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May 9, 2019 3:00 am
Forgiveness is often talked about yet, the least practice subject among Christians. Forgiveness is more often paid lip service to yet least understood forgiveness. Probably the most preached on subject yet least practically applied by the Lord Jesus knew that he understood that and that is why you find again and again. He emphasized the concept of forgiveness not only his own forgiveness to us, but forgiving of one another and he does not give us an option. He does not give anybody who has been forgiven of their sins by the Lord Jesus Christ and option of not forgiving somebody who wronged us. In fact, in Matthew chapter 6 when the disciples have asked him to teach them how to pray, he gave them what we now call the Lord's prayer is not really the Lord's prayer.
It's the disciples prayer the Lord's prayer is in John 17 but he thinks that one particular phrase.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us and he lifted out of context and in verses 11 and 12. He gives us verses 14 and 15. He gives us a commentary on this and is what he said.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you. Your heavenly father will forgive you, but if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins. In Mark chapter 11 verse 25 Jesus said when you come to the presence of God. When you go to church and you stand up with the community of God and you stand up to pray and you remember that you're holding a grudge against your brother. Rather this point and ask. Forgive your brother in Matthew chapter 18 Peter comes to Jesus as Lord is and how many times should I forgive my brother seven times Jesus responds 70×7, immediately followed by an illustration is followed by a parable in the parable was this the master forgive a servant's death. That verse seven has been forgiven would not forgive another servant a fellow servant, to whom order that and what does the master do he comes back and he re-issues the death one more time I think of my judgment, this parable one of Jesus's most severe statements during his earthly ministry.
What he was saying is this listen place. This is how our heavenly father will treat each one of us unless we forgive our brothers who have wronged us. Jesus makes it crystal clear that forgiving others is directly related to our forgiveness from our heavenly father. Now though, many Christians stumble over this whole subject of forgiveness through their own spiritual detriment that some Christians and others who take the subject of forgiveness likely to use it to their own advantage. I came across a letter, a love letter that supposed to end all love letters and the lady who wrote it started this way dearest John, words cannot express my deep regret at having broken out engagement. Will you please come back to me your absence from my side leaves me a void which no one can fill.
I forgive you. I truly forgive you. I genuinely forgive you. I sincerely forgive you your adoring Jane PS congratulations on winning the million dollar lottery unconditional forgiveness in the last message we left Joseph ready, willing and eager to hand forgiveness to his brothers. He wanted to do it. He has done it in his heart and is ready to hand it to them, but he prolonged the test he prolonged attached in order to see if there are unrepentant if they are willing to have a change of heart or the still miserable jealous hate full of hatred that there were so what the hell this is how he went about it. He decided that he wants to see his full brother Benjamin know he knew that this can be a tough thing for his father to do it since his brothers, they go over there and subject very Joseph, the ruler of Egypt wants Benjamin and he said not on your life, and Jacob digs his heels and he absolutely would not budge until the 66 miles around him got hungry again and he felt the walls were caving in on him and he had to surrender Benjamin had to give Benjamin to go with them. I think at one point is good for each of us to write down what is your Benjamin who is your Benjamin who is the object of your total devotion who is always vying for your attention. Who is the one that or the thing that is taking more your time, your energy, here is what is dearest and nearest write it down and get up every morning and ask the Lord said, Lord, I'm I willing to surrender this to you now the Lord might never ask you to do it but are you ready are you willing to surrender your Benjamin or Jacob had no alternative but to surrender his Benjamin and when Benjamin arrives to you in Egypt, and Joseph Tsai looks upon his full brother Joseph in an effort to extend the test. He said I'm going to keep Benjamin and y'all go back and take the food with you. That was impossible, right at this point very action to Joseph's test convinced him that there are unrepentant that they have a change of heart. Instead of saying 22 years ago.
You know what these boys would've done. Good riddance.
Keep Benjamin is the last thing that our fathers hanging onto and now we got rid of all the ones of you love they would've said wonderful idea, keeping but you know here they didn't do that, they tore their clothes.
It's a sign of repentance, telling of the close is a sign of repentance.
They offered themselves into slavery instead of Benjamin vizard let Benjamin go and we stay and be your slave.
