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Learning How to Forgive

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2020 7:00 am

Learning How to Forgive

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 30, 2020 7:00 am

The mandate to forgive; what forgiveness is and is not.

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A lot of Christians don't understand forgiveness.

And we've got to get this straight. And I believe that by the time I'm done, you will have a fresh revelation, a fresh understanding of what God calls us to do in this area so that we can be free and we can enjoy what He has provided for us and not walk in perpetual bondage. And Jesus said to them, If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well, strong words but true words and they remind us just how seriously God takes the act of forgiveness. Today Pastor Paul shows us how we can learn to forgive and how doing so can set us free from bondage so that we might walk in the victory for which we have been destined. Stay with us here or visit anytime to listen to Destined for Victory on demand.

You can also download the podcast at Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. But right now let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, learning how to forgive. Jesus said, I've come to do good things in your life.

I've come to help you resolve your issues and become free so that you can enjoy the rest of your life. And I don't know about you, but I'm interested in enjoying everything that Jesus paid for. If he paid for it on the cross, I want it. If it's paid for, I want it. If he paid for joy instead of despair, I want it.

If he paid for release instead of being imprisoned and bound, I want it. Whatever he has done for us, we ought to want to lay claim to it. And we're looking at what that means as it relates to our people issues. Now, as I wrapped up the last message, we were looking at the fact that there are two categories of people that give us challenges.

There are people who have done us wrong and they are willing to acknowledge it and own it and repent of it. That's the ideal situation. Jesus told us in Matthew chapter 18, he said, if your brother or sister offends you, trespass against you, do something wrong, go and show them their fault. He said, if they hear you, you've won them.

That's the ideal situation. But if not, he gives some other steps. Sometimes you try to get some other mediators involved to be objective, to try to help a person see how they've treated you wrong. But ultimately, he said, if nothing works, treat them like a pagan or tax collector. And I told you at the end of that message, that doesn't mean you can mistreat them.

It simply means that you know you're dealing with an unsafe person who is selfishly motivated and does not have your best interest at heart, but we're told to love them just to do it in a safe way and from a safe place. So I want to pick up at that point and talk more about how to deal with our people issues, because Jesus said in Luke 17, if your brother trespass against you, rebuke him. And I made the point in the last message, you get to tell people how you really feel about what they did. Just do it respectfully. You don't have to call them out of their name to tell them that, but you do get to share, here's what you did.

I don't like it. Don't be a plastic Christian. As you move on in your journey with Christ, be real with God.

That's the only way you'll become a real follower of Christ is to be real in everything. And don't be plastic. Don't be phony. Don't grin when you really ought to be frowning. Don't tell folk you're happy when you're really not.

Tell them, if they trespass against you, rebuke them. That's a very strong word. I don't like what you did. I resent it. You have no business treating me that way.

How dare you disrespect me that way. Be real. We serve a real savior. Jesus wasn't plastic or phony.

Get those false ideas. When you read the scriptures, you're dealing with a real man. Jesus was real. He didn't even look like those effeminate pictures you see on people's walls. When you see that man, kind of blondish hair, look like he just came from the hairdresser. That wasn't Jesus.

That's somebody's idea. But that's not consistent with scripture. You know what Jesus did in the years prior to age 30 when he launched his public ministry? Do you know what he did? He was a carpenter. It was his family business. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter. He was a carpenter.

You say, why do you bring that up? Because in his day, carpenters didn't drive the pickup to the lumberyard and have the team of people loaded onto the truck. Carpenters in his day cut down trees with an ax. That means Jesus had muscles. Jesus wasn't flabby. He was a man, and he lived a life where he was true. The Bible says that he was in all points tempted like we, yet without sin. He lived a real life. He called it like he saw it. When he looked at the Pharisees one day, he said, y'all look like you remind me of a cemetery. That's not being complimentary. Y'all remind me of a cemetery.

You are full of white and structured and neat, but dead. And John the Baptist was worse than him. John the Baptist was out in the wilderness eating grasshoppers and honey.

And when the Pharisees came out there where he was baptizing people and calling them to repent, one day he saw the Pharisees coming toward him. He said, look at them, a brood of vipers. Call them a brood of vipers. Y'all a bunch of snakes. Not only were you a snake, your mama was a snake before you.

Rough, man. I'm just trying to tell you, you don't have to be plastic and phony to serve the Lord. And Jesus said, if they trespass against you, rebuke them. But then he said, here's where we got to pick it up. Now, if they repent, forgive them. Now that's where we got to talk. We got to talk about forgiveness. A lot of Christians don't understand forgiveness, and we've got to get this straight.

And I believe that by the time I'm done, you will have a fresh revelation, a fresh understanding of what God calls us to do in this area so that we can be free and we can enjoy what he has provided for us and not walk in perpetual bondage because of our people issues. So let me ask and answer a number of questions about forgiveness. The first is, do I have the option whether or not to forgive?

