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Summary: This is the final message in our series exploring the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 and the challenge to not only experience God's forgiveness but also to extend it.

Forgiven People • Matthew 6:12-15

INTRODUCTION: As FOOD is to the BODY (v 11), FORGIVENESS is to the SOUL. The tragedy is that many are living MALNOURISHED lives.

EX. Malnutrition…

Tendency to hold grudges…

THREE FUNDAMENTALS OF FORGIVENESS

I. I NEED God’s forgiveness. (v 12a)

• Interesting that Jesus includes this in the model prayer… Jesus, Son of God, was not in need of forgiveness… reminding His disciples of their need because of their debt of sin before the Holy Father.

• As common in the Aramaic language (which Jesus most likely spoke) often times sin = debt. Concept of a debt because in a spiritual sense it is an offense requiring repayment.

• God, because of His great loves, has remitted payment for our sin debt and because of the costly sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He drops the charges against all who kneel at the cross.

• THREE TYPES OF PPL HERE TONIGHT: (1) CONDEMNED– debt of your sin is hanging over your life, wages/payment for sin is death… eternal separation from God. Rom. 3:23; Rom 6 (slaves of sin) 6:23 wages of sin death… (2) CALLOUSED – Over time the enemy has lured you away to a place of believing that you have been forgiven, but His amazing forgiveness has NO IMPACT upon your life today. You live as you desire and trust God’s simply going to forgive you. MT 5: - Beatitudes = poor in spirit. Luke 18:9-14 (3) CONVICTED – Because you live in a spirit of gratitude knowing how great a grace you have received from Jesus Christ, that He has paid your sin debt and it has transformed your life.

II. I will be WRONGED and WOUNDED. (vv 12b-13)

• Once again in this model prayer Jesus prays,”as we also have forgiven…”

• Would you agree that we live in a fallen world, filled with fallen and imperfect people? And for some reason, we seem shocked or surprised when someone either intentionally or unintentionally wrongs or wounds us.

• Doesn’t make it right… doesn’t minimize your feelings… I think in a very simply way Jesus is reminding us that as we pray we must be people who extend forgiveness b/c we will be wronged and we will be wounded.

• PERSONAL EXAMPLE… Carter Family @ Faith Baptist Church… Interim… made statement… phone calls @ home… confrontation in hallway…

• READ V 13.

• What do we do with this verse? What is Jesus emphasizing? Many great NT scholars have written page after page about this model prayer… I want to share a thought based upon context in regards to this verse. Why would Jesus share v 12 and then vv 14-15 with v 13 in between? Could it be that the temptation to which He might have in mind be that of bitterness… As a whole the Lord’s Prayer is found in a section where Jesus is speaking of hypocrisy. Could it be possible to be acting appropriately religiously/on outside and be harboring unforgiveness in our hearts?

• Jesus uses grammatically what is known as a litotes… a figure of speech which expresses something by negating the contrary.

• Jesus says pray that God would not lead you into temptation but away from it towards righteousness. God instead of me making descisions to be in a position of temptation today Father would you protect me… my heart… my eyes… my steps… (God doesn’t tempt anyone… Satan is the tempter).

• WHAT IS THE DANGER WHEN YIELDING TO THE TEMPTATION OF AN UNFORGIVIENNESS?

• Sometimes ppl BURY IT… no big deal… Sometimes ppl… BLOW IT OUT OF PROPORTION… make ourselves and situation bigger than it really is…

• RESULT = Broken relationships, broken homes, broken church families (div in the body)… Bitterness → anger → resentment → rage

III. Forgiveness is more than a VERBAL ADMISSION. Forgiveness is a HEART ATTITUDE. (vv 14-15)

• Verbally = I Forgive you! Forgiveness = confrontation not avoidance…

• Heart = seat of our emotions (where bitterness takes root)

• Biblical Forgiveness = w/o expectation of compensation or reward… forgiveness cannot hinge upon the response of the other person…

• Jesus reveals that God forgives the penitent person… evidence of forgiving spirit…

• It’s the person who has their eyes continually opened to see their great offense against God of their own sin and in light of that the wounds that we receive from others are minimal.

• MT 18:23-35… unmerciful servant…

• The point of the parable is not so much a formula of forgiveness… x must forgive y before z can forgive x).. it’s more about an attitude of forgiveness in heart. In this parable his unforgiving spirit bears strong witness to the fact that we have never truly repented…

• The Christian life is a call to walk in self-denial. Whoever sees his himself and his own life as central loses everything…

St. Francis of Assisi prayer…

INVITATION…

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