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March 8, 2022 7:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ deals with real sin, inexcusable, unacceptable, sinful behavior. GK Chesterton said, this forgiveness means pardoning the unpardonable boards not forgiveness of all forgiveness deals with real sin. Joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our over the years. Sometimes I run into stories that are so poignant that they're worth repeating. I love the story of a man who was bitten by a dog which was later discovered to be rabbit at that time, medical science had no answer for rabies and so the doctor said to him, all we can do is try to make you comfortable. My best advice is that you put your affairs in order as soon as possible. The man sunk in despair but then asked for a pen and some paper. An hour later, the doctor returned and saw the man still writing with great enthusiasm.
The doctor said to him, I'm glad to hear come to grips with your impending death and you're working on your will. Man responded saying no will dock this is a list of people I'm gonna bite before I die. Many of us live and die with that kind of list not written on paper, but written in our minds written in our hearts. List the people that we believe the longest notice mistreated us. Sometimes we forget the names but we still carry around a bitter outlook on life. The root of our problem is an unforgiving spirit CS Lewis put it so well when he said, forgiveness is a beautiful word until you have something to forgive her something powerful when it each and every one of us that clings to any wrong that we have suffered. We remembered for years, decades we dwell upon it are Lord considered forgiveness. One of the very most important issues of the believer's life, so much so that he spoke on several occasions know where did he speak on it. More pointedly than in Matthew chapter 18, so would you open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 18 we are in a series that I've called forgiveness. The Keystone of all relationships in a fallen world.
The very first message I talked about all of us need to be forgiven. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God that it's God's nature to forgive. And when God forgives his forgiveness is complete and total second week I said that even though God's forgiveness is a free gift for us. It was extremely costly to Jesus Christ.
As we spoke on the cross and then I said, there is a connection between embracing the forgiveness of God and having a love for God. Last time I said that we live in forgiveness. When a daily basis by confessing and acknowledging our sins before God.
Forgiveness is a difficult issue for us. We do much better understanding what it means to be forgiven than it does for us to do the forgiving. It's been a problem and it confuses us in verse 21 Peter as he always does.
You gotta love Peter is going to say what other people think. Peter came and said to the Lord, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him.
Great question. How often not peters picking up on something Jesus had said verse 15 in verse 15 Jesus was teaching and he said to his disciples. He said if your brother sins going showman's fault in private if he listens to you he says you won your brother Peter jumped the one phrase there.
If he listens to you. What if he doesn't.
What he doesn't want to be ignored.
So Peterson women. Women will be confused about this.
I will latch on to this he said look forgiving people are hard hard enough, but what he doesn't listen.
So Peter says more how often my brother sin against me and I forgive him and then he throws in a self-righteous phrase I think trying to impress the Lord is up to seven times. They have to understand, Peter knows that he's been taught by rabbis that they must be forgiving but he also knows what the rabbis teach for Jensen Rabbi Josť been a Huda who wrote in the townhome of the Jewish Talmud wrote this. If a man commits a transgression. The first, second and third time he is forgiven. The fourth time he is not to be forgiven.
So Peterson you know, I'd like to say what the rabbi say but I know Jesus and every time I say what the rabbi say Jesus corrected so he said I'm in a really impressive air and I want to throw in seven he seems like the number anyway and it is twice as good a number as three it's better than twice as good.
See, Peter is Peter is puzzled and confused by the same thing a positive confuses you, is there a limit to your ability to forgive is there a limit to disability Jesus response to Peter and his response is incredible. Jesus ignores the numbers he doesn't even want to speak about but he goes on and says this I do not say to you, up to 7◊70◊7. Now he does not mean 490 said this in the past some of you are so obsessive-compulsive that you keep a list and then when you get the 491 you feel that you have no longer an obligation. Jesus is not speaking about the number seven time seven the 70◊7 idea did Jesus simply means there is no number. Forgiveness is not an issue of numbers and Hilborn improve lien just a moment. He wants to make one point, now and this is why he brought all this up to teach this parable forgiven people must be forgiving, forgiving people must be forgiving now. First of all let me give you definition of what it means forgiveness of give you couple dictionary different definitions are pretty much biblically right on. Forgiveness is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived big offense. This agreement mistake or ceasing to demand punishment or any restitution.
