Summary: We need to pursue peace with our brothers and sisters.
WARNING: This Sermon Contains Material That May Overcome Offense Series
Based on John Benere’s book, The Bait of Satan
Escaping the Trap
Nov. 4, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A Get their attention
B Today, all of these messages will come together.
1 Offense occurs; Jesus offended folks, but never demanded His rights; our rights are servant’s rights; forgiveness: if you don’t give it...you don’t get it.
2 The traps have been sprung, let’s take some steps to get out-four steps.
3 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19 (NASB)
C Let’s pursue the things that make for peace by releasing the trap today.
I Step 1: recognize you’re in the trap
A Stop calling the loss of a limb a flesh wound, gangrene a small infection, & cancer a cold.
B Pride does not want to admit we’re hurt or offended.
II Step 2: pray for your offender. Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good, to the bereavement of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. Psalms 35:11-14 (NASB)
A We may pray for them something like, "God, bless them with a good day. Help him in all that he does. Amen."
1 V. 11 & 12: David’s prayers were for those who didn’t like him.
a We can relate: associates/people who pay our good with evil; David had men out trying to destroy him; attacked him with evil when he had done nothing to merit it.
b Sorrow in my soul...yeah!
2 V. 13 & 14
a "But as for me..." what he did next wasn’t determined by the actions of others.
aa He began to pray for them like they were close brothers, grieving as one who loses a mom.
bb Pray for them like you’d pray for yourself.
B Instead of praying for them just for your sake, pray for their sake.
C Pray what you’d like God to do in your life for them.
III Step three: give forgiveness like God does.
A I want to ask you four quick questions:
1 Has God ever done anything wrong to you? Wronged you?
2 Has God ever hurt your feelings out of hatefulness?
3 Has God ever injured you out of revenge?
4 Had God ever offended you?
B God has done nothing but offer us love, forgiveness, & reconciliation. He reached out to us before we loved Him or asked for forgiveness from Him.
1 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NASB)
a I offended God, He reached out to me!
b When Jesus gave up a crown of righteousness for one of thorns, and throne of creation for a thief’s cross, scepter in His hand for a spear in His side, royal purple robe for the nakedness of the crucifixion, died between two thieves but dying for a murderer...
c It wasn’t Pilate, a kangaroo Jewish court, or Roman soldiers that killed Him-I killed Jesus. He died to reconcile my relationship to Him!
d He didn’t come to judge (NASB) or condemn(NIV) me (John 3:17), but to save/gain me for His kingdom (the offended reached out to the offender).
2 He forgave me in AD 33, but He reconciled me in 1978.
a He reached out from Calvary, I reached back from Odin.
b I love Him because He first loved me!
c That’s God’s forgiveness style! Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children Eph 4:32-5:1 (NASB)
IV Step four; approaching someone who has offended you.
A NEVER go to someone until you have decided to forgive him or her from your heart...no matter how he or she responds.
1 "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matt 18:15-17 (NASB)
a This is not a permission slip to go confront (in anger or revenge) someone who has offended you.