At that point, and only at that point Joseph realizes that they had a change of heart and he tells him who he was with tears and deep emotions embraces his brothers. He forgives him all that they've done, but I wanted to notice six things right here about forgiveness that every Christian must understand I want to separate biblical forgiveness from the sentimentality of the world and the media. I wanted to notice what Joseph did and did not do the first thing is this, he did not overlook the wrong with his brothers did.
Sometimes Christians think that forgiveness is the same as overlooking the wrong sometimes Christians think that forgiveness is the same as pretending that it really ever happened. Sometimes Christians confuse forgiveness and think it is the same as convincing themselves that it really wasn't a big deal, but deep down it is this effort of trying to overlook the wrong can only harm both the wrongdoer and the one to whom the wrong is been done.
It only prolongs the agony and delays the healing of God as the first thing is the second thing the Joseph did not do.
He did not excuse all whitewash the wrong later on were going to see a chapter 50 verse 20 he said the following. He said you have meant evil against me, but God turned it for good. Most Christians love to take the second part, God turned it forgot and they leave out the first part that you have meant it for evil, you did the wrong thing.
Joseph did not say to his brothers. Oh, I understand how you felt at that time. After all, I was a teenager. All I must've really aggravated you guys or I know that you really didn't mean to be miserable brats.
When you put me down in that pit. You did not mean to be miserable rascals when you're solely to the Midianites, you would say this would've been ludicrous and it is ludicrous, but so many Christians that act that way. Joseph made no attempt to whitewash the wrongdoing.
Please listen to me very carefully. You cannot truly forgive someone if you whitewash the wrong that they've done. Now I got you mad enough. I'm setting you up his 1/3 thing the Joseph did not do.
He did not try to psychoanalyze the wrongdoer healing tried to explain away the horrible things that they did.
You know what I think if you did that he would never been able to truly forgive them. From his heart. You know, nowadays we try to substitute genuine forgiveness for psychoanalyzing the wrongdoer and we get people walking out of prison before they finish 10% of the time simply because he found a bleeding heart social worker said all well here.
His mother was an alcoholic and his father rejected was a little boy he really doesn't deserve punishment hogwash. All that might be true but it does not excuse the wrong that was done using the words of Jesus not many times a Jesus, talk about sin and sinners, but he talks about fools, and foolish. Why because there is moral stupidity about sin often ended in frustration when we see somebody blowing at the recital.
I can understand why she did that. I don't understand why when everything was going his way. Why did he throw it all away.
That is the foolishness of sin, analyzing and psychoanalyzing might be helpful but it is not forgiveness. It is not the same as forgiveness forcefully. Joseph did not take the blame upon himself. He didn't say, well, you know, after all, that's really my fault.
I after I've told all these dreams and really it's really my fault I should've kept my membership or arguments.
I will it really was my fault for wearing this flaunting that the multicolored robes. I should really be more discrete. I should be more sensitive know if Joseph put the blame on himself. He would've never been able to forgive them truly no women please listen to me very carefully.
I want to tell you this in love and appreciation women particularly are more prone to blaming themselves even when they know deep down, the somebody else's fault. Instead of praying and waiting for a confession from the wrongdoer.
Women often not always, but often blame themselves, just to keep the peace.
Man I wanted to meant to say men. Joseph waited and insisted until they made their confession until he was satisfied that if change of heart and the repentant until they plot the close which is a sign of repentance. Joseph would not budge him the right blaming yourself when you know deep down that is really not your fault. It is somebody else's wrongdoing is not only wrong but is unhelpfully that is not true forgiveness. When you just blame yourself up with the blame on yourself. The Holy Spirit of God is described by the Lord Jesus Christ as the spirit of truth, the spirit of God is the spirit of truth and he works in our lives, and he works in our relationship through the truth through truthfulness. The Holy Spirit of God is the one who mediates forgiveness with God and with one another and he does not like it and he would not like to see untruth takes place, forgiveness will not happen at that point. Here's the first thing the Joseph did not do. He did not tell them that he had forgiven them prior to their confession and asking for forgiveness. Notice that in verse 15.
The very last verse. We had a long talk with him just what they were talking about the weather. The trip there will pouring his their hearts out to him. Don't just say to somebody I forgive you.
Without that person knows that he needs you forgiveness. You make it harder for everyone. It makes the problem worse, not better. Don't give forgiveness to anyone prior to their asking for.
