Sunday, 7th July, 2019 [Communion Service]
- 1 kings 21:1-10
- Luke 7:36-50
Hymn of meditation: PH 602
“Love one another”, said the Lord,
“Love others, as I have loved you”,
Love one another, with pure love,
O Jesus, give me this pure love.
One of the demands of Christianity which is very difficult to fulfil and yet very key to our Christian journey is “forgiveness”.
It is said that “to err is human but to forgive is divine”. This means it takes divinity to be able to forgive as God wants us to.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
- To bestow a favour unconditionally – It is a favour given to another without demanding anything in return
- To grant relief from payment – It does not say I will make him pay for what he did to me
- To give up resentment and bitterness.
- To stop feeling anger towards the offender
The freeing of a person from guilt and its consequences, including punishment; usually as an act of favour, compassion or love, with the aim of restoring a broken personal relationship
WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO FORGIVE?
- Offenses hurt and hurts badly (first reading)
- Our natural instinct to take revenge
- The thought that people do not deserve to be forgiven
- The fear of getting hurt again
HOW DID GOD FORGIVE US?
- He took the initiative
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5: 19a)
- He provided the atonement or the sacrifice (the pain of forgiveness)
“and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance, he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” –Romans 3:24-25
- He Restored our fellowship with Him
- And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:18
- He forgave us “freely, fully, generously”.
GOD WANTS US TO ALSO FORGIVE
- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you – Ephesians 4:32
- Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13
Remember, God wants us to forgive just as He forgave us
- Take the initiative
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
- Take the pain for the forgiveness (atonement)
- Restore fellowship with the person in question
- Forgive freely, fully and generously.
- Matthew 18:21-35In response to a question from Peter “How many times are we to forgive?”The king forgave a man who owes him 10,000 talents ($12,000,000.00 the Wiersbe commentary)But he could not forgive another servant who owes him 100 denarii ($15)
- In both situations the plea was “Be patient with me I will pay back everything”.
THE CALL TO FORGIVE
- Forgiveness has no limits:
- So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him. “Luke 17:3-4
- Forgiveness is not forgetfulness and hiding your feelings
WHY WE NEED TO FORGIVE
- We have been forgiven by God through Christ
- For our own health.
- It allows us to be reconciled with those who offended us
- To free ourselves from the load
of bitterness and resentment
- When you forgive anyone, I do too. And whatever I have forgiven (to the extent that this affected me too) has been by Christ’s authority, and for your good. A further reason for forgiveness is to keep from being outsmarted by Satan, for we know what he is trying to do. (2 Cor. 2:10-11 TLB)
- Forgiveness can change the person who offended us
HOW TO FORGIVE
- Take the pain to God in prayer. Bring to Him and leave it with Him
- Do not wait for the offender to apologise – Romans 5:8; Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:34; Stephen in Acts 7:59-60
- Allow time for the healing process to take place. Work on yourself during this time
THE FOUR STEPS TO
-William Fergus Martin
- State who you need to forgive and for what.
- Acknowledge how you currently feel about the situation.
- State the benefits you will get from forgiving.
- Commit yourself to forgiving.
Forgiveness is a choice. It is a choice that when made graciously and freely, brings tremendous benefits to you.