Calvary Baptist Church
October 10th Sunday Morning Service
- Bible Trivia
- Revelation Song
- Come People Of The Risen King
- My Jesus
- Path of a WarriorHow many times have I became angry over some trivial matter and put a warriors suit on to go into battle against someone who needs to be forgiven?The act of confrontation is difficult for most. For me, it has been something which takes much time and much grace.I know that without God’s help and understanding how He forgives me, I would be without an example of true forgiveness.How to address forgiveness for each one of us is different as well.Boundaries with ForgivenessYou may have grown up in a household where no one forgave each other. Perhaps you were always made to feel guilty for the way you acted. Even if there was kindness perhaps the negative things that happened in life were never discussed.Brushing everything under the rug so that peace was kept may have been the mode of operation in your house.Depending on how you were raised to understand forgiveness, there may be situations when you believe forgiveness has restored a relationship without understanding that there is still a divide.That divide occurs when the party returns to the same behavior as they did before.We then place boundaries up and choose to not forgive that person because it is taking longer for them to respond to their responsibilities.However, God has chosen to set an example that is holier than we are able to comprehend. Before we were even born, he forgave us our trespasses (Rom. 5:8).Holding Each other AccountableJesus knew that forgiveness was the key to relationship restoration. In a heavenly scale, His crucifixion took the place of our ownership of responsibility of our hurt against God.In Matthew 18 Jesus speaks about how to restore peace.“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.This is first area where we fail at forgiveness. Jesus is telling us to go directly to the source of the pain. Instead, many of us want to talk to others about what has happened. We spread the story from only our perspective to garner support for our belief.Another part of this is where Jesus says to show the fault in private. When rebuking sin, confronting someone that has hurt another, confrontation should be done privately.Set a time to discuss the manner in thorough.For the one who caused the offense, they should listen. If they are unwilling to listen Jesus says that we have not won them over.There are many times when people will acknowledge their need to ask for forgiveness and the need to forgive another.Without talking about the issue, it will never be resolved.Jesus came directly to us and preached forgiveness. He claimed where our faults were and has given us a chance to listen. Do the same with your brothers and sisters in Christ.Within this verse is the understanding that it is a brother or sister in christ who we are rebuking and forgiving. If that is the case, then they should understand the forgiveness of Christ.“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.Jesus says that we are not to immediately remove a person from being reconciled if they do not immediately believe our perspective of the situation.Jesus encourages us to take two or three with us into a meeting with the person to elevate the group of listeners.When doing so, we must ensure that the group is unbiased just as a court gathers people to hear the situation from an objective perspective.If you are taking part in this type of activity with another, listen to both sides of the situation and then offer guidance. If the person has attempted to sway you towards their perspective ahead of time, you may not be the best at offering guidance unless you maintain an objective position.When people did not listen to God, He followed this same method. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit gather and listen to hear our perspective. However, His side is always the truth. God will always listen to our perspective and if we confess our sins He does forgive (1 John 1:9).“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.Jesus supports a further elevation of asking for reconciliation. If there is a matter where someone is adamant about maintaining their position without seeking reconciliation, Jesus says to take it before the church.Some things have happened within congregations where the entire church may need to be involved if the person has decided not to seek forgiveness.If a person’s ego justifies their attitude in not seeking forgiveness, Jesus proclaims they are to be treated as an unbeliever.For us to bring up an offense and a person not recognize that it was an offense is difficult.Some of us do not understand patience and that some actions take time to have the person overcome their ego.Prayer, forgiveness of the action without the expectation of the person asking for forgiveness mimics the actions that God Himself did for us. We are given our entire lives to answer Jesus call for repentance.Before casting someone completely out, we must understand that the heart can only be changed by God (Ezek. 36:26).There will be a future time when the Sovereign King will call all people to account.Analyzing Your Steps Towards ForgivenessThink about some wrong that has occured in your life? How did you go about seeking reconciliation? Did you seek revenge instead? Do you hold onto the grudge so long that there is never a chance for the other person to ask for forgiveness?Balkin indicates that placing labels on whether you are a forgiver or not may not help overcome the problem and seek reconciliation.Often our emotions just come and go without our control.However, how we respond to those emotions, memories, and actions of another are under our control. If certain memories bring about thoughts of regret, anger, sadness, and we prevent forgiveness from occuring we are in danger of being labeled a wicked servant incapable of forgiveness.Balkin, Richard S.. 2020. Practicing Forgiveness : A Path Toward Healing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Incorporated. Accessed October 9, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central.Forgiveness only comes with the aid of the Holy God. The one who is able to seek reconciliation with people who do not deserve it. Our hearts are full of wickedness only looking to serve ourselves. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit are we able to forgive.Peacemaker’s PledgeIn Ken Sande’s Peacemaker, he offers a pledge for us to remