Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Getting Forgiveness Right Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2021 1:00 am

Getting Forgiveness Right Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 831 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 12, 2021 1:00 am

When you’re wronged, you may become resentful and bitter. That’s why Jesus spoke on the vital importance of forgiveness. In a famous parable, He outlined the key principles to guide us as we wrestle with the wrongs we’ve done, and wrongs others have done to us.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

Jesus phone number when you you may become resentful and bitter. That's why Jesus spoke on the need for us to forgive in a famous parable. The outline the key principles to guide us as we wrestle both wrongs done in the wrong others have done to from the Moody Church in Chicago with Dr. Sir's clear teaching sauce make it across the finish line. Where were headed. As you take us into Matthew chapter 18. Dave is you already mentioned Jesus tells this very famous parable of the main point is very near.

But there also some parts of this parable that are difficult to interpret. But I have to share my heart. I believe that one of the greatest problems today in churches and in families are broken relationships. That's why it's so important for us to listen to the words of Jesus and the instruction that he gives about reconciliation and forgiveness. You know is you think about the ministry of running to when you realize that in the Arabic language. We are all throughout the Middle East. It's because of people like you. Right now we have a matching gift challenge some of our friends have said that they are willing to match whatever is given up to $90,000.

That means $50 turns out to be 120 turns out to be 40 here is what you can do good RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. We here at the ministry of running to win exists to help you make it all the way to the finish line and in the process give instruction on human relationships. Well, let's turn to the words of Jesus who clarified what forgiveness really means I don't need to tell you realize that we live in a very, very hurting world and many of those hurts come from within our own family. I think forever, for example of a fatherhood axis explaining to his children that he and their mother are being divorced and the children cry out mom and dad, can't you work it out. Can't you work it out but mom and dad are going to work it out because dad is tired of his wife and he's found someone else is going to give him happiness. Think of the hurt that those children take into their marriages and their experiences. Of course that doesn't even account for the abuse that goes on in some people's home, but it's not just at the family.

It is relationships within that family. It is marriages. Couples forgive one another.

They bury the hatchet, but they bury it in a very shallow grave that is well marked and often times the path that leads to that grave as well. You not just the family. It is also the family of God. Aren't you sometimes shocked at what Christians do to one another. Is there any reason to believe or not believe that we are a world full of hurts well with God's help.

What we'd like to do is to take care of a lot of that bitterness today.

With the help of the Holy Spirit of God, and that's why want your heart to be open to what God shows us the passage is Matthew chapter 18 Matthew chapter 18 in the seat that is ahead of you, your Bible will have it on page 823 823 and what I like to do today is to give you five statements about true forgiveness five statements about true forgiveness that hopefully is going to be used, to help us move from bitterness to forgiveness to restoration to hope to peace. Now I need to emphasize that we often talk to those who are hurting like today I'm speaking to those of you who have been wrong. But remember that for every person who has been wrong. There is someone who does the wrong gain for every her to. There is a hurt her son speaking to both groups.

Some of you have heard others, and that your hurting your impact in their lives. Your negative impact has been unacknowledged by you won't admit it because of the defense system and because of denial and because of your rationalizations but would you be open today. Also to your part in the hurt that you have created for others five statements first statement is that true forgiveness always seeks reconciliation. True forgiveness always seeks reconciliation. Sometimes it doesn't achieve it, but it seeks that that is really the goal and Jesus here, you know, in chapter 18 verse 15 gives some instructions about how to go about being reconciled.

He says if your brother or sister sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you've gained your brother. In other words, if it's a matter that the two of you can work out a loan a goal and work it out along, but often times reconciliation doesn't happen that easily. And so if the person will not acknowledge what he's done or if there is a difficulty bringing someone else with you. Maybe one person may be two persons and that they can be there as witnesses, and they can hopefully help in the process and then Jesus said if that doesn't happen if there is still no reconciliation.

You should tell it to the church leadership and the leadership will begin to step in and the person who is unrepentant in this context that person will then be declared by the church to be an unbeliever, and that their names will be taken from the role of fellowship that doesn't mean that we as Christians know who the true believers are. It just means that as far as we're concerned this person is acting as if he isn't a believer at all and we just simply turn them over and let God judge him. That's the responsibility of the leaders of the church.

When you have a matter where there seems to be no possibility of reconciliation and there are many times when reconciliation is impossible. First of all, because a person won't admit to it.

Secondly, because he has an entirely different point of view. Thirdly, because he believes that he is 100% in the right and the other person is 100% wrong and you and I have all met toxic people who have no interest in reconciliation. Their only interest is to control you and to try to even use reconciliation to be able to make sure that they are in charge. Human life is very difficult but true forgiveness strives to reward reconciliation.

