Forgiven

officers_at_court_martial_ca_1835

A soldier, whose regiment lay in a garrisoned town of Old England…

…was about to be brought before his commanding officer for some offence. He was an old offender, and had been punished time after time, yet without effect.

“Here he is again,” said the officer, on his name being mentioned; “everything—flogging, disgrace, and imprisonment—has been tried with him.”

Whereupon the sergeant stepped forward, and, apologizing for the liberty he took, said, “There is one thing which has never been done with him yet, sir.”

“What is that?” was the answer.

“Well, sir,” said the sergeant, “he has never been forgiven.”

“Forgiven!” exclaimed the colonel, surprised at the suggestion. He reflected for a few minutes, ordered the culprit to be brought in, and asked him what he had to say to the charges against him.

“Nothing, sir,” was his reply; “only I am sorry for what I have done.”

Turning a kind and pitiful look on the man who expected nothing else than that his punishment would be increased with the repetition of his offence, the colonel addressed him, saying, “Well, we have resolved to forgive you.” The soldier was struck dumb with astonishment; the tears started in his eyes, and he wept like a child. He was humbled to the dust, he thanked his officer, and retired.

Do you think that he left to be the old reprobate, and incorrigible man that he had been? No!  He became another man from that day forward. He who told me this story had him for years under his command, and a better conducted man never wore the Queen’s colors. For here was a man that kindness had bent, but one whom harshness could not break. This man had been conquered by mercy, and, completely forgiven.  Ever afterwards this soldier feared to offend in even the smallest thing.

Is that not the way it is with the Christian? His heart is twisted towards hell. His mind is at war with God, and hates all things God-like.  Then a change happens. Is it because that one morning he wakes up and decides to turn over a new leaf?  Not at all, it is because one morning he wakes up and finds that he is an awful sinner, that he is completely destitute of an excuse. That he is without hope for a pardon, and that there is nothing that he can do to save himself.

Then God appears, and forgives this destitute sinner.  To say that he did anything, or earned any part of the forgiveness that he received, is ludicrous.  For this new Christian to claim that God owed him this grace, would be the thought farthest from his mind.  So what changed him?  I will tell you what, it was the forgiving and cleansing grace of God.

How did it come about? I am glad you asked.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

The Wayward Daughter

images (1)

A mother whose daughter had behaved very badly…

…and at length had run away from home, thought of a singular plan in order to find the wanderer and draw her back to her home. After having exhausted the ordinary means, she had her own portrait fixed on a large handbill and pasted on the walls of the town where she supposed her daughter to be concealed. The portrait, without name, had these words, “I love thee always.”

Crowds stopped before the strange handbill, trying to guess its meaning. Days elapsed, when the young girl at last passed by, and in her turn lifted her eyes to the singular placard. “Can it be?” Yes, truly it is the picture of my mother. Those eyes, full of tenderness, I know from childhood. Why is it here?” She approaches nearer and reads. “I love thee always,” She understood; this was a message for her. Her mother loved her, –and had pardoned her.

Those words transformed the daughter. Never had she felt her sin or ingratitude so deeply. She was unworthy of such love. “She loves me always,” she cried.

If she had ever doubted that love, if in moments of distress she had feared to return home, those doubts were all gone now. She set out for the house of her mother; at last she crosses the threshold and collapses in her mother’s arms.

“My child!” cried the mother, as she presses her crying and repentant daughter to her heart; “I have never ceased to love thee.”

Isn’t that like God? 

Are you one of those who longs to come home, but feel you have done too much, or gone too far?  Your Father loves you. Your elder brother died for you.  All heaven is looking and hoping that you will come home. It is not too much to imagine angels traveling between earth and heaven with news about you.  Your whole heavenly family yearns for your presence, and looks for your safe arrival….

Will you not come?  Will you not turn around? Will you not come home, now? Come home!  It is my prayer that you will.

The story of the daughter was by, La bonne Nouville.

Refuse to restore him? –NOT my child!

dad-teen-son-talking-tense-discipline

I am reminded of a story… 

…of when the son of a Christian man was guilty of an act of disobedience in the home. Hearing of it, the father quietly but firmly said, “Son, I am pained beyond measure at your conduct.”

