The Blessing of Forgiveness
Psalm 86:5, Ephesians 4:32
September 18, 2005
ILLUSTRATION: It is said that not too far from New York, there is a cemetery with a grave, which has inscribed upon its headstone just one word--the word, "Forgiven." There is no name, no date of birth or death. There is no epitaph, no flattering eulogy--just that one word, "Forgiven." That, my friend, is the greatest thing that can be said of any man, or written upon his grave? "Forgiven"1
QUOTE: On the other hand, not to be forgiven is a burden too heavy for any man to bear.
Someone summed it up in this way: "Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to a single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever." --Hannah Arendt
INTRODUCTION: This morning I want to speak to you on The Blessing of Forgiveness.
Let me give you two main points:
I. The Blessing of Forgiveness
II. The Burden of Unforgiveness
I. THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS
In the allegory, Pilgrim's Progress, Christian is laden with a heavy burden upon his back--the burden representing his sin; but alas, there is hope...
'Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation (Isa. 26:1). Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till be came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, a ...
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