Forgiveness of Sins Through His Blood
1. This passage is part of Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving:
a. Because God has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints.
b. Because God has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.
c. Because we have received redemption in Christ.
d. Because we have the forgiveness of sins.
2. This is great cause for thanksgiving… and is the topic of our lesson for this morning.
Forgiveness of Sins and Redemption
1. Forgiveness of sins stands in apposition to redemption.
a. It is like saying that forgiveness of sins is the essence of redemption… the central feature of it…
b. Redemption and forgiveness go hand in hand.
c. To be forgiven is to be redeemed; to be redeemed is to be forgiven. You can’t have one without the other.
2. Redemption Defined
a. A ransom price is paid
b. That which is redeemed is taken out of the market place.
c. That which is redeemed is taken away from its former relationships…
d. It speaks of being rescued; delivered from bondage; set free!
e. That which is redeemed is thus under new ownership and has entered into a new relationship.
f. Two main aspects: the price paid and the deliverance acquired.
3. The blood of Christ that purchased our redemption (ransom price paid) also provided forgiveness of sins.
a. It is BECAUSE our sins are forgiven that we are redeemed; delivered; set free; and under new ownership.
b. The one who puts his faith in Jesus Christ receives a salvation package… which includes both: redemption and forgiveness of sins.
c. He is washed in the blood—cleansed—forgiven — and thus delivered from sin, self, and condemnation!
Forgiveness of Sins and our Position in Christ
1. IN WHOM speaks of our Christ and our POSITION in Christ.
a. The antecedent of “whom” is “His dear Son” in vs.13.
b. The Colossian believers (and us!) are seen as being “In Christ”… in God’s dear Son.
2. Redemption and forgiveness are seen here as related to our having been placed into a vital union with Christ… by means of Spirit baptism.
a. By faith, we have been brought into a living union with the Son of God… the risen, glorified Savior at God’s right hand.
b. The moment we place our faith in Christ, God the Holy Spirit immerses (baptizes) us INTO the Body of Christ…
c. We are “In Him” … who is in heavenly places.
d. In Him, we are blessed with ALL spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3).
e. Among those many spiritual blessings are redemption and forgiveness! (Eph. 1:7 – a parallel passage).
f. In Him we receive ALL the spiritual benefits of the cross.
3. In Him, we HAVE redemption… even forgiveness.
a. Not we hope to obtain some day, but we presently possess both redemption and forgiveness!
b. This brings assurance and the JOY of salvation to the heart of the believer who KNOWS these things.
c. Because we are in Him, we Have REDEMPTION.
d. I Cor. 1:30 – “But of Him are ye IN CHRIST JESUS who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
4. Paul’s point in Colossians – to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ in every way.
a. Actually, this section in Colossians is not really about our salvation, but is about our Savior! It is not about our redemption, but is about our Redeemer!
b. Whatever we have, it is because of our union with HIM.
c. Whatever we have, it is because of HIS work on the cross.
d. In HIM we have redemption; HE is the image of the invisible God (vs.15); by HIM were all things created (vs.16); HE is before all things and by HIM all things consist (vs.17); HE is the head of the body (vs.18) that in all things HE might have the preeminence!
e. So as we look at the wonders of forgiveness of sins—our eyes should remain on Christ our Savior; Redeemer; Friend!
Forgiveness of Sins Defined
1. The term: ἄφεσις aphesis; a sending away; to send off; to hurl; dismissal, release, pardon: — forgiveness;
a. This term is used of prisoners set free from prison.
b. This term is the term used to describe the concept of “divorce” in I Cor. 7:11 – a husband “putting away” his wife.
c. But when used in the noun form as in Col. 1:14 – it always refers to forgiveness of sins…
d. It speaks of the fact that sins forgiven are SENT AWAY! Gone! Forever gone!
2. This concept is attested to in various illustrations describing the forgiveness of sins.
a. Isa. 38:17 – our sins are cast behind His back.
b. Isa. 43:25 – sins are blotted out and remembered no more.
c. Micah 7:18-19 – cast our sins in the depth of the sea.
d. Psalm 103:12 – as far as the east is from the west…
e. Lev. 16:21-22 – the scapegoat released into the wilderness, never to return.
