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Part III - Our Restoration

FORGIVENESS

CHAPTER 11

Your sin is like a shadow: expose it to the light and it disappears.

Thought: Forgiveness is the law of cleansing and disappearance as we look at what is true about us.

Word: Ps. 32:5: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

Conclusion: Forgiveness causes sin to cease; the sin not ceased is unforgiven.

Forgiveness is something we all need. That beautiful word is that which brings our rest to us. It brings us thoughts of peace, love and acceptance. We want this, yet, most often we resist it. Why? Our natural earthly heart pretends it has no need of it. The energy we spend proving to our world that we do not need forgiveness is incalculable. This is where most of our energy goes.

We imagine we can only go to heaven if we are perfect. If you are perfect, you don't need forgiveness, right? If you need forgiveness, it means you have done something bad. If you do things bad, you don't go to heaven. Therefore, we make sure to work things out in our minds so that it looks like we always do things right. Isn't that so? What a trap. We ride a merry-go-round and we stay on it trapped, dizzy and lost in our unforgiveness.

An unforgiven man will not forgive others since he has not forgiven himself. If he is a righteous type, he will spend a great deal of energy doing everything right while condemning those who do it wrong. They view their condemnation of others' wrongs as righteousness. Such a snare. Poor crying, hurting mortals.

What could it cost us to accept forgiveness? It can only cost us OUR righteousness. That's no loss. How does this law work? Could we risk it? I want to invite you into the law of forgiveness with me. Such a place men seldom see. It dwells in a veil of flowers and sweet scent. It is the memory of resting in a mother's arms. It is a quiet sigh. The Word says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. "I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and he forgave the iniquity of my sin." Psalm 32:5. The key words are "acknowledge" and "confess." We retain our guilt and our hatred of others by our failure to "acknowledge" and "confess." We build walls of righteousness to cover up our evil that we know is there.

We poor mortals dress our corruption in flowers and sweet smells so that our stink doesn't show up. What we do is then bury our guilt somewhere in our body which creates sadness, sorrow, pain, disease and death. The only way to rid ourselves of this seed is to "look at it." If we will drop the stories, excuses and blame and take 100% responsibility for our evil, we will experience that beautiful, clean rest of God.

The truth of the universe is that if we will observe and acknowledge our evil, the condemnation of it will disappear. Not only that, but when our condemnation of ourselves disappears, our condemnation of others will likewise disappear. We cannot hate and condemn another unless we hate and condemn ourselves. Perfect love will love unconditionally. If you experience forgiveness you will love unconditionally. That is to say, you will love murderers, thieves, liars and all manner of villains as you love your close friends. For when you are forgiven, you extend to them that which you now possess. This is not to say there is not evil out there. It is not to say you cease seeing others do evil. It is to say the "beast" within you is not awakened by their evil. Your beast (your condemnation and hatred) is only expressed toward those who show you your own evil.

The universe shows us things about ourselves in the lives of others. These things we hate because we are self-condemned. When we find forgiveness in ourselves we find that we have forgiven them. Loving them, we now have the power to show them their evil with our love.

When you experience an evil in you which would include hate, envy, selfishness, etc., look at it. Look at it carefully. Take full knowledge of it. Describe the feeling to yourself. Make an object of your feeling if you can. Take 100% responsibility for it. Look again. Notice it is there and it is what you have chosen. Look at it until it is gone. Don't create it. Don't make it. Expose it to the light. Just expose it, expose it, expose it until it has nowhere to hide. Now, release it and know you are forgiven. That's the law.

When you know the truth about yourself you will be free. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32. Forgiveness is a very simple principle. Looking and seeing the truth about it, is what forgiveness is about. Man complicates things. God says "look."

Man hides dirt, God cleanses it from us. In today's world there is a theology which states that God covers up our filth so it can't be seen. "We are covered with Christ's righteousness," they say, "while we are still in our corruption doing corruption". Man does that with everything he touches. "Cover up" is the name of the game for him. The truth of it is that putting on Christ's righteousness is just that. We now have Christ's righteousness instead of our own. We have been cleansed from the corruption, that is to say, our corruption has not power over us, but Christ's righteousness is our governing factor.