The Oxford English dictionary defines forgiveness as to grant free pardon and give up all claim on account of an offense or a debt.
That's what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not forgetting, by the way, I can't tell you how long I've heard this over the years. Well I can't forgive because I haven't forgotten it yet is a fallen human being in a fallen world.
You will never forget you will absolutely never forget you always remember offenses.
It doesn't even matter how old you are when you were in elementary school, and there could be people that said wonderful things about you and I don't know you but I would assume there few people that said good things about you and you probably don't remember them but if somebody said something terrible about or somebody really hurt you or somebody mocked you, or someone made a fool of you, you remembered to this day you let go of it. You don't forget to bring that into your life. What if you're raised in a home where you were abused, you forget that.
What if you're in a marriage where your abused you and forget that no forgiveness is not forgetting. Also, forgiveness is not ignoring or being indifferent or avoiding the person who sinned against you, just avoiding a being indifferent to them doesn't mean you're forgiven anything if you do come to grips with forgiveness. There are certain principles you have to understand one forgiveness deals with real sin. Forgiveness deals with real sin, inexcusable, unacceptable, sinful behavior.
GK Chesterton said, this forgiveness means pardoning the unpardonable works not forgiveness at all. Forgiveness deals with real sin.
Secondly, the word forgiveness means erasing the act letting go letting go of the raw you take the Greek word there that Peter uses the word, forgive.
Jesus uses the same word. It actually Amy is a compound Greek word appy comes from Athos Athos means away from Amy comes Amy and it means dissent was forgiveness, send it away to really send it away is not exactly what God said he did in the Old Testament I would take her since I will take him to see and up a barium from overboard and remember no more. As far as the east is from the West. That's a far sender since man that's what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not this idea constantly conjuring up something constantly bringing it up again constantly talking about it again.
Forgiveness is dealing with it and letting it go away thoroughly. Forgiveness is granted not heard the owner forgiveness. I've heard people say I'm not going to forgive and to I no longer hurt.
That's not forgiveness. Forgiveness is an act of your will is not a prisoner of your emotions, fear, when you emotionally get ready to forgive their things that happen in your life you'll never forgive is an act of your will. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things in life will ever do. Forgiveness is not reconciliation will talk about that in the upcoming message reconciliation is when two parties come back together. Forgiveness is not reconciliation is an important part of reconciliation. It's the part of the forgive her but reconciliation requires some responsibility on the forgive me where the one who was forgiven, but as believers in Jesus Christ is gonna make it abundantly clear. You have no other option. People are forgiven must be for givers now.
He then decides he's going to give us a parable to sort of clarify this point to us.
He says in verse 23.
For this reason, the kingdom of heaven.
My people believers for this reason. He says the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. Not we all understand what King means here, but maybe we don't understand what slaves me. We have a tendency to think of slavery and slaves is only the lowest form, but in this parable Jesus is not talking about that in Jesus world when a guy was a king.
He was an absolute monarch. In other words, everybody was the king's life. Everybody in fact the king had the power of life and death over every body and so this labor comes forward here, you're going to see is certainly not an impoverished lay. He says when he had begun to settle them one who owed him 10,000 talents. He said, was brought to him and there's a problem we have an English we see 10,000 talents and we go pay 10,000 talents we have any idea what that means. First of all, the word 10,000 that used to be a big word by the way, I would imagine if you went back 100 years ago and you could make $10,000 in the year was impressive about now, so good, so I offered you a job is to be $10,000 a year for the seat but in the Greek language. This is the highest number in the language you seen this work.
It's in the book of Revelation. The word is Mary Roy which is we get the word myriad myriads and myriads of angels.
It's the word 10,000 is the largest number they have this guy owed 10,000 talents. Now when we give you an idea what a talent means by weight a talent mean 75 pounds 75 pounds of gold 75 pounds of silver. But there's another way of looking at the equivalency here that Jesus is going to use one talent equals 6000 the Mary not told you before that it did. Mary is one days wages one talent equals 6000 Mary.