It seeks reconciliation even though sometimes it does not achieve it. Now there's a second lesson that I want us to learn today, and this leads us to the heart of the story. It's the parable that Jesus told you member Peter came to Jesus and said, how often should my brother if he sins against me. How often should I forgive him up to seven times. Then Jesus said Peter, not seven times, but 770. While I wonder if Peter was able to figure that one out. He got out his sliderule to figure out what that all meant and or his pocket calculator, as the case may be. Jesus is saying in effect that there is to be unlimited forgiveness if your brother sins against you a very tough statement, but now he tells the story that we are interested in, and this story indicates that indeed forgiveness is costly, it costs something.

Here's the story let's pick it up as Jesus told it in verse 23 of chapter 18 of Matthew. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants when he began to settle. One was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents.

And since he could not pay his master ordered him to be sold, and his wife and his children and all that he had, and payment to be made so the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, have patience with me and I will pay you everything and out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. Let's try to reconstruct the scene. It's the end of the fiscal year and it's time for the accounts that the king has to be settled by man comes to him who owes they open the book, 10,000 talents. Now there are different explanations for how much this is actually in our money today, it would be many many millions of dollars.

Let's just say $10 million. I don't know how the man could have accumulated such a debt. Maybe this was a grand scheme of embezzlement, but that's what he owed any he knows that he can't pay, so he falls down before the king, in a gesture of despair and says something very very foolish pieces, have patience with me and I will pay you everything really somebody figured out that you have to work. Probably a thousand years to pay this off, but of course in the parable, we see ourselves. Don't wait in the parable, the king represents God, then we are there before God and we think that we can pay for our sin.

Point of fact we cannot, as the old hymn writer once said, could my tears for ever flow could my zeal no rest. Spike know all for sin could not atone. Thou must save, and thou alone. If a man ever is to pay his debt. The king is the one who's going to have to pay it. So the king says I absolve you of the debt, and that's the question I want to leave before you today and the question is, very simply put is forgiveness free or is it not. It depends on the standpoint from which you answer that question. It is free to the forgiven servant. He was able to leave the presence of the king released from his debt free. Take him but very costly to the king because you see when the king began to settle his accounts. He had 10,000 talents that were missing that he had to absorb and he had to realize he is never going to be paid for them. And so it was very costly of him, forgiveness, servant, is it costly for God to forgive us. Absolutely God gives his only begotten son for us. We are not redeemed with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, and so God says I will pay your payment and I will set you free your dad is paid by me by my son, a debt that you and I could never pay. What a wonderful picture of salvation is if we are to be saved. It has to come to us from God. It's not something that we ourselves are able to pay for.

We can pay nothing. We receive it freely from God. Forgiveness though is very costly and that's true to when people wrong. You know there's unfaithfulness in the marriage.

It is the partner who has been wronged to S2 in some sense absorb the shame absorb the hurt and say I set you free.

Somebody gossips about you tell stories that aren't true. They may come to you later, and even confess that they've done wrong, but the damage has been done and you say I absorb in myself the pain and the hurt that you caused me, but I will set you free. Forgiveness is always costly to the person who is doing the forgiving, but free to the person who receives it. There's 1/3 statement now about true forgiveness that we must remember true forgiveness leads or should lead to a forgiving spirit. Now we get to the heart of the story.

Jesus says them in verse 28. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants, who owed him 100 and Mary again different opinions as to how much it was. But probably somewhere near $100. Tens of thousands of times less than what he himself had over the king, he found someone who owed him 100 and Mary and seizing him. I mean we even have some violence in this story, he began to choke him, saying, pay me what you owe. So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with them, have patience with me and I will repay you.

This fellow servants is the very same thing that the servant had set same words have patience with me and I will repay you, but he refused and went and put them into prison until he should pay the debt. You must understand the story that in those days there was a such a thing as a debtor's prison. You are put into prison and in prison, you were assigned work to do and all the money that you earned went to the person to whom you owed money so you could be put in prison yes to pay a debt because you would try to work it off there. There was a scheme that was put in place not very effective, but that's what was done in those days. What we have to back off and ask ourselves this question now this second forgiven servant. Was he wrong in demanding that his fellow servant pay what he owed. Strictly speaking, not this was a matter of justice. You only $100. You want to pay $100 don't have $100 to pay.

I'm going to sue you are. I'm going to put you into jail until you pay it because I am interested in justice. Justice was on his side. But here's the reason why he was so wrong, though perhaps justice was on his side. He had a moral obligation to forgive. It was wrong for him to say that when it comes to God.

