Share This Episode
Grace To You John MacArthur Logo

The Key to Maintaining Family Unity B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2022 3:00 am

The Key to Maintaining Family Unity B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 878 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

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

February 17, 2022 3:00 am

Click the icon below to listen.

Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Living in the Light
Anne Graham Lotz
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick

Resource you may think you have a difficult marriage. You may think you have a difficult situation. Young people with your parents. You may think you have conflict in the home. Let me tell you this, your offenses, the offenses against you are the very trials which God will use making life so social service that can be rendered by anyone to mankind is to bring up a family well with building a strong family in mind. The question is how exactly do you do that how do you go about strengthening your marriage and making a positive influence on your kids and creating harmony and joy in your home, and most important, honoring Christ as a family. John MacArthur has the answers today as he continues to show you the key to maintaining family unity. That's the title of his message on Grace to you and with that, let's get to the lesson. Here's John, what is it, most importantly, that causes relationships to be sustained over the long haul.

In a word, it is forgiveness. It is forgiveness. Why do I say that well first of all, because no matter who you're married to their going to fail you going to offend you going to misunderstand you to misinterpret what you mean by what you do you are going to offend them.

You are going to sin against them. You are going to disappoint them. This is true in any kind of relationship because we are sinful creatures we are fallen creatures and what essentially keeps that from destroying relationships is forgiveness. Forgiveness no relationship can survive the absence of forgiveness. If you don't forgive continually you will accumulate bitterness that will destroy any and every relationship. Let me show you a few of the compelling motives for forgiveness number one. Forgiveness is the most godlike act. A person can do no act is more like God then forgiveness, never, are you more like him.

Then when you forgive someone who has offended you. Second, in thinking about motives for forgiveness is not murder only, which is forbidden by the sixth commandment, anger, wrath, malice, lack of forgiveness, desire for revenge vengeance. It's all included in the sixth commandment. And I say again is not murder only, which is forbidden by the sixth commandment of all anger, all wrath all malice, all evil intent. All bitterness, all of that God has commanded.

Not only that you not kill, but that you not have a murderous attitude.

Thirdly, and this is a very important point when you talk about forgiveness. You must remember. Thirdly, that whoever has offended you, has offended God greater so we forgive we forgive because we are never more like God than when we forgive we forgive because God forbids anger and hate and attitudes of vengeance and we forgive because God who is most offended has forgiven and we who are least offended can surely do the same to me take you to 1/4 point. The just builds on the third one is only reasonable that those forgiven, the greater sins should forgive the lesser ones is only reasonable that those forgiven, the greater sins. Forgive the lesser ones. This I know if you think about it will bring to mind. Matthew 18 so turnover to Matthew 18 and I want to remind you of something that though you and I both need to be reminded of periodically, and that is that that when we stand before God before our salvation. We are worthy of eternal hell right because we are the enemies of God we have ignored God. We have denied God. We have failed to be thankful to God, we have pursued iniquity and we deserve eternal hell. But God in his mercy for gives us damning iniquities. He forgives us sin that is at a level that it would send us to hell to suffer for ever and still not be expiate you with so many might think that well know 50,000 years in hell should be enough to sort of pay for my sin. Somebody else might say will 50 million years in hell might be enough to pay for my sin. But the answer is eternity won't be enough to pay for your sin. You'll be there forever suffering. That's how serious the crime is we have crimes in our country and we have varying sentences for those crimes. If someone commits a misdemeanor. They might going to jail overnight if someone commits a petty crime they might going to jail for 30 days or 60 days if they committed an armed robbery. They might be there for five years if they commit a 2nd murder might be 20 if it's premeditated, first-degree murder, it might be life and we think about that is a serious crime, but what kind of crime is it that can only be paid for by eternal punishment is staggering for and so that any of us.

No matter how we may assess ourselves any of us if we are not in Christ, forgiven by God, have so greatly offended God as to pay for that offense with eternal punishment. That's how serious are iniquities you measure the seriousness of it. If no other way by the penalty attached to it right so when you came to Christ and you were forgiven. It wasn't some small thing it was that you had this massive debt of iniquity that couldn't be paid for in an eternity of suffering and God in a moment.

