Sunday Sermon, April 26, 1998
Jesus said to a woman, "Thy sins are forgiven." Luke 7:48.
I believe her sins were forgiven, even before she said a word; before
she was baptized; before she joined the church; before she asked anyone to forgive her; before she made restitutions; before she made a new years resolution; before she tried to reform; before she learned the catechism.
The little woman, who was evidently guilty of some of the worst sins came along. The very presence of Jesus caused her to be convicted. She began to cry and shed tears of repentance. She washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Jesus saw the attitude of her heart and knew that she had repented. He forgave her sins suddenly and instantly.
One minute she was in the depth of sin and despair; the next minute she was clean, pure and holy. One minute she was a sinner on her road to hell; the next minute she was a saint on her road to heaven.
How do some people receive salvation without saying a word?
How do some people cry and beg for months and receive nothing?
Someone may come to you and make a beautiful apology, but in his heart he is the same. Another may not say a word. He may just cry a little; and you know that he no longer has anything against you.
Some people honor Jesus with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. Others may surrender their hearts without saying a word.
Some people may break down with emotion before they can say a word; you feel a connection. A fellowship and sincerity that makes you know there is no more resentment in their heart against you.
Simon, the church member, did not believe that Jesus could forgive that woman so easily and quickly. He thought she had to go through a lot of ceremony because she had been so wicked. Many church members remember what some poor woman did last week, when Jesus forgave her last night. Jesus forgave her, but the church member, being carnal, refuses to forgive her so quickly.
Some sinners are saved suddenly. Philip joined himself to a chariot. He sat down beside the African eunuch. He explained to him Isaiah fifty-three, concerning Jesus. The eunuch believed it. He believed with all his heart that Jesus was the Christ. He accepted Christ right there and was baptized.
He was forgiven, suddenly, on the spot.
It was before he joined a church; learned the church dogma; or prayed a long prayer. It is not recorded that he begged the Lord for one thing, or addressed God at all.
In this Scripture Philip taught him that salvation was already given; that he did not have to beg and plead and tell the Lord to "please give it to me." This chapter proves that Jesus has already given salvation. It is up to us to accept what He has already given. This chapter shows that salvation is purchased. It is paid for. The eunuch had not been waiting on God; God had been waiting on the eunuch.
This chapter teaches that salvation is not a promised gift. It is an offered gift. If I promised you a dollar you must wait until I give it to you; if I offered you a dollar it is up to you to make the next move and accept what I offer you. Salvation is an offered gift.
The electric light company has given me electricity; it is put within my reach. It is up to me to accept what they have made available to me. When I turn on the water it automatically runs. It is ready. Salvation is ready. When you are ready you may receive.
The radio and TV waves are running through your home. If your receiving sets are in tune you may receive the broadcast. Salvation is the same way. Tune in your receiving set. Get your heart in tune and receive.
The eunuch received what Jesus had already purchased for him. Jesus had already given it. On the cross, He said, "It is finished."
Prayer: Dear, Lord, please, in Jesus' Name, touch every man, woman, boy, and girl that reads these lines. Deliver them from sin and sickness right now. Help them to feel the assurance that they are ready for the coming of the Lord; right this minute. Neighbor, whether near or far, be set free from sin and sickness right now. Amen.
Dr. J. Gardner