Now the average person made 300 been married in a year that would've been the average yearly income 300 and Mary. It would take 20 years of working to earn one town now how much this man oh 10,000 talents to hundred thousand years of labor. That's what he owed he owed 200,000 years of labor.
Now I know some of you are probably in debt but at least now you can be grateful you're not 200,000 years of your income and debt now this is the parable Jesus is using hyperbole and there's a really good reason for this, the king is the Lord himself now. Guess who the slave is that be you and that's me see what you all 1010.
What do I own the Lord, on the basis of my debt of sin against him 10,000 talents to hundred thousand years. One commentator when his writing intersection said no wonder that's the reason Hell is eternal it take that long to pay back.
I don't think that's really theology, but the point of it is it's an enormous debt, you see, they would've understood like this is this is unrealistic that this is an enormous debt, but it's a very important thing we have no resources to pay it back. So in those kind of cases normally what you do you have justice.
So we get justice. Verse 25 but since he did not have the means to repay, his Lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and his children and all that he had, and repayment be made. That's what would've happened.
That's the justice in a costume, you would become an indentured servant assigned to that of taking your wife and children and everything you owe. Would've been applied to the debt. By the way, all that window made it down at all now. What's interesting about this is because it's a parable Jesus is going to now put that little twist in it that he always seems to in a parable. Verse 26 so the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him and said, have patience with me and I will repay you everything. Now we know. By the way, by the daddy could've possibly done it, but he's just pleading for something. The only thing that could save mercy, just mercy and the Lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
The Lord had compassion, and forgave him the debt. While the I don't think the disciples all that, now, forgiveness is about the forgive her. By the way, it's not about the one being forgiven. It's the one who does the forgiving forgiveness is the forgive her. By the way, pays what the forgiven those you see whenever you forgiven debt. What you say I'll pay it.
He was owed 200,000 years of labor. It was on 10,000 talents and what does the king say I. You own it out. So whether you are the Lord will lose your debt before a holy God infinite. You know what he said Albert a. As I said, forgiveness is costly when you forgive somebody you absorb the cost.
You see, you absorb the cost. That's part of the forgiveness you inherited that so often I hear Christians say what I forgave the person and then they begin to talk about how terrible the person was allowable what the person did to them and I'll just terrible. It made her life.
When you haven't forgiven anything as now you're taking the pain of putting it back out there, you absorb it. You see, you want to punish them by telling me is not forgiveness. Jesus says the Lord of that slave felt compassion released the many forgave the debt erased it like that and this is where you might think it would end the people would sue okay Lord I kinda got that Jesus is not sufficed because I know you and I know all the people who will follow you. I know what human beings are like and I know what my human beings my believers my disciples are like and so he continues, he says this, he says, but that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 and Mary, and he sees him to begin to choke him same pay back what you owe and be you and me will notice there is a debt being owed. It is a legitimate debt to say the very very least it's 100 and Mary. Four months labor. Someone owed him four months labor so that substantial amount thing when average income is four months that's substantial. He says you only your gonna pay me but notice what the Lord does he give general insight into the person he said he want to choke him and I know this. I know that you say why I haven't choke anybody maybe not, but you probably of like social restraint probably stop you from it, but choking means he had a vengeful heart.
We try this scenario, somebody's hurt you so much try to destroy your reputation, someone is done you wrong in your past, and then you hear later that they have fallen one difficult circumstances or bad times how you respond smile is a little smile and what are you thinking getting what they deserve now. See if you if you take that kind of joy and someone is hurt you in the past whenever there are certain you have not forgiven you, not choking them. Would you have the same vengeful heart. Jesus is love. Don't do that forgiven people must be forgiving notice, so his fellow slave fell to the ground began to plead with him, saying, have patience with me and I will repay you know that's verse 29. Again, look back to verse 26. This is himself.
So the slave out of the ground prostrated himself.
He forms that have patience with me and I will repay you everything to the sound similar. I need mercy well verse 30 says, but he was unwilling know you didn't say the pain was so great he just couldn't help himself.
He didn't say he was so emotionally distraught by dismantling and three months later that he just couldn't help whenever God's children don't forgive, there's only one reason you are on willing pastor broke your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word.
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