For gave it all. That's the magnanimity of forgiveness. So you have to go back to remembering what you have been forgiven in Christ, and now back to the fourth point is reasonable then that those forgiven, the greater sins should certainly be able to forgive the lesser right somebody offended you all really somebody offended you, your husband offended you or your wife offended you or your parents offended you young people or somebody else offended you. Oh I see. So you're going to be bitter when you're in a carry a vengeful, hateful, resentful attitude around and you're gonna make those people pay for what they did to you and your Christian, you're going to be making sure that your spouse feels the pain of your anger over what he or she did to you, you who stood before God with the weight of sin that even an eternity of pain couldn't eliminate, and you were forgiven all of it in a split second, you're going to hold this trivial offense against somebody else. That's the whole point of the parable at the end of Matthew 18. Some people brought in before the king. They own a massive debt that they could never pay he forgives one of these guys is forgiven.

This massive unpayable debt which is the picture of eternal punishment and our weight of sin and he's forgiven. He accepts forgiveness goes out finds a guy who owes him a few weeks wages and strangles the God that I want my pay.

I want my pain. The guy kept pace with those in prison us in unimaginable the disciples are are really incredulous over this.

They can't believe this. I'm sure as Jesus outlined the story, it would absolutely shake them to the court that anybody could be forgiven so much and turn around and not forgive somebody so little and isn't that exactly what we do all the time all the time. We have been forgiven by God and unpayable inconceivable debt.

Shall we not forgive the small debts that others owe us in your marriage. You need to be in a hurry to forgive as fast as you can forgive even when the offense is going on all your thoughts should be geared toward forgiveness what insensitive ingratitude. The servant in Matthew 18 demonstrates who was forgiven this unpayable debt and then ran right out and got somebody and wouldn't forgive them. Are you a higher court than God, are you more worthy than God. You have a right to hold your hostility and your anger that God doesn't have.

You have a more demanding law. Are you worthy of of greater treatment than God's unthinkable 1/5 reason to forget the one who does not forgive will not enjoy the love of other Christians wanted is not forgive will not enjoy the love of other Christians. When we tell you what happens in a marriage. It happens all the time. The wife says I've had it with this guy. That's all I'm done.

I'm not taking it anymore.

I'm fed up and I'm not going to forgive my forgiven him enough on it forgiven him anymore. I'm done with this. I have nothing but resentment, hostility, hatred, bitterness, and I maintaining it and I'm feeding it in what happens immediately.

There's a severing of the marriage and instantaneously the loss of Christian fellowship there on the outs with the church immediately right in a matter of a few months. Guess what, the communion service. Your name gets rid by me or another pastor is that not right because you left your marriage without any grounds for you forfeit the fellowship, the church becomes really your judge.

That's exactly what happens in the parable in Matthew 18.

Look at verse 31 the man tries to get his money out of this guy who owes him a few months wages really frozen in prison. In verse 31 says when his fellow slaves saw what happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their Lord all that had happened. You know what they could believe the guy would do the secondly such on forgiveness. It was staggering to them and where they go, they went right to the king, they would write to the Lord, you know what happens when when you will not forgive you forfeit the fellowship and the fellowship is a work goes to heaven to turn you in. You cut yourself off from the fellowship you're distanced from the body. You are 11 your sinful you're a bad influence.

The church doesn't want you around if you gonna behave like that and alienation from others in the life of the church leads to more sin. The sequence goes like this. I had not lived with her anymore. I'm out here.

I will not tolerate it.

I am at the end of my rope. I'm out of this thing immediately. A split out of that thing and then the church turns to God starts to call out to God on your behalf discipline and is enacted church pursues you. You don't repent and the next thing that happens is outside the fellowship you are turned over to whom Satan first Corinthians 5 and the next thing you know you're in an affair, and the spiral starts down alienation from others in the life of the church results in serious and Hebrews 1024 says that we need to be together for mutual stimulation. You need the life of God's people, and these friends turned against the unforgiving man and they turn them over to God. They prayed literally enacted church discipline. They turn them over to the Lord, who then turns them over to the tormentors that takes us to the six point failure to forgive results in divine chastening. What happened to this guy. Verse 32. The king of the Lord calls a man, you wicked slave, I forgive you all that debt because you asked me should you not also have had Mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you. It's incredible that he didn't and is Lord now moved with anger, turns them over to the tormentors, until he should repay all that was owed him. Social my heavenly Father also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart what to say if you will not forgive another than the Lord is going to turn you over to the tormentors, what's that chastening serious chastening torturers tormentors might be stress, hardship, illness, difficult. James 213 says the same thing judgment will be merciless to the one who shows no mercy. Blessed are the merciful. Matthew 574 they will obtain mercy. If you don't have the mercy of forgiveness doesn't turn you over to the tormentors. So what happens you destroyed your marriage. You destroyed your relationship with church you spiraled down into iniquity, and now comes divine chastening. I've had several people in my life say to me on.

