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April 8, 2021 4:00 am
Anybody who loves the Lord Jesus Christ. Anybody loves the saints anybody loves the fellowship. Anybody who loves true knowledge.
Anybody who loves the glory of Christ anybody who loves to be a blessing is going to be a forgive her that's the character of the kind of people does something that cost you money or embarrassment or even real pain.
How should you respond when that happens. Are there some send you just shouldn't or can't forgive. Consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his practical study titled forgiveness John before the lesson today I want to take a couple of minutes for some encouragement.
You have some letters in front of you that our listeners I think will appreciate. So share them with us till you know it's always a joy to do this every time I come into the office and sit down.
My desk is a little stack of letters there.
I know that's because you guys want to encourage men. It's so wonderful. Here are a few that will encourage everybody.
Here's one from a man named Jay, thank you for your faithful ministry, preaching God's word clearly and boldly over the years.
I'm a faculty member at a public university teaching and doing research in microbiology. I began listening to your preaching in the mid to thousands on WT L land in Orlando, Florida, and since moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I have been listening to you via the TTY app. I've been blessed by the free resources you provided over the years, including many books and messages on CD and two editions of the MacArthur study Bible, I'd say he's he's loaded up on it. Yep, that's great, Jay goes on during the covered lockdown in the riots that were among the highlights of this passing year.
I was greatly benefited by your teaching from God's word.
It helped me understand the social contexts behind events that were dominating the news cycles. So thank you and may our Lord Jesus Christ continue to guide you in all your coworkers in your ministry J thank you so much.
Thank you for taking the time to write and encourage us and we thank the Lord for ministering to and that way of Phil Johnson's said to drop you a note so I am says a man named Eric I listen to you each night on Bott radio in Kansas. I have been unemployed for months and hearing God's word through grace to you each evening helps me focus on God and his will, rather than be stressed or sad about my current situation. Thankful for how you dive into the Bible help me learn more about the context of many passages. God bless you John and the grace to team Eric.
Isn't it interesting how he talked about context and so did the letter from J people talk about context and we talked about that last week that context is everything. In interpreting Scripture. People pick that up.
Well, these letters these stories are reminders of God's faithfulness in giving us opportunity to minister on a wide wide level lower across this country. But even around the globe wouldn't happen without your prayers and your support.
So thank you for standing with us. Yes friend we are so grateful for our partnership with people just like you who affirm John's commitment to verse by verse teaching through your support. You help Grace to you have a strong voice throughout the world, enabling men and women to grow in biblical truth and if you'd like to partner with us go to GT Y.org after the lesson, but right now, stay here as John continues his series, simply titled forgiveness. I draw your attention back to the wonderful little book of Philemon turn in your Bible if you will, to Philemon. If you read verses 4 to 7. You're not going to necessarily see Paul identify 123456 the principles of a forgiving person, but you're going to see them come out and what he says they're not what we say explicit, but they are implicit there implied here very very clearly in this section, Paul refers to Philemon in very very glowing terms.
He commends him from verse four through seven on his Christian character and as he does that he is describing the kind of man who will be a forgive her the first characteristic of a forgive or is he's a Christian is a concern for the Lord is very concerned for the Lord. He loves the Lord wants to honor the Lord is desirous of that which expresses his faith in the Lord. Second, a forgiving person also has a concern for people but concern for people. Verse five Paul says I here also of your love which you have toward all the saints. You notice that I've kind of explained that verse and it's a little bit jumbled up. This is in the Greek language we call a key Astec arrangement. In other words the words and the thoughts in the verse are arranged in a crisscross fashion and the first expression I hear of your love goes with the last expression and the second X expression of faith goes with the first expression toward our Lord Jesus. So you have to look at it as a crisscross. That's key Astec in the Greek language so when he says faith he's talking about the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus when he says loudly says the love which you have toward all the saints. That's the second characteristic you love the saints. This is, I got pain, love, this is love of choice. Love of the will love of self-sacrifice, love of humility. This is the love that says I don't care about myself.