3. Lev. 4:8-12 – speaks of the place where the ashes of the offering are poured out.
a. This offering pictures our sin and guilt placed on the animal sacrifice and burned to ashes.
b. The ashes are then taken outside the camp and poured out.
c. The ashes tell us that the fire of judgment has done its work… and the work is finished… the sacrifice was completely consumed and turned to ashes.
d. This illustrates for us that God’s wrath and judgment has been fully spent… finished.
e. The shame, disgrace, guilt, and humiliation of our sin was completely CONSUMED by the fiery wrath of God at the cross…
f. A fire is only satisfied when the fuel is completely consumed. God’s wrath against sin was satisfied at the cross—His fiery wrath fell upon His own Beloved Son as He bore our sins… and there is nothing left to burn.
g. Nothing is left but ashes… not even any embers.
h. You can stir up embers and make them glow in fire again, but not ashes. They are completely spent… they cannot be burned… the fire has already done its job fully.
i. So too on Calvary—our sin and guilt was placed on Christ and He bore it entirely, eternally, and completely.
j. God’s wrath toward our sin is completely spent… and cannot be stirred up again. Utterly spent… burned out… finished. Hallelujah!
k. This pictures that sin is GONE… there is nothing left to consume… God’s justice and wrath has been fully executed and is FINISHED…
l. And this all points ahead to the cross—where the work of bearing our sin and guilt was finished in the ONE perfect sacrifice of Christ.
4. Col. 1:14 states that the Colossian believers were FORGIVEN!
a. They were sinners…
» Col. 1:21 – alienated and enemies by wicked works!
» Col. 2:13 – dead in sins.
» Col. 3:8-9 – they committed sins such as these!
» They were sinners just like we are sinners.
b. But they were sinners saved by grace… forgiven…
» If you have received Christ as your Savior, God cast your sins behind His back; to the depth of the sea; blotted out; remembered no more…nothing left but ashes…
» My sin O the bliss of this glorious thought; my sin not in part but the whole; is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord O my soul!
c. God forgives our sins and remembers them no more. (Heb. 10:18)
» This does NOT mean that God literally “forgets.” He is omniscient.
» God never learns anything; nor does He ever forget. His understanding is infinite. Nothing ever slips His mind.
» This is an anthropomorphism – putting a concept relating to God in human terms that we might understand…
» God forgets in the sense that He BEHAVES as if He forgot…
» God CHOOSES to NEVER bring up our sin again—ever!
» It is buried… gone… never to be dug up and rubbed in our faces… aren’t you glad?!
» When sin is forgiven, God never holds it against us; He doesn’t treat us as second class citizens; He doesn’t see us as perpetually stained by that sin; it’s as if it never happened;
5. When a sinner comes to God in faith… God grants forgiveness of sins. All of them!
a. The same is true of the Christian who has sinned—and comes to God in repentant faith—confessing his sin.
b. God grants forgiveness… complete forgiveness… no strings attached. That sin is GONE… sent away.
c. Let’s admit it: we’ve all failed the Lord. At times we have all sinned, and sinned grievously.
d. Perhaps it was something cruel you said to your spouse or your child… and the guilt eats away at you—for you know you can’t take it back…
e. Perhaps it was some awful offense against a brother… that has caused you much shame…
f. Perhaps it was an act of lust… or greed… or pride… foul language…cheating… lying… slander…
g. Perhaps it was stealing… drinking… adultery… divorce… drugs… sexual sins… sins of violence…
h. It’s hard to believe that God would simply GRANT us forgiveness. Surely there is some kind of suffering that I must endure… some sort of penance to pay…
i. It seems too easy to say that all we have to do is CONFESS our sins and He will forgive us…
j. If you think for one moment that God is treating our sin lightly… then take a long hard look at the cross… where ALL of our sin was laid on Christ… where He became sin for us… where Christ bore the full weight and fury of divine wrath against sin… where my guilt, shame, and condemnation fell upon Him… and He WILLINGLY bore it… for me… for you…
Forgiveness of Sins and the Blood of Christ
1. Redeemed THROUGH His blood.
a. Through His blood = dia = preposition of intermediate agency.
b. God redeemed us and the agency He used in our redemption was the precious blood of Christ.
c. The blood of Christ is the only GROUND upon which sins can be forgiven. Nothing less, nothing else could ever suffice.