Please hear me before you get uppity. I know some of you already getting 2 inches up from your seat you can and you must you listen carefully you can and you must forgive the person who wronged you immediately when the wrong is been done immediately.
Don't go to sleep at night without taking care of as would Paul is telling us in chapter 4 of Ephesians and then when you pray, you pray at peace because you have dealt with that and you have forgiven in your heart and let God deal with them according to his wisdom, according to his justice. We often forget that God is the God of love, but is also the God of justice and love and justice are the two sides of the coin, I when you spread the coin it becomes a legal tender. You can use the becomes phony and the two sides of God of love and justice have to go together side-by-side.
Paul said while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God forgive us our sins way back in Calvary.
He knew it, even beyond the foundation of the earth. He knew that he has forgiven us before we have experience of forgiveness. When Jesus hung on the cross and he said father forgive them. How many people do you think have known this John Mary by the handful of others. Some of the Roman soldiers didn't even understand what he was talking about but we did not receive forgiveness. We did not enjoy the joy that comes from forgiveness.
We did not understand the peace that can come to us through experiences forgiveness until we have repented and turned to the Lord. So it is with us. We can forgive, we like and we must forgive the person I mean genuinely forgive the person the moment that wronged us, but don't offer the forgiveness until that person asks for him the right know I'm standing on egg shells actually on some of your thinking some fuzzy thinking is need to be cleared today.
You don't have to wait until the person asking for forgiveness, to forgive them. That's not what I'm saying when you actually forgive them.
The moment that wronged you, then you are able to handle forgiveness the moment they ask you for it. You know why because you already dealt with it in your heart and your relationship with the Lord in your prayers. I am convinced that Joseph forgave his brothers the moment they wrongdoing before he even got to Egypt. He has already dealt with that wrong that they've done to him in his heart.
He prayed and he dealt with it. You know how I know what because God blessed them in the house of Potiphar, he would've not been blessed of God. If you are still encountering a grudge in his heart.
I am convinced that Joseph forgave Mrs. Potiphar before he even got to the prison, but he waited until his brothers came to him in repentance until they came in humility asking for that forgiveness and now having told of the generalities. There is one exception and the exception is this in Matthew 18 of the Lord impressed upon your heart that you need to confront that person who had wronged you the person that sinned against you, then you must confront you must confront her, and after the confrontation.
When the person asked for forgiveness you're ready to give it to it's already there in your heart you gonna give the other work on it because you're an adult with it with the Lord is the sixth thing then forgiving Joseph faced the wrong that was done to him. When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. He was very specific. Look at verse four.
I am your brother, Joseph, the one you sold to Egypt. We can be more clear than that and asking forgiveness from the Lord. You must be specific and asking God to forgive your specific sin and is the same with our lives when we forgive others they must ask specifically for forgiveness of a certain sin. Why is this so important. I'll tell you why you know Paul in Ephesians was talking about foothold for the devil. This is why facing squarely up to the wrong done to you and you are issuing a clear and unequivocal forgiveness is going to enable you to stop the devil from replaying that record again and again and again. When you face the wrong and issue a crystal clear forgiveness safety will not be able to come and plow that same ground over and over.
When you face the wrong and decisively forgive Satan is not able to continuously hamper your spiritual growth when you're dealing with a person's wrong and you forgive them in the presence of God or even presence of witness when Satan comes to you in this you know about thoughts on so stop playing the stuff in here. You can say Satan buzz off.
I took care of that on 19 November 1933 I took care of that them January 1920. I have taken care of that, once and for all because that's what the Lord wants not to go over and over and over again, but to do with the decisively once and for all the me ask you this. Have you ever felt rejected by someone that you really dearly wanted him or her to accept you. Forgive that person who reject you say I give a name that person. In Jesus name has someone humiliated you or cause you to lose faith don't relive that moment don't put the thing will rewind a reply all the time to God and forgive them. In Jesus name has somebody deprived you of affection when you needed it the most. Has someone neglected you when you needed them the most is somebody ignored you don't spew over forgive them once and for all. In Jesus name has someone unjustly and unfairly treated you don't get filled with anger say I forgive him. I forgive her. I forgive them. In Jesus name.
Forgiveness is facing of all your resentment. Forgiveness is facing.