“How well,” said that father, “I remember his return from school that day, his quiet knock at the study-door, his clear tremulous utterance, ‘Father, I am so ashamed of myself by reason of my conduct this morning.’

“Refuse to restore him?” said that father. “Unhesitatingly I confess that I never loved my boy more than at that moment, nor did I ever more readily implant the kiss of forgiveness than at that instant.”

“Refuse to restore him?

Disown him?

Have him leave the house, and take another name?

Say that he had no place in the family?

–NOT my child!”

What blasphemy against God is this! Shall we dare to attribute such conduct to our Holy Father in heaven, “who spared not His own Son, but freely delivered Him up for us all”?

–Henry Varley.

The Breadth, Heighth, and Depth of God’s Forgiveness

Taken and adapted from GOSPEL TREASURES
Written by J. C. Ryle.
Edited for thought and sense.

Are you one who feels that his sins are not yet forgiven?
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Are you that person?

There is forgiveness in Jesus Christ for every one that is willing to receive it.  There is every encouragement that your soul can need, to confess your sins and lay hold on this forgiveness this very day. Here is the treasure of Gospel forgiveness.  Its riches are indeed unsearchable (Eph. 3:8).  But if you will turn away from it you shall not be able to say in the day judgment, you did not at all know what it was.

Consider, then, for one thing, that the forgiveness set before you is a great and broad forgiveness… 

Hear what the Prince of Peace Himself declares: “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies where with soever they shall blaspheme” (Mark 3: 28); “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall become as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  Yes! though your trespasses be more in number than the hairs of your head, the stars in heaven, the leaves of the forest, the blades of grass, the grains of sand on the sea shore, still they can all be pardoned.  As the waters of Noah’s flood covered over and hid the tops of the highest hills, so can the blood of Jesus cover over and hide your mightiest sins.  “His blood cleanseth from’ all sin” (1 John 1:7).   Though to you they seem written with the point of a diamond, they can all be effaced from the book of God’s remembrance by that precious blood.  Paul names a long list of abominations which the Corinthians had committed, and then says: “Such were some of’ you: but ye are washed” (1 Cor. 6: 11).

Furthermore, it is a full and complete forgiveness… 

It is not like David’s pardon to Absalom,—a permission to return home, but not a full restoration to favour (2 Sam. 14:24).  It is not, as some fancy, a mere letting off, and letting alone.  It is a pardon so complete, that he who has it is reckoned as righteous as if he had never sinned at all.  His iniquities are blotted out.  They are removed from him as far as the east from the west (Psalm 103: 12).  There remains no condemnation for him.  The Father sees him joined to Christ, and is well pleased.  The Son beholds him clothed with ‘His own righteousness, and says, “Thou art all fair, …there is no spot in thee” (Song of Solomon 4:7).  Blessed be God that it is so.  I verily believe if the best of us all had only one blot left for himself to wipe out, he would miss eternal life.  If the holiest child of Adam were in heaven all but his little finger, and to get in depended on himself, I am sure he would never enter the kingdom.  If Noah, Daniel, and Job had had but one day’s sin to wash away, they would never have been saved.  Praised be God that in the matter of our pardon there is nothing left for man to do.  Jesus does all, and man has only to hold out an empty hand and to receive.

Furthermore, it is a free and unconditional forgiveness…  

It is not burdened with an “if,” like Solomon’s pardon to Adonijah: “If he will show himself a worthy man (1 Kings 1: 52).  Nor yet are you obliged to carry a price in your hand, or bring a character with you to prove yourself deserving of mercy.  Jesus requires but one character, and that is that you should feel yourself a sinful, bad man.  He invites you to “buy wine and milk without money and without price,” and declares, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Isaiah 45: 1; Rev 22:17) ‘Like David in the cave of Adullam, He receives everyone that feels in distress and a debtor, and rejects none (1 Sam. 22: 2).  Are you a sinner?  Do you want a Saviour?  Then come to Jesus just as you are, and your soul shall live.

Again, it is an offered forgiveness…

I have read of earthly kings who knew not how to show mercy,—of Henry the Eighth of England, who spared neither man nor woman; of James the Fifth of Scotland, who would never show favour to a Douglas.  The King of kings is not like them.  He calls on man to come to Him, and be pardoned.  “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men” (Prov. 8: 4).  “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 4: 1) “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink” (John 7: 37).  “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  Oh, reader, it ought to be a great comfort to you and me to hear of any pardon at all; but to hear Jesus Himself inviting us, to see Jesus Himself holding out His hand to us,—the Saviour seeking the sinner before the sinner seeks the Saviour,—this is encouragement, this is strong consolation indeed!