I care about you. This is the love that says all make any sacrifice to meet your need. This is a love that says is not a motion with me. It's obedience. I'm not compelled to serve you because there's something about you that's attractive, I'm compelled to serve you because there's something about the power of God within me that moves me. That way, this is what Paul said in Galatians 56 is faith working through love. Remember first Thessalonians 49 pulse is not to teach you how to love your taught by God to love Romans 511 Christ shed abroad in your heart.
First John 314. He simply says if you're born again you love.
The brothers viewed all of the brothers you're not born again.
In other words, your Christian you have the capacity to love. You have the love of God shed abroad in your heart you been taught by God to love you been given the capacity it's in their it's the love of the spirit that's in you and so he says to Philemon. I know you can be a forgive or why your faith is real so you have a concern for the Lord your love is real so you have a concern for the people you cannot ask an unbeliever to forgive. They don't have any love toward people don't have any any passion self-sacrificing love of the will to do what is right, toward someone is something innate within them.
If it's self-serving they'll do it in the love they know about is the love of feeling and the love of the motion, not the love of choice in the love of commitment sources Philemon your your forgive her because you have a concern for the Lord, you know God you walk with Christ. Your faith is toward him and it's continuing and you have a love for the people. Thirdly one.
It was a forgive or has a concern for fellowship.
A concern for fellowship. He says I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus Christ and toward all the saints that the fellowship of your faith may become effective now here he adds another concept he is saying you have true saving faith. You have true spiritual love, and you have a desire for fellowship your faith pursues fellowship because it the fellowship of your faith, and he says I'm hoping that the fellowship of your faith may become effective.
That's the word powerful powerful. I know you care about the fellows minister of Christians.
If you're Christian you care about the fellowship you care about the body of Christ is what he say you're concerned about others. You say luck I want to forgive you because I don't want chaos in the fellowship. I want harmony I want peace I want unity. There's no individualism that says I really don't care about you. I'm a take what I want and I want to ask what I want and I want to give only what I want and I'll do things my way because I'm the one that I care about and I Christian doesn't say that the Christmases I care about the fellowship I care about you I care about our unity. I care about our ministry. I care about our mutual sharing the word fellowship going on the hard word to translate.
Actually, it most often is translated fellowship but when we talk about fellowship. We usually mean enjoying somebody's company we say we had fellowship together. We meet we just had fun.
We talked a week. We had a little bit of time together in a sort of that shared a little bit of the kibitzing are a little bit of food or refreshment or that's not what were talking about here were talking about here is a it is belonging. That's the word that I like best belonging what you belong to somebody else and somebody else belongs to you in a mutual partnership choices.
I know that your faith is concerned with how important is this mutual belonging and what's his implication are well Vanessa Mrs. coming back. You know now that an SMS from reading this letter is a Christian and that makes him in the fellowship and he belongs to you. Now not only as a slave but as a brother in Christ, and you belong to him not only as a master but as a brother in Christ, and I know you care about the belonging. That's the idea. I know that's important to you and then he says, and I want your fellowship. The fellowship of your faith to become effective to have a powerful impact what he saying is if you forget this guy, it's good to have a powerful impact because this was a serious felony for which the slave could lose his life. And if you just flat. Forgive the guy that is going to that's going to send a strong message to the church about the priority of belonging.
This man now belongs to me, not as my slave, but as my brother and my brother needs forgiveness that's going to be a powerful statement of fellowship matter what a man does to you. What a woman does to you. If you can take that person back and embrace that person in love. You have made a strong statement about your concern for fellowship.
Have you not for the mutual belonging you're not concerned about you and your isolation and your individualism you're concerned about the partnership, the mutual participation so a person with true saving faith is concerned about the Lord person who's had the love of God shed abroad in his heart is concerned about other people and the person who cares about the fellowship and has the priority of the mutual belonging of believers in his mind is going to be the kind of person eager to forgive, if you love the Lord. If you love people.
If you love the fellowship you be a forgive her as 1/4 fourth concern and that is that she had a concern for knowledge.
Paul wanted them to be reminded of this.
