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Why Christians Want to Forgive Others (CC)

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SERMON TEXT: MATTHEW 18:21-35 OCTOBER 5, 2014 TWO REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS WANT TO FORGIVE THEIR NEIGHBOR! PLEASE RISE FOR THE READING OF THE SERMON TEXT. GRACE AND PEACE ARE YOURS IN ALL ABUNDANCE THROUGH A KNOWLEDGE OF OUR GOD AND LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. OUR TEXT FOR THIS MORNING IS THE GOSPEL READING MATTHEW 18 21 THROUGH 35: AND I'M GOING TO READ THE OLD NIV VERSION, SINCE YOU ALREADY HEARD THE NEW NIV VERSION. NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE. THEN PETER CAME TO JESUS AND ASKED, "LORD, HOW MANY TIMES SHALL I FORGIVE MY BROTHER WHEN HE SINS AGAINST ME? UP TO SEVEN TIMES?" JESUS ANSWERED, "I TELL YOU, NOT SEVEN TIMES, BUT SEVENTY-SEVEN TIMES. "THEREFORE, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A KING WHO WANTED TO SETTLE ACCOUNTS WITH HIS SERVANTS. AS HE BEGAN THE SETTLEMENT, A MAN WHO OWED HIM TEN THOUSAND TALENTS WAS BROUGHT TO HIM. SINCE HE WAS NOT ABLE TO PAY, THE MASTER ORDERED THAT HE AND HIS WIFE AND HIS CHILDREN AND ALL THAT HE HAD BE SOLD TO REPAY THE DEBT. "THE SERVANT FELL ON HIS KNEES BEFORE HIM. 'BE PATIENT WITH ME,' HE BEGGED, 'AND I WILL PAY BACK EVERYTHING.' THE SERVANT'S MASTER TOOK PITY ON HIM, CANCELED THE DEBT AND LET HIM GO. "BUT WHEN THAT SERVANT WENT OUT, HE FOUND ONE OF HIS FELLOW SERVANTS WHO OWED HIM A HUNDRED DENARII. HE GRABBED HIM AND BEGAN TO CHOKE HIM. 'PAY BACK WHAT YOU OWE ME!' HE DEMANDED. "HIS FELLOW SERVANT FELL TO HIS KNEES AND BEGGED HIM, 'BE PATIENT WITH ME, AND I WILL PAY YOU BACK.' BUT HE REFUSED. INSTEAD, HE WENT OFF AND HAD THE MAN THROWN INTO PRISON UNTIL HE COULD PAY THE DEBT. WHEN THE OTHER SERVANTS SAW WHAT HAD HAPPENED, THEY WERE GREATLY DISTRESSED AND WENT AND TOLD THEIR MASTER EVERYTHING THAT HAD HAPPENED. "THEN THE MASTER CALLED THE SERVANT IN. 'YOU WICKED SERVANT,' HE SAID, 'I CANCELED ALL THAT DEBT OF YOURS BECAUSE YOU BEGGED ME TO. SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE HAD MERCY ON YOUR FELLOW SERVANT JUST AS I HAD ON YOU?' IN ANGER HIS MASTER TURNED HIM OVER TO THE JAILERS TO BE TORTURED, UNTIL HE SHOULD PAY BACK ALL HE OWED. "THIS IS HOW MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL TREAT EACH OF YOU UNLESS YOU FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER FROM YOUR HEART." THIS IS GOD'S WORD. LET US PRAY: DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER, WE KNOW THAT BY OUR OWN WILL, BY OUR OWN POWER IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO FORGIVE OTHERS. SO WE ASK THAT AS WE MEDITATE UPON GOD'S WORD THIS MORNING, THAT YOU EMPOWER US TO DO SO BY YOUR GOSPEL ... BY THE GOOD NEWS THAT WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN SO MUCH. WE ASK THIS IN YOUR NAME, JESUS. AMEN. PLEASE BE SEATED. SOMETIMES WE HEAR A PROVERB, AND WE SCRATCH OUR HEADS AND WE WONDER WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT TALKING ABOUT. FOR INSTANCE, PROVERBS 26: 4 THROUGH 5 SAYS, "DO NOT ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY, OR YOU WILL BE LIKE HIM YOURSELF. ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY, OR HE WILL BE WISE IN HIS OWN EYES." WAIT A SECOND. DO NOT ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY. ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY. WELL, WHICH IS IT? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? LET ME READ IT ONE MORE TIME. "DO NOT ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY, OR YOU WILL BE LIKE HIM YOURSELF. ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY, OR HE WILL BE WISE IN HIS OWN EYES." OKAY. ALRIGHT. UH, SO ... HOW SHOULD ONE TALK TO A FOOL? WELL, THE ANSWER IS THAT IT VARIES ACCORDING TO CIRCUMSTANCES. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO IGNORE THE BEHAVIOR OF A FOOL AND JUST SHOW THEM LOVE AND PATIENCE IN OUR DEALINGS WITH THEM. AT OTHER TIMES WE NEED TO SHOW 'TOUGH LOVE' TO THEM BY DEALING WITH THEM IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY WILL STOP HURTING THEMSELVES, US, OR OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THEM. OUR HOPE IS THAT IT WILL OPEN UP THEIR EYES TO SEE HOW FOOLISH THEY ARE ACTING. OTHER PROVERBS ARE MUCH EASIER TO UNDERSTAND, BUT HARD TO PUT INTO PRACTICE. FOR INSTANCE THE PROVERB, "HOW MUCH BETTER TO GET WISDOM THAN GOLD, TO CHOOSE UNDERSTANDING RATHER THAN SILVER." [PROVERBS 16:16] WHEN WE ARE FACED WITH A JOB OPPORTUNITY THAT WOULD MOVE US TO A TOWN THAT IS FAR AWAY FROM A CHURCH THAT PROVIDES US WITH A PURE TEACHING OF GOD'S WORD ... SHOULD WE "GO FOR THE GOLD" OR SHOULD WE TURN DOWN THE MONEY IN FAVOR OF STAYING CLOSE TO A CHURCH WHERE WE CAN BE SPIRITUALLY FED WITH THE PURE TEACHINGS OF GOD'S WORD? WE KNOW THE ANSWER. WE WANT TO CHOOSE "WISDOM RATHER THAN GOLD, UNDERSTANDING RATHER THAN SILVER." BUT HOW HARD IT IS TO TURN DOWN A JOB OPPORTUNITY THAT MAY PAY MORE OR HAVE BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS! MANY HAVE CHOSEN MONEY RATHER THAN GOD AND LOST THEIR FAITH AS A RESULT! AS IT SAYS IN 1 TIMOTHY 6:6-10, "BUT GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN. FOR WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, AND WE CAN TAKE NOTHING OUT OF IT. BUT IF WE HAVE FOOD AND CLOTHING, WE WILL BE CONTENT WITH THAT. PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A TRAP AND INTO MANY FOOLISH AND HARMFUL DESIRES THAT PLUNGE MEN INTO RUIN AND DESTRUCTION. FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY IS A ROOT OF ALL KINDS OF EVIL. SOME PEOPLE, EAGER FOR MONEY, HAVE WANDERED FROM THE FAITH AND PIERCED THEMSELVES WITH MANY GRIEFS." TODAY'S PARABLE JESUS TOLD IS KIND OF LIKE A PROVERB WHOSE MEANING IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND, BUT HARD TO PUT INTO PRACTICE! LET US LOOK TOGETHER AT THE PARABLE OF THE "UNMERCIFUL SERVANT" UNDER THE THEME: TWO REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS WANT TO FORGIVE THEIR NEIGHBOR! NUMBER 1: WE WANT TO FORGIVE OUR NEIGHBOR BECAUSE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL NOT FORGIVE US IF WE DON'T. AND