Again, it is a willing forgiveness…  

I have heard of pardons granted in reply to long entreaty, and wrung out by much importunity.  King Edward the Third of England would not spare the citizens of Calais till they came to him with halters round their necks, and his own Queen interceded for them on her knees.  But Jesus is “good and ready to forgive” (Psalm 86: 5).  He delighteth in mercy (Micah 7:18) Judgment is His strange work.  He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).  He would fain have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4)  He wept over unbelieving Jerusalem.  “As I live;” He says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways: why will ye die?” (Ezek 33:11).  Ah, reader, you and I may well come boldly to the throne of grace!  He who sits there is far more willing and ready to give mercy than you and I are to receive it.

Besides this, it is a tried forgiveness… 

Thousands and tens of thousands have sought for pardon at the mercy-seat of Christ, and not one has ever returned to say that he sought in vain; sinners of every name and nation,—sinners of every sort and description, have knocked at the door of the fold, and none have ever been refused admission.  Zacchæus the extortioner, Magdalene the harlot, Saul the persecutor, Peter the denier of his Lord, the Jews who crucified the Prince of Life, the idolatrous Athenians, the adulterous Corinthians, the ignorant Africans, the bloodthirsty New Zealanders,—all have ventured their souls on Christ’s promises of pardon, and none have ever found them fail.  Ah, reader, if the way I set before you were a new and untravelled way, you might well feel faint-hearted!  But it is not so.  It is an old path.  It is a path worn by the feet of many pilgrims, and a path in which the footsteps are all one way.  The treasury of Christ’s mercies has never been found empty.  The well of living waters has never proved dry.

Beside this, it is a present forgiveness… 

All that believe in Jesus are at once justified from all things (Acts 13:38).  The very day the younger son returned to his father’s house he was clothed with the best robe, had the ring put on his hand, and shoes on his feet (Luke 15).  The very day Zacchæus received Jesus he heard these comfortable words “This day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19: 9).  The very day that David ‘said, “I have sinned against the Lord,” he was told by Nathan, “The Lord hath also put away thy sin” (2 Sam. 12: 13).  The very day you first flee to Christ, your sins are all removed.  Your pardon is not a thing far away, to be obtained only after many years.  It is nigh at hand.  It is close to you, within your reach, all ready to be bestowed.  Believe, and that very moment it is your own.  “He that believeth is not condemned” (John 3:18).  It is not said, “he shall not be,” or “will not be,” but “is not.”  From the time of his believing, condemnation is gone.  “He that believeth hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).  It is not said, “he shall have,” or “will have,” it is “hath” It is his own as surely as if he was in heaven, though not so evidently so to his own eyes.  Ah, reader, you must not think forgiveness will be nearer to a believer in the Day of Judgment than it was in the hour he first believed!  His complete salvation from the power of sin is every year nearer and nearer to him; but as to his forgiveness and justification, it is a finished work from the very minute he first commits himself to Christ.

Last, and best of all, it is an everlasting forgiveness…  

It is not like Shimei’s pardon, a pardon that may sometime be revoked and taken away (1 Kings 2: 9). Once justified you are justified forever.  Once written down in the book of life, your name shall never be blotted out.  The sins of God’s children are said to be cast into the depths of the sea,—to be sought for and not found,—to be remembered no more,—to be cast behind God’s back (Mic. 7: 19; Jer. 1. 20; 31: 34; Isaiah 38:17).  Some people fancy they may be justified one year and condemned another,—children of adoption at one time and strangers by and by,—heirs of the kingdom in the beginning of their days, and yet servants of the devil in their end.  I cannot find this in the Bible.  As the New Zealander told the Romish priest, “I do not see it in the Book.”  It seems to me to overturn the good news of the Gospel altogether, and to tear up its comforts by the roots. 

I believe the salvation Jesus offers is an everlasting salvation, and a pardon once sealed with His blood shall never be reversed.

