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November 25, 2019 11:09 am
The 12th of France said nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy. When we been wronged by others, and I'm sure all of us here have the powerful emotions within the center wanting to strike back. Some people say don't get mad, get even though the hottie says go ahead, make my day sort of accident right there is a sweet smell of revenge but for the followers of Jesus Christ. One of the sweetest words is not revenge but forgiveness. Forgiveness is a song about Jesus taught us to pray in what we call the Lord's prayer. Matthew 612 forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors offended followers of Jesus Christ, we rejoice that we are forgiven we have some of the testimonies this morning with the baptism rejoicing that we are forgiven yet sometimes we who love to be forgiven by God, find it very very difficult to forgive others. Those who hurt us.
Those of maligned us those of the inflicted pain on us and on those that we love CS Lewis said forgiveness is a beautiful word until you have something to forgive that this message is for you. No one can say this is not for me. I want you to experience God's forgiveness should never experience that and then returned to reach out and to forgive others this morning. Are you struggling to forgive someone an employer who wrongfully fired you a girl at school who in spread lies about your husband or wife is been unfaithful to your friend or acquaintance who slandered you gossiped about your business partner who deceives you a best friend who betrayed you apparent to abuse your men walk target on your son or daughter who is rejected, you, the heart is very deep isn't it. The wounds have festered for a long long time and the bitterness within you is pervasive and quite honestly, you feel you cannot forgive, you may not even want to forgive in the series with wings like eagles become this morning to the subject very important subject. A difficult subject, unable to forgive want to think of some situations when we think we are unable to forgive. First of all open up.
Let's open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 Preston Hathaway was courting it as I as I was back there. Ephesians 4 verses 31 and 32, which is very very key on the subject.
Paul writes let all bitterness listening to this morning are the letter bitterness. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and the angry man here punching holes in the walls of your house hitting your kids abusing your wife cursing, swearing, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and, and slander be put away from you, along with all malice is writing to believers in Jesus Christ. That's right, believers in Jesus Christ. Connect very maliciously put it away, says Paul, here is a positive, be kind to one another, kind person with those who know you described it was kind, be kind to one another, tenderhearted when were unforgiving when hardhearted were bitter, the kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Yes, we are unable to forgive when we have not first received God's forgiveness. Did you notice the standard of this forgiveness that Paul describes here in Ephesians 4 he writes as God in Christ forgave you. If you're a follower of Jesus Christ you know about forgiveness because you have been forgiven again. Jesus says forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors and every single one of us without exception here needs to be forgiven. The stories told. It's just a story. Don't look for theological accuracy in the story about the stories told of the Englishman. The Irishman in the Scotsman who died on the same day and were standing at the pearly gates and the angel of the pearly gates at the Englishman what you have to say. He said while I do have to confess he said I've had tremendous resentment and even hatred against the Irish and the Scots.
They think they're so superior to everyone, but I confess that and I need mercy and also very interesting increment says the Irishman. What about you, but he said well his true. I have thought I was superior to the Englishman and the Scotsman. He's obviously superior to me and I really resented that really resented it, but I'm confessing it. I need mercy interesting, said the angel, you can come in sets the Scotsman. What about you he said was true. He said I am superior to the Irishman and Englishman.
The angel said really he said is not upright most of the Scotsman to stay in effect and I was taught that the greatest sin is false modesty. Angel said that's all you got to say you can think of and angel shakes his head so that I need to check you out goes the word with St. Peter when he comes back Scotsman has gone and so have the pearly gates.
Yes, all of us, irrespective of nationality. All of us, the forgiveness, the Bible makes it very clear for all of send and come short of the glory of God.
Where do we receive this forgiveness and listen to the testimonies.
Invariably, the testimonies pointed to Jesus Christ pointed to the cross because it is on the cross that we receive forgiveness of your sins because there is difficult to grasp, isn't it, that the total debt of our sin is paid so you going to experience God's forgiveness, you must first understand the depth of your own failure and selfishness and sin. Have you ever come to that point in your life where you have repented of your sin where you realize you need the forgiveness of God. That is the gospel repent and believe in the gospel. There must be personal repentance before God and acknowledgment that you have sinned, yes. Your sin is impacted other people. But above all it is a sin against God. And can you say here.