And when it comes to the king. I am willing to receive mercy. But when it comes to others. I am going to demand my pound of flesh. I am going to demanded justice be done because after all, I'm into justice.

One glad that you're into justice, but you have received so much mercy. Think of what God has forgiven you for and now you are going to insist in your relationship with someone else that you are going to demand justice. Notice what happens. It goes on. Actually, verse 31 when his fellow servants saw what had taken place. They went greatly distressed and they went and reported to their master. All that had taken place. Then his master. Some of them and said to him, you wicked slave notice. This isn't just a fault, you wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me and should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you and in anger, his master deliver him to the jailers or to the torturers as some translations have it until he should pay all of his debt, so also will my heavenly father do to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. There is a kind of forgiveness that is only verbal, but you forgive from your heart. Now we need to think about this very carefully because you see the problem. Are you telling me that God is going to revoke forgiveness that was once given. That's the way this parable is frequently interpreted that the man you see, the servant who owed him 10,000 talents who couldn't pay and now refuses to forgive his fellow servant. He is put into the prison until he should pay the debt, namely the 10,000 talents. That would mean that the king actually revoke forgiveness and said I forgive you, but then went back on his word because the fellow servant was a full and following through with mercy is not what God is like.

I'm glad that when God forgives us his forgiveness is irrevocable. The gifts and the calling of God. Last when God says I forgive you, that is forgiven. He does not insist that we pay it later. No matter what kind of people we become in terms of our anger and bitterness. Let's look at this verse again and interpreted differently.

All right, verse 34 and in anger, his master delivered him to the jailer until he should pay all his debt will obviously he can't pay the debt of $10 million. We've already granted that I think that the debt that is being referred to is the debt of extending forgiveness to the fellow servant and so what's really going on here in the text is not that the king now expects him to pay the 10,000 talents. But the king says I'm putting you into prison, until the debt which needs to be paid is forgiveness to the person who owed you 100 to narrate and having been forgiven much you will be in prison until you stop insisting on justice and begin to insist on mercy and forgive. Also keep in mind that we're talking about here in human relationships were not necessarily talking about eternity and it is always a little dangerous to take a parable and then to use it in such a way that it contradicts other passages of Scripture. So that's why I think this interpretation fits much better to the context.

What he saying is if that if you do not forgive, you will be put into a torture chamber until you are willing to give my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I have to say that the truth that is just an express is the truth that our families and our churches, bitter people need hope bitter people are imprisoned within the walls that they themselves have created unwilling to extend the mercy the kind of mercy that God has given to them. These parables are incredibly important. Did you know that the ministry of running to win is heard over more than 100 stations throughout Central and South America. I have in my hand a letter from someone from one of those countries who talks about the very difficult situation he has with his daughter who is runaway with her boyfriend and all that God is teaching him about Satan and about prayer and about hope you know it's because of you that we can have these kinds of responses to our ministry and right now we have a matching gift challenge that is to say some of our friends have said that they are willing to double any gift given up to $90,000 would you write this down and connect with us. Go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us because together were making a difference.

It's time now for another chance for you and ask certain questions about the Bible or the Christian life. Dark days may lie ahead days that sound like those foretold in the book of Revelation.

One of our listeners wants to know this.

What is the seal that all Christians will have been the end times when the Antichrist comes to power. The Bible says the Antichrist will not be able to touch those with that seal.

How do I know if I have it is that getting the Holy Spirit.

Thank you so much for asking this question a couple of things. First of all of your true believer in Jesus Christ. You probably will not be here during the time when this passage of Scripture that you referred to in Revelation chapter 7 Will Take Pl. because many of us believe that the rapture of the church means that we will be in heaven.

And then the tribulation will come now, during this period of tribulation. There is a seal of God on the four heads of a certain number of people I think about 144,000, according to Revelation chapter 7 so even believers who are in the tribulation. Not all of them may be sealed because a number of them actually die as martyrs. The bottom line is this, you need not worry about this. Even if we do go through the tribulation. The fact is that those who belong to God will be saved, whether they have this special seal on their four heads were not US. The question is it getting the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit of God is our seal until the day of redemption. That's the important seal, the one that is mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 given to the 144,000 is a different kind of seal for a different kind of purpose. But if you have the blessed Holy Spirit of God, you, my friend today are sealed until the day of redemption. And that's really what counts.

We been looking into the future with Dr. Erwin lutes or thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614, and a parable Jesus gave a dire warning to those who refuse to forgive other people.

Next time I'm running what it means to say that God will not give us. If we fail to forgive others will work through this crucial teaching together and then purpose to be quick to forgive. Thanks for listening to our series on you can't for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime