Summary: 5th in series dealing with reciprocating forgivenes on the basis that we have been so fully forgiven.
Ephesians Series #5
“Forgiven and Forgiving”
The identity, privilege and responsibility of the Church.
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-4
A. Paul blessed God for blessing us with every spiritual blessing 1:3-14
1. Specially Chosen 1:4
2. Purposefully Adopted 1:5-6
3. Freely Redeemed and Forgiven 1:7-8
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7-8
We focused on three key terms; Redemption, Forgiveness, Grace
These blessings came…
First, these come by reason of our connection to Jesus – “in Him or in whom”.
Second, it is a current reality -- “we have presently” (already granted)
Third, these blessings flow out of God’s grand heart of grace.
Redemption secures our freedom, deliverance from slavery or captivity.
Forgiveness settles the debt our sin incurred against God.
Overflowing grace is the basis on which God chose to redeem and forgive us.
• Purchased for possession.
• Set free by the payment of a price.
FORGIVENESS of SINS
We briefly touched on the subject of forgiveness the last time. Today I want to revisit the subject of our forgiveness by God and then explore our responsibility to forgive others based on the wonder of our own forgiveness. The term translated by our English word forgiveness means to release from debt. Divorce, dispatch a ship, release a person from prison, send away, discharge, and release from debt, guilt, obligation or punishment.
Usually forgiveness is necessary when we have committed some offense to another person.
Because we are imperfect and the whole world is imperfect, life is made up of a series of offense and forgiveness. There is no freedom without forgiveness.
Guilt – failure to realize our own forgiveness.
Bitterness – failure to reciprocate His forgiveness.
Both put us in bondage. No matter how you look at it, forgiveness is a major key in current quality of life.
On the one hand, we go around feeling in indebted to others, guilty, fearful, rejected, reluctant, stressed, and heavy when we fail to realize and receive forgiveness.
On the other hand we feel angry, isolated, agitated, blocked, driven by our emotions, restricted, and distracted when we fail to forgive others.
Our offenses against God most often called “sin” put us at an insurmountable disadvantage.
We are cut off from His life-giving fellowship. We are isolated from the resources necessary to deal with life in this broken world. Only forgiveness can restore our connection with God.
Jesus told a parable that teaches us the elements and application of forgiveness as applied to our forgiveness and our forgiving of others. Jesus answered Peter’s question concerning how many times we should forgive someone who offends us with this parable.
The first part illustrates the wonder of God’s forgiveness of us.
The second part illustrates the necessity of us forgiving others.
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:23-27
This is how citizens of God’s kingdom should think and live.
I. Realize forgiveness
A. Perceive the truth
1. Forgiveness is confrontational
The parable starts out with the master seeking to “settle accounts”. There is no denying the debt. The master had it all calculated and brought the debtor to settle up in full. The modern day equivalent is calculated anywhere from 10-20 million dollars. It was obvious that the slave did not have the means to repay the massive debt. The Master issued a command to sell the slave and his family in order to repay the debt. Our sin affects our whole family and everyone around us. We must first realize the gravity of our debt to God. We are deserving of death.
All have sinned and come up short of the necessary character to fellowship with God.
Not until we realize the gravity of our sin can we appreciate the glory of our forgiveness.
For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little. Lu 7:47
The Bible says that our very fallen nature deserves the wrath of God. Realizing that his whole family was about to be affected, the slave begged for patience. Notice, he did not ask for forgiveness but patience. He asked for more time to pay. The reality is no amount of time would have changed the situation; the debt was too large. It is like paying the minimum payment on a significant credit card debt. It would take 60 years to pay it off at that rate.