Archive for the ‘forgiveness of sins’ Category

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you

May 22, 2013

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

C.S.Lewis, On Forgiveness

What is Justification?

December 23, 2011

…we simply interpret justification, as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favor as if we were righteous; and we say that this justification consists in the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ

Calvin, Institutes, Book 3, 11, 2

Renounce thy vengeance

November 15, 2009

(When Papillon was finally free he prayed):

“Lord, forgive me if I do not know how to pray; look into me and you will see I don’t possess words enough to express my gratitude to you for having brought me this far…What can I do to show you that I am sincerely grateful for your care of me?”

“Renounce thy vengeance”

Did I really hear these words or did I only think I heard them? I don’t know: but they came so suddenly, like a smack in the face, that I’d almost swear I really did hear them.

Oh no! Not that! Don’t ask me that. These people have made me suffer too much. How can you expect me to forgive those bent cops, or Polein, that perjured witness? How can I give up the idea of ripping out that inhuman lawyer’s tongue? I can’t do it. You’re asking too much…I’m sorry to offend you, but at no price whatsoever will I give up carrying out my revenge.

Papillon, p.561

Offering pardon for future sins

September 13, 2009

The pope needed funds to rebuild St. Peter’s Chuch in Rome. So he authorised a preacher named Tetzel to see ‘indulences’ throughout Germany. Tetzel said, ‘No sooner do the coins clink in the money chest than the souls of a loved one flies out of purgatory.’ ( Luther, Works of Martin Luther, The Philadelphia Edition, trans. C. M. Jacobs, vol. 1: Letter to the Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1982), p. 26.)

One day a young man asked Tetzel if the purchase of an indulgence could obtain pardon for any sin.  “Absolutely!” responded Tetzel.  “What if the sin hasn’t yet been committed, but is being contemplated by a person?” the man asked.  “It makes no difference,” Tetzel assured him.  “No sin is too great.”  With that, the young man eagerly purchased the indulgence.  After Tetzel had completed his rather lucrative session in that village, he packed up his wares and journeyed toward the next town.  On the way, he was confronted by a band of thieves who robbed him of all he had, including the money from that day’s sale of indulgences.  The grinning leader of the thieves was none other than the young man who had purchased an indulgence that afternoon in contemplation of a future sin – robbery.

David W. Bercot, Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up, 3rd ed., Scroll Publishing Company, Tyler, TX, 1999, p. 144.

The Gospel is the Cure for despair and pride

August 25, 2009

Some, who regard nature as incorrupt, while others as incurable, have not been able to avoid either pride on the one hand or sloth on the other (which are the two sources of all vice), since the only alternative they have is to give up through cowardice or escape through pride. If they realized the excellence of man, they would be ignorant of his corruption, with the result that they would certainly have avoided sloth, but then lapsed into pride. On the other hand, if they recognized that they managed to avoid pride, they would only fall headlong into despair.

Only the Christian faith has been able to cure these two vices, not by using one to get rid of the other according to the practice of worldly wisdom, but by driving both out according to the simplicity of the gospel.


Gordon Wilson – Enniskillen

August 22, 2009

Gordon was the father of Marie Wilson, one of 11 people killed in the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing by the Provisional IRA. Marie was a young nurse who died, buried in the rubble with her father, who held her hand and spoke with her during her last moments of consciousness. I genuinely thought he was the nearest I would ever get to being in the presence of a saint. Gordon’s description of that ghastly deed in November 1987 echoed to the far corners of the world. He spoke of the last words between himself and his dying daughter in a famous BBC interview:

“She held my hand tightly and gripped me as hard as she could.

“She said, ‘Daddy, I love you very much’.

“Those were her exact words to me and those were the last words I ever heard her say.”

“But I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge.”

“Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life.”

“She was a great wee lassie. She loved her profession.”

“She was a pet. She’s dead. She’s in heaven and we shall meet again.”

“I will pray for these men tonight and every night.”

These words may be among the most-remembered from the decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, uttered by an ordinary, but yet extraordinary man — a man who until that fateful day had quietly run a family drapery business in Enniskillen.

Although a resident of Northern Ireland and a Protestant, Gordon was invited to become a member of Seanad Eireann, the Irish Senate, in 1993.

On many occasions Gordon met with members of Sinn Fein. He also met once with representatives of the Provisional IRA, seeking the reasons for the Remembrance Day bombing, but failed to get a satisfactory answer.

Sadly, Gordon died of a heart-attack in 1995, aged 67, some months after his son David had been killed in a road accident.

 Belfast Telegraph

Justification – a great track

August 22, 2009

Forgiveness from Jesus Christ is like a tape-recording of your life wiped clean.

C.S. Lewis

In fact, it’s more than that – it’s dubbing over all the mess you’ve recorded with the harmonious and perfect soundtrack of Christ’s life lived for all those who trust in Him.


August 22, 2009

Ernest Hemingway tells the story of the Spanish father who wanted to be reconciled with his son who ran away from home to the city of Madrid. The father misses the son and puts an advertisement in the local newspaper El Liberal The advertisement read, “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday. All is forgiven! Love, Papa.” Paco is such a common name in Spain that when the father went to the Hotel Montana the next day at noon there were 800 young men named Paco waiting for their fathers!

Philip Yancey, What’s so Amazing about Grace, Zondervan, pp.37-38