As you sit in the sanctuary this morning that God has forgiven all of my sins.
Can you say that you see the greater you understand God's forgiveness of your sins.
The more you will forgive others. Jesus said on one occasion look seven verse 47 but he who is forgiven little loves little. That is, if you've a cheap view of God's forgiveness. I suggest to you that you don't know much about forgiving others. People often say about it over and over again. I know that God has forgiven me, but I can't forgive myself that common statement shows a lack of understanding of God's forgiveness. Forgiveness is between two people. You don't forgive yourself. The reason you feel you can forgive yourself is that there's some idol in your life instead of God being the top priority. Some idol in your life is making it difficult to receive the total forgiveness of God, but not your own expectations perhaps applied. Perhaps expectations of parents and you have up to not understood that God's forgiveness is total when God in Christ forgives us through the blood of Jesus our sins are completely gone.
100% gone deleted erase God says I will forgive your sins and your lawless deeds no more remembered no more.
No other God hasn't a good memory. It is a graphic way of saying that forgiveness is total. Simon says that God separates our sins as far as the east is from the west infinite distance. Mica says in that beautiful Garson Micah 7 verse 12.
You will cast our sins into the depths of the sea. Another graphic way of saying that our sins are totally forgiven. Couple of those being baptized quarter two Corinthians 517 if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away on where your sins are gone covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and God will never ever ever bring them before you why because of the power of the forgiveness of the cross the blood of Jesus his son says the apostle John cleanses us from all sin is not wonderful that you can be forgiven.
You said done some terrible things in your life. I quite believe it.
You have done some terrible things are done things that you're ashamed of things, none of us know about your secrets but when God in Christ forgives you he forgives you 100% and if you have not received this forgiveness.
I understand when you find it difficult to forgive others were also unable to forgive when were proud and unloving. Colossians chapter 3.
As Paul writes again to Christians put on then, as God's chosen ones holding beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another, is anyone ticked off with someone here at Calvary church not even be ticked off with me. I don't even know it. You got complaint against someone your wife, your husband, your children, your boss or employee of friends. If anyone has a complaint against anyone. What are we to do, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive, again, that is the standard of forgiveness. I am to reflect on the magnificent grace of God, and for giving me. If you're unable to forgive others, I suggest that you pry has come before you point out the complaints of someone else take a look at yourself is a pride makes us reluctant to admit our own false failures and sins when the plywood were more concerned at being rights and justifying our position rather than seeking the resolution of the conflict that we have between ourselves and that person self-righteous pride, lack of love for the individual who was offended unless make it very difficult to forgive. I was never the case when you truly love someone you don't find that difficult to forgive the rights above all people loving one another endlessly. Since love covers a multitude of sins. When you love that person in your family cannot bring up every little fault and complaints of me life you be complaining all the time right because you live with imperfect people like yourself when you love someone that covers a multitude of sins. You know that is apparent that you want to forgive you seek the best for them because you love them, but also of course unable to forgive when we desire revenge that sweet words but King Louis XII seemed to like the sweet smell of the revenge of vengeance member. We started with the Romans. Romans 12 where Paul quotes the Old Testament Scriptures and says vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay, why don't you leave it to the Lord, you say this person is done wrong.
The vineyard made under getting away with that. That may well be the case but it's not for you to take revenge on that person. The desire for revenge to get even to vindicate ourselves very powerful emotion is needed and when you have that sense of vengeance. You don't want to forgive the person you don't want them to get up.
You want them to pay for it on them to heart as you have been hurt. But when we harbor hates and unforgiveness were nevertheless like God listen to Jesus. Matthew five, part of the sermon on the minds Matthew 543. You've heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. The fifth fifth century, John Chrysostom said nothing causes us to so nearly resemble God as the forgiveness of injuries when we forgive. Yes, the person doesn't deserve it.
I can see that yes the person is hurt you, yes you have the sense of injustice. I get that.