2. Nothing but the blood of Christ can set us free!
a. Heb. 10:1-4 – the law with its animal sacrifices could NEVER take away sin.
» The law could provide atonement—a temporary covering up of sin… lasting only 12 months… and then needed to be repeated… because it was not effective in REMOVING sin.
» The law required continual sacrifices—because none of them could send our sins away permanently.
» There was always a remembrance of sin…
» And thus, the conscience was never settled on this issue… no real REST for your soul.
» Why? Because deep down inside they all knew that the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin… they knew that their sin was not sent away…
» But when Christ came, He DID take away sin (John 1:29 – Behold the Lamb of God…)
» I Pet. 1:18-19 – we were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ…
» Heb. 10:18 – where (forgiveness) is there is no more offering for sin. Hence, REST… the continual offerings have ceased…
» The law with all of its religious offerings could never take away sin; and could never purge the conscience; and thus could never offer rest to the soul.
» The law was but a shadow… Christ—the Substance has come!
b. “A shadow of a key cannot set a prisoner free. A shadow of a meal cannot satisfy the hungry. A shadow of Christ (Law; sacrifices) cannot redeem.”
c. But Christ died on the cross, shed His blood… and offered ONE sacrifice for sin that COULD provide redemption and forgiveness of sins…
d. To those who were heavy laden and burdened under the endless, frustrating system of religious works… Christ offered REST… the work is finished… at the cross.
e. Not until a person sees clearly that the work of salvation is FINISHED at Calvary can he or she enter into God’s rest… and by faith REST upon that finished work… and come to realize that there is NOTHING for the sinner to DO but believe… believe that the work is DONE…
f. As long as we think that there is something left for us to DO… we are not believing that the work is done.
g. Faith BELIEVES that what Christ did on the cross was sufficient to save us forever… and that His shed blood ENDED all religious sacrifices for sin… only then can he CEASE from all his dead works… and TRUST in one sacrifice of Christ.
h. Do you see that friend? Have you come to see how there is nothing YOU could do to earn your way into God’s presence?
i. Have you come to BELIEVE that Christ died and rose again for YOU… and left YOU with nothing to do but believe… receive Christ by faith? Then trust in Him today!
3. Ultimately, it is the blood of Christ that brings rest to our soul and joy to our hearts.
a. There is no rest to our soul until we see clearly the blood of Christ as the GROUND of our redemption and forgiveness.
b. The JOY of our salvation and the REST of our soul is dependent upon our understanding of this truth and our belief in it.
c. Vague thoughts about God’s love or mercy will not suffice.
» It is not the love of God that purges our guilty conscience and brings rest to our soul. It is the JUSTICE of God that does.
» Such vagaries about God’s love leave men with the impression that God overlooks sin because of His mercy. Not so. He spared not His Son!
» It is the justice of God that demanded that the penalty of our sin be paid in full… and that His wrath against sin be executed fully… and that He as a just Judge be fully SATISFIED with that judgment…
» God’s outraged holiness and justice could be satisfied with nothing less than the precious blood of His own Beloved Son – the God-Man who could offer a sacrifice of infinite value.
» Nothing less would suffice.
» And if the blood of Christ was enough to satisfy the Father’s justice, it should be enough to satisfy our conscience and put the sin issue to rest once and for all!
» There is nothing in ourselves that could ever satisfy divine justice—nothing but the blood of Jesus!
d. The blood of Christ is the ONLY ground upon which sin could ever be forgiven.
» Christ’s blood took away all my sins committed before I was saved.
» Christ’s blood takes away all present sins… and even those sins I will commit in the future.
» Actually, ALL of our sins were future from God’s perspective when Christ died to pay for them.
» TO God time is nothing. All of our sins (past, present, and future) were before God’s eye when He dealt with them in perfect justice at Calvary.
» There they were ALL nailed to the tree and I bear them no more! There God’s fiery wrath against sin burned in infinite zeal… and turned them all to ashes… GONE!
» And it is all because of this ONE SACRIFICE that was all-sufficient.
