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Discovering God's Way

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Description

Discover God's Way with these 100+ studies designed to encourage you in following Jesus. You'll learn more about:

  • Jesus Christ - 39 studies on Jesus' example, his teaching, his claims, and his death and resurrection
  • Prayer - 24 studies on what Prayer is, what you should pray for, why it sometimes seems your prayers are not answered, and how to overcome discouragement
  • Discipleship - 24 studies on how to learn to follow Jesus Christ and what that means for your life
  • Moving on as a Christian - 28 studies on very practical thoughts about a Christian's priorities in life, in work, and in speech

Features

The user-friendly text is divided into four major categories which are further sub-divided into over 100 individual studies. You can easily use the material in a variety of ways:

  • As a short daily devotional
  • As an in-depth inductive study investigating the Bible references given for each study
  • As source material for teaching in home groups/Bible studies or preaching in church

Sample Text

Discovering Jesus Christ | The Teaching of Jesus | 3. Jesus and forgiveness

Our deepest need
When Jesus met a paralysed man he did something significant. He forgave his sins - something which, as the Pharisees were not slow to point out, only God can do (Mt 9:2-6). That's very revealing. Jesus was telling us plainly what anyone with even half a conscience knows only too well: authentic, living forgiving is the deepest of our needs. It was an opinion he held to and lived by even in his darkest hour (Lk 23:34).

What is forgiveness?
There are three New Testament words for it and they each make their own contribution:

  • The first and commonest (aphesis verb) says that when he forgives us God sends our guilt and sin away. He and we abandon them and leave them altogether behind us. In most of the places we read "forgive" in the New Testament it will be this word.
  • The second word for forgiveness (charizomai) is a word that means to be freely kind to. God freely pardons us, and we should do the same to each other: Ep 4:32.
  • The third word (apoluű) says that in forgiving us God is releasing us from bondage or debt: he could hold our sins against us, but chooses not to. We open the tap of that release as we copy God and donít hold things against others: see Lk 6:37.

Forgiveness and Jesus' blood
In Mt 26:28 we read, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.Ē The whole momentous good news of the Christian faith is encapsulated in those luminous words. As the hymn-writer has it:
Bearing shame and scoffing rude
In my place condemned he stood
Sealed my pardon with his blood
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
Does "blood" seem a crude word for our Lord Jesus to use? Remember, Passover was a Jewish feast. All the Old Testament words for forgiveness are connected with their sacrificial system. "Blood" speaks of a life given up in atoning death with a view to forgiveness and reconciliation between God and humanity.

Why should that be necessary? It was laid down between God and humanity: the punishment for sin is death (Ge 2:17; Ro 6:23). So sin can never be dealt with apart from a death (Heb 9:22), or God would be abandoning his own character. The wonder of the gospel is that Godís love provided, in the death of Jesus, what his justice demanded.

How do I come by it?
How do we make this forgiveness our own? The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector tells us (Lk 8:9-14). We come, as sinners, to the mercy God holds out to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Contrast the two men in the story. Forgiveness is something God never sells. It's something he gives to sinners; he never gives it to Pharisees who want to buy it by their good deeds. Since he only gives it to sinners, we need to take our place right there: we lay hold of the absolution he holds out to us, by laying hold (by faith) of the Saviour who purchased it. Then "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn 1:9). A just God, and a Saviour! Could anyone ask for more?

OVER TO YOU

Do you practise forgiveness as the gospel calls Jesus' followers to do? Is there anyone you need to forgive today?

About the Editor(s)

Martin Manser is a professional reference-book editor who since 1980 has compiled and edited Bible reference material and English-language dictionaries. He has been involved for many years in a Baptist church in his home town of Aylesbury, England, and is married with a son and a daughter.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 384.875 KB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. Download size: 384.875 KB. Android Requires Android OS 2.2 or later. Download size: 384.875 KB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 384.875 KB. Windows Store Download size: 384.875 KB. Windows PC Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, or later. Download size: 1.375 MB. Mac OS X Download size: 384.875 KB. Windows Mobile Requires Pocket PC / Windows Mobile version 6.5 or earlier. Download size: 493.375 KB. Palm OS Requires Palm OS 4.0 or later. Download size: 524.375 KB.

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