Summary: Why should we forgive?
First time we are intruded to Paul is when he is at the stoning of Stephen.
Second time is when he has warrants to arrest those of the Way in Damascus but on the road to Damascus ran into grace!
Ananias comes and restores Paul’s sight, after he begins to preach, and gets death threats, goes to Jerusalem to join the disciples but they are scared of him and Barnabas comes and stands up for Paul.
(Paul should have learned a valuable lesson, it is one thing to receive grace from God, it is another to receive grace from people!)
When he spoke in Jerusalem, he received death treats there, so they sent him out to Tarsus.
But then the gospel spreads in Antioch, the disciples send Barnabas to check it out and when he saw what was going on he went to Tarsus to get Paul and they stayed in Antioch for a year.
You would think that someone who has experienced that kind of grace would be willing to pour out that kind of grace to others!
Well, if you think that you would be wrong!
Paul chooses not to do that!
Acts 15:36-41-Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”
Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.
But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.
Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.
And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Look what Barnabas does, he goes ahead and does what Paul suggested, he takes John Mark back to the places they went on their first missionary trip!
It is as if he is saying to Paul, “I’m going to do what we planned to do and if you want to go with us great and if not then that’s not going to stop us!”
You have to do what God lays on your heart, even if you have to go it alone, even if it causes conflict, even if it is opposed by your friend or friends!
Lets look at Paul, he could not give grace, he could not forgive John Mark for leaving them in middle of their mission trip!
Have there been times or maybe it’s right now, you can’t forgive someone!
You know you need to, you know you should but you just can’t!
Not right now, maybe later, when the wounds have healed!
I just can’t let them off the hook that easy!
Luke 15:32-It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family!
He wants us to identify more with the father, than with brothers!
The guy asked the preacher, “What don’t you preacher every asked the right question when you preach about forgiveness?” The preacher said, “What is the right question?”
“Do I have to forgive them if they haven’t repent to me?”
The preacher said, “I don’t think that the real question, I think the real question is, Can a person repent if I at first, haven’t forgiven them!”
Luke 23:34-Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Who had asked for forgiveness? The Jews, The Romans, The Disciples, The Religious Leaders, Us!!!
We are to forgive them first because it set the condition so that they are able to repent!
When you paint, you have to do prep work before you paint, sanding, scrapping, taping off, and if you don’t the paint is not going to last!
So it is with forgiveness, if we do the prep work towards forgiveness, when they do repent, that relationship will be restored and will last!
Acts 7:51-60- “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,
who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,