*The following are notes from the message from Pastor Robert Morris:
Divine Benefits Series
Session One: Divine Forgiveness (To Watch Click Here)
1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. 6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. 19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The Benefits Package:
If you were to get a new job, one of the questions that will eventually arise just before or after you hire is to find out what benefits the position comes with. Vacation. Health Insurance. 401(k). Etc.
The Kingdom of God has it's own benefits package. And it would be good for you to talk to your soul (your mind, will, and emotions), and remind yourself of the benefits of Knowing God!
Here are those benefits:
1a. God Removes Your Transgressions
There is a difference between Transgressions and Iniquity.
Iniquity is the inward motive to sin.To Transgress literally means to Trespass or Over-Step Ones Boundaries. If you were to be where you are not permitted to be, you would be transgressing that property.
Transgression is the outward movement to sin.
Iniquity: Heart VS Transgress: Hand
Iniquity: Attitude VS Transgress: Action
Iniquity: Lust VS Transgress: Adultery
Iniquity: Hate VS Transgress: Murder
Notice the difference pointed out subtly here in Isaiah.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.Jesus was wounded (outward breakage of tissue) for transgression (outward breaking of the law), he was bruised (inward breakage of tissue) for our iniquities (inward breaking of the law).
1b. God Remembers Your Sins No More.
Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.The east and west never meet. Do not think in terms of a globe. Think in terms of a line. There is no place they meet. It's an eternal separation of you from your sin.
The bible doesn't say God forgets sin. God is Omniscient. He knows all.
Instead, He chooses to: "Remember Their Sin No More". Just as God has chosen, as an act of His will to put that sin out of his mind, and chooses not to remember, so must WE choose not to remember another persons past and hold it against them.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
Jeremiah 31:34No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Isaiah 43:25"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
Some people say "I'll forgive but I'll never forget!" That is NOT forgiveness, but it is true, they may not be able to "forget" that it happened.
God hasn't asked you to have a bad memory. He has asked instead that you choose to remember it no more. Don't talk about it, don't bring it up, don't even allow your mind to think on it.
When your past, or another's past comes to you mind (because the Devil will try to make you remember it) simply say "I forgave that/I'm forgiven that is under the blood of Jesus. I choose to remember it no more." and then put that thought out of your mind.
Literally "Cast the thought down".
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...
1c. God Releases Us From Iniquity.Forgiveness: To Release A Debt
Webster Defines: Forgive
In 2007 I had a credit card go to collections, along with some other debts. It was a bad time in life. In 2012 I received a letter with a 1099-C stating my debt had been "Forgiven". I was released from that debt.
for·giveverb \fər-ˈgiv, fȯr-\: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
So my debt was forgiven, wiped out. There were natural repercussions of that forgiveness. I had to report it on my taxes. I had to "Account" for my forgiveness.
Forgiveness: Must Be Believed
Pastor Robert brings out an interesting insight here:
"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
So many have read this passage in John and wondered what it could mean, I certainly have. Many have made it say strange things, like you need a priest to forgive you, or you have some strange power over others.
In the complete context of the post resurrection message Jesus was giving the Disciples-Turned-Apostles; Jesus was telling them to: Go preach the gospel. Make disciples. Change the world with My Message.
If you don't preach forgiveness, people can't hear forgiveness. So if you go preach "You are forgiven!" and they believe you, they are forgiven. If you preach "You are forgiven!" and they don't believe you their sins are retained.
Forgiveness: Released From Sin-Tendencies
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Many of us having lived in the world of sin for some amount of time, being led by the current of the world, have a bent in us toward a certain type of sin. For some it's sexual lust, anger, binge drinking, selfish lust for power, etc.
Many times, due to this bent, we start calling it "Our Struggle" as though it were something that we will always be weak in. But God tells us that we can cast of those things that we have a bent toward.
Hebrews 12:1 NLT:Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.We have been released from that bent in us. We have been released from that weakness. We must choose to enforce that release, take action, and "Account" for it.