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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 3 Message Outlines

Luke 3:1-6 (6)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
December 11, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

(209)

Thesis:Does "forgiveness" automatically mean the restoration of the losses incurred by the sins that need to be forgiven?

Introduction:We have been considering some of the issues that are involved in John's message that if a person will repent, God will forgive his/her sins. The problems that have arisen since the days in which John preached in Judea are many -- just as we would expect from the reality of John's "repentance-setting". If the human heart really is the "wilderness" that John declared, we should not be surprised that a 2,000 year long passing of time would automatically result in a host of misunderstandings and mis-applications of his message. We have already looked into several issues. The first of those issues has to do with "desire": do we really want to be reconciled to God? The second of those issues is the definitive link between forgiveness and grace and the fact that there is a very real alteration of behavior that occurs when a person "repents": but, that alteration is not "of" man, but, as grace declares, it is "of" God. The third issue we have considered is the absolute reality that there is no "forgiveness" under "Law"; the only way a person can be forgiven is if he is removed from the domain of "Law". And, last week, we considered the issue of whether one is ever removed from the domain of Law and then replaced under that dominion on the basis of one's "behavior" issues. It was our conclusion that God removes us from "Law" in order to "forgive our sins" and once He has done that, it is impossible for Him to return us to "Law" as that would be fundamentally contradictory to the rationale of "Law". One cannot "impose" Law on someone who has been removed from Law without the principle of "Law" being in place -- and it cannot be said that the principle of Law has been removed if it is still in place. This is the foundation for Paul's pointed declaration in Romans 6 that we are "not under Law" and his declaration in Romans 8 that no one can bring a charge against God's elect because they are "justified" -- removed from the reach of the Law under which "charges" are made.

There is another issue that has been corrupted in the understanding of what happens when a person is "forgiven". This issue is the question of whether "forgiveness" restores what was lost by the sins that were the expression of the foundation that calls for "repentance" and the forgiveness that comes out of repentance. It is our desire this morning to shed a little light on this issue.


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