Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
November 27, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<207> Thesis: The meaning of "forgiveness of sins" fundamentally involves the removal of a person from the domain of "Law". Introduction: The "problem" of getting inside of a person's head so that he, or she, begins to think correctly is huge. The "problem" includes the reality that there is nothing simple in the world. Even when we think a thing is "simple", we are only revealing how little we understand the interrelationships that exist in Truth. Luke, wishing to push Theophilus in the direction of a greater enjoyment of "Life", obviously "felt" this "problem" -- why else would he write so much? He wrote 24 chapters of material regarding what Jesus "began to do and to teach" and then followed them up with 28 chapters of material regarding what Jesus "continued to do and to teach" through the apostles whom He had chosen. And, though some might wonder why I have taken more than two years to present Luke's words in just two of those chapters, I have not had to "struggle" to find enough to say each week for the last two years. In other words, it is no small thing, even for God, to get into a person's mind so that that person actually thinks what God knows. And, though we have spent more than two years in this study, there is no guarantee in that (the length of our study) that we really "understand". True understanding shows up in one way: first, in how we treat God, and, then, in how we treat men. This is why we read of John that he refused to accept verbal "professions" of understanding and demanded overt demonstrations of the "fruits" of repentance. Some might think, on the basis of what I have just said, that the complexity is a justifiable basis for simply not making the effort. But it is not. The complexity exists for our humility, not our despair. It is not without significance that Luke's opening thesis is the grace of God -- which is a thesis of God's willing activity on our behalf to bring us to His Life -- and that his most fundamental response-thesis is the repentance of men -- which is a thesis of man's response to the grace of God. It is no accident that Luke makes "repentance" the foundation for man's entrance into that condition which is described as "forgiven". That is the reason we spent our study time last week looking into what "repentance" really is. And, it is the reason we are going to spend our study time this week looking into what "forgiveness" really is. What does it actually mean to be "forgiven"?