But when we forgive from the hardware like God would like sons of God. So instead of putting evil against that person trying to vindicate yourself less than repay them if they really get at the teaching of the New Testament is the teaching of Jesus repay evil with good. Pres. Abraham Lincoln said the best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friends know much of that in Washington today, is there the best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend. In other words, love your enemies, you can either be conquered by evil are you can conquer it now you will know if you truly forgiven the person because you let go that desire for revenge. Leave it to the Lord. When we forgiven the person in the biblical sense we stop telling others what a terrible person. It is who drowned us with him and tell others we don't bring the offense up next time we say the person a year later after the forgiveness I remember you or I get. I forgive you but I know how bad you are and we want to blacken the name we want to keep thinking about it. Under that story is told of her two friends been friends for many many years.
Joe and Bill and Joe was dying and for the last three or four years of their friendship that had tremendous animosity that another huge argument, and they're both rather stubborn man and neither of them had forgiven each other, then even asked about it they just ignored each other by this Joe is dying calls for Bill and feels.
I really need to get right with this man before I go into eternity so the men talk and they forgive one another.
What a beautiful scene old friends making up making it rights and then as Bill is leaving Joe's room. Joe says to them well Bill says Joe that with. I was very beautiful.
You forgive me and old Joe said yes, but remember if I get better. It doesn't kinds your fellow that is not forgiveness from the heart. Is that still holding on to it. Trying to justify yourself with your moral superiority you think you're so much better than that person who has injured you yeah there are many situations when forgiveness is difficult, very difficult for me been hurt badly. Some of you have been hurt badly in unimaginable ways.
You been abuse injury is very, very deep is gone over one on, perhaps for years. The fence is very wicked is despicable in this despicable act has been inflicted on you. Perhaps even a criminal act and is very difficult to forgive that individual. What are you to do is this a gift to come to the cross of Christ on the cross, God provided for your forgiveness and you need to understand that you are the chief of sinners. As Paul says in the God demonstrated his love toward us, and we have the similar testimonies. Romans five but God demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Know God has forgiven you, so forgive that person release him or her doing trying to get even leave that with God trying to hurt the person forgive them from your heart is a woman forgiven that person over and over again many times do they have to keep forgiving someone makes it very difficult to forgive someone when they keep injuring you the same way over and over again. I understand that many times are we expected to forgive someone, but before answering that question. I've a question for you how many times have you asked God for forgiveness of your sin.
Many times many many times in the beauty of the gospel is that when you come over and over again in humble repentance to the Lord confessing your sin turning from your sin. God doesn't say to you all way you send ones too much a month ago you came to me and asked for forgiveness all way he doesn't.
Scripture says if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When Peter asked in Matthew 18. Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him. I will often does, that brother or sister at Calvary church have to offend you that you continue to forgive them as many as seven times is a long time is to forgive someone seven times.
Jesus said to him I don't say to you seven times, but 70×7 and if your coming thing I would suggest you not acting in the spirit of forgiveness. You have no control over the person who is offended you leave them with the Lord. Your responsibility is to forgive them. As God has forgiven you in Christ. Perhaps the most difficult situation to forgive is when the person who has offended you is unrepentant person doesn't admit his or her wrong. Someone comes to us and says John of offended you. What I did was totally wrong, forgive me. I think most of us are followers of Jesus Christ and the circumstances we offer forgiveness joyfully, but what about the person who doesn't admit done wrong. Can you forgive someone if they're not truly repentant is a tough question is with to distinguish between the granting of forgiveness from the heart and the experiencing and receiving of forgiveness. You cannot experience forgiveness unless you acknowledge a wrongdoing you can't experience the forgiveness of God unless you repent of your sin and asked for his forgiveness. If you continue to think that you're all right that you don't need God's forgiveness.
You go deeper and deeper into your sin, but also evil. Though the person may not receive the forgiveness. Jesus taught in Matthew 18 of forgiveness from the heart that this person was never come to me and said Jon I offended you.
Please forgive me. I could still forgive them from the heart.
I could leave them to the Lord so that bitterness and anger and resentment against that person has gone.
In other words, love is offered in the midst of evil.