I live with this person anymore. I'd rather take my chances with God than live at the source will you not really taking any chances with God. It's pretty guaranteed what's going to happen.

Chastening chastening.

1/7 reason for forgiveness. The one who does not forgive will not be forgiven. The one who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Go back to Matthew chapter 6 in this ties in with the point we just made from that parable.

But if you don't forgive another the Lord's going to chase Chase and you. This is another way to look at that but emphasizes a little different aspect want to doesn't forgive will not be forgiven look at Matthew six in verse 12. Part of what he teaches them is to pray this and forgive us our debts or forgive us our trespasses as the other gospel records. It as we also have forgiven our debtors mother. You have a statement that's pretty clear you. Forgive us, God, as we have forgiven others good out of verses 14 and 15 for if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive men then your father will not forgive your transgressions what this is some powerful stuff. If you forgive you'll be forgiven God's going to deal with you. The way he deals with others say now just talking about the fact you might lose your salvation. Go to hell. No, no eternal forgiveness we have in our justification that settles the issue of our future temporal forgiveness we need in our sanctification, and that settles the issue of our blessing in the present. The issue here is simply this, that God will not forgive your sin in the sense that you're free from chastening and the recipient of blessing you know happens to you as a believer when you sin when you get involved in prolonged sin. It is not that you're all of a sudden you lose your salvation. Go to hell.

But I tell you what happens, you begin to be chastened and you forfeit blessing the eternal forgiveness is taken care of, but the here and now temporal forgiveness that withholds chastening and pours out blessing is not going to be yours. I watch this through the years as a pastor I watch lots of people I've seen people with emptiness in their lives with terrible dryness, insipid dullness. People with a lack of joy, the lack of power, a lack of a meaningful marriage relationship and I really believe that very often it is due to the fact that there is no forgiveness in their heart toward a person in their family. And when they will not forgive God continues to chasten and life is miserable and blessing.

Isn't there if there's anything I want out of life.

It's God's blessing. I mean, I suppose I would go so far as to say I would live with anybody. If I could have God's blessing. That's what I would seek most of all to humble myself and accept some difficulty in human life to have the joy of heaven is a simple choice for me.

Number eight to be a few more. The absence of forgiveness renders us unfit to worship the absence of forgiveness renders us unfit to worship fact worship becomes a form of hypocrisy. Matthew five again. 23 and 24 if therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar are you coming to worship God course in the Jewish context in this gospel.

But if you're coming to worship God and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar.

Go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, then come and present your offering very very basic.

Don't draw near to God with the intention of worship. If there's an unsettled grudge with another Christian reconciliation must precede worship even if we hold no anger. If he holds anger against us, we must freely forgiven the heart, and do all we can to make it right.

See if there's any iniquity in you. It says in Psalm 66 the Lord will not hear you. You come to worship heaven makes no response. If your heart is right. The absence of forgiveness renders you unfit for worship or this is serious really serious, number nine in just one more after this number nine not to forgive is to usurp the authority of God, and I suppose this is the ultimate ego trip. If you want, forgive, then you're setting yourself up as the one who holds the sort of divine judgment you're saying. Well, God, you may be willing to forgive but I'm not. You ripped the sword out of God's hand and you decide you wield it yourself. You take private vengeance what audacity in the light of Romans 12, where God says, vengeance is mine, I will repay you leave that to God. You don't have to get your pound of flesh out of everybody want to give back what you feel they deserve. That's not your job.

God alone is able to deal with sin. He has the perfect and true understanding of the offense and you don't your limited. He has the highest standard.

Yours is lower. He has the authority without limit. Yours is nonexistent. He is impartial.

