Saturday, February 10, 2007

11th Hour Illumination

Talk about getting the help you need at the last minute! I have been perplexed all week with John 20:22-23. I was not anticipating having to stand in the pulpit tomorrow morning and saying, I have no clue what these verses mean, then moving along with the other portion of the sermon text. To the glory of God, I feel that His Spirit has graciously shone a glimmer of His illumining light upon my understanding. If you're not able to be at GC tomorrow morning, you can find out where I've landed once the audio is up on our site (2 more weeks, or so).

I would like to take this moment to say a special thank you to all of those who have so faithfully prayed for God to open His Word to me. I trust today's help was an answer to your intercession. Thank you.

Soli Deo Gloria!

3 comments:

Nathan said...

Been praying for you throughout the day and now Lord willing into the night. Anxious to hear from God's Word in a few hours.

dy said...

I was thinking about our conversation yesterday and about your sermon. I had a wake-up-and-sit-up-in-bed epiphany in the early morning hours. As you said, the verses had plural pronouns so he was talking to all the disciples. The verses were not talking about the disciple’s forgiveness of others, but rather the forgiveness of themselves. This would have been particularly important to Peter since he had denied Jesus three times. Jesus was telling them that he was giving them the Holy Spirit and with the Spirit’s help they could forgive themselves of their betrayal rather than retain the guilt of what they had done. I know in my own life sometimes I feel that I have failed the Lord so terribly that I could not see how he could ever forgive me. I now realize that it was not the Lord who was withholding forgiveness but it was my own sense of depravity that caused me not to forgive myself. Lesson learned. Praise Him for His grace!

Jordan said...

I see how you got there, and in a similar sort of way thought along those lines for a moment during preparation. Grammatically, though, I don't think it can work like that with John 20:23 because the one experiencing the forgiveness (or retention) of sins is in the 3rd person, not the 2nd. Therefore, the verse is indicating that the one doing the forgiving is to be extending forgiveness to someone outside of himself.