Summary: An exhortation to forgive the brethren
Accuser of the Brethren - Part 1
I do not know about you, but I make a lot of mistakes. In fact, I sin. I spend quite a bit of time in prayer telling God what He already knows about my failures, fumbles, and foolish sins. I do not waste my time thinking I am perfect because that would be a vain fantasy. It also ticks off the people who are convinced that they are perfect. I certainly do not need the added stress of their wrath.
I have not only sinned against God and failed Him. There have been times in my life when my sin and failure has affected the Brethren. Worst of all, I have hurt the ones I love the most. For the most part, by God’s grace, people have forgiven me. By the blood of His Son, He has forgiven me. Hallelujah for the Cross!
You would think that with being the recipient of all that forgiveness that I would forgive at the tip of a hat and grudge would not even be in my vocabulary. O, that I would be that spiritual!!! There have been some folks, saved and unsaved that have hacked me off big time and forgiveness was not what I first thought of for them. I believe that I am distant kin to James and John, the sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17) My first thought was to bring down fire upon their heads. (Luke 9:54) The forgiveness concept comes when Jesus rebukes me. He reminds me of His mission and my own sins that He has forgiven and will continue to forgive as He works on my spirit. (Luke 9:55,56; Heb 7:25)
To live above with Saints we love, O that will be glory,
But to live below with Saints we know, now that’s another story!
That is the problem. We expect each other to be practically what Jesus sees in us judicially. We are declared righteous and we should be seeking His power to be righteous, but we do not always succeed. We are all too willing to be easy on ourselves and say, "Hey, I not perfect, just forgiven!" or "Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet." Ah, but let another brother cross us and we expect God to be done with Him and he ought to be perfect. God may not be done with him, but we are!
2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (KJV)
When God forgives your sin that is wonderful enough, but that He forgives and still grants you life is even more a marvelous work of grace. Yet, David received even more grace and mercy than what we might first see in this passage. You may know that Nathan was referring to the double sins of adultery and murder that David was guilty of by his relationship with Bathsheba.
You say, "Yes, those were really horrible sins and God is merciful." What you may not know is that these were the only "unpardonable" sins in the Old Testament! There were no sacrifices for these sins. The penalty was death and there was no appeal or insanity plea!!! Commit one and you were dead and David committed both!!!! God pardoned the unpardonable! The law demanded death and grace gave life!!!! I hope someone is shouting somewhere!!! If I weren’t an old fat guy I’d be running the aisle and jumping pews and I’m a Baptist!
Yes, he suffered some things in the flesh because of his sins, but he was pardoned before God! We may pay some penalties for our actions here, but praise God the law that would have killed us was nailed to the Cross and His sacrifice of grace gives us eternal life!!!! Have you ever failed and asked forgiveness from someone, but did not get it? It hurts, but praise God again that when we seek forgiveness from Him we get it! Wave a hanky and shout, "Glory" until you are hoarse!!!! In light of all this, how in the name of all that is holy can we withhold forgiveness from any man that sins against us?
You must forgive the sins of the brethren because of your past! What were you before you came to Christ?
1 Cor 6:9-11
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (KJV)