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Dr. Paul Spence, Chaplain
Chaplain Spence Services

This Week's Sermon

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I COME today to preach the outline of the Text.  I John 1.9.  In the Text, there are twenty-two Words.  What are the different parts in the Words?  In regard to the Text's outline, there are three things I'd like to say.  I. The Text has three conspicuous parts.  II. The common occurrence in Texts that have three parts.  III. The three parts of the Text more closely examined.

     I. The Text has three conspicuous parts.  When I say the Text has three conspicuous parts, I mean to say that no great search is required.  As soon as the Text is read, the three parts of the Text instantly reveal themselves.  I'm going to read the Text.  This time look for the three parts.  The Words read: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  The three parts are as follows.  The first part is “if we confess our sins.”  The second part is “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”  The third part is “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  In all three parts, there are three separate and distinct ideas.

     II. The common occurrence in Texts that have three parts.  In the Scripture, there are many Texts that bear this structure.  In Fact, some of the most quoted Texts have three parts.  Think of the first Text in Scripture.  In Genesis 1.1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  There are three parts in the Words.  First: When.  “In the beginning.”  Second: What GOD did.  “God created.”  Third: The glorious result.  “The heaven and the earth.”

     That sweet Gospel Text in Romans 5.1 has three parts.  The Words read: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The first part is “therefore being justified by faith.”  The second part is “we have peace with God.”  The third part is “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

     In the Texts that have three parts, the usual rule is the middle section is the most important.  What comes before and behind, in one way or another, explains, enhances, or enforces what is in the middle.  In the instance of Romans 5.1 (which I just recited), the middle section is: “We have peace with God.”  Which speaks that the purpose of the Text is to open up what it means to have “peace with God.”  In the first part, you learn what you must do to have peace with God.  You must have faith.  “Therefore being justified by faith.”  In the last part, you learn Who you must go to to have peace with God.  It is “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

     III. The three parts of our Text more closely examined.  In today's Text, I have already divided the Words into their three parts.  Now consider further.  The middle section is: “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”  This is the heart of the Text.  In these Words, GOD speaks His mind as to how He forgives sin.  The first part of the Text is “if we confess our sins.”  This shows what you must do to enjoy the Forgiveness of sins.  You must confess your sins.  The third part of the Text is “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  This shows what a Glorious Work GOD does when He forgives sin.  When GOD forgives sin, He does not merely forgive sin (which in itself is significant).  When GOD forgives sin, He forgives like GOD.  In the experience of Forgiveness, the soul is cleansed from all unrighteousness.

     From today's Sermon, there are four instructions.  1. The first instruction is GOD has spoken about the Forgiveness of sins.  In today's Sermon, I showed that in the heart of the Text GOD speaks His mind as to how He forgives sin.  There are many subjects GOD could have spoken about.  For what does GOD not know?  GOD could have explained the secrets of science.  GOD could have unfolded the mysteries of space.  But instead look what GOD did.  In the Scripture, one central subject GOD fixes attention on is how He forgives sin.

     2. The second instruction: it is cause for singular gratitude that GOD has spoken about the Forgiveness of sins.  You know why?  Romans 3.23 says all have sinned.  Which suggests the Forgiveness of sins should be sought by the whole world.  Romans 6.23 says: “The wages of sin is death.”  Which reflects the only real safety in this world is found in the Forgiveness of sins.  Among all the many things to be thankful for, one thing to be profoundly thankful for is GOD has spoken about the Forgiveness of sins.

     3. The third instruction: all mere human fancies about the Forgiveness of sins should be laid aside.  II Corinthians 2.11 speaks about the “devices” of the Devil.  The famous Puritan Dr. Trapp has the phrase to refer to the stratagems of the Devil.  And when it comes to the matter at hand, if the Devil cannot get you to neglect the Forgiveness of sins, he will seek to confuse you.  Therefore it is vital in this affair to lay aside all human fancies about the Forgiveness of sins, come humbly to GOD as a child, and learn His mind as He has laid it out in the Scripture.

     4. The fourth instruction: it is wisdom to do what GOD says concerning the Forgiveness of sins.  Who knows more about the subject of sin than GOD?  Who knows more about Forgiveness?  Who cares for us more than GOD?  Therefore the advice of the Virgin Mary ought to be followed.  In John 2.5, she said: “Whatsoever He saith unto you do it.”  O, then, whatsoever GOD has said in the Scripture, be sure to do it, that you might truly enjoy the Forgiveness of sins!  GOD knows best.  Following His Word is the smartest course in the world.  Amen.