause rejoicing in the eternal heavens above. To put it in the words of Christ: “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (St. Luke 15:10).
Forgiveness! How beautiful that sound to the human ear. How wonderful to walk through life, genuinely knowing that our sins have been forgiven. How marvelous to declare in the words of the Apostle's Creed: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” How glorious to hear from the mouth of Saint Paul these words: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). It is to this same forgiveness that we now address ourselves. Let us give heed to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us about the forgiveness which we can find in Jesus Christ.
Consider, to begin with, some DOGMATIC ISSUES regarding this matter of forgiveness. Notice Paul's words regarding Christ in verse 38: "through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." Before I mention four truths about forgiveness that we need to know, let me give you a beautiful definition I recently came across of forgiveness. It goes like this: "Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me." I want to say to you, nothing is more Christian than forgiveness.
1. We need to know that only God can forgive sin. No priests, no minister, no rabbi, no man can forgive sin. Listen to these words of Jesus in Mark chapter 2 verse 7: "Who can forgive sins but God only?" Now you need to know that!
2. We need to know that since Christ is God, He can forgive sin. Notice again Paul's words: "through this man" (v. 38). Jesus Christ had authority on earth and continues to have authority . . .