There are six lessons in this Bible Study. Each has a short article followed by several questions designed to highlight the Biblical truths presented, explore our understanding, and apply the lesson. Below are a sample and additional information on the topics covered.
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Here’s a sample from the first of six lessons:
In 1911 a baptism took place. Earlier in his life, the baptismal candidate said, “I belong to no Church unless you say that I belong to the one great Church of the world. If you like, you can say it is the devil’s Church that I belong to.” The candidate’s life was visibly full of pride, deceit, hatred, bitterness, and murder. His nickname proclaimed his devilish reputation. The 1911 baptismal candidate was Devil Anse Hatfield, leader of the Hatfield side of the infamous Hatfield & McCoy feud. Yet, Devil Anse received Christ’s complete forgiveness.
The cornerstone of forgiveness is the utter power and authority of Jesus Christ to forgive. Jesus himself declared and demonstrated this authority. In your Bible read Luke 5:17-26.
The key verses are 20 and 23-24. In verse 20 Jesus makes a simple declaration, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” This did not sit well with the religious leaders. In their understanding sins could only be forgiven by God and only after an elaborate ceremony involving a blood sacrifice. But Jesus, looking toward His own sacrificial death, forgave this man’s sins. Jesus then demonstrated his authority to forgive through his power to heal. In response to the religious leader’s unspoken questions, Jesus said, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? “But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” The passage reports that the man got up and went home, glorifying God as he went.
Jesus forgives. He is willing and able to forgive you. There is something, however, about the human experience that desires to judge. To say certain sins are “unforgivable.” Often they are the sins of others, sometimes they are our own sin. When we declare something to be “unforgivable” we are sinning by pridefully trying to trump the power and will of God. In essence, we are saying that we are more powerful, smarter, and more righteous than God. However, Jesus’ power to forgive is infinite, even over the sin of unforgiveness. There is no sin of thought, word, or deed, via either action or inaction, that Jesus’ blood cannot completely and utterly forgive.
Topics covered in the lessons:
- Jesus’ complete authority to forgive
- Realizing the weight of sin we have been forgiven
- Jesus’ instruction on the importance of forgiving others
- Walking in forgiveness creates an attitude of unoffendability
- The risks if we don’t forgive
- The requirement to forgive no matter the depth of pain
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