This Age of Grace is rapidly accelerating to the time of the end and the resumption of the Age of Law and wrath. Gaps are widening, we see that clearly. Believer vs. non-believer never had less in common. Poor vs rich were never more far apart. Those who are strengthening versus those who are apostasizing were never more numerous. It will all deepen and widen more tomorrow...and tomorrow... and tomorrow...
So those of us who are large in number globally but perhaps few in groupings locally, are daily made more aware of our sin. We thus are ever more knowing of our own wretched condition, which is forgiven sinner. We're always heaping gratitude to Jesus when our sins prick up more vividly to our heart as each craven day passes. Sometimes we hate our own sin so much that we totter, weakened as we see the horrific face of it. But far better than we feel weak in our heart, fainting in knowledge of our sin, than our conscience be weak, failing to feel its prick.
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Here is the encouragement. Charles Spurgeon preached a message to his congregation in 1882, called "God's Non-Remembrance of Sin." Far from being antiquated or irrelevant, it is even more alive today than it was when it was delivered, I dare to say. The bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it's is 2000 years old and still relevant. In the same way, any sermon delivered by wisdom of and submission to the Holy Spirit is also alive today, and fresh.
The sermon I linked to is 8 pages long and wonderfully concise and encouraging. If you are feeling low because of your sin and the state of the world, if hopelessness starting to fray the edges of your mind and heart, take hope from this sermon. Our sins are not only forgiven, but forgotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All too often we focus on our sin and plead with the Spirit for strength to withstand them another day. We confess and repent, and rely on His Goodness and Grace to forgive, but we still remember. He does not!
I'll excise a few pieces of Spurgeon's sermon for you:
"What the Law asserts, the understanding, also, supports, for within the awakened man there is the memory of his past offenses—and on account of these his conscience passes judgment upon his soul—and condemns it even as the Law does. “God must punish wickedness,” is the utterance of conscience. “He were not the judge of all the earth if He did not do right and if He does right, He must visit my transgressions with the threatened penalty.” Thus, the thunder of Sinai is echoed by conscience. Meanwhile, many natural impressions and instincts assist and increase the clamors of conscience, for the man knows within himself, as the result of observation and experience, that sin must bring its own punishment."
"Thus, for once, the devil craftily cooperates with the Law of God and with conscience—these would drive men to despair, but Satan would go further and compel them to despair as touching the Lord, Himself, so as to believe that pardon for transgression is quite impossible."
"With the desponding I shall try to deal at this time and may the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, help me to console them--"
"Our first theme is this—THERE IS FORGIVENESS. Our four texts all teach us that doctrine with great distinctness. Is not that a sublime assurance, “I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins”? Does not Paul put it sweetly as from God’s own mouth, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Remember how the Psalmist, in the 130th Psalm makes this a special note of thanksgiving “There is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.” Let us adore the Lord because He delights in mercy!"
"Secondly, THIS FORGIVENESS IS TANTAMOUNT TO FORGETTING SIN. This is a wonder to me, a wonder of wonders—that God should say that He will do what, in some sense, He cannot do—that He should use speech which includes an impossibility and yet that it should be strictly true as He intends it. God’s pardon of sin is so complete that He, Himself, describes it as not remembering our iniquity and transgression."
"The Great Father’s heart is not brooding over the injuries we have done—His infinite mind is not revolving within itself the tale of our iniquities. Ah, no! If we have fled to Christ for refuge, the Lord remembers our sin no more! The record of our iniquity is taken away and the Judge has no judicial memory of it. Sometimes you have almost forgotten a thing and it is quite gone out of your mind—but an event happens which recalls it so vividly that it seems as if it were perpetrated but yesterday. God will not recall the sin of the pardoned."
“I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for My own sake,
and will not remember your sins.”
“For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their
iniquities will I remember no more.”
“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Please take heart, beleaguered ones! Please do read all of Spurgeon's gem. Spurgeon ends it this way:
"Always repent and always praise the Lord. Honor the forgetfulness of God in not remembering your faults and, from now on, tell this blessed news to everyone you see—there is forgiveness, such forgiveness as was never heard of until God, Himself, revealed it by saying of His people, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” God bless you dear Friends, from now on and forever. Amen."
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