The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
The gospel of Forgiveness, through Christ alone
The bible explains the character of God as pure and perfect
in every way and character, and unchanging with no variation. James 1:17 - Every good thing given and every perfect gift is
from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no
variation or shifting shadow.
Whether it is love, justice, impartiality etc., His character is perfect and unchanging.
In creation all was perfection. Gen 1:31 - God saw all that He had
made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was
morning, the sixth day.
When Satan sinned creation was spoiled, and
he caused man to sin, Rom 5:12. Therefore, just as through one man sin
entered into the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for until
the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death
reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the
likeness of the offence of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.15 But the free gift
is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many
died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man,
Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came
through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from
one transgression [resulting
in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many
transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the
transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who
receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in
life through the One, Jesus Christ.
That means that God in his perfect justice in the day of
judgement will put all who have sinned permanently away from Him, with not a
single grace of God, to be utterly alone. Eternal Hell Rev 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him
who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place
was found for them. 12 And
I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books
were opened; and another [i]book was opened, which is the book of
life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books,
according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it,
and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged,
every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were
thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15 And if anyone’s name
was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
However, God’s perfect love, perfect impartiality, and one
might say also His perfect responsibility (as sin originated from a fallen
heavenly being, Satan), meant and means God of love has to provide an escape route for
All biblical sin offerings, teach that an innocent has to
die for the guilty – but no animal can pay for my sins, only an innocent man
can do that, and there is not one born of man. So God sends His own beloved Son
to be born of Mary, to become a real man not for a period but for ever. So
there is a man in glory now for us eternally.
It is not just an innocent man who takes our place in judgement,
but a man who is also the second person of the triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This is as much
a necessity as is His humanity because, deity is unchangeable. Despite the
awfulness of the trials the Lord Jesus Christ suffered, none could alter the
unalterable perfections of deity. We needed a man to die in our stead, but we also
needed that man to be the unchangeable Son of God who would not fail.
No sin offering of old was of any use unless the offerer laid
his hand on the head of the innocent animal. So God chose before the foundation
of the world that the only way the death of Christ can be applied to me is by
faith. No other way of forgiveness and eternal salvation, but a way that is available
for all, even the most guilty and vile sinner can be forgiven by faith, that as
an ancient knight would kneel before his liege lord and say simply ‘I will be
your man’ that is I will never desert you, I will even die for you and with
you. Faith that applies Christ and forgiveness is not a changeable thing.
For this reason St Paul - the apostle Paul - said ‘by this
man is preached the forgiveness of sins’.
In the gospel of Luke there is the example told which is
the foundation and example of this.
Luke 7:18-23 is
in a huge section ( please read it through ) and not in any way divorced from the preceding chapters which
provoked John's question 'or do we look for another''. Throughout these chapters the contrast
between those who had the spirit that was critical of the Lord (represented by
the leaders of Judaism who were critical and arranged the crucifixion of the
Lord) and the true and genuine of Israel and faith.
This is highlighted
by contrast within the accounts, and first seen here between Simon the pharisee and the sinful woman, and is found in detail from now on until Calvary
. The Last being between those who crucified the Lord and the dying thief in Luke 23 – this characteristic is seen in the
parables of the sower, the prodigal son, those who mocked Him as the mourners
did at Jarius's house etc.
In general terms Simon, the pharisee, invited the Lord to
provide controversy and entertainment for his guests. That he is named suggests he was notable and known as a controlling local dignitary. He in no way
associated himself with the Lord and
made that evident to all, for he did not wash His feet, kiss Him (the
customary greeting), or anoint His head with oil. All these were expected by guests – so from the
start he seeks to humiliate the Lord and ostracise Him.
Why did the door keeper not keep the woman out? There can
only be two reasons: 1) Others were
allowed through open doors to observe
the event, the entertainment and, I assume, Simon's confidence in his ability to
humble the Lord before everyone. 2) She was dressed modestly as other females,
so there is nothing to distinguish her from others.
Simon is undone by his own meanness through a lady who has
a bad reputation (the same happens in the story of Zaccheus). Is it not the
whole nation who cried out "crucify Him" – and were they not undone when
Vespasian started the campaign completed by his son Titus and Titus's successor
Silva. Israel was destroyed 40 years later, the last act of that campaign
being the defeat at Masada. The very act
of humiliating the Lord of Life and Glory brings disaster on oneself, reject
God’s Son and judgement will be our portion – Hell!
The woman – often in scripture represents listening,
believing, submission and worship – that should characterise us all.
