Bob and Michelle Gustafson Talk About Forgiveness
Sabbath services on January 14, 2017 began with a song service led by Bob and Michelle Gustafson, accompanied by Jacob (9th grader) on the piano. The opening song was “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”.
Bob Gustafson had prayer and read the scripture reading – Matthew 9:2 “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”
The Gustafsons then showed a video from Ethiopia about fast progress in that country. 15 to 20 gospel workers go to the village markets and show an interest in the people there. One of these workers was a Pentecostal worker who had been convicted of the truth of the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs for a long time. He started preaching to his former members. Another worker works with Muslims, teaching them about Jesus. Churches have been raised and other strengthened by this program.
Bob Gustafson then called for the Laurelbrook Missions Offering, which was collected by Mark and Eddie (9th graders) and which goes to support Laurelbrook mission trips. TJ (senior) then played “I Believe in Miracles” on his recorder for special music.
Bob and Michelle Gustafson had the superintendent’s remarks on forgiveness. Bob Gustafson had the closing prayer. The congregation then became two Sabbath School classes, one taught by Clifton Brandt in the church sanctuary and one taught by Bob and Michelle Gustafson “behind the glass” at the back of the church sanctuary. The subject was the behind-the-scenes work of the Holy Spirit.
Following are a few notes from Bob and Michelle Gustafson’s theme talk:
Personnel Other Than Students:
- Jesus is our Forgiver and Redeemer.
- Matthew 9:1-7 “1 ¶ And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This [man] blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.”
- John 8:3-12 “3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
- Mary was caught in adultery and thrown at Jesus’ feet. Mary and her sins were being used to trap Jesus so He could be killed.
- But Jesus turned the tables and told those who were without sin to start throwing the stones. When no one remained to accuse her, Jesus sent her on her way with the admonition not to continue in sin.
- We need to have God show where our faults.
- Matthew 26:31-35 “31 ¶ Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all [men] shall be offended because of thee, [yet] will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”
- Do you have to see Jesus to be forgiven? No.
- Peter denied Christ but confessed his sin and was forgiven.
- Matthew 26:75 “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”
- John 21:15-19 “15 ¶ So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry [thee] whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”
- Jesus forgave Peter.
- David was forgiven despite his sins (adultery and murder) – 2 Samuel 11.
- Psalm 25 details David’s plea for forgiveness, which was granted. David was forgiven through prayer.
- Do you long to be a person after God’s own heart?
- Paul was baptized and forgiven after persecuting early Christians.
- John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
- Christ will forgive us, live in us, and receive a changed life.
Bob Gustafson – Laurelbrook vice-president / men’s work coordinator / works with Laurelbrook’s used furniture program / head local church elder
Clifton Brandt – works with Laurelbrook’s water, sewer, and boiler program
Michelle Gustafson – wife of Bob Gustafson / assists her husband with his various duties