We do the same kinds of things in medicine. We complicate the body machine by introducing harmful drugs that cover up the symptom, rather than use the simple cleansing methods that God has prescribed. We complicate things. The truth is simply the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and that's all that there is. We will spend many thousands of dollars for a man to get an "education" which consists mainly of learning ways to make the truth not the truth. Ministers practice for years learning how to make the lie sound believable. All this is like an animal on a wire wheel. He puts forth great activity and, indeed, believes he is doing something, but in reality he goes nowhere.

Condemnation is man's problem. God does not engage in this activity. Jesus gave this truth to us in the example of His own life. John 8:11: "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more." Another statement is found in John 3:17: "...for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world...." Man does condemnation. We find this principle in Titus 3:11: "...being condemned of himself." Also, John 3:19-21: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil, for everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. BUT HE THAT DOETH TRUTH cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God." Here, we have again that God does not condemn, He only brings the truth about it to us. If we turn from what is true, we create for ourselves condemnation and if we accept the truth about it, we create for ourselves forgiveness.

Many have the mistaken idea that being sorry for a sin is repentance. Have you ever seen "sorry" fix a flat tire? You may be sorry it's a flat, but that won't fix it. You must now fix the tire. Sorrow for sin is like that. Sorrow is fine, but you still must fix it. We fix it by acknowledging our responsibility in it and accepting what is true instead of the lie we usually pack around. The truth will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Forgiveness - Bible Study

1. We will experience forgiveness as we acknowledge our responsibility for our rebellion.

Ps. 32:5: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

2. God does not condemn.

John 8:11: "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more."

3. The Father does not send Jesus to condemn.

John 3:17: "..For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world...."

4. This describes where condemnation comes from.

John 3:19-21: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

5. The truth is: man condemns himself.

John 8:9: "Being convicted by their own conscience went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last."

Forgiveness - E.G. White

"To know oneself is a great knowledge. The teacher who rightly estimates himself will let God mold and discipline his mind. And he will acknowledge the source of his power....Self-knowledge leads to humility and to trust in God...." CT 67.

"Every follower of Christ should daily examine himself, that he may become perfectly acquainted with his own conduct. There is with nearly all a neglect of self-examination." 2T 511.

"Yes, every act, however secret you may have thought you were in its committal, has been open to God, to Christ, and to the holy angels. A book is written of all the doings of the children of men. Not an item of this record can be concealed. There is only one provision made for the transgressor. Faithful repentance and confession of sin, and faith in the cleansing blood of Christ, will bring forgiveness, and pardon will be written against his name." 2T 292-3.

"This feeling of guiltiness must be laid at the foot of the cross of calvary." Lt. 38, 1887.

"It is in mercy that the Lord reveals to men their hidden defects. He would have them examine the complicated emotions and motives of their own hearts and detect that which is wrong and modify their dispositions and refine their manners. God would have His servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring them to a true knowledge of their condition, He permits the fire of affliction to assail them so that they may be purified. The trials of life are Gods workmen to remove the impurities, and infirmities and roughness from our characters and fit them for the society of pure heavenly angels in glory. The fire will not consume us but only remove the dross, and we shall come forth seven times purified, bearing the impress of the Divine." R.H.; 4-10-94

"Take your Bibles and go to God in earnest prayer. Ask Him to teach you to know yourself, to understand your weakness your sins and follies, in the light of eternity. Ask Him to show you your self as you stand in the sight of heaven. This is an individual work." R.H.; 1-9-1900

"Not to see our own deformity is not to see the beauty of Christ's character. When we are fully awake to our own sinfulness, we shall appreciate Christ. Not to see the marked contrast between Christ and ourselves is not to know ourselves. He who does not abhor himself cannot understand the meaning of redemption. To be redeemed means to cease from sin." R.H.; 9-25-1900

"That which I see not, teach thou me, if I have done iniquity I will do not more." Job 34:32

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Is there anyone I hate?
  2. When I see that someone has had a problem with me, do I see myself 100% responsible for it?
  3. When I have a problem with someone, do I always see myself as 100% responsible for it?
  4. Do I experience God's love on more than a theological level?
  5. Do I love others in the same way I know that God loves me?
  6. Do I forgive others the same way that God forgives me?
  7. Do I always forgive others?
  8. Do I ever remember someone else's sins when they have asked forgiveness?
  9. Do I hold others accountable for their sins?
  10. Do I ever say that they should have known better than to do what they did?
  11. Do I expect punishment for the guilty?
  12. Do I ever feel that the suffering of the guilty serves them right?
  13. Do I have an unrelenting spirit?

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