The supreme example of courses on the cross or save your spotless, blameless, the sinless son of God is on the cross and he is atoning for the sins of the world and what does he say then on the cross, father forgive them for they know not what they do with it, asking for his forgiveness. No forgiveness because they know not what they do know if there is no admission of the wrong that can be restoration. There can be reconciliation, obviously, but we can still forgive from the heart brother sister while you are doing that you say is very difficult to forgive the situation.
I'm thinking about just now John the person doesn't deserve it.
Of course they don't deserve it.
We don't make someone forgiveness doing you really want them to crawl. No forgiveness is a gift and we don't need to wait to forgive someone until we no longer feel the heart of the wrong biblical forgiveness is not a prisoner of our emotions, but as a servant of our will is a choice I will forgive this brother. This sister this individual who is harmed me because I have received the forgiveness of God on the collective wrongs don't be better or eventually met people like this become really boring on the throne was going away way back 20 even 30 years.
Yes, someone wrong them never got over that never forgiven them on the person may be dead. The person may be going on with her life. The person may be totally unaware that they have offended this person to go back and back and they want to talk about it and talk about it on the key for the miracle of forgiveness is grace and grace has no limits obey God's command to forgive his or someone that you must forgive said this is for everyone with her friend, former employer employee, child, spouse or former spouse, sibling, brother and sister in Christ you've nursed your wounds too long you held onto your moral superiority to longest time to let go of your bitterness is time for you to obey Scripture. Time for you to come humbly to the cross and once again understands and rejoice in the magnificence of God's forgiveness of you asking you to come and receive God's goodness, what's the main point this morning.
We just are not as before. I got up receive God's forgiveness and forgive others.
Someone says I what was John Monroe preaching about on Sunday. At least get this. He said we are to receive the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ and then to forgive others. Listen again to the Scripture take it personally. Let all bitterness and run and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you will, along with all malice be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Today God's forgiveness is offered freely to you. It flows from the cross of Christ. Some of you have not yet received the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ do believe that in a moment's all of your sin can be erased covered eternally by the blood of Jesus Christ.
The blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. Why because Jesus Christ on the cross for your sin. The price for the day of your sin at Calvary's cross was a story perhaps is a legend. I don't know of a father and son in Spain who were estranged. Mary had a tremendous falling out from the son left home and the years passed, and there's no communication and then the father decided to set out to find his son and the search for months to no avail. Finally, in the last desperate effort to find his son. The father put an ad in the Madrid and Madrid newspapers and read dear Paco meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven.
I love you. Your father on Saturday. 800 tackles showed up.
John many people long for forgiveness. Some of you would love to be reconciled to brother sister father mother grandfather friend, someone's waiting for you to forgive them. Will you ask for their forgiveness. We reach out to the person today make a call. Contact get together and say this is going on too long. Humble yourself as you have experienced the matchless grace of God is difficult.
I know it's difficult, come to the cross is I haven't got the strength of you not known to not hurt the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the RFP does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength even youths shall faint and be weary on young men shall fall exhausted but they who wait on the Lord will renew their strength they shall mind. Top with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. When you come today. No receive God's forgiveness and will you and God's name reach out to that person, forgive them ask for the four forgiveness when you do so, we are like our father in heaven and we are showing that as his sons and daughters. We who have received that forgiveness our men and women then Boys and Girls Club forgiveness. What a transformation that would be in this church in our society. When were kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ is forgiven, we pray with me, and if you're thinking of an individual. Individuals that you need to be reconciled with that you need to forgive God give you the strength and make you do it.
Some of you many of you come to the cross and receive forgiveness for the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all of person father, we thank you for this wonderful work of forgiveness. We don't deserve it is all of your grace. Thank you for the perfection of our Savior is the Lamb of God, he bore our sins on himself on the tree and no as we cry out to you. We can experience the forgiveness and be saved by your grace, help his father. May your spirit convict us.
May your spirit. Give us tender hearts hearts of compassion, not trying to vindicate ourselves or justify ourselves with humbly receiving forgiveness and forgiving others. In this we ask in Christ. Wonderful name. Amen