So Paul says in verse six, I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become powerful through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you stop at that point through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you know me ask you question when you became a Christian. Did God put good things in you. Yes you been blessed with what all spiritual blessings in heavenly's in Christ Jesus you know you have a new creation in you you not a lot of good things in you, many good things and he says to Philemon Philemon. I want you to have the knowledge of every good thing in you how I learned how I know about the good things are in me or do I read about in a book, know the word for knowledge is epic gnosis, not just knowing gnosis but epic gnosis deep knowledge rich knowledge, full knowledge, listen to this experiential knowledge. It's the knowledge through personal acquaintance with truth. It's the knowledge that comes through experience. Now listen what he saying to the same Philemon if you forgive this guy. Listen now if you forgive this guy you're going to immediately experience the good thing in you called forgiveness. You can read about forgiveness and a block.
But you wouldn't really know it because you haven't experienced you hear somebody preach about forgiveness and how wonderful it is and how blessed it is, but you really wouldn't know it until you did. You know how to get the knowledge of the good things are in you exercise the you find out the tremendous goodness of what God has placed within you. When you walk in obedience to the will of God, and you do things and you see and experience those things in your own life.
God has given you the capacity to forgive. Forgive somebody and experience it. That's what he say once you do it Philemon you can experience the forgiveness we've all sat down and read the books that showed some guy skiing down the that the Swiss Alps on a sunny day in the snow flying by the beauty and wonder of all of that and the thrill of exhilaration but I'll tell you there is a lot of difference between looking at the picture in the book and coming down the mountain. There's a certain one-dimensional flat knowledge that you get out of the black that cannot even be related to what you experience when you're flying down the mountain on the ski and the same thing is true in the spiritual realm I can read the flat words on the pages of the Bible that define forgiveness, but I will never have the epic gnosis for the deep knowledge of forgiveness until I what forgive and experience, and that's how I learned to know every good thing that God has put in me so the person who can forgive is concerned about the Lord is concerned about people he's concerned about fellowship and he's concerned about knowledge. He wants the full rich deep knowledge of every good thing that sending you know I just follow that through. I want to do what God wants me to do because I want to experience the power of the goodness that is in me through him.
It's not my own goodness, but it's the goodness that he's put in me. Don't you get the joy out of that sometimes when we have the opportunity to give. For example, and to give generously and to give sacrificially we feel this thrill this exhilaration. This joy this exuberance because we've experienced the deep rich goodness that God is put in us that causes us to be able to give sacrificially so he is reminding Philemon and us of the priority of being concerned about knowledge.
There's 1/5 component.
I think in the character of someone who forgives and that is a concern for glory. A concern for glory at the end of verse six is this little phrase, for Christ's sake. Actually, in the Greek it says unto Christ unto Christ. In other words he's saying Philemon.
I know you have fellowship as a priority.
I wanted to be powerful. I know you're concerned about knowledge and I wanted to be the knowledge of every good thing that is in you and I know you want all of this for Christ's sake. That's implied. In other words you're concerned about the glory of Christ, you do it on to him as unto him, the Christian life with all its deeds, with all its joys with all its works with all its responsibilities, is for the glory of Christ is, for Christ's sake. It's for Christ's name. It's for Christ praise Christ's glory, and frankly, if you're devoted to that. You're going to forgive right. I can't say in one moment I want to do all of the glory of Christ, but don't think I'll forgive you. Can't say that. Be honest what you have to say is I'm not going to forgive you. So Christ I'm not interested in your glory. I mentioned in my vengeance. That's what you're saying but if you want to honor Christ, then you'll forget that she for gave you right if you want to honor Christ you will obey what he told you to do Shirley Philemon was concerned to glorify Christ. Surely he would do it unto Christ or for Christ's sake, the one who forgives that is marked by a concern for the Lord.
A concern for people concern for fellowship. A concern for deep experiential knowledge and a concern for the glory of his Lord is one last note, the person who forgives is characterized by concern to be a blessing. He's characterized by concern to be a blessing and this again is implied. Verse seven bosses. I've come that much joy and comfort in your love stop there.
This point this man had a reputation for love and Paul says your love has brought me joy and comfort 40 says not just joy and comfort much joy and comfort. I have come to the point where you have given me reason to rejoice.
I have come to the point where you have encouraged my heart by your love in what way verse seven again delivers because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you brother.
What estate the hearts uses the word's blank not actually the bowels the feelings the seat of emotion and feeling. He says people in trouble. People with feelings. People suffering and hurting and struggling have found you to be a blessing you refreshed them to military term used for army to take some march stops and rests you bring people rest your peacemaker. You renew people your care and your service and your refreshing heart brings soulless to troubled folks. Nothing indicates that he was an elder in the church.
