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Dr. Paul Spence, Chaplain Chaplain Spence Services

This Week's Sermon

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TODAY, I enter the last part of the Text.  The last part of the Text says: “And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1.9.  In this first consideration of these final Words, I have three things to say. I. Thought has power.  II. What are you thinking about these days?  III. The general thought contained in the last Words of the Text.

     I. Thought has power.  In Romans 12.2, the Apostle Paul speaks the phrase “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  By which, the Apostle at least suggests the power of thought.  One single thought can cause sadness.  One single thought can bring peace.  Thought has made many books.  Thought has caused war.  Sometimes thought has shaken the world.

     II. What are you thinking about these days?  During the more than 23 years I have served in the Care Facilities, I have often thought about what the people think about.  For one thing, I have observed that they think about the days of their youth.  It is peculiar how frequently the Older People think about the days of their youth.  It is a common occurrence that the closer people come to the end of life, the more they think about the beginning of life.  A second thing many of the people think about is their Families.  They love when their Families call.  They love when their Families visit.  It is a pleasure to them to keep up with the news of their Families.  A third thing that many of the people think about is their troubles.  I admire them, in many respects.  One commendable aspect is they face up to their troubles.  They do not pretend as if all is well when all is not well.  They think on their own troubles.  They think on their Families' troubles.  They think on their Friends' troubles.  They think on the troubles taking place in the Country.

     If I might here say, as you go your way through life thinking thoughts from day to day, be sure to think about the Scripture!  The Scripture is GOD'S Word.  In the First Psalm, GOD solemnly commands you to think about the Scripture.  If you can, read the Scripture.  If you don't have the Scripture, ask for one.  If you can't read, cherish the Scriptures you know.  After the Church Services, think about the Sermons.  The purpose of a good Sermon is to declare what GOD said in the Scripture.  I tell you, it is important to fill your mind with the Scripture.  The Scripture came from GOD.  The Scripture leads to GOD.

     III. The general thought contained in the last Words of the Text.  So, Friends, when you look at the last Words of the Text, what is the general thought?  The whole Text speaks about the Forgiveness of sins.  In the second part of the Text (which is the heart of the Text), GOD speaks His mind as to how He forgives sin.  “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”  In the first part of the Text, you learn what you must do to receive the Forgiveness of sins.  You must confess your sins.  “If we confess our sins.”  In our last part of the Text, you learn what a Glorious Work GOD does when He forgives sin.  When GOD forgives sin, “He cleanses from all unrighteousness.”

     I would have you to see then the general thought contained in the last Words of the Text.  The general thought is what a Glorious Work GOD does when He forgives sin.  There are many who do not see the Glory of GOD'S Work in Forgiveness.  They know there is such a thing as Forgiveness.  They know they should ask for Forgiveness.  But they see no Glory in it.  They do not see Forgiveness for the sublime Work that it is.  They see Glory in Creation.  They think it is something that GOD created such things as the sun, moon, and stars.  They think there is Glory in certain spiritual experiences.  In Isaiah 6, GOD appeared to the Prophet Isaiah.  GOD was sitting on His Throne and the Angels were flying around Him.  They think such things are Glorious.  But when it comes to Forgiveness, in their minds, they see it as a mundane matter.

     Friends, if I might here say, there is absolute Glory in GOD'S Forgiveness of sins!  In Fact, the greatest Glory of GOD that may be seen in this world is seen in GOD'S Forgiveness of sins.  In the Words of the Text I spoke about today, this Truth shines!  As the Text speaks, about the half way point, the Text says: “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”  There are many who read the Words and are ready to stop there.  They say in themselves: “Well, GOD forgives sin.”  But that's not all.  The Text has more to say.

     So often the human race tries to earn Forgiveness.  They are intent.  They work.  They fancy they are sincere.  But what is the outcome?  The outcome is failure.  The outcome can only be failure.  Romans 3.20 says it is an eternal principle that no one can earn the Forgiveness of sin.  Yet when GOD comes down through His Word in the abundance of His Grace to freely forgive sin at the time He is asked, He does such a Glorious Work in Forgiveness as that He cleanses the soul from sin.  It is as if the soul had never sinned.  There is no trace of the sin that remains.  The Text presents this as part of the Glory that exists in GOD'S Forgiveness.  The Truth is when people do not see this Glory, they will keep away from Forgiveness.  At best, they will be superficial in it.  They certainly will not persist in it.  But when the soul sees the Glory, the soul will be drawn to it, come to it, and receive it.  The soul will prize such a Forgiveness as the greatest treasure of life.  The soul will walk softly all the rest of its days thanking GOD for such a Glorious Gift as the Forgiveness of sins.  Amen.