Confession and the Door of Free Grace

Written by, Joseph Caryl
Taken and adapted from, A Directory for the Afflicted being Select Extracts First Fourteen Chapters  of the Rev. Joseph Caryl’s Commentary on the Book of Job, by John Berrie; Edinburgh, pp. 135-136, 1824.

confess-all-jesus“If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

–1 John 1:9 (ESV)

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A saint confesses freely, but it is extorted from a wicked man…  

The saint confesses feelingly; he tastes the bitterness of sin while he confesses whereas it is the fear of punishment that makes a natural man feel.   A good man confesses sincerely, and is in earnest both with God and his soul.  The other casts out his sin as seamen do their goods in a storm, which they would wish back whenever it is over.  A believer mixes faith with his sorrows in his confessions, which no other man ever did.

Observe that the holiest man has cause to continue confessing his sin. 

While the ship leaks, the pump must not stand still.  As the very best are in danger of being lifted up above measure, they have cause daily to engage in the soul-humbling duty of confession.  Every confession of sin is a fresh obligation to do so no more, and as it gives the soul a taste of the bitterness of sin, so of the sweetness of forgiveness through Christ.  Confession of sin exalts Christ in our hearts and affections; for we thereby declare our belief of the riches of Christ, and his ability and willingness to take away our sins.  This at once encourages us to confess our enormous load of debt, and increases our love to him who gave his life a ransom for us and how doth it commend the healing virtue of bis blood, when we open to him such mortal wounds and diseases which he only and easily can cure.

Confession of sin gives glory to every attribute of God…

…as it owns a debt and our inability to make payment and all that we enjoy or ever shall receive, must run us deeper in debt to free grace.  What shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men!  I can neither escape from, nor satisfy thy justice.  Observe, that the holiest man cannot atone for one sin, by either sufferings or obedience.  All that he can do is imperfect and defiled, and besides, it was a debt before; neither has God any where appointed man’s righteousness to be a satisfaction for his sins.

Pardon and forgiveness of sin, must come in at the door of free grace. 

A good work trusted to, is as destructive as sin unrepented of.  None but God has either power, patience, or wisdom, to be the preserver of foolish, helpless, erring man.

The Reproof of Forgiving Kindness

franz-liszt-400x245A young pianist was giving concerts in the provinces of Germany, and, to add to her renown, she announced herself as a pupil of the celebrated Liszt.  

Arriving at a small provincial town she advertised a concert in the usual way; but what was her astonishment and terror to see in the list of new arrivals at the hotel the name of ” M. L’Abbe Liszt! What was she to do? Her deception would be discovered, and she could never dare to give another concert.

In her despair she adopted the wisest course, and went direct to the Abbe Liszt himself. Pale, trembling, and deeply agitated, she entered the presence of the great maestro to confess her fraud, and to implore his forgiveness. She threw herself at his feet, her face bathed in tears, and related to him the history of her life. Left an orphan when very young and possessing nothing but her musical gifts, she had ventured to shelter herself under the protection of his great name, and thus to overcome the many obstacles which opposed her. Without that she would have been nothing–nobody.

But could he ever forgive her? “Come, come,” said the great artist, helping her to rise, “we shall see what we can do. Here is a piano. Let me hear a piece intended for the concert tomorrow.”

She obeyed, and played, at first timidly then with all the enthusiasm of reviving hope. The maestro stood near her, gave her some advice, suggested some improvements, and when she had finished her piece, said most kindly, “Now, my child, I have given you a music lesson. You are a pupil of Liszt.” Before she could recover herself sufficiently to utter a word of acknowledgment, he added, “Are the programmes printed?” “Not yet, sir.” “Then let them add to your programme that you will be assisted by your master, and that the last piece will be played by the Abbe Liszt.”

Could any reproof be keener than such forgiving kindness–such noble generosity as this?  The illustrious musician would no doubt have been questioned, and it would have been impossible for him to speak anything but the truth. But charity is ingenious in covering “a multitude of sins.” —Christian Chronicle.

[How very much are we like that young girl!  We strut around claiming to be Christians while acting very ungodly, and yet when confronted by our own maestro, we weep in horror of our own actions and repent deeply of our sins.  And then begging forgiveness, we receive assurance that we are his children, we are his pupils, and then He sends us out to tell others that He, God, will be playing in the concert of our own lives! Is this not humbling? Is this not love that covers a multitude of sins? Is this not truly the work of our Savior?  May God bless us, and may we forgive others even as He has forgiven us. –MWP]

I am sure that there is a Christian, a child of God, who feels that their sins are not yet forgiven. Are you that person?