You are not. He is omniscient and eternal sees the end from the beginning your shortsighted and ignorant. Seeing nothing beyond the moment. He is wise and good in action.

Perfect holiness and you're blinded by anger. You tell me how who ought to have the sort. It makes no sense for you or me to be the judge were not qualified when you tear the sword, as it were out of God's hands and will not forgive you assert his authority.

One final point. The cries out to us for forgiveness. This is a very important point. It could be a whole message a whole series of offenses against you are you are trials offenses against you.

Are your trials, listen carefully, and by those trials. What is God doing perfecting you count it all joy, brother, and when you fall into various trials because the trying of your faith is a perfect work meters you may think you have a difficult marriage.

You may think you have a difficult situation. Young people with your parents. You may think you have conflict in the home. Let me tell you this, your offenses, the offenses against you are the very trials which God will use to make you like his son don't run from criticisms, injustices, offenses, persecutions missed treatments are for the purpose of your spiritual maturity don't run from that process stay in it. Stay in it. Even if your whole life long. You realize that maybe maybe I could've found somebody else would've made my life happier if you respond to the stress and the difficulty appropriately.

Those trials will make you like Christ and that's the noblest goal of all be little concerned about your personal injuries and much concerned about your personal holiness. Remember that in your trials. God is at work making you strong and holy. When all is said and done what keeps a relationship together is forgive because were going to fail and were gone within and were going to wound and run her, but where there is instant and comprehensive constant forgiveness. The relationship stays together and God is honored and blessing is poured.

That's John MacArthur. He is the pastor of Grace Community Church. The featured speaker here on grace to you and Chancellor of the Masters University and seminary. Today he showed you why forgiveness matters in the family and why relationships between sinners can't survive very long without forgiveness. The title of John's lesson. The key to maintaining family unity. John, if this lesson has brought our listeners to any conclusion. It could simply be this.

There is no family relationship really no relationship of any kind that forgiveness or a lack of forgiveness won't affect in some profound way. That is absolutely true. People have asked me through the years will what about the don't ask for forgiveness me.

That seems to be the most common question right. If they don't ask for forgiveness if they don't repent and seek forgiveness. Should I forgive them anyway answer, of course, you should forgive them anyway why would you carry around unforgiveness look, the relationship may not be restored. You may have to wait until they come to you with repentance to restore the relationship of why should you carry bitterness around, you know you forgiven them when the bitterness is gone and all you feel for them is love and you go from wanting to hurt them or find something that hurts them to wanting the best for them.

You know your forgiven in your heart when all you want for that person is the very best know in this culture were taught to hate were taught to hated every possible level and were justified in our hate because if somebody does something that we don't like and you know we sort of justify hate because of the what's being done to us, either personally or politically, but why would you cultivate hate and desire vengeance.

Forgiveness frees your heart and you know you have forgiven. When all you desire for someone is the very best. The very best.

That's the evidence of real forgiveness in the heart.

And then of course you pray and wait for the opportunity that person might come back and ask your forgiveness and then the relationship can be restored. All of this and a whole lot more is in the book the freedom and power of forgiveness.

Again, the freedom and power of forgiveness really important truth for every life in every relationship you can order it today from Grace to you free shipping on our US orders yes sent friend a deep understanding of forgiveness can transform your marriage, it'll improve your relationship with your children. Strengthen your testimony at work and so much more.

Make sure you fully grasp God's amazing forgiveness of you and how you can demonstrate forgiveness to others pickup John's book the freedom and power of forgiveness today to order, call 855 grace weekdays from 730 to 4 o'clock Pacific time or go to our website any time The title to ask for the freedom and power of forgiveness again.

Get a copy when you call Let me also remind you that grace to you is supported by listeners just like you people who benefited from this verse by verse Bible teacher when you make a donation to help us take Bible centered resources across the globe, bringing spiritual nourishment family people at work full-time pastors and church elders and even men and women in prison to connect hungry listeners with biblical truth. Mail your gift to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or you can or when you call 855 grace.

That number translates to 800-554-7223 now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson inviting you to be back tomorrow to be airing a special interview where John answers some of the most common questions we receive from husbands and wives join us for some straight talk on marriage, family and Christian living. When we return tomorrow with 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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