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Summary: We are commanded to forgive our brother or sister in Christ when they do or say something wrong that hurts us.

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EPHESIANS 4:30-32 “FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER”

A) An unforgiving spirit creates all kinds of problems in the life of an individual!

* In my pastoral ministry I have counseled some who have physical difficulties, not because

of sickness, not because of injury, but because of attitudes in their hearts.

* Many psychiatrists have observed that people who have emotional problems often have an

unforgiving spirit.

* That’s why Paul was directed by the Holy Spirit to write Ephesians 4:30-32.

B) Tonight, let’s try to answer a few questions about this matter of family forgiveness!

* Remember, Paul is not talking about God’s forgiving us of our sins for salvation; he was talking

about family members forgiving one another’s misunderstandings and grievances.

* Those in the church family, who needed to forgive one another is the subject.

(1) WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCES OF AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT?

A) First: A corrupted communication!

* I think the greatest evidence is the way we talk about people.

* In his message, Paul had a great deal to say about speech … For example he said in Eph. 4:29 …

B) When we have an unforgiving spirit, we say things about people that we shouldn’t say!

* Have you noticed that? * In v.31 Paul talked about “evil speaking.”

* Some of you are the kind of person that immediately jumps at the chance to say something evil or

derogatory or negative about a person.

* That literally means in your heart, you’re holding some sort of feelings or grudge against them.

C) One of the first evidences of an unforgiving spirit is what we say about people!

* If we cannot say something good, it may mean that we have something bad in our hearts.

* Beware of the words, “I’ll never forgive them.”

D) Another evidence of an unforgiving spirit is bad feelings on the inside!

* Sometimes we’re able to control our tongue; sometimes we’re able to close our lips and not say

anything evil about someone …….

* But people would be shocked if they could see what we feel in our hearts.

* In Eph. 4:31 Paul talked about bitterness. * Someone hurts us and we get bitter.

E) Bitterness is to the heart what infection is to the body!

* Preacher James Childers had shingles … It affected his whole body … He couldn’t play golf for

3 weeks. * What infection was to his body, bitterness is to my heart.

F) Some Christians hold things inside and bitterness grows like poison in the system!

* And as you know, when you have an infection, a bad infection, everything about you is sensitive. * Everything hurts … Bitterness is an evidence of an unforgiving spirit.

G) Wrath, anger, and clamor … Those are outward evidences or signs of an inward feeling!

* When there is fever in the body it’s awfully hard to hide.

* When there is bitterness in the heart, you can’t hide it!

* When that person who we’re bitter towards is mentioned, anger comes, or frustration comes, or a

feeling of deep emotion, or we decide to say something that we shouldn’t say.

* So corrupt communication, evil speaking, bitterness, wrath, anger, malice are evidences of an

unforgiving spirit.

H) Malice is that hateful feeling that we nurture down inside!

* How easy it is to lie in bed at night and think up all sorts of evil things about those that have

wronged us … What they get, what they deserve, what ought to happen to them.

* That’s another evidence an unforgiving spirit.

I) When we have this kind of attitude, are we hurting the other person? * Of course not.

* If someone has sinned against me, or I’ve done something they didn’t like … And if I harbor

resentment inside, am I hurting the person?

* No, I’m hurting myself … Having an unforgiving spirit is like committing spiritual suicide …

The main person you hurt is yourself. * What are the evidences of an unforgiving spirit?

* Unkind words, evil words, bitter thoughts, and malicious feelings deep down inside.

(2) THE ESSENTIALS FOR A FORGIVING SPIRIT!

A) Most of us want to be forgiving!

* We want others to forgive us, therefore, we should forgive others … And the person who does

not forgive is destroying the bridge on which he may have to walk himself one day.

* If we do not forgive others, we put a barrier between us and other people, between us and God.

* In fact, our Lord Jesus said that forgiving our brother is one of the conditions for us being

forgiven (Matthew 6:15) “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your …”

B) One essential for a forgiving spirit is kindness … Eph. 4:32!

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