Summary: An exhortation to forgive the brethren.
Accuser of the Brethren - Part 2
Last time we discussed four reasons that we must forgive the brethren. First, because of our own past, second because our salvation is all about a new creation without condemnation. Thirdly, we must forgive the brethren because we do not want to take on the personality and tactics of satan. Fourthly, because of Christ’s command to forgive and the unlimited grace we receive. Well, the brethren must need a lot of forgiveness because tonight we have four more.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things, which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. KJV
We must forgive the brethren because of God’s viewpoint! We look on the outward actions, but God says that thoughts condemn. We have sayings like, "You can’t sue a man for thinking." In God judicial system, you can be sued.
21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time; Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. KJV
For those who think grace is easier than law, they need to rethink. Under Mosaic Law, you actually had to kill a person to be guilty of murder. Under grace or the law of the Kingdom, you have to be angry with someone without a cause to be guilty of murder. Why? Because the anger here means, rage and you are coming very close to committing the act. How many times have murderers tried to get off by using the crime of passion excuse? They started out just enraged at the person and when the rage consumed them, they acted out the thoughts.
Ever tell someone you wished they were dead? What kept you from fulfilling your own wish? Was it the fear of incarceration or execution? Was it your moral code? If you were absolutely positive that neither man nor God would "catch" you would you have carried it out? The danger of rage and a heart not ready to forgive is that it can end in tragedy. Even if you do not kill them physically, they are dead as far as you are concerned. Death is separation from life and you have cut them out of your life. That rage continues to burn and effect your whole life. In many ways, it has killed you, also. You will never have the fullness of life you would have before this murder. God holds you accountable for your thoughts!
The rabbinical tradition would have you brought before the council for saying another person is worthless or Raca. Call it a slander or libel suit. Christ says, you are in danger of hell fire if you call someone a fool or moron. Ouch! How many times have we done that? Aren’t you glad that you are under grace? You by your attitude have cast your brother into a type of outer darkness and Christ is saying, tit for tat. You become your brother’s spiritual judge and only Christ can cast people into outer darkness.
You come to God with gifts wanting to be reconciled and in fellowship, but you know there is a tension between you and another brother and you do nothing about it. The other brother may well be at fault. So, who offended and caused the need for the Cross, God? I don’t think so! We were the offenders and He took the first of many steps towards reconciliation with us in eternity past when He foreordained His Son to die for us. What are we waiting for? If we do not have a heart for forgiveness and reconciliation with our brother whom we see, what makes us think that we are truly seeking reconciliation with God whom we cannot see?