NUMBER 2: BECAUSE GOD HAS FORGIVEN US SO MUCH! WHEN ONE BEGINS TO READ THIS PARABLE, INITIALLY YOU FEEL SORRY FOR THAT UNMERCIFUL SERVANT, THE MAN WHO OWES THE TEN THOUSAND TALENTS AND HE WAS UNABLE TO PAY IT BACK TO HIS MASTER. HE AND HIS WIFE AND ALL THEIR CHILDREN WERE GOING TO BE THROWN INTO PRISON. ALL HIS BELONGINGS WERE GOING TO BE SOLD TO REPAY THAT DEBT. AND THE AMOUNT OF THE DEBT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! WHEN HE BEGGED FOR HIS MASTER TO BE PATIENT UNTIL HE COULD REPAY THE DEBT, A SURPRISING THING HAPPENED. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN REMEMBER WHEN YOU FIRST READ THIS PARABLE. IT REALLY IS SURPRISING! HE CANCELED HIS DEBT COMPLETELY. HE JUST DIDN'T PUT IT OFF; HE SAID YOU ARE FORGIVEN. YOUR DEBT IS CANCELED. WHAT AN AMAZINGLY GENEROUS THING TO DO. HOWEVER, OUR IMPRESSION OF THAT SERVANT CHANGES WHEN WE COME TO THE NEXT PART OF THE PARABLE. HE REFUSED TO FORGIVE A FELLOW SERVANT WHEN THAT SERVANT OWED HIM ONLY A FEW DOLLARS. WE THINK TO OURSELVES: HOW COULD HE BE SO COLD AND UNFORGIVING TOWARD HIS FELLOW SERVANT WHEN HE WAS JUST SHOWN SUCH GREAT MERCY? WE FEEL LIKE THE OTHER SERVANTS WHO WITNESSED HIS TREATMENT OF THE FELLOW SERVANT AND WERE SHOCKED AND GREATLY DISTRESSED. THE NIV NEW TRANSLATION SAID THEY WERE OUTRAGED. BUT THEIR EMOTIONS WERE REALLY ROILED BY THIS. THE MASTER'S REACTION IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO NOTE AS WELL, BECAUSE IN THIS PARABLE THE MASTER REPRESENTS GOD JUST AS SURELY AS THOSE SERVANTS REPRESENT DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE. GOD FREELY FORGIVES PEOPLE'S SINS. HE HAS FREELY FORGIVEN US OUR SINS AS WELL. BUT NOTE THE MASTER'S REACTION WHEN THE SERVANT DID NOT FORGIVE HIS FELLOW SERVANT! "YOU WICKED SERVANT! I CANCELED ALL THAT DEBT OF YOURS BECAUSE YOU BEGGED ME TO. SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE HAD MERCY ON YOUR FELLOW SERVANT JUST AS I HAD ON YOU? IN ANGER HIS MASTER TURNED HIM OVER TO THE JAILERS TO BE TORTURED, UNTIL HE SHOULD PAY BACK ALL HE OWED." [VERSES 32-34] AND JESUS ENDS BY SAYING, "THIS IS HOW MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL TREAT EACH OF YOU UNLESS YOU FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER FROM YOUR HEART." [VERSE 35] GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE US IF WE DO NOT FORGIVE OUR NEIGHBOR! SOME OF THE THINGS IN THE BIBLE ARE HARD TO UNDERSTAND. BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND VERY DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO PRACTICE! FORGIVING OUR BROTHER FROM THE HEART IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT'S NOT SO EASY TO DO. AND THE REASON JESUS TOLD THIS PARABLE WAS THAT PETER CAME TO HIM AND ASKED HIM, "LORD, HOW MANY TIMES SHALL I FORGIVE MY BROTHER WHEN HE SINS AGAINST ME? UP TO SEVEN TIMES?" PETER WAS THINKING THAT WAS A LOT. JESUS' ANSWER WAS "NOT SEVEN, BUT SEVENTY-SEVEN TIMES." AND, OF COURSE, JESUS IS NOT SAYING KEEP A TALLY UNTIL YOU GET TO SEVENTY-SEVEN. WHAT HE'S SAYING IS: UNLIMITED! ... AMOUNT OF TIMES. IN OTHER WORDS, JESUS