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Summary: This is sermon #4 in the series of messages on the GRACE of God. It focuses on offering GRACE to others.

Sermon for September 13, 2009

Sermon Series: Sermons on the Grace of God

Sermon #4: Offering Grace

Scripture Ref: Matthew 10:8

‘Freely you have received, freely give.’

Introduction:

There are 4 WORDS that probably DEFINE GRACE better than any other phrase & that is GOD IS FOR US.

GOD is NOT just WITH US.

GOD is NOT just BY US.

If we have INVITED JESUS INTO OUR LIVES HE is NOT just WITHIN US.

The BIBLE says that GOD is FOR US.

Romans 8:21 ‘If GOD be for us, who can be against us:’

Because of OUR SINS, GOD has so many REASONS to be AGAINST US, but because of JESUS, GOD is FOR US.

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For the past few weeks we’ve been LOOKING at the GRACE of GOD.

We’ve looked at SAVING GRACE & SUSTAINING GRACE & HEALING GRACE.

This morning I want us to LOOK at OFFERING GRACE.

GOD did not just want us to RECEIVE GRACE HE also wanted us to PASS IT ON. If we have been CARED FOR by GOD then HE wants us to CARE for OTHERS. If we have been FORGIVEN by GOD, then HE wants US to FORGIVE OTHERS.

JESUS said in Matthew10:8 ‘Freely you have received, so freely give.’

We have ALL RECEIVED MANY THINGS from GOD. AMEN?

But his morning I want us to THINK about FORGIVENESS ---- because we have probably RECEIVED FORGIVENESS MORE than ANYTHING ELSE from the LORD. So FORGIVENESS is what we SHOULD BE GIVING.

HOW do we GIVE FORGIVENESS to OTHER PEOPLE?

This morning I want us to take a look at WHAT REALLY IS FORGIVENESS.

What is FORGIVENESS?

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But 1st I want us to take a little TEST.

There are 5 QUESTIONS & they are all TRUE or FALSE.

1. We should NOT FORGIVE a person UNTIL they ASK for it.

2. FORGIVENESS means MINIMIZING the OFFENSE & MINIMIZING the PAIN it caused?

3. FORGIVENESS includes RESTORING TRUST & REUNITING a FRIENDSHIP?

4. You haven’t REALLY FORGIVEN UNTIL you’ve FORGOTTEN the OFFENSE?

5. When I see SOMEONE ELSE HURT it is MY DUTY to FORGIVE the OFFENDER?

If we TAKE the WORD of GOD & particularly the 4 GOSPELS & we READ WHAT JESUS said about FORGIVENESS then we would come to the CONCLUSION that ALL 5 of these QUESTIONS are FALSE.

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This morning I want us to LOOK at WHAT FORGIVENESS REALLY IS.

But BEFORE we can LOOK at WHAT FORGIVENESS IS we need to LOOK at WHAT FORGIVENESS is NOT.

The BIBLE says there are 5 THINGS FORGIVENESS is NOT:

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1: FORGIVENESS IS NOT CONDITIONAL:

In other words, FORGIVENESS is NOT BASED on some sort of CONDITION.

In fact, the BIBLE says the very OPPOSITE.

REAL GENUINE FORGIVENESS is UNCONDITIONAL.

It is NOT SOMETHING that someone EARNS.

It is NOT SOMETHING that someone DESERVES.

It is NOT SOMETHING that someone BARGAINS FOR or BUYS.

It is NOT SOMETHING that someone gets BECAUSE they PROMISED to NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

When we TELL the PERSON, “I WILL FORGIVE YOU—IF” That’s NOT FORGIVENESS.

We’re BARGAINING, NOT FORGIVING.

GENUINE FORGIVENESS is UNCONDITIONAL.

It is OFFERED even if it is NOT ASKED FOR.

When JESUS HUNG on the CROSS, HE PRAYED, “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM for they know not what they do.”

GENUINE FORGIVENSS is UNCONDITIONAL. There are NO STRINGS ATTACHED:

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2: FORGIVENESS is NOT MINIMIZING the SERIOUSNESS of the OFFENSE

REAL FORGIVENESS is NOT MINIMIZING the SERIOUSNESS of the OFFENSE.

It is NOT SAYING, “It is NO BIG DEAL. It really DIDN’T HURT.”

The TRUTH is, IF it is WORTH FORGIVING then it REALLY DID HURT.

It DID CAUSE PAIN & PRETENDING it was NO BIG DEAL is NOT FORGIVENESS.

FORGIVENESS is saying, “YES IT DID HURT. It DID BRING ME PAIN. But I am GOING to LET IT GO. I AM NOT GOING TO HOLD IT AGAINST YOU.

A few days ago I read where a MAN KILLED his FATHER & his MOTHER & his BROTHER.

Let’s say we go to that MAN & we say to him:

‘You’re FORGIVEN. It was NO BIG DEAL.”

We MINIMIZE WHAT was done.

That’s NOT FORGIVENESS that is INSANITY.

It WAS a BIG DEAL!

So FORGIVENESS is NOT SAYING it is NO BIG DEAL & it DID NOT HURT WHEN it WAS & it DID.

There is a DIFFERENCE BETWEEN being WRONGED & being WOUNDED.

WOUNDS are UNINTENTIONAL while WRONGS are INTENTIONAL.

We are WOUNDED all the time by people ACCIDENTALLY.

People SAY THINGS that HURT US but it was NOT INTENTIONAL..

People DO THINGS that HURT US but they DID NOT MEAN TO.

Those DO NOT REQUIRE FORGIVENESS. What they REQUIRE is OUR ACCEPTANCE.

Simply REALIZING that NOBODY is PERFECT & they DID NOT MEAN to HURT US.

We must learn that NOT EVERYBODY is OUT to HURT US.

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