Of all the startup anger. Forgiveness is a facing of all that bottled up injuries in your heart. Has someone betrayed you someone that is dearest and nearest dog keep one saying to yourself why did they do this, how could they do this say I forgive you and the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever felt abandoned by someone who should've stood by you at the times of your deepest needs. They left you therefore secure their abandoned you don't wish harm to the just signed by the blood of Christ. I give them.
In Jesus name. What Paul is saying in Ephesians 4 is this the our graduating levels of ill will.
It begins with anger. But if you don't do with that anger. It will fester and will become malice and become bitterness and will dig the roots deep in this effacement anger while still anger, it will become bitterness with your aware of it or not. Forgiveness is not only facing squarely up to the resentment your own resentment.
But I really believe it's also facing the cross of Christ. Some of you are born again nor the Lord but not often deface the cross of Christ very often do you think about the cross of Christ forgiveness forces you to face the cross of Christ. Once you have faced up to resentment your facing a choice of the believer. For those who are forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ. They have no choice but to forgive but the truth is we Christians, we Christians don't forgiveness we ought the only place that you can go after admitting resentment is the cross of Jesus Christ. Listen to what Paul said in verse 32 of Ephesians 4. Be kind and compassionate one to another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. When God forgives us our sins through Christ wrath. What if you do it was because Christ took upon himself my guilt he took upon himself and in himself.
My punishment he took upon himself and in himself.
My shame the guilt should've been mine.
The shame should be mine.
The punishment should have been mine, I deserve to suffer these things, but instead God took them and set me free. God didn't overlook soon. God did not whitewash sin.
God did not ignore sin no. In order to forgive us really forgiveness.
God had to deal sin.
God cannot overlook you cannot whitewash. You cannot ignore our sins and what Paul is saying is this when it comes to forgiving one another, listen carefully please I'm getting close when it comes to forgiving one another when it comes to forgiving someone who wronged you. When it comes to forgiving someone who hurt you deeply. You are to take that pain and shame that they deserve to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is the hardest thing in the life of a Christian. It really is just me.
Forgiveness involves the suffering of love, read carefully.
I ended up reading it in couple of languages but you don't have to do that. I was reading again and again. The intensity of that moment no sleep chapters in Genesis you know who suffer the most of the brothers Joseph. He suffered more than his brothers in forgiving them. And forgiveness involves the suffering of love. The only place where we can forgive is when we stand at the foot of the cross presume the right. You cannot forgive through positive thinking. You cannot forgive through possibility thinking you cannot forgive through sheer determination you cannot forgiveness and putting a mascot. You cannot forgive but just having a happy face. You cannot forgive, you might say the words, but hasn't happened in your heart. You can only do it when you come to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. You see the golden rule of forgiveness is not do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Here's a golden rule do unto others as God in Christ has done for you when I come to the cross. I am truly overwhelmed I don't need to tell you that I get so overwhelmed with the feeling that the perfect son of God, who coexisted with the father before all eternity that would hang on the cross to carry my sin and the punishment of my sin is overwhelming. If you have experienced it, and if you have not, I pray today that you would as I'm overwhelmed with what Christ did on the cross for me with that same overwhelming feeling I name whatever it is.
Whoever is has wrong me in Jesus name covered under the blood, and forgive us what Paul is saying you are 90 to do. E. Stanley Jones, one of the great veteran mission. The statesman to India incredible man of God and with God used him to accomplish in India has just been marvelous. One of his books illustrates the suffering of love and he tells a story about a man was a friend of his was who was in the Indian government official. This man was doing graduate studies, and he went to Europe away from the pure and innocent love of his wife. He took the first step toward unfaithfulness to his wife when he come back from Europe instead of turning from his unfaithfulness. He continued to live this double life but always the purity and the trust in the love of his wife stabbed him in the heart like a knife until one time he wanted to be bold enough to tell and confess and ask for forgiveness. But he was afraid that you might leaving every time he tries he was discouraged. But one day he must've enough courage to sit down and confess to her and as she listened to the unfolding of the Richard story. She turned as pale as deathless tears were streaming down her cheeks and later the man himself will testify as follows. He said as I stood there and watched as my sins crucifying her crucifying her pure love as I watched how my Richardson tortured her by the cross of my sin, that moment he said I saw the meaning of the cross of Christ I saw from the lesser cross the meaning of the greater cross when she said through the tears, but she would not leave him but she would help him back to a new life of. He said I understood for the first time the offer of a new life in Christ, a new beginning in Christ.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org