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Summary: This is part of a series on "one anothering." This sermon focuses on forgiveness as part of our Biblical community

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Forgive One Another

Series: One Another

Meridian Church of God Seventh Day

April 5, 2003

INTRODUCTION

Good Morning…

Good to see you (welcome all + visitors)…

Hope all is going well for you…

Illustration: Happy to Go

Series Introduction SLIDE 1

For those of you who are visiting, or missed the last couple of weeks, we have started a series on fellowship, or genuine Christian community.

We are looking to see what the Bible has to say about what community should look like and how we should treat and interact with each other. To do this, we have been looking at the “one another’s” in the Bible – the commands that tell us how we should relate to one another.

In the first couple of messages, we laid some groundwork down. We looked at the foundation of community.

First, we saw the need to accept one another, Paul wrote: even as God accepted us in Christ Jesus. We should accept one another.

That means we accept each other as we really are. We accept the real person. This comes from an understanding that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None of us are perfect – each of us has his or her own flaws and weaknesses.

With that knowledge should also come the understanding that we are all on a level playing field.

What I mean by that is that none of us are perfect – therefore we should not expect it. I am not perfect, nor are you.

Again, that does not mean that we condone sin, or even accept sin – what it does mean is that we understand that each one of us sin and we accept each other anyways.

We all stand, apart from the blood of Jesus Christ, guilty before the Lord. It is in Jesus Christ that we are accepted by God – who is the One we have truly sinned against.

We will look at this concept more today, but if God accepts us, shouldn’t we accept each other?

That lead us to our second one another: to be real with one another. This is where the masks come off and the façade goes down.

When we have an environment in our church that accepts one another, then we are free to be honest about where we are really at and turn to the church – our community – for help.

This takes coming to terms with where we are really at. Something that is key to Christian growth, I think.

When we continue to wear the masks, it becomes easy to get caught up in that image and to believe that the mask is really who and what we are.

Removing the mask can be a scary thing.

Our pride tries to stop us.

We want people to believe we are great people. Full of holiness and godliness.

It takes great humility to admit your weaknesses and your struggles.

We see that example in the Apostle Paul.

1 Timothy 1:15

The thing that has always struck me in that verse is the present tense of what Paul says among whom I am foremost of all.

Our fear holds us back.

What will they think – those in the church? That question – will I be accepted? If they knew the truth about me – would they continue to love me – or would it be criticism and condemnation?

While these things make it difficult to take our masks off, we need to, we are called to in the Bible. The Bible calls us to speak the truth to one another.


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