Written by J. C. Ryle.
Edited for thought and space
.

Consider, that the forgiveness set before you is a great and broad forgiveness.
.

Jesus_Drawing_Cast_First_Stone_Hear what the Prince of Peace Himself declares: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall become as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Yes! though your trespasses be more in number than the hairs of your head, the stars in heaven, the leaves of the forest, the blades of grass, the grains of sand on the sea-shore, still they can all be pardoned.  As the waters of Noah’s flood covered over and hid the tops of the highest hills, so can the blood of Jesus cover over and hide your mightiest sins. “His blood cleanses from’ all sin” (1 John 1:7).   Though to you they seem written with the point of a diamond, they can all be effaced from the book of God’s remembrance by that precious blood.  Paul names a long list of abominations which the Corinthians had committed, and then says: “Such were some of’ you: but ye are washed” (1 Cor. vi. 11).

Furthermore, it is a full and complete forgiveness. 

It is not like David’s pardon to Absalom,—a permission to return home, but not a full restoration to favour (2 Sam. 14:24).  It is not, as some fancy, a mere letting off, and letting alone. It is a pardon so complete, that he who has it is reckoned as righteous as if he had never sinned at all. His iniquities are blotted out. They are removed from him as far as the east from the west (Psalm 103:12).  There remains no condemnation for him.  The Father sees him joined to Christ, and is well pleased. The Son beholds him clothed with ‘His own righteousness, and says, “Thou art all fair, .  .  .  there is no spot in thee” (Cant. 4:7). Blessed be God that it is so. I verily believe if the best of us all had only one blot left for himself to wipe out, he would miss eternal life.  If the holiest child of Adam were in heaven all but his little finger, and to get in depended on himself, I am sure he would never enter the kingdom.  If Noah, Daniel, and Job had but one day’s sin to wash away, they would never have been saved.  Praised be God that in the matter of our pardon there is nothing left for man to do.  Jesus does all, and man has only to hold out an empty hand and to receive.

Furthermore, it is a free and unconditional forgiveness

It is not burdened with an “if,” like Solomon’s pardon to Adonijah: “If he will show himself a worthy man (1 Kings 1:52).  Nor yet are you obliged to carry a price in your hand, or bring a character with you to prove yourself deserving of mercy.  Jesus requires but one character, and that is that you should feel yourself a sinful, bad man. He invites you to “buy wine and milk without money and without price,” and declares, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Isaiah 55:1; Rev 22:17) ‘Like David in the cave of Adullam, He receives everyone that feels in distress and a debtor, and rejects none (1 Sam. 22:2).  Are you a sinner? Do you want a Saviour? Then come to Jesus just as you are, and your soul shall live.

Again, it is an offered forgiveness.

 I have read of earthly kings who knew not how to show mercy,—of Henry the Eighth of England, who spared neither man nor woman; of James the Fifth of Scotland, who would never show favour to a Douglas.  The King of kings is not like them.  He calls on man to come to Him, and be pardoned. “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men” (Prov. 8: 4).  “Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 4:1) “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink” (John 7:37). “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Oh, reader, it ought to be a great comfort to you and me to hear of any pardon at all; but to hear Jesus Himself inviting us, to see Jesus Himself holding out His hand to us,—the Saviour seeking the sinner before the sinner seeks the Saviour,—this is encouragement, this is strong consolation indeed!

Again, it is a willing forgiveness. 

I have heard of pardons granted in reply to long entreaty, and wrung out by much importunity.  King Edward the Third of England would not spare the citizens of Calais till they came to him with halters round their necks, and his own Queen interceded for them on her knees.  But Jesus is “good and ready to forgive” (Psalm 87:5).  He delights in mercy (Micah vii.18)  Judgment is His strange work.  He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He would fain have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. ii. 4)  He wept over unbelieving Jerusalem.  “As I live;” He says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways: why will ye die?” (Ezek.  32:11).  Ah, reader, you and I may well come boldly to the throne of grace!  He who sits there is far more willing and ready to give mercy than you and I are to receive it.

