Sermons

Summary: The true source of forgiveness is Jesus

A Kingdom of Forgiveness

Matthew 18.21-35

October 19, 1997

Morning Service

Introduction

I. King Louis XII of France: As a boy was mistreated, kept in chains, thrown in prison, after becoming king was encouraged to seek revenge, he prepared a scroll with his enemies names and placed a cross in red ink by each one, the enemies heard about this and feared for their lives, the king explained that the cross was not a sign of punishment, a pledge to forgive, Jesus is the ultimate sign of forgiveness because He prayed for His enemies even on the cross,

II. Jesus describes the true aspects of forgiveness: Jesus teaches His disciples and the church about what forgiveness is all about

Body

I. The Inquiry about Forgiveness

A. Peter goes to Jesus: Peter takes Jesus’ other teaching to heart, applies to personal life, Peter asks about forgiveness in three ways - who, when and how many times, Peter states about forgiveness of a brother - fellow believer, this occurs only when forgiveness is sought,

B. Peter’s limit on forgiveness: Peter sets a limit, seven times - more than twice the Jewish law, Jewish law set three times for forgiveness, extremely righteous and generous

II. The Extent of Forgiveness

A. Jesus sets the tone: 7 times 70, Jesus was not setting a new limit of 490, this is play on Peter’s figure, Jesus lifted the limit on forgiveness, God always forgives, He is setting the example and the model,

B. Jesus resets the Law: Grace is unlimited, Law is not grace, grace keeps no record, no real thought about forgiveness - it is natural, forgiveness is both ready and gracious at all times, forgiveness is centered in grace and not forgiveness

III. The Example of Forgiveness

A. King offers forgiveness

1. King settles accounts with servants - King calls the servants, servants had a variety of roles and various status, these servants handled money for the king, king was settling accounts with these servants, specific set time for the servants to bring their collections, collection of taxes

2. Servant owes money: servants were officials & governors of the land, they were overseers of the kings affairs and collected taxes, one servant owes ten thousand talents, limitless amount of money - Greek term Murias: largest number in the Greek language, Roman taxes for all of Israel totaled 900 talents for one year, servant had embezzled and wasted the money,

3. King offers forgiveness: Servant and family are set to be sold, servant knew his guilt and king’s goodness, falls before the king, begs for more time & promises to repay, no possible way to repay, king is moved by plea & grants full forgiveness of the debt.

B. Servant refuses to forgive

1. Servant finds one who owes: Servant leaves the king, finds one who owes him money, he demands the money be paid, 100 denarii - 100 days wages in Israel, nothing compared to the ten thousand, the money can not be paid, fellow servant begs for mercy,

2. Servant shows no mercy: The first servant shows no mercy, chokes the second man, demands payment, throws him into prison for being unable to pay, punishment for being unable to pay

3. Response of the other servants: Fellow servants were shocked and enraged, see the fullness of the lack of mercy, they go to the king,

C. The King’s righteous anger

1. The servant is called: The king summons the servant, brings the man into the royal chambers, the king is outraged

2. The king speaks with the servant: The king restates the fact of giving grace, he states that the servant should have done the same, the actions of the servant were unthinkable because they put him above the king, he makes himself higher than the ruler, King states his utter disgust at the actions of the servant, the king was moved with anger and acted against the servant

3. The king’s wrath: The king sent him into the dungeon until the debt could be paid, the debt would never be paid and thus the servant was doomed to the prison

Application

A. King offers forgiveness

1. Jesus will call His servants - We are accountable to Jesus and our service is to Him, we will then place an account for out action and inactions, the decision is going to be made, good and faithful servant or He will not know us,

2. We are responsible for service: The gift of grace is ours and Jesus wants us to live in freedom, we have to use the gifts He has given us to communicate that grace, our mission is to share the grace of God,

3. Jesus offers forgiveness: The fact of sin causes us to sell ourselves to the world, we can not seem to function, sin is the cause of death, we will die physically and spiritually, Jesus saw our plight and knew our need, He died in our place to supply grace, we just need to ask for forgiveness

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