Students urged to respond to gift of forgiveness
In chapel, April 26, student preacher Kyle Scott preached from Luke 7, pointing to a central question: “Who is Jesus?” Scott, a Master of Divinity student, challenged students to consider how they will respond to this Jesus who has forgiven them of their sins.
Briefly examining the first 35 verses of chapter 7, Scott referenced the acts of Jesus including the healing of the centurion’s servant. “Luke weaves this depiction of who Jesus is with what he does,” Scott explained.
Scott then focused on the story of the sinful woman who visited Jesus and anointed His feet. Scott explained that Jesus’ forgiveness of this woman’s sin reflects the significant implications of who Jesus is. “Jesus has the audacity to forgive sins because He has the authority to forgive sins,” Scott said.
This gracious gift of forgiveness, Scott continued, demands a response. Christians must respond, he said, in service to Jesus, recognize that their sins have been forgiven, and refuse to count their sins as little.
“I think all of us as humans have a bad tendency to compare our sins with one another,” Scott said. Instead, it is important to view sin how God views sin. “All sin separates us from God equally.”
Scott then explained that the significance of forgiveness applies to both the believer and the nonbeliever. He asked nonbelievers to recognize the weight of their sin, an unpayable debt, and take hold of the offer of grace that is extended to them. “Christ, being who He is, is extending forgiveness to you today,” Scott said. “Let Him take the burden of sin off of your shoulders so you can live in forgiveness and in a right relationship with God.”
He then urged believers to remember the forgiveness they have already received. “Refuse to count your sins as little and refuse to love Christ little,” Scott said. “You have been forgiven, now act like it.”
Scott encouraged Christians to look to the cross as a reminder of the unpayable debt for which they were forgiven. “In the cross, we see how great our sin before God is,” he said. “But in the cross, we also see the great grace of our God and the great lengths He will go to forgive us.”
In a final challenge to Christians, he asked how they will choose to respond. “Are you making light of your sin and continuing in willing ignorance of it?” Scott asked. “Or will you turn and count your sins as much and realize that Christ saw how great your sin was, that He went to the cross for you, and He is offering forgiveness for you? Respond rightly.”