Summary: This is a sermon series focused on helping disciples be ready to help themselves and others in the areas of forgiveness, depression, anger, stress, anxiety etc.... Each sermon is followed by a deeper study.
Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35
Theme: Caring For God's People
Based on - Galatians 6:2 (Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ)
Sermon Series - Sermon #1 - Learning How to Forgive
Over the last few weeks we have been looking what it means to be a genuine human being. That is to say, we have been looking at what type of life our Lord planned for each and every one of us. In John 10, Jesus referred to this Life as "The Abundant Life" and in John 15, Jesus shares that this kind of life can be ours through simply abiding in Him and obeying His commandments. What exactly is the Abundant Life? It is simply becoming a genuine human being who:
1. Is in a right relationship with God
2. Is in a right relationship with oneself
3. Is in a right relationship with others
4. Is in a right relationship with the world around us.
Those four relationships, God, ourselves, others and our world are the four relationships that were spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially affected by the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. What once was innocent and holy was lost through man's sinful rebellion. Pride and self-idolatry ruined the purity of those relationships. Today, humanity suffers from the brokenness of each of these relationships.
We live in a world that is not in right relationship with our Holy LORD.
And because of that fundamental truth - the fact that our world is not in a right relationship with God, we therefore, live in a world in which the majority of people find it impossible to be at peace with themselves, with others or with God's creation. We live in a world full of chaos, confusion, despair and disillusionment. We live in a world in which people have tried everything under the sun and yet no matter how hard they try they still do not experience the peace and harmony that God intended for them to enjoy.
Thankfully, Jesus came to rescue, redeem and restore mankind. Jesus came to bring redemption, to bring renewal and to bring about the transformative healing of all four relationships. Jesus does this through the transformative presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives each and every day.
Jesus saves us from something to something. He saves us from the penalty and power of sin. Jesus saves us to be restored into His image. And He saves us to then help others find the same salvation. He saves us so that we might co-partner with Him for the salvation of our world.
Over the next few weeks, I would like to see us focus on that very thing. The idea of how we can help one another and others find the joy and peace that Jesus wants to bring into their lives. By doing this we will not only deepen our own spiritual walk, but we can help others find freedom and joy as well. We can fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus has given us.
So, over the next few weeks we shall be looking at how we are to deal with some important issues that we, humans have to face, deal with and live with on this earth. Issues like depression, guilt, addictions, marriage, divorce, guilt, stress, anxiety, anger, perfectionism, OCD and forgiveness. We want to spend some time sharing what the Bible says about each of these areas and how the Bible can assist us in restoring our lives and others into the image of Jesus.
For there is no greater joy once we have experienced freedom than to help someone else experience that same freedom in their lives. Salvation is not an individual enterprise, instead it is a corporate adventure. We are the Body of Christ reaching out to one another and others helping one another grow in mercy, grace and love.
This morning, our passage takes us into the heart of one of the most difficult issues any of us have to face. And that is the issue of "FORGIVENESS".
Forgiveness is at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian. If you were to dissect a Christian, you would find forgiveness right at the center. It is part of our core, our DNA. Christians are forgiven sinners and are called and even commanded by God Himself to extend forgiveness to those whom they perceive to have sinned against them.
We serve a forgiving God. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Psalms 103:12 reminds us that God will take away our sin - " as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."