The answer is no. Jesus commands us to forgive. Forgiveness is not a suggestion. Forgiveness is not a good idea. Forgiveness is not if you feel like it. Forgiveness is a command.

We're commanded. Let me establish it from Scripture. Matthew 6, 12, in the Lord's Prayer, we call it the Lord's Prayer. It's actually the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. They said, Lord, teach us to pray. And in response to that request, he said, when you pray, and he gave them a formula, a template, if you will, for prayer.

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. He taught us to worship and thank God when we pray. He said, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He taught us to pray that his will take place here on earth in our lives, just like his will is taking place in heaven. So, it's a part of the prayer when you pray.

Surrender to God and make sure your will lines up with his. Then he said, give us this day our daily bread. He taught us to ask the Lord for what we need, our provisions. Then he said, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Notice, Jesus tied our request of the Father for forgiveness with our willingness to forgive others. He said, if you want the Heavenly Father to forgive you your sins, then in that same moment you're praying, requesting his forgiveness, he said, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Forgiveness is not an option. Mark 11 25, Jesus says, when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him so that your Father may forgive your trespasses. Again, Jesus ties our forgiveness to our willingness to forgive. The most potent passage that drives home your need to forgive is the parable of the unforgiving servant. It's found in Matthew 18 verses 21 through 35.

Now, I won't read with you through that, but I'm gonna talk with you through it because I want you to get the point. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, learning how to forgive with Pastor Paul Shepherd. If you've never stopped by our website,, I invite you to do it today. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources at our online store, including books and MP3 downloads from Pastor Paul. is a great place to learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. And also don't forget to check out the links for Pastor Paul's social media, including YouTube, where you can watch some of his best video clips. This information and more is at

Now, let's rejoin Pastor Paul for the second half of today's Destined for Victory message, learning how to forgive. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus tells the story of a servant who owed the king an unbelievable amount of money. Unbelievable amount of money. If you were to try to make it make sense in our economy, well, the point is owing more than you could possibly pay in an entire lifetime.

That's the point. So it's relative for us because it depends on how much you are worth. For some of us, it wouldn't take that high a figure for us to get the point of the parable. But it's more than you could ever pay in a lifetime. So whatever that figure is for you, that's what it means. Even those of you who are seriously paid, the figure is over your head.

So that if you are, you could be a millionaire here. If you are worth tens of millions, then it means what you owed is hundreds of millions. If you are worth hundreds of millions, please identify yourself to me after service. But so that you understand what I'm saying, if you are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, it means you owe a billion dollars.

You get the point? It's more than you can handle is what Jesus is saying. This servant owed the king more than he could possibly pay back in an entire lifetime.

I want to know how he got the line of credit in the first place. But Jesus is just making a point. And the king knew he couldn't pay, and the king forgave the debt. Now, you know who he's referring to when he gives us that parable. He's talking about God dealing with us. Our sins we could never pay for.

So Jesus loved us so much, he died on our behalf, paid the penalty so that we could be free. Jesus said now, that servant who owed more than he could pay back in a lifetime was forgiven by the king and immediately left and went out and found someone who owed him literally a few dollars, just forgiven more than you could ever pay in a lifetime. And he goes out looking for us, he found him. He didn't just happen up on somebody, he was looking for somebody who owed him a few bucks, driving the streets looking for him. Sees him over there on the corner, stops the car, jumps out, runs across the street. Jesus said, grab them by the throat, and said, you owe me, let's say $20.

I want my 20, I ain't playing with you. And the man said, okay, just give me a little time, I'll get you your money. And he was so mean and so unforgiving, he said, no, I'm not giving you time. How you going to get paid back and you don't let him go get up the money? But he's showing us what an unforgiving heart is like.

He said, no, I'm not giving you time. Well, the king, Jesus went on to say, heard about it. See, what you got to understand is God sees everything that's going on in our lives. He sees when he's forgiven you for sin past, present, and future, and he sees when you turn around and have the nerve to hold somebody who's offended you in unforgiveness.

King heard about it, called him back, reinstated the debt, and sent him to the torture chamber until it was paid, and it was never going to be paid. Why would Jesus tell such a graphic story? He ends it by saying, that's the way the Heavenly Father feels when he has forgiven us our trespasses, and yet we refuse to forgive other people. Unforgiveness is not an option. We are commanded to forgive. Now, the all-important question, well, what does it mean to forgive? To forgive, the Greek word means to send, to send.

What's being sent? To forgive is to send? Well, in the context of our lives, we are sending the offense and the offender away from ourselves and into the hands of a just God, because God says vengeance is mine, I will repay. God says, don't you make yourself the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, and the warden when you throw them in jail. He says, you transfer them to my court, vengeance is mine. So when I forgive a person, what am I doing?

I'm releasing them from the jail cell of my heart. I'm saying, I will not be the person who prosecutes you, who holds you for the wrong you have done. I'm sending you to the God who's going to judge all of us.

That's what I do. When I forgive, I send the offense and the offender away into the hands of a just God. Now, here's where I got to do some work.

Here's the next question. Who am I called to forgive? This is going to surprise some of you, but it's going to hopefully enlighten many. Who am I called to forgive? Because some of us have assumed when we are commanded to forgive, we are commanded to forgive everybody.

I want to correct that. The Bible teaches we are called to forgive those who repent. Look at Luke 17, 3 again.

If your brother trespass against you, rebuke them. If they repent, is that what your Bible says? If they repent, Luke 17, 3, forgive them.

Parable of the unmerciful servant. Why was he in trouble? Why was his debt reinstated?

Because he refused to forgive someone who said, I want to write my $20 debt. Give me time. I acknowledge I owe you.

Give me time. Give me time, and he refused to forgive someone who requested, genuinely desired, to acknowledge their wrong and desired forgiveness. The people we are called to forgive, that is to extend an expressed forgiveness toward, are the people who have repented. Now think this through with me.

Why is that so? Why does Jesus make it clear that the condition is that they've repented? Because let's start with God. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes on him, believes what? Believes that he is the savior who came to save us from our sins. Whosoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus died for us on the cross. The reason why more people are not saved, forgiven, set free from their sins, children of God, is because although Jesus died for their sins, they have not acknowledged we are sinners who need to be saved. You can't get saved if you don't need to be saved. What's the difference between you and your friends, your relatives, your coworkers, other people you know who aren't saved?

There's only one difference. You acknowledge, Lord, I need you. I'm a sinner who needs your gift of salvation. They have that opportunity but until they come to God and say, I need you, they cannot receive the gift of salvation. Those who repent are eligible for the gift. So in your life, it's the same thing. You can't express forgiveness to somebody who hasn't acknowledged wrong. I mean, you can but you should not. In fact, you're doing them a disservice because you're attempting to release them from something they have not requested to be released from.

In fact, they haven't acknowledged their need. So when someone sins against you, the Bible is very clear because you're a child of God and they sinned against you, they have to deal with your daddy. When somebody offends you, Jesus said it would be better for you rather than to mess with the least of his little ones.

It would be better for you to be taken out in a boat to the deepest part of the sea, have somebody tie a millstone which would weight you down around your neck, throw you into the depths of the sea. Jesus said that's a much better fate than for you to fool with one of my kids, which means God takes it very seriously when people offend you, when people wrong you. So if they're responsible to God and have not acknowledged their need for forgiveness, he has not forgiven them. And so if they've offended you and have not acknowledged their need for forgiveness, guess what?

You cannot extend to them a gift they have no desire for. We're so glad you stopped by for today's Destined for Victory message, Learning How to Forgive. Before we leave you today, Pastor Paul Shepherd has been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, I appreciate you being here with us at the end of a very challenging year for most of us, but a very important time for Destined for Victory, a time here at year end when we ask people to stand with us financially.

Why is it so important that we hear from listeners, especially this month? Well, it's because practical Bible teaching has always been important in the life of the church universal. But here in the 21st century, it is more critical than ever that we hear clear, sound, engaging biblical truth. Today, there are seven generations alive in America, and they range all the way from the greatest generation, which are those persons born in 1927 or earlier, all the way to the current and still developing generation. Social scientists have named it Generation Alpha. These are the kids being born from 2016 to the present.

My first grandchild was born just in May of 2020, and so he's an Alpha. And every one of the seven generations alive today need the gospel preached plainly, preached soundly and preached in a way that helps us engage with the issues of today. I want to keep doing that, and I can only do it because of the faithful and generous gifts of our listeners.

I'm so grateful for those that do it. We need many more to join us because, like never before, we need to let these generations know that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is singularly the power of God unto salvation. You know, it takes a lot of prayer and financial support to share Christ with every nation on earth.

It always has. Even in the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul encouraged believers to finance the advancement of the gospel. It's why we are asking for your help at this critical time when many people are looking for answers that only God can give. Help us finish this year strong with your best gift right now. As our way of saying thanks, we'll send Pastor Paul's DVD message, Refocus. He put this sermon together to help you work through the challenges that have been born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you follow along, he'll give you three practical steps as to how you need to address the events of this year and move ahead into 2021 with your faith intact, knowing that God is moving you ever closer to your destiny in Christ.

Again, the DVD message is called, Refocus. It's our gift to you by request for your most generous gift today. Please call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. And of course, you can also make a safe and secure donation from our website, What I do with the people who I think will die before they ever say to me, I'm sorry, I released them in my heart.

What's that mean? I don't express forgiveness to them because they haven't asked for it. But to God, I say, Lord, I want to send them to you so that I don't carry them around or their offense around.

It's too heavy a burden. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Learning How to Forgive. Until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-10 03:51:13 / 2024-01-10 04:00:17 / 9

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