Consider this lady, she has a problem of how to ask
that her sins might be forgiven. That she is convicted of her sins is without
doubt, but how to approach the Lord? She is not ill, defiled by a physical
ailment, has no withered arm, nor is she blind or deaf. But she wants to ask the Judge of all the earth for forgiveness. When she hears the Lord is dining at Simon's house she knows just what
to do. I am sure she was going to be calm, confess her sins before the Lord and
the others there and make her plea; but emotions interfere, as so often happens, for good or bad – her her pent up emotions provide for you and me a perfect
This woman has come with confidence because the
character of Christ revealed before this event was one who eats and drinks with
tax collectors and sinners, 5:30, who came to call sinners to repentance 5:32, healed the man with the withered hand, Luke 7:1-11 who heals a
gentile Herodian centurion's servant, and Luke 7:11-17 raises the widow's only son from the dead.
This known sinful (that is immoral in the
departure from the normal virtuous life expected of a daughter of Israel into
an outwardly sinful life) woman, behind the Lord, seems to vindicate the host
Simon’s hatred of the Lord, after all look who associates with Him standing
directly behind Him..
She is not named, her sins are not told, her being a woman
has no status in society. She therefore represents us all no matter what our
sins (we are embraced by her in this story), and we have no status before men
or God to plead for mitigation
She is overcome with emotion. But why? First, consider who the Lord is, evidenced by the raising of
the dead, and she a guilty sinner. In this chapter, first he heals the gentile centurion's
servant – so she knows the Lord shows mercy to all and in v 14 raising the widow
of Nain's son - that he can give life. He is the Son of God and she a guilty
sinner, the more she loves Him the bigger or more real her sins awfulness become in her mind – she is
distressed by her sins.
Sin - just think of Peter in the prime of life, human strength,
the nobility of hospitality, deeply
devout and full of skill as a fisherman. He is lending his boat to the Lord and
keeping it still and a little way out for the Lord to sit while he taught the
crowd standing on the shore. When the Lord had finished, he said to Peter "put
out into the deep," I assume the Lord was with him in the boat, "and let down your
nets for a catch". Says Peter "we have laboured all night" and night time in
Galilee is when you catch fish, "this day, nevertheless because you say so I
will do as you say". When they had done this they enclosed a great quantity of
fish, and their nets began to break, signalling to their partners in the other
boat to come and help – they filled both boats, so they began to sink. Says
Peter falling down before the Lord "go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful
man". And he was a righteous living man, but his doubting the Lord proved to
him his wretched state and took away all his pride.
When we are conscious of the presence of the Son of God, we
are appalled at our sinfulness. We, all of us, are utterly vile compared to
him, and his presence is with us now unseen - not because we are reading this, but because we are reading and thinking of His word – for faith
comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Kissing the feet of a
potentate is what one does if one has a request, which is why she stands at his
feet and looking down sees his dirty feet ,– this wonderful man, the Son of God
who regards all, for he healed the centurions servant, whose compassion and power knows no limits
for he raised the widows one and only Son
- and they did not even wash his feet, how could they?. These thoughts
rush into her mind because she has come to love Him for all He is, and the
tears begin to fall on His feet, she wipes then with her hair, kisses them –
not just a token of her submission to Him as her Lord, but she had a petition,
she wanted something - forgiveness/mercy, (the perfume normally reserved for a
loved one and for burial and displays the deepest affection. The perfume was for
his head, but now unable to stand, she anoints his feet. She could not tell the Lord what was her
heart or her request as she sobs her heart out. She cannot speak.,
In his confidence Simon was not expecting one of such
notoriety to be so bold and weep and kiss the Lord. The Lord speaks to her and
for her – as he tells of the two debtors and so nails Simon to the wall by
declaring her respect, her kisses, her washing His feet, her anointing him – and you the host did not!
Her desire was given. Her sins were forgiven and this story
is all about how sins are forgiven
Why no 'go and sin no
more' John 5 v 14 John 8 v 11 because it was evident her mind was made up, it
was pure faith – no turning back – she was genuine.
When the Lord said 'for she has loved much', he is not
thinking of anything but her love for Him,. There is no forgiveness for us
either without a deep love for the Lord motivating our acceptance of Him as
So we do not miss understand the import:- He makes clear
that this love is termed or explained by the word 'faith' – go in peace your
faith has saved you. Have we faith? The answer is indicated by our Love for the
Lord – it is a simple question - do we
love Him above all else, if so we will have faith in Him.