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"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit," JOH 3:7-8.

"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven," LUK 7:47-48.

Think about Mary Magdalene; she was possessed of seven devils, but when she was renewed in the spirit of her mind, she received the forgiveness of her sins, as she walked in the law of love. Salvation to so many people means they are going to heaven to escape hell. Do you realize that forgiveness of sins is not to be even preached to a person who has not repented. The gospel begins with "Repent." How can sins we are still living in be forgiven when there is no desire to change? Those sins are still cherished. Repent as the first word of the gospel must come before forgiveness.

Now watch what happens. See how our Lord Jesus showed that Mary Magdalene was walking in the law of love before she received the assurance of forgiveness of her sins. Look to see what comes first as we read LUK 7:44-48. The stage is set in the preceding verses where Mary Magdalene is seated at Jesus' feet wiping His feet with the hairs of her head as she wept over her sins. "And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. [As she walked in the law of love, as she washed His feet with her tears, she came in repentance, and then Jesus said,] Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for [because] she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven."

Do not overlook the chronology of events which led to Mary Magdalene's pardon. She was never assured of any pardon while she was possessed with seven devils. She first came to a change of heart, and truly mourned over her sins. As she washed Jesus feet with tears of remorse, her sins were forgiven.

Do you want your sins forgiven? Are you only looking for an escape from the fires of hell? Do you still cherish and love sin? If your answer to the last two questions is yes, you are still hell bound. Before we become a proper candidate for a pardon, we must understand true remorse over sin, over having sinned against such a loving God.

Do you truly weep tears over your sin? Do you come to Him wanting to serve Him because you are filled with remorse over having sinned against such love? Are you filled with love toward our Saviour and desire to serve Him from a motive of love? Mary Magdalene's sins were forgiven because she loved much.

When we are renewed in the Spirit of our mind, the strongest and the worst habits are broken as burnt flax straw. Habits can be so strong that we have no power against them; we are not able to break them. However, old habits can be broken as easily as breaking some burnt straw. Why? They have lost their power; our desires are no longer for the conditions which produce these habits. Now we have a new desire to walk in the ways of God because we have learned to see how displeased our heavenly Father is with sin. Rather than let one sin go unpunished, He would put it on His Son on Calvary's cross. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood, He said, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt," MAT 26:39.

Therein the Father was so pleased. The Father was so pleased that the Son of God was willing to obey and step into His wrath to take the penalty of sin. It was that act of obedience which made His blood acceptable before the Father as the appeasing of His wrath upon our sins.

Do you see why it is necessary that we love much before we talk about forgiveness of our sin? We must first love to do the will of God; it must become our chiefest pleasure and greatest delight. That is the work of the new birth. That is being born again; our hearts have been changed to love to do His will. "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much." The Father was able to accept the blessed blood of Christ as the appeasing of His wrath because Jesus loved much; He loved the Father to such an extent He said, "Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

When a person has a faith's view of this, the power of sin is broken. Old habits are no longer controlling us. No matter how base and vile you may have been, the new birth purifies the most impure minds. 1CO 6:9-11 says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Does that include any of us? Can anyone say they have never been covetous, that we have not desired something that wasn't ours? Can anyone say they have never had impure or hateful thoughts? We can't enter; we can't get in the kingdom of God without repentance. Why? The Apostle Paul goes on to say, "And such were some of you [some of you have dwelt under the power of these sins but you cannot remain there and enter the kingdom of God]: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

If we are washed by the washing of the water of the Word, we are no longer serving sin. We are sanctified, i.e., cleansed, and set apart for the Lord's service. Now notice the chronology again! First, it says we are sanctified, then after being sanctified, it says, " are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." First, we are washed; then sanctified, and then we are justified. There is no justification while we are living in sin.

When the Holy Spirit changes the spirit of the mind, He can change the most obstinate Pharisee into an apostle of that very Jesus he had been persecuting. Saul, later known as the Apostle Paul, had license to put the children of the kingdom of Christ in prison. The Lord Jesus appeared to him saying, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest," Saul answered, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" ACT 9:5-6.

The same Manasseh who had filled Jerusalem with idols, murdering his own children in honour of these false gods was renewed in the spirit of his mind. He went on to purify the temple, put down idolatry, and lived a Godly life. Notice the total contrast when the Holy Spirit works grace in the soul. A man who had been promoting idols and sacrificing his own children unto them had a complete change of heart. See 2CH 33:9, "So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err [as king he commanded them to do evil], and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel."

After Manasseh was renewed in the Spirit of his mind we read in 2CH 33:15-16, "And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. [That is a complete reversal of the former mental attitude and actions.] And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel." As with Manasseh, we don't need to question whether we have been renewed in the Spirit of our mind; our actions reveal what is in our hearts.

"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate," PRO 8:13.

Do you understand the work of the Spirit and the new birth? Have you learned to hate evil and the things you used to cherish? If we have been quickened, we will prove it by our spiritual growth. Spiritual life is not like a beast which grows to maturity and stops growing, but it is like a tree which continues to grow as long as it endures. ISA 65:22 says, "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." What does that mean? It means they grow; a tree grows by adding new rings to its circumference as long as it is alive. As long as we have spiritual life there will be spiritual growth.

Many people may say we are saved by faith, but see what Peter says about spiritual growth. 2PE 1:5-7 says, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge [this is spiritual growth, new things are added]; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." Growth continues as we add one to another of these things. All of the attributes of godliness keep growing.

See how these things grow into a blessed assurance of our salvation. 2PE 1:10-11 tells us, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." It is in doing these things that we grow in grace, and we enter the everlasting kingdom. Amen.

Come to the Savior, make no delay
Here in His Word He’s shown us the way;
Here in our midst He’s standing today,
Tenderly saying, "Come!"
"Suffer the children! O hear His voice,
Let every heart leap forth and rejoice,
And let us freely make Him our choice;
Do not delay, but come.
Think once again, He’s with us today
Heed now His blest commands, and obey;
Hear now His accents tenderly say,
"Will you, My children, come?"

Our sermons and devotions are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion and sermon notes on-line. We pray this devotion has been a blessing to those who read it. Thank you.

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