Intro. The book of Hebrews has a probing question, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" On the subject last week we looked at the power of salvation here in verse 18. It opens people's eyes to the truth. It brings them from darkness to light. It brings them from the power of Satan to God. No longer slaves of Satan, but slaves of Jesus Christ, and everyone who has become a servant of Jesus Christ knows how much better a master He is than Satan.
I. THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
A. One of two things can happen to your sins, they will be forgiven by God, or judged by God.
1. God's sentence against sin has already been announced.
a. "The soul that sinneth shall surely die."
b. "The wages of sin is death."
2. In Romans 2
Paul asked, "Do you think that you can escape the judgment of God?"
B. You might well say that the forgiveness of sins is the greatest need of man.
1. Unforgiven sin can prey upon your mind.
2. Many psychologists believe that most mental illnesses stem from a guilt complex.
a. That neurotic behavior patterns are created by a sub-conscious desire for punishment.
b. They speak of the ego and the super ego. The super ego being your ideal self, that person you see yourself as being, where the ego is the true self. They say that if the disparity between the two is great, then you are a mentally disturbed person. The closer the two are the more well balanced person you are.
C. In the psalm that we read today the psalmist spoke of the happiness of knowing that his transgression was forgiven, that his sin was covered.
1. He mentioned how that before his confession of sin there seemed to be a constant roaring in his bones.
2. That the hand of God was heavy on him.
3. That spiritually he became as dry as the drought of summer.
4. Maybe you think that that is a description of how you feel.
a. There is an inner roaring.
b. The hand of God is heavy on you.
c. You feel totally dry spiritually.
5. Perhaps there is some unconfessed sin in your life.
6. The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
D. God's offer of salvation is so free and full.
1. Free to all who will receive. Jesus paid the price for our redemption. I was under the sentence of death, He died for me.
2. Salvation is offered freely to all. Whosoever will let him come and drink of the water of life freely.
3. It is so full for it covers all of our sins. "For the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth a man from all sin."
4. Sometimes we are so angry over an atrocious crime, that we do not want God to forgive the person.
5. God is far more gracious than I, for there are some that God has forgiven, whom I would never have forgiven.
E. What a thrill it is to hear the Lord say, "Your sins are forgiven" and to know that your sinful past is totally wiped out.
1. To the man who had been made an invalid through his sexual sin, Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven."
2. To the woman caught in the very act of adultery Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee."
3. To the thief on the cross Jesus said, "Today you will be with Me in paradise."
4. It seems that Jesus delights in saying those words.
5. If you will receive Him as your Lord today, you can hear Him say to you, "Your past is forgiven."
6. Often times as I am baptizing people and as we stand in the water I will say to them that we are going to bury the past, all the sins they have ever committed, tears of joy will come streaming down their faces, as they experience what David said, Oh how happy is the man whose transgression is forgiven.
II. AN INHERITANCE.
A. Not only is the past sin forgiven, but we now have a glorious future in the kingdom of God. We have become a child of God and as a child, we have become heirs of God. We are going to inherit His heavenly kingdom.
1. Peter speaks of our inheritance incorruptible, undefiled that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you.
[Oh] how great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; [which] thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
3. Jesus told the disciples that when He returns to the earth in power and glory to set up the kingdom, then He will say to those on His right hand, "Come you blessed of the Father inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the foundation of the earth."
4. To the Colossians Paul said, "We thank God who has made us fit to be made partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
B. We used to sing a chorus years ago, "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine, He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills, the sun and stars that shine. Wonderful riches that no tongue can tell, He is my Father so they are mine well, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and I know that He will care for me."
1. Here is where a person often opts for temporal riches or eternal riches.
2. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he had respect for the eternal values. He realized that the pleasures of sin were very short lived.
III. FINALLY WE HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED BY OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.
A. The word sanctify means to be set apart for God's special use and exclusive purpose.
1. We sing, "And I will serve no foreign god, nor any other treasure." That's what it means to be sanctified.
2. It means that my life is to be dedicated unto the service of God.
3. The Bible speaks of God sanctifying the seventh day, that is, it was to be a day that was set aside for God, no work was to be done, but our minds and hearts were to be turned toward Him.
4. The vessels that were to be used in the temple worship were to be sanctified. They were not to be used for any other purpose.
5. The Tabernacle their place of worship was to be sanctified or set apart for God and not to be used for any other purpose.
6. Paul warned Timothy to shun vain and profane babblings, he said, "If a man will cleanse himself from these he shall be a vessel of honor, sanctified and fit for the Masters use.
B. Paul declared that the inheritance was for those who were sanctified.
1. In Acts 20
Paul said to the elders of Ephesus,
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
2. In our text our inheritance we again related to sanctification.
3. Our sanctification comes through our faith in Jesus. When you have come to a true understanding of salvation, you want your life to be lived exclusively for Him.