Nothing indicates that he was a deacon in the church. Nothing indicates that he was a teacher in the church obviously was some kind of businessman he was not a calculated diplomat.
It was just a man of instinctive kindness. He was a blessing to everybody that kind of person will forgive the person who is concerned to be a refreshing person I want to bring trouble in your life. I want to make unrest I want to bring disturbance. I want to bring rest, listen, those of the kind of people to bring me joy. There are people in my world.
Believe me there are people more than I would like to think about who will bring me trouble and it's usually fairly constant and you look long and hard to find those who just refresh you all the time because they resolve everything because they bring peace to everything because they exercise why his direction and leadership because they serve and care administer and because they just bless everybody.
Those are the kind of people who are going to forgive because all they want to be is a blessing.
Will Philemon by now is going to be saying to himself when I'm quite something.
Well, that's exactly what Paul hopes the same because in verse eight, is going him between the eyes. What he needs to do and I feel so good about what a wonderful man he is going to have to do it, or he won't live up to his press releases. Anybody who loves the Lord Jesus Christ.
Anybody loves the saints anybody loves the fellowship.
Anybody who loves true knowledge anybody loves the glory of Christ anybody who loves to be a blessing is going to be a forgive her that's the character of the kind of people who forgive and so Paul establishes that character is the character of Philemon. I was reading through an old poetry book that's a favorite of mine.
I came across a poem I don't know if it will affect you the way it did me. Maybe because I'm a father of four children and have such wonderful and cherished memories about my children. It struck me, and even made me very emotional and every time I read it, it had the same kind of response but it's just a little reminder of the simple qualities of forgiveness see if you can follow what the poet says my little son, who looks from thoughtful eyes and moved and spoken quiet grown-up wise having my law the seventh time disobeyed. I struck him and dismissed with hard words and on kissed his mother, who was patient, being dead, then fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep.
I visited his bed, but found them slumbering deep with darkened eyelids and their lashes yet from his late sobbing wet and I with Mona kissing away his tears left others of my own front table drawn beside his head. He had put within his reach box of colors in a red veined stone, a piece of glass abraded by the beach and six or seven shelves a bottle of blue bills and two French copper coins to comfort his sad heart, soul, and that night I prayed to God.
I wept and said when at last we lie with tranquil breath now seeing the in death, and that I remember a stove, what toys we made our simple joys how weekly understood my great commanded good then fatherly, not less, than I whom thou has molded from the clay.leave thy wrath and say I forgive thy childishness. If God can do that for us.
Can we do that for each other. Father, thank you for this reminder this morning, of the kind of person who forgives. We want to be that kind of person we long to be that kind of person we find no virtue in being any less than that and so we ask that your spirit would make us like dear Philemon, those who have the character of a forgive her there's anything that we have yet on forgiven in our lives resolve it this moment and free us from the bondage of the past. The disease of bitterness. The open door to Satan and the forfeiture of sweet fellowship with you for only forgiveness can do that for Jesus sake, a your listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur as John continues his current study from Philemon called forgiveness along with teaching on the radio. John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University and seminary will just a reminder that we are able to make lessons like today's, available on the radio because of support from listeners like you. Your gifts help us take verse by verse teaching to people from all walks of life in the United States, Europe, Asia and beyond. And if you'd like to partner in this strategic Bible teaching outreach. Contact us today. You can mail your tax-deductible gift to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or make a donation when you call 855 Grace or visit our website Jide TY.org and as we often say giving to your local church should be first priority. We're grateful for anything you can send our way.
After that to make a donation, call 855 Grace or go to Jide TY.and remember our website Jide TY.org has thousands of free resources that can help you better understand God's word and apply it to your life if you have questions about marriage or honoring Christ at your job or how you can minister to a loved one suffering. You can search John's sermons and daily devotionals and blog articles to find resources that give answers the website again.
Jide TY.org now for John MacArthur.
I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for making this broadcast part of your day and join us tomorrow when John looks at the connection between forgiveness and worship is continuing his study from the book of Philemon simply titled forgiveness. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on race