Tag Archives: forgiveness

The Power of the Gospel

The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead.  Rick Thomas wrote about this topic in The reason I stopped hating my dad.  It makes me sad to think of some GCMers living in hatred of their husbands/family members/anybody because of the wrongs others have done to them.  I hope you will read Rick’s article and see the love of a Savior who died for you even though you are a sinner and not worthy of such kindness.  Through Christ’s death and resurrection we have forgiveness of sins and we no longer have to live with hatred for those who sin against us.  Read the article to see how Rick handled having a father who was a drunkard until the power of God changed him.

Below are a few quotes from the article.

“My father was a sinner who sinned—for all have sinned (Romans 3:23).”

“But he was not the only unrighteous person in our family. I, too, chose an unrighteous path. The sin that was passed down to him was passed down to me. I was just like my father—there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10-12).”

“For many years I spent more time thinking about what my dad did wrong to me than what I did wrong to God. This kind of thinking is self-induced poisoning of the soul.”

“As I began to come to terms with the Gospel as it applied to my dysfunctional childhood, I began to see. The angry fog began to lift. I was a self-righteous victim—a deadly duo. A self-righteous victim is more aware of and irritated by the sins of someone else, rather than being more conscious of and more grieved by their own sin.” (Emphasis added)

“There is nothing that has ever happened to you or to me that is more evil than the sin we have committed against God.”

“It no longer mattered who did what. The real issue for me was whether I would humble my heart before Almighty God and plead for His forgiveness for the crimes I had committed.”

GCMer, if you are struggling in any of your relationships then a good place to start would be to confess your own sins to God, repent and believe the good news that Christ died for you.  If you are still struggling with hate then the second best option is to go to The Counseling Solutions Group Inc.  This counseling is through Rick Thomas even though he doesn’t do much counseling himself.  If Mr. Thomas recommends these counselors then they should be good; in other words you shouldn’t get modern psychobabble from them but a biblical view of your problems and biblical solutions.  GCMers, if you are having a hard time with a relationship in your life, why don’t you contact them today?  And may you one day be able to say as Rick did, “It no longer mattered who did what. The real issue for me was whether I would humble my heart before Almighty God and plead for His forgiveness for the crimes I had committed.”

Cross Edited Clip Art

 

 

 

 

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The Call For Repentance

 

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5 ESV)

Jesus would probably not be considered gentle by “gentle” “Christian” mothers when he spoke to the Pharisees and said something like this to them, “Woe to scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! Blind guides.”  They probably also wouldn’t consider it gentle to say, “For they preach, but do not practice...For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.  For you…make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves…You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean…So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:1-36)

Why do I say they wouldn’t consider Jesus gentle? Many GCMers avoid talk of sin for the most part.  They don’t seem to think they or their kids are sinners.  They might say they are sinners so they can say they have grace, but they never admit any of the sins they actually commit are sins.  It is so much easier to call sins by a psychology term so they can keep doing what they are doing.  So they will probably think I am harsh and be mad at me for what I am about to say to them.  My purpose though is actually to call them to repentance so they may walk in a manner worthy of God (2 Cor 7:8-11, 1 Thess 2:12).

SIN!  Woe to you GCMers, you hypocrites, you blind guides, you who preach but do not practice.  You make others twice as much a child of hell as you yourselves are.  You profess to know God but your actions deny Him.  Mourn and weep over your drunkenness, your fornication, your adultery, your lies, your idolatry, your hatred, your arrogance and pride.  Repent! “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice   homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV).”  “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).”  Those who practice these things will be thrown into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur (Revelation 21:8).

STOP! Stop playing the blame game.  Adam and Eve tried it, didn’t work.  Your sins are not the result of your (ex) husband or your parents.  “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire (James 1:14).”  Admit your sins to God and stop trying to deny them.  Do you really think God is going to accept those excuses on the day of judgment?  The guilt you feel is the result of the sin you continue to commit against a Holy God who humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross! (Phil 2:8)

FREEDOM!  True freedom does not come from body piercings, tattoos, drinking, workbooks, or sexual immorality.  You work hard for your freedom, but you are a slave to your sin.  Freedom, true freedom, only comes through Christ (John 8:31-38).  The Son sets you free!

FORGIVENESS!  How good of God to forgive us when we acknowledge our sins to Him.  He could hold our sins against us, but if we humble ourselves before Him, He gives us grace.  If we do not humble ourselves, keep on sinning deliberately, and not  confess our iniquities, He will oppose us.  It is a dreadful and fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (James 4:1-10, Hebrews 10:26-31) Repent while it is still today!  The precious promise of God is that He will remember your sins and lawless deeds no more.  Today is the day of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord as 2 Cor 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
Psalm 51

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.

(Psalm 51:1-9 ESV)

 True Repentance by Phil Johnson, transcript
True Repentance, audio

 

 

 

Excellent Interviews

Chris Rosebrough, from Fighting for the Faith, interviewed Jovan MacKenzy and Ivey Conerly , two theologically sound rap singers.  They were two of the best interviews I have heard in awhile.  I have attempted to take notes.  Did you know it is hard to take notes on an interview?  I did the best I could to give you some of the highlights of both interviews.  You can click on the links below and listen for yourself!

