Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of a constant state of forgiveness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Constant State of Forgiveness
"Then said Jesus, ‘‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’’" Luke, Chapter 23, Verse 34
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we will share with you some insight into what it means to be in a constant state of forgiveness as well as the personal achievement of this state and its realization as a personal experience. In previous broadcasts we have had much to say about the necessity of forgiveness, but now we wish to take a closer to discern its finer features. We want to look at the eternal viewpoint of forgiveness as it is manifested in our souls. To aid us we shall again press into service a material analogy. This time we shall use the material example of a thermostat.
Before modern times and the general use of electricity, there was found no way to maintain a home or a dwelling place at a constant temperature. Sometimes during the winter months, it would be too cold or too hot, while in other areas there was no heat at all. During the summer months, apart from a cool breeze that might blow in, there was no cooling at all. But now we can regulate the temperature with the aid of a thermostat so that hot or cool air remains at a constant temperature.
In some homes when the temperature drops below the setting, the heat or the air conditioner unit automatically kicks in. This maintains the temperature at a constant temperature. A heating unit or air conditioner unit forces the cool or warm air through a system of ducts that open into all of the rooms. But what happens when the heating unit is not powerful enough to heat or cool the whole dwelling? The thermostat has to be set to a lower setting, one that may not be comfortable for the occupants of the building, or if the thermostat is set at the level of comfort, the heating or air conditioner unit will continually run to supply the air or the heat at the set temperature. Since there is not enough power to supply the desired amount of heat or cool air, the power units runs hot and eventually burns out.
This can be corrected by ensuring there is an adequate power supply for the dwelling. In some cases the occupier does not have the financial resources to keep the dwelling place at the comfortable temperature, and other measures must be adopted to stay warm or cool. Sometimes houses are built in such a way that they are shaded from the glare of the sun, by building them close to trees so the shade of the tree blocks the direct sunlight from striking the house; in warm climates, houses are built with high ceilings and large rooms. To some extent this dissipates some of the heat. Sometimes fans are used to cool the building. But sometimes, unwisely, buildings are built in an open area where the sun shines directly upon them. Without some air conditioning unit this is a disaster in the making. Thus we see that the most effective arrangement of heating and cooling is to have a system that has adequate power to maintain a comfortable temperature. When we are comfortable, we are not thus conscious of the temperature. We set the thermostat where we want the temperature to be maintained, and thus create a constant temperature. Now let us move to the spiritual realms using the power of the material analogy to deposit us at the threshold of our discussion.
Before the advent of Jesus, the Son of God, on earth, there was no power that could maintain man in a constant state of forgiveness. (This is similar to our material analogy before the discovery and utilization of electricity.) But after the Son of God’’s advent, man was given sufficient power to maintain a constant state of forgiveness. There are still many of us who do not make use of this spiritual power to remain. They either have it too hot or too cold spiritually speaking, and many of our souls are in constant turmoil, finding it impossible to maintain a tranquil poise. Because we all know from our material analogy, that when we are either too cold or too hot, we cannot function at our best.
And most of us do not remain in a constant state of forgiveness. We are like the thermostat that is set to high or too low. Or its worse; there’’s no thermostat setting at all because they have been turned off, so spiritually bankrupt are we. We just don’’t have the power to maintain the thermostat of forgiveness at the desired setting. But when we open ourselves to offense, we are like those who don’’t have their thermostat set at the right temperature——we must therefore make spiritual adjustments. Any perceived insult causes such discomfort that we are forced to take note by setting the thermostat of forgiveness at the right temperature, making use of the power given to us.
To allow the soul to be affected by a spiritual grievance, not to mention allowing numerous spiritual grievances to build up, is to severely handicap the soul in its growth and in its goal of perfectly representing the Father through his Son, Jesus. Allowing of grievances to build up in the soul literally confines the soul to the prison of darkness, and destroys its spiritual liberty to faith-board the plane of truth and enjoy the beauty of flying through the spiritual skies of truth.
When Jesus left this world, he left his mighty Spirit of Truth which was received during Pentecost by all believers. This spiritual power is for us to use and is always at our disposal. This is literally the power of God, and makes it possible for our souls to assume the eternal manifestation of forgiveness. And this power is made available to our souls by our sincere desire to do the Father’’s will. This consecration and dedication of the soul to doing the Father’’s will ensures that the soul will always have an adequate supply of power to maintain the attitude of a constant state of forgiveness.
Consider this quote: "If a kindhearted man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, does he not immediately leave the ninety and nine and go out in search of the one that has gone astray? And if he is a good shepherd, will he not keep up his quest for the lost sheep until he finds it? And then, when the shepherd has found his lost sheep, he lays it over his shoulder and, going home rejoicing, calls to his friends and neighbors, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' I declare that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety and nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Even so, it is not the will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones should go astray, much less that they should perish.”” Prior to Jesus’’ bestowal, religion would allow God to receive repentant sinners; but in his gospel of the Kingdom, the Father goes forth to find them even before they have seriously thought of repentance.
This act demonstrates the eternal and divine manifestation of forgiveness. He takes no note of wrongdoing against his person, but would have all of his children saved. The Father experiences no separation from his children. Sin is an experience of the spiritual child, not the spiritual Father. It is the conscious violation of the spiritual law of love, to not allow the Father’’s love to flow through us. Inherent in such a decision is the repentance and acceptance of forgiveness from God. It follows that a sinner is not likely to resume loyal relationship with God if he does not repent, have a change of heart. Sin breaks the contact of the human soul with God.
So we see that this constant state of forgiveness is part of the eternal character of the heavenly Father. To fully represent him, we must also share this character trait. We must maintain an attitude of not taking offense but always display an attitude of being willing to reestablish relationships with those who do offend. We must not allow the offense to become a part of our spiritual consciousness, but must maintain the barrier of constant forgiveness so that the darts of evil and sin are warded off even before they get a chance to lodge within our souls.
And finally, remember brothers and sisters, we cannot fully have communion with our heavenly Father unless we maintain this constant state of forgiveness. And so it follows that we cannot fully enjoy any of the other spiritual blessings fully as long as we remain an attitude of taking offence at those little ignorant ones who transgress the laws of love and tolerance. And we can clearly see what happens when we submit to the embrace of being offended because we lose our tranquility of spirit. We must always maintain our spiritual thermostat at the desired temperature of forgiveness for maximum comfort and maximum reception of spiritual light.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of a constant state of forgiveness faith. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.