Key to Forgiveness – Get the Biblical Perspective – Part 2
Last week we talked about the fact that it is not our ability to forgive, but it is our willingness.
Understand the true problem: not your ability to forgive but your willingness.
When we don’t forgive others it s because we prefer not to forgive. It is a choice that we make. A choice to disobey a direct command that God has given us.
We are called to remember -- and imitate – God’s forgiveness of us.
A forgiven sinner who does not forgive another sinner is OFFENSIVE to God.
Forgiveness is not a feeling. You can’t wait until you feel like it.
Forgiveness is not forgetting. You are not going to forget, but you can choose not to remember it, to bring it up.
Four key statements, commitments of forgiveness:
I will not dwell on this.
I will not bring this up again and I will not use it against you.
I will not talk to others about this.
I will not allow this to stand between us or hinder our relationship.
With that said, let’s continue this subject this week.
Where is the fairness in just forgiving? They don’t deserve to be forgiven! You expect me to just let them off the hook? I don’t think so! They need to pay for what they did.
We have all spoken these words. We want justice when we have been wronged and we want mercy when we are the ones who have wronged someone else.
If we are going to forgive we have to quit thinking about revenge and vengeance and what we are owed.
I. We must trust God for the JUDGMENT of the sin.
a. It is God’s business to REPAY them.
Isaiah 3:11 (NIV) 11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done.
Romans 12:19 (ESV) 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
1 Peter 2:23 (NASB95) 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
i. God is saying “Keep your cotton picking hands off!”
b. Your business is to do GOOD to them.
Romans 12:21 (ESV) 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 Peter 4:19 (NIV) 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
i. We talked about this when we discussed Genesis. God’s job to decide what is good it is our job to DO good.
c. If apparent judgment comes, do not REJOICE about it.
Proverbs 24:17 (NIV) 17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,
i. What goes around comes around. That’s how we think. Or “It’s about time.”
ii. This is actually freedom, liberty. We are free to let this go, not worry about what happens to them. What may look like payback to us just may be God working in their life to draw them closer to Him. Or it may be that their sin has caught up with them. We should never revel in the fact that someone else has fallen. It should break our heart, but we are too stubborn and proud to pray for that person, not pray against that person. Don’t do it.
II. We need to look at the event from GOD’S point of view.
a. See the event as being under His CONTROL.
Deuteronomy 10:17 (ESV) 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
Ephesians 1:20-22 (NIV) 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
Job 1:10 (ESV) 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
We have this same protection.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
i. If we really believe that God is sovereign. Then we have to believe that He is in control. It is one thing to say it. It is something totally different to believe it and then live like we believe that this is the truth.
ii. God is in control.
b. See the event as being designed for your GOOD!
Romans 8:28 (NIV) 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
i. God knows and decides what is good. Just because we don’t see it as good doesn’t mean that it is not good.
1. Consider the character qualities that are evoked.
Romans 5:3-4 (NASB95) 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
James 1:2-4 (NASB95) 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
2. Consider the MINISTRY opportunities that are provided.
Genesis 50:20 (NIV) 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Philippians 1:12 (ESV) 12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
a. What you have been through prepares you.
i. Joseph was prepared
ii. Moses was prepared
iii. Where was the fairness involved in this? Joseph didn’t spend a couple of months in prison, it was years. Moses spent years being prepared to lead his people to their freedom in the promised land.
iv. God may even be preparing you for something that you will never see the final product of, like Moses.
3. REFLECT on these things; THANK Him for these things.
a. Admit to Him your inability to see the good right now, then quote to Him His promise to work for your good and express to Him your conviction that He will.
b. The language of faith THANK YOU.
c. Anybody can thank Him after they see the outcome.
c. We need to see in the offense a reflection of the person’s own NEED and of God’s call to you for loving MINISTRY.
i. This is called transformation. Remember that this is not about our ability, but about our willingness to forgive.
1. See the event as His way of calling your ATTENTION to this person’s pain and need.
a. What would happen if the first thing that we did in a conflict was to stop and pray for the other person? Or if we asked God to help us minister to that person?
2. See the event as God’s invitation to enter into His LOVE and His WORK for this person.
i. Do you see what he is doing here? He is giving us the opportunity to share His love with someone who is hurting. Just like He did with us. Again, this is the gospel in action. It is not just telling someone what God has done for us, it is showing them and displaying that love TO them.
b. This is a significant TRANSFORMATIONALactivity!
c. This bring us into a unique CLOSENESS to Him!
3. ACCEPT His invitation with thanks and joy.
a. This is life-transforming stuff!
III. Accept the event as His GIFT to you….given in LOVE.
a. Recognize that you are not a VICTIM but the object of the living activity of the sovereign God!
b. Give thanks by FAITH in His promise, power and love.
Ephesians 5:20 (ESV) 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV) 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
c. With such a response from you:
i. You are CHANGED,
ii. Other people BENEFIT,
iii. Satan is DEFEATED,
iv. And God is GLORIFIED!
d. It is then a GOOD experience.
The gospel is the key to forgiveness.