Click here to listen to the Jovan interview.
From December 5, 3013 at about the 1 hour 33 minute mark.

  • “I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals.  I have within me, the great pope, self.”  Martin Luther
  • Jovan’s newest album is The Seduction of Self.
  • Sin comes from being seduced by the love of self.  Jovan
  • “Take my sinful flesh daily and drown it in the waters of baptism.”  Chris
  • “Our good works, our best ones, are as appealing as a used maxi pad.”  Chris
  • Even if you are right and someone is dead wrong, you don’t need to rebuke them unless you realize you are just as sinful or worse.
  • We need Christ everyday!
  • Our mind is corrupt compared to Christ.  Our hope is in Christ and not in our good works.
  • Who can come to the Lord’s supper? Those who understand they need to be forgiven.
  • God does not bless me according to my works.  His blessings come from His mercy.
  • We repent of our unrighteousness, but we also need to repent of our righteousness – thinking OUR works are good enough.
  • “The Christian life is one of suffering.”  Chris
  • “Everything goes back to the cross.”  Jovan
  • God forbid we sin so grace can increase.
  • Even though we sin, we are perfect in Christ.  It is all because of Christ.
  • We are in Christ.  And although we fail everyday, Christ didn’t.  He defeated sin!
  • We can be patient with others.  We need to pray for them.
  • We can forgive because we have been forgiven.
  • It is our pride that makes us unable to forgive others.
  • If God shows mercy, you can show mercy.  Not the other way around.  Just like forgiveness.  God forgives so we can forgive.  It is not we show mercy so God shows mercy or we forgive so God forgives.

Click here to listen to Ivey Conerly’s interview.
From December 10, 2013.  Interview starts at about the 1 hour 8 minute mark.

Ivey’s album, Justice System, was about the gospel and justification

  • There is a need for Christians to always hear the gospel.
  • Constantly need to hear about the work of Christ.
  • From Genesis to Revelation, it’s about the gospel.
  • The Holy Spirit in us helps us to live out the commandments of God.
  • We don’t always keep the commandments, so we find ourselves always at the foot of the cross.

Ivey’s newest album, Unknown God, helps the listener to understand who God is.

  • Acts 17
  • People have a concept of God.  They don’t really know who He is.
  • Idolatry of our day is not gods made of stone.
  • They named idols people make: possessions, family, their own self-image, pastors, actors.
  • This album points people to the living and true God, Jesus Christ.
  • It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)
  • Christ is NOT okay with your sin.
  • God is gracious and merciful and compassionate, but He is also a just God.
  • We should fear and bow the knee to Him.
  • Repent and believe the gospel.
  • May it never be that we sin more so grace can increase. (see Romans 6:1)
  • History of rap, interesting stories of St. Patrick and Martin Luther finished off this interview.

Hosea and Forgiveness

Christians get divorced almost as much or just as much as non-Christians.  I don’t know the recent stats, but they aren’t good.  Christians have decided to go the route of the world in regards to their marriage.  They take what they see as the easy way out: divorce.  They forget to consult God in the matter (and by this I mean not just praying to God and reading His word but actually doing what it says.  The praying and reading are the easy part, but the doing is often detestable to some “Christians”.  They pray and read (they read verses that say God wants to prosper them or give them what they ask for rather than all the verses on marriage and divorce) and then divorce saying they have indeed consulted God in the matter.).  Too often they then find someone else to marry and they spend their lives committing adultery (see Matthew 19:9).

Hosea was a prophet who was actually told to marry an adulterous woman, a prostitute.  He would have had to have been a  patient, loving and compassionate husband.  What a great example of the patience, love and compassion the Lord has for us, we who have forsaken the Lord.  Hosea even had to buy Gomer back from another man as Jesus had to purchase us from sin. 

Hosea is a wonderful story of God’s forgiveness.  How many of us would have rushed to Hosea’s side and said, “Have her and her lover put to death! Deuteronomy 22:22 says you can.”  In modern times we would rush to his side and say, “Divorce her for her sexual immorality because Matthew 19:9 says you can!”  How many Christians in bad marriages pity themselves instead of practicing forgiveness the way Christ forgave us?  Do we forget what heinous crimes we have committed against God Almighty and how He paid the price for our sins?   Do we only look at our sacrifice of staying married to an unfaithful spouse instead of looking to Jesus who sacrificed Himself on the cross for our transgressions?

Ephesians 5 tells us that husbands and wives become one.  This union refers to Christ and the church.  If you are getting a divorce because you are unhappy, remember Ephesians 5.  We can get a divorce for sexual immorality, but before we rush to divorce, let us remember Christ’s patience with us sinners.     

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  (Ephesians 5:31-32 ESV)

Love your husband!  Love your wife!  And may God be glorified!!