4. Until the divine method of dealing with sin is understood and believed, there is no rest; no peace of God; just anxiety.
a. God’s method of dealing with our sin is the cross: where His own beloved Son died… He gave His life… and shed His blood as a sacrifice for sin…
b. There on the cross, Divine justice was satisfied; wrath burned in fiery fury against sin; there Satan our accuser was forever silenced; there were our sins removed as far as the east is from the west…
c. And not until that is understood and believed will the previously guilty conscience ever be purged; and will rest enter our souls.
d. Rom. 15:13 – there is joy and peace in believing…
5. Forgiveness of sins—justification from all sins brings joy and peace with God. (Rom. 5:1)
a. And KNOWING this fact brings assurance and thus the peace OF God… peace in our heart.
b. The JOY of salvation is related to our ASSURANCE of salvation… KNOWING that our sins are forgiven. (As Jesus said to the man He healed of palsy: Son be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee!)
c. It is not presumptuous of to KNOW that our sins are forgiven. Col. 1:14 states that we HAVE redemption—even the forgiveness of sins!
d. Rom. 4:6-8 – There is a BLESSEDNESS (happiness) that comes from being forgiven… washed… cleansed…
» When it finally sinks in that those in Christ are really forgiven forever—the burden, guilt, and shame of sin is replaced with a pure joy… there is an elation that comes from being cleansed… and knowing it!
» Sin and shame weigh heavy on a guilt ridden conscience… and there is nothing like the joy of having guilt removed
e. The joy of forgiveness is also related to our understanding of the DEPTH of our sin…
» The sinner who does not understand how wicked is his heart… deceitful above all things and desperately wicked… incurably sick…that out of his heart flows all kinds of sins… the one who does not see the exceeding sinfulness of his own sinful heart will NEVER experience the full depth of joy that is ours through forgiveness.
» It is by FAITH that we experience the depth of this divine joy… and it is by FAITH we understand how sinful we are in God’s sight…
» It is only as we understand what a wretch we are before God that we can fully appreciate His amazing grace that saved us from sin and self…
» To the degree that we know this—we will experience the BLESSEDNESS David described.
» A shallow concept of our sinfulness breeds a shallow concept of forgiveness… and a shallow experience of the joy and blessedness of forgiveness.
» BUT—as we GROW in the Lord and learn OUR sin to be exceedingly sinful (not just Judas’ sin or Ahab’s!)… our concept of sin deepens… and so does our appreciation for forgiveness… and a deeper appreciation for the price paid at Calvary… and THEN a deeper experience of this joy!
6. Redemption, even the forgiveness of sins is offered to each one of us sitting here today…
a. Acts 10:43 – remission of sins (same word as forgiveness).
b. Forgiveness of sins is available to the whole world—but is only experienced by those who put their FAITH in Christ Jesus.
c. Whosoever BELIEVETH in Him shall receive forgiveness of sins! And the blessedness that goes along with being forgiven… cleansed… washed…
d. Acts 10:38-39 – the forgiveness of sins is preached when Christ is preached—and it is available to all who believe… forgiveness of sins and justification from all condemnation!
e. Have you trusted in Christ as your personal Savior? Why not do so today?
Forgiveness of Sins and Fitness
A. Redeemed and Forgiven: MEET to be partakers!
1. Made meet: (iκανοω) – “to make sufficient, to authorize, to make fit; render fit, qualify”
a. Used only here and in II Cor. 3:6 – made us ABLE ministers of the New Covenant.
» II Cor. 3:4 – all their confidence and trust was in God.
» Vs. 5 – their sufficiency was not of self, but from God. (same term – different form…)
» Vs. 6 – it was GOD who made them ABLE (meet) ministers.
» God made them meet to be apostles. He appointed them to that position. It was not a vote of men, but the calling of God. (I wish young men thinking of going into the ministry would take this to heart!)
» It speaks of being authorized and thus qualified for a position.
» It is the LORD who does the authorizing and qualifies a man for the ministry.
» Transplant that meaning into Col. 1:12.
b. Every genuinely born again believer in Christ has been made MEET to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints.
» We all have been authorized and are thus qualified to be partakers.
» This is true of the believer who has just recently accepted Christ as Savior as well as the believer who has known Christ for many years!
» It is true of the carnal believer as well as the spiritual believer.
» EVERY believer has been made MEET to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints.
