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Understanding right and wrong #3

We have looked the last couple of weeks as to the question, is there a way to distinguish clearly between right and wrong? You know actions that we would all generally agree are wrong? I would think that most, if not all who might read this blog, would clearly understand and distinguish between right and wrong. Finding that the wrong thing is always to be avoided by doing what is right. We would all agree to that, but there is much more to it than simply acknowledging that truth.


Some people believe that they have gone too far and that God could never love them because of what they have done. They believe that they have no hope for forgiveness. Some of you, even as Christians, feel you cannot be effective for God because of past failures.


I want you today to know and to understand what it is to be forgiven. There are 4 reasons for forgiveness and we have already looked at the first 2, God’s Love: The Basis of Forgiveness and Confession and The Demand of Forgiveness. By the way, if you have missed those then please go back now and read them. They will give you a clearer understanding of where we are and where we are going with this topic in this series.


Today we will look into the third, Cleansing: The Extent of Forgiveness. We have been looking from Psalm 51 and David’s response to his sin. How he saw and considered what he had done and how God might deal with him.


Psalms 51:7-9


7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.


9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.


Restoration is something we hear about and possibly don’t truly appreciate. As good as it might be for something to be made new in restoration, it will never be new. It will restored but it will still have the old because it cannot be made new, as in the sense of never used or experienced.


We used to watch a show that had the staff looking for old things and then making them new. There is a word patina which is a yellow or brown covering on bronze. Patina shows the age and that patina is best to always be there. The value, they would say, was lost when the patina was removed. The real value is not in the item as new but in what it is after it has aged and has that patina.


The point is that in Christ we are made new. A new person in Christ, yet we have that patina of the old person. It is never totally removed because if it were the value would be lost. The patina of life makes us more valuable and precious. Who we \were but now who we are. There are some steps that will produce restoration through cleansing. We begin by understanding that-


-Only God can cleanse us of our sin

David’s cry was “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean”

David is referring to a ritual practice where a small plant called a “hyssop” was

dipped in blood and sprinkled to signify cleansing.

Specially prepared water was also used for rites of purification. This use of words by David was done so as to show that he understood that he

could do nothing.

Rituals such as those mentioned could only be accomplished through God.


-Cleansing produces the joy of restoration

When cleansing occurs it is meant to restore what once was and is called

restoration. There is a joy, a peace that comes from the process of restoration.

There is an accomplishment that doing what is required restores what had

become less than what it was originally.


We all face this prospect in our life and restoration needs to happen in order to

return the joy and peace that has been lost. I know that for me it is my hope

and desire to be who and what God desires of me. There is also a realization

and I understand that I will always be in need of restoration.


-Cleansing includes redemption

The truth of redemption is found in the reality of our sin. We are slaves to sin

and a sin nature. Redemption is “a buy back” and its meaning is found in the

buying of slave out of slavery. Jesus has bought us back from the slavery of

sin. In Romans 3 Paul said-


23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ

Jesus,


So when we read in verse 9 which is a very insightful comment by David-

9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.


We find that redemption is more than a request to treat symptoms. It is

cleansing seeking the removal of sin so that fellowship with God and

the forgiveness of sins can be enjoyed


Next week we will consider:


New Life: The Result of Forgiveness


In God’s Grace,


Elbert Nasworthy



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