Summary: A sermon showing the advantages of forgiveness and disadvantages of not forgiving.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,Solomon said some words:to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven...a time to love and a time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace.
Forgiveness and Peace
How many of us long for peace? Peace in our minds,peace in our heart,peace in our inner man,peace in our very being?
When last did we experienced "real" peace in our lives?
Some persons gave up valuable things just to experience a time of peace.Yet to others, peace has been an impossible illusion.Yet ,I must let someone know,with God ,all things are possible (Mark 9:23)...only that we must learn to forgive.
Forgiveness can be described as an act by which an offender is pardon,by which he/she is considered and treated as 'not guilty".
For the non Christians, learning and practicing forgiveness is healthy (literally)yet for the Christian, it both healthy and duty bound.
Matthew 18:21-25... Peter asked about forgiveness
Here Peter was asking Jesus about a crucial subject of forgiveness.
In those days,he rabbis taught that a person should forgive those who offend them only three times.
Friends, tradition can sometimes get us into trouble,with ignorance its the same thing, thus (Hosea 4:6)people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ,but thank God the truth, has set us free (John 8:32)
Peter trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven were enough times to forgive someone. Of course Jesus responded "not seven,but seventy times seven"(490- according to world standards, but infinitely according to the kingdom of God)
Then as if not enough,Jesus take him through the parable of the unforgiving debtor and the consequence of his actions.
God forgive our sins
John 3:16 For God so loved the world
Romans 5:8 God commended His love towards us
Ephesians 2:4 God who is rich in mercy
Friends, in spite of our miserable,pitiful,sinful state,God said I am willing to forgive you!
And now that I have forgiven you,will you go and do likewise?
All the while the Holy Spirit is nudging at our hearts,saying:
"Forgive that person",but we say "God you don't understand,he raped my daughter"..."she aborted our first child!" and God is saying,"I understand,but forgive her,forgive him"
Then God said,"do you remember what I told you in Psalms 103:12?"
As far as the east is from the west,so far has He removed our transgressions from us.Therefore, follow my Son,and do whatever He asks you to do (John 2:5)
Forgiveness is about believing Gods word,not our opinion
Friends, often time when it comes to small matters, forgiveness may be easy.But what happen when:
-You caught your husband or wife in adultery? Especially if the other person is a lesbian/homosexual or bisexual?
-If the father who you love and take care of until he died, would have made a will and give all his estate to an outside child who never claimed him while he was alive?
-If someone was the cause of your job lost...a job you have been in for a long time and earning a "good" salary from ?
Will you forgive them? Will you do it?
What God is saying
God is saying,I am not about feeling.I am about obedience,because if you follow my word which is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)..if you only believe my words,you will learn to forgive.
Forgiveness is about:
The blessings of forgiveness are many:
It opens up God's forgiveness-Matthew 6:15
It puts us in the receiving end when we pray-Mark 11:24/25
It brings love and spiritual life-1 John 3:14
Biblical examples of forgiveness
-Genesis 25:31/27:36-Esau and Jacob
-Genesis 37/45:5-15/50:19-21-Joseph and his brothers
-1 Samuel 19:1-2-Saul and David
Ref:1 Sam.24:10/12/1 Sam.26:9/1 Sam.26:23/2 Sam.1:14-17
The spirit of unforgiveness
Its from Satan-but we are not ignorant of his devices-2 Corinthians 2:11
Apart from unforgiveness which causes spiritual sickness,stagnancy and death, it (literally) causes: physical/emotional/psychological/social discomfort and pain
Forgiveness and prayer
When Jesus was crucified by His enemies,hanging on the cross,suffering,wounded,bruised,with blood running down His body,in agony,He said these words,"Father forgive them,for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34)
It is better to forgive than to die in this sinful state.
Ask Christ to forgive you for your sins.He is able to.
so that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9