» This rich inheritance belongs to ALL of God’s saints… from the feeblest to the strongest.
c. It is the Father who makes us meet… who authorizes and qualifies us.
» We are not authorized or made meet by self effort…
» This authorization and qualification is the work of God the Father through the shed blood of Christ on the cross on our behalf.
» The Father sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins.
» The Father makes us meet on the basis of the merit of His Beloved Son… on the righteous basis of the cross…
» Christ has delivered us (vs. 13)
» Christ provided redemption and forgiveness (vs. 14)
» THIS is the basis upon which we are made MEET.
» It is by His merit, not ours that we are able and meet to enter into the rest and rich experience of our glorious inheritance… our calling as saints.
» I stand upon His merit, I know no other stand;
» Not e’en where glory dwelleth, in Immanuel’s land.
d. Hath made us meet = the action is finished.
» This is an aorist participle: “Giving thanks to the Father, to the One who hath made us meet…”
» He is not presently “making us meet” but has already “made us meet.”
» Because Christ’s finished work on the cross is complete… we have thus been made meet… fully meet… fully authorized and qualified to enter into our Promised Land.
» This speaks of our position, not condition… we are complete in Christ—and completely qualified and completely authorized to partake of this rich inheritance.
» Until we get it settled in our minds and hearts that we really ARE qualified, we will be afraid to enter in… perhaps we will feel it presumptuous to do so… perhaps some will (through false humility mingled with unbelief) not FEEL qualified—even though God said we ARE!
» The blessings and inheritance are all ours… but unbelief and fear and ignorance of our glorious position will KEEP us from claiming them by faith!
» Ignorance, fear, and unbelief will keep us wandering in a spiritual wilderness… afraid to take God’s hand and walk right into the land… face our foes… drive out our enemies… and settle down into the inheritance God wants us to have!
» We don’t have to FEEL meet or sufficient… authorized or qualified. We are simply to BELIEVE what God said and act accordingly…
Sanctification makes us meet
Acts 20:32 – among them that are sanctified
Acts 26:28 – sanctified
Jude 1:1 – sanctified and preserved
Positional sanctification—Hebrews style… not progressive sanctification.
I Cor. 1:30 – Christ is our sanctification. We are in Him.
Col. 2:10 – complete in Him… we are meet IN Him…
Justification makes us meet
I Cor. 6:9-10 – only the righteous inherit
Eph. 5:5 – only the righteous… justified by faith
Gal. 5:21 – those who prove by their lifestyle that they are justified
Regeneration makes us meet
Rom. 8:17 – IF children (born again ones) THEN heirs.
The Father leaves this inheritance to ALL of His children… not to an elite few… as some are saying today.
We have been made “meet” for God’s presence because we have been raised from the dead, spiritually. (Eph. 2:6)
Rev. 5:9-10 – We have been made kings and priests to reign with Christ on earth.
Glorification will ultimately make us meet
Rom. 8:30 – all those sanctified will be glorified.
Rom. 5:12, 17-18 – We inherited darkness, ruin, condemnation, and death from Adam… because of our identification with the first Adam. We inherit light, salvation, glory, and LIFE from the Second Adam.
Salvation makes us FIT for light. We have been fit for heaven itself!
» Unbelievers are uncomfortable in light.
» Believers love it.
» Hence, worship that is Christ exalting, reverend, spiritual, in spirit and in truth, is a delight to the one who has been made FIT for it.
» For those who have not been fitted for it—it is a pain in the neck… a bore… a chore… and hence, church needs to get spiced up…
» Those unfit for spiritual worship demand that which is carnal… and soulish…
» Those unfit for Christ-exalting ministry demand ministries that cater to the self life… (self help courses; touchy-feely ministries)
» Those unfit for light will find reverence in worship boring and will want to make it entertaining… and just CALL it worship…
» Those unfit for the light will not be valiant for the light… the truth… but will tolerate other points of view… they will want to turn the light down a bit… to make it more comfortable. Light is blinding to those in darkness… or those attracted to darkness.
» But those who have been made meet for an inheritance in light will LOVE the light… and come to the light… walk in the light and worship in the light… and will want no darkness at all.
» It is impossible to appreciate the light unless one has been made FIT for it.