11/28/14 Forgiveness of Trespasses

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Col. 2:13

Morning Meditation 11/28/14

Verse 13 says, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

I want us to think in this meditation on four things that are clearly revealed in this text: the word forgiven, the one’s forgiven, the extent of the forgiveness and the power of forgiveness.

First, what does the word forgiven mean? To most of us who look at this word it is so familiar that we don’t think of the definition. Sometimes I think we lose the impact of what a word is saying to us because of our familiarity with it. So lets go back to the basics and study this word. The word “forgiven” translates “charizomai” and means according to Strong, “to give graciously, give freely, bestow, to forgive, graciously to restore one to another, to preserve for one a person in peril.” Grace overshadows the definition. Grace is the free, unmerited forgiveness extended to the believing sinner by God because of the death of Jesus on the cross. God graciously gives forgiveness. He freely forgives. It is not cheap forgiveness though we receive it without cost to us. It is costly forgiveness because of the price He paid through His suffering on the cross. Forgiveness also means restoration. Man has sinned and therefore offended God. He is out of relationship and fellowship with his Creator. That which stands between God and the sinner is so great that only God can bridge that gap. God is holy and because of that He cannot sweep what we have done wrong under the proverbial rug. That is not possible. There must be a way to so deal with sin that God can remain holy and still forgive the sinner. This truth is brought out in Romans 3:26, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” God remains holy in the act of forgiving sinners because He became a man and did for man what man could not do for himself, i.e., live a sinless life and pay the penalty of sin for the ones forgiven.. Forgiveness means that the forgiven are preserved from peril. The unforgiven are in peril and cannot possibly escape the righteous judgment of God if forgiveness through Christ is refused. A man without Christ, must face a holy God without Christ, and receive the judgment that God says his sins deserves.

Forgiveness doesn’t just mean that sin is covered. If you cover it, it can be uncovered, and that thought would haunt every believer. The joy of forgiveness is that what God forgives He forgets (Heb. 10:17).. That is a relief and brings joy and assurance to our present lives. God so does away with sin, when He forgives, that it will never come up again. God sees the forgiven in the person of His Son and there is no sin in Him.

Second, let’s look at the ones forgiven. Paul is talking to believers who were once dead. He came to us in the graveyard of this world and gave us an opportunity to live. Adam died the day he sinned in the Garden of Eden. All his descendants are born spiritually dead. This is where the human race is today. They exist in a state of spiritual death. The only hope of crossing the line from death to life is to be forgiven. The ones forgiven first had to recognize their need and then accept God’s way of forgiveness. Col. 1:14 says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” So we see the ones forgiven were those who were in a helpless state of spiritual death. But through faith in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, they passed from death to life.

Third, we notice next the extent of forgiveness. The words “all trespasses” describe complete and unqualified forgiveness. The word “all” translates “pas” and means “each and every.” This little word tells us how far God will go in forgiveness.

Paul is a good example in how far God goes in forgiveness. Paul testifies in 1 Timothy 1:12-16, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Paul persecuted the Church and was the one in charge of the stoning of Stephen. He says “ . . .that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” The verb is a present tense. There is the personal pronoun “ego” meaning “I” used with the verb “eimi” meaning “I am.” It is the strongest way that one could express his person in the construction of a Greek sentence. The emphasis is on “I.” This is the combination Jesus used when He said, “I am the way . . .” or, “I am the True Vine” or, “I am the Door,” etc.

The word “chief” translates “photos” which means ”first in line or rank.” Paul considers himself first in the line of bad sinners that Jesus came to save i.e., he outranks them all. He also gives a reason for this. He says, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” The word “pattern” translates “hupotuposis” and means, “an outline, sketch, brief and summary exposition, an example.” Paul says, “I am the living example of God’s forgiveness. I am an expository outline of His willingness to save the very worst of sinners. If you find a bad sinner who thinks he has gone too far for God to save, tell him that He has already saved the worst sinner and He did it to prove to others that He can save anyone.”

Then fourth, we see the power of forgiveness. The words “hath quickened together with him” point out that resurrection is linked to forgiveness. The words “hath he quickened together with” translate “suzoopoieo” (one word) meaning, “to make one alive together.” This means that our present spiritual resurrection is linked to His resurrection. It is in His resurrection life that we live.

The power of forgiveness is the restoration of the life lost by Adam in the Garden of Eden and given once again to the new man created in Christ Jesus. This puts us in an absolutely marvelous position. Satan would have to take Jesus down to get to us. As long as He lives WE HAVE LIFE. Well, someone hold my mules!!! Thank the Lord we have been forgiven of ALL TRESPASSES. We have been made the sons of God through Christ. We await His return for the adoption (Rom. 8:23). We have perfect assurance that He will come and do this because we are already partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet.1:4), i.e., the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Amen.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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