WANTS US TO FORGIVE OUR BROTHER WITHOUT COUNTING THE TIMES WE'VE FORGIVEN THEM IN THE PAST. HE WANTS US ALWAYS TO FORGIVE THEM. BUT THINK ABOUT THE TIMES THAT SOMEONE HAS WRONGED YOU. THEY MAY HAVE GOSSIPED ABOUT YOU. THEY MAY HAVE STOLEN FROM YOU. SOMETIMES THE THINGS PEOPLE SAY ABOUT US OR TO US SLICE RIGHT THROUGH THE HEART. PERHAPS IT'S YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW WHO HAS TREATED YOU BADLY. OR PERHAPS IT'S A SON OR DAUGHTER WHO HAS TURNED AGAINST YOU. PERHAPS IT'S SOMEONE YOU HELPED OUT WHEN THEY WERE DOWN, BUT NOW WHEN THE TABLES ARE TURNED THEY TAKE THE TIME TO TREAT YOU BADLY. WE CAN ALWAYS THINK OF TIMES WHEN SOMEONE HAS DONE, OR SAID, SOMETHING AGAINST US. AND SOMETIMES EVEN WHEN WE THINK OF JESUS' WORDS, IT'S HARD FOR US TO FORGIVE THEM FROM THE HEART. THIS IS WHEN WE NEED TO REMEMBER THE SECOND REASON WHY CHRISTIANS WANT TO FORGIVE OTHERS. WE WANT TO FORGIVE BECAUSE WE REMEMBER HOW MUCH CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN US! YOU KNOW IN THE FIRST PART OF THE SERMON I SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, WE WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN IF WE DON'T FORGIVE OTHERS. BUT THE TRUTH OF IT IS, THAT GOD HAD FORGIVEN US FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. WHEN JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS ... HE PAID THE DEBT OF THE WHOLE WORLD EVEN ENEMIES OF CHRIST, AS WE ALL WERE WHEN WE WERE BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD. ALL OF OUR SINS WERE FORGIVEN. BUT IF WE, THROUGH UNBELIEF, REJECT GOD'S FORGIVENESS AND DON'T FORGIVE OUR BROTHER, THAT'S ACTING LIKE AN UNBELIEVER, ISN'T IT? AND THAT'S WHAT GOD IS TALKING ABOUT. HE HAS FORGIVEN YOU. HE HAS FORGIVEN ME. NOT JUST ONE SIN. NOT JUST A WEEK'S WORTH OF SINS. HE'S FORGIVEN ALL OF OUR SINS. WE WANT TO FORGIVE BECAUSE WE REMEMBER HOW MUCH CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN US. THINK AGAIN ABOUT WHAT THE MASTER SAID TO THE WICKED SERVANT. "YOU WICKED SERVANT! I CANCELED ALL THAT DEBT OF YOURS BECAUSE YOU BEGGED ME TO. SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE HAD MERCY ON YOUR FELLOW SERVANT JUST AS I HAD ON YOU?" THE REASON THE WICKED SERVANT DID NOT FORGIVE HIS FELLOW SERVANT WAS BECAUSE HE DID NOT REMEMBER HOW MUCH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HAS FORGIVEN US. HE DID NOT REMEMBER HOW MUCH HE HAD BEEN FORGIVEN BY HIS MASTER. WHEN WE FIND IT HARD TO FORGIVE SOMEONE, WE SHOULD PAUSE AND REFLECT ON HOW MUCH GOD'S FORGIVEN US. WE WERE GOD'S ENEMIES, BUT GOD LOVED US ENOUGH TO SEND HIS ONLY SON INTO THIS WORLD TO DIE FOR OUR SINS. WE HAD BROKEN EVERY ONE OF GOD'S LAWS. THERE WAS NO WAY WE COULD PAY THE DEBT OF OUR SIN TO GOD. BUT GOD FORGAVE ALL OF OUR DEBT BECAUSE JESUS PAID ALL OF THAT DEBT ON OUR BEHALF. SUCH LOVE MOTIVATES US EVEN TO FORGIVE OUR ENEMIES. AND, IN FACT, IT IS THIS LOVE WHICH COMES FROM GOD WHICH SETS US APART FROM THIS WORLD OF SINNERS; THIS WORLD OF UNBELIEVERS. JESUS SAID: WE KNOW OR JOHN SAID IT. EXCUSE ME, THE APOSTLE JOHN SAID, "WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE PASSED FROM DEATH TO LIFE BECAUSE WE LOVE OUR BROTHERS. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE REMAINS IN DEATH. ANYONE WHO HATES HIS BROTHER IS A MURDERER, AND YOU KNOW THAT NO MURDERER HAS ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM." [1 JOHN 3:4-15] WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU WANT TO FORGIVE SOMEONE, BUT ARE HAVING A HARD TIME DOING SO? REMEMBER HOW MUCH JESUS HAS FORGIVEN US. AND THEN PRAY TO GOD TO CHANGE YOUR HEART BY THE HOLY SPIRIT'S POWER. THE OTHER PERSON MAY NOT EVER CHANGE THE WAY THEY ACT TOWARD US. BUT BY GOD'S POWER WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK AND ACT TOWARD THEM! ASK GOD TO FILL YOU WITH LOVE TOWARD YOUR NEIGHBOR SO THAT YOU MAY BE A GOOD WITNESS OF GOD'S LOVE ... NOT ONLY IN YOUR THOUGHTS, BUT ALSO IN YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS. FORGIVENESS THAT MEANS CANCELING THE DEBT. IT DOESN'T MEAN PUTTING IT OFF. IT DOESN'T MEAN DELAYING THE DAY OF RECKONING. WHEN WE ARE WRONGED BY SOMEONE AND THEN LATER ON MAYBE YEARS LATER WE DREDGE UP THAT THING ONCE AGAIN, WE SHOW THAT WE'RE REALLY NOT FORGIVING THEM, WE'RE JUST DELAYING THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. BUT CANCELING THE DEBT DOESN'T MEAN POSTPONING THE DAY OF ACCOUNTING. THAT'S NOT FORGIVENESS. KEEPING THE DEBT ON THE BOOKS. NO! FORGIVENESS IS CANCELING THE DEBT AND REMEMBERING IT NO MORE. GOD SHOWS US WHAT TRUE FORGIVENESS IS. HE SAYS IN JEREMIAH 31:34: "I WILL FORGIVE THEIR WICKEDNESS AND WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE." LET US ALSO BE LIKE GOD; LET US FORGIVE FROM THE HEART. LET US REMEMBER GOD'S GREAT LOVE AND FORGET THE WRONGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE TO US. GOD DIDN'T WAIT FOR US TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP. NO, GOD FORGAVE US FREELY! THEN LET US FORGIVE AND FORGET THE WRONGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE TO US WITHOUT WAITING FOR THEM TO COME TO US TO MAKE AMENDS. AND LET US NEVER MENTION THEM AGAIN. LET THE LOVE OF CHRIST MOVE US TO FORGIVE OUR NEIGHBOR, TO SHOW LOVE AND FORGIVENESS TO THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGED US EVEN IF THEY'RE NOT SORRY FOR WHAT THEY'VE DONE. THAT'S THE CHRISTIAN OUTLOOK ON FORGIVENESS. MAY THE GREAT LOVE THAT CHRIST HAS SHOWN US EMPOWER US TO ALWAYS SHOW THAT LOVE ... THAT UNDESERVED LOVE OF CHRIST TO EVERYONE AROUND US. EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE SINNED AGAINST US. AMEN. [MOTION FOR CONGREGATION TO STAND] TO HIM WHO LOVES US AND HAS FREED US BY HIS LOVE, AND HAS MADE US TO BE A KINGDOM AND PRIEST TO SERVE HIS GOD AND FATHER, TO HIM BE GLORY AND POWER FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 14 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 68
Posted by: hischild on Oct 7, 2014

1. Because God has forgiven us so much! 2. If we don't forgive, God will not forgive us! Rev. Jim Sherod serves as guest minister today and the sermon text is Matthew 18:21-35.

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