Besides this, it is a tried forgiveness. 

Thousands and tens of thousands have sought for pardon at the mercy-seat of Christ, and not one has ever returned to say that he sought in vain; sinners of every name and nation,—sinners of every sort and description, have knocked at the door of the fold, and none have ever been refused admission.  Zacchæus the extortioner, Magdalene the harlot, Saul the persecutor, Peter the denier of his Lord, the Jews who crucified the Prince of Life, the idolatrous Athenians, the adulterous Corinthians, the ignorant Africans, the bloodthirsty New Zealanders,—all have ventured their souls on Christ’s promises of pardon, and none have ever found them fail. Ah, reader, if the way I set before you were a new and untraveled way, you might well feel faint-hearted! But it is not so.  It is an old path.  It is a path worn by the feet of many pilgrims, and a path in which the footsteps are all one way.  The treasury of Christ’s mercies has never been found empty.  The well of living waters has never proved dry.

Beside this, it is a present forgiveness. 

All that believe in Jesus are at once justified from all things (Acts 13:38).  The very day the younger son returned to his father’s house he was clothed with the best robe, had the ring put on his hand, and shoes on his feet (Luke 15).  The very day Zacchæus received Jesus he heard these comfortable words “This day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:9). The very day that David ‘said, “I have sinned against the Lord,” he was    told by Nathan, “The Lord hath also put away thy sin” (2 Sam. 12:13). The very day you first flee to Christ, your sins are all removed.  Your pardon is not a thing far away, to be obtained only after many years. It is nigh at hand.  It is close to you, within your reach, all ready to be bestowed.  Believe, and that very moment it is your own.  “He that believeth is not condemned” (John 3:18).  It is not said, “he shall not be,” or “will not be,” but “is not.” From the time of his believing, condemnation is gone.  “He that believeth hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).  It is not said, “he shall have,” or “will have,” it is “hath” It is his own as surely as if he was in heaven, though not so evidently so to his own eyes. Ah, reader, you must not think forgiveness will be nearer to a believer in the day of judgment than it was in the hour he first believed!  His complete salvation from the power of sin is every year nearer and nearer to him; but as to his forgiveness and justification, it is a finished work from the very minute he first commits himself to Christ.

Last, and best of all, it is an everlasting forgiveness. 

It is not like Shimei’s pardon, a pardon that may sometime be revoked and taken away (1 Kings ii.  9). Once justified you are justified forever.  Once written down in the book of life, your name shall never be blotted out.  The sins of God’s children are said to be cast into the depths of the sea,—to be sought for and not found,—to be remembered no more,—to be cast behind God’s back (Mic. 52:19; Jer. 1: 20; 31:34; Isaiah 38:17).  Some people fancy they may be justified one year and condemned another,—children of adoption at one time and strangers by and by,—heirs of the kingdom in the beginning of their days, and yet servants of the devil in their end.  I cannot find this in the Bible.  As the New Zealander told the Romish priest, “I do not see it in the Book.” It seems to me to overturn the good news of the Gospel altogether, and to tear up its comforts by the roots. I believe the salvation Jesus offers is an everlasting salvation, and a pardon once sealed with His blood shall never be reversed.

Reader, I have set before you the nature of the forgiveness offered to you. I have told you but little of it, for my words are weaker than my will.  The half of it remains untold.  The greatness of it is far more than any report of mine.  But I think I have said enough to show you it is worth the seeking, and I can wish you nothing better than that you may strive to make it your own.

——————————————–

0Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  John Charles Ryle (10 May 1816 – 10 June 1900) was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. Ryle was born at Macclesfield, and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was Craven Scholar in 1836.  The son of a wealthy banker, he was destined for a career in politics before choosing a path of ordained ministry. While hearing Ephesians 2 read in church in 1838, he felt a spiritual awakening and was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. For 38 years he was a parish priest, first at Helmingham and later at Stradbrooke, in Suffolk. He became a leader of the evangelical party in the Church of England and was noted for his doctrinal essays and polemical writings.

jc-ryle-and-charles-spurgeonRyle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856–69), Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition. He was also credited with having success in evangelizing the blue-collar community. His second son, Herbert Edward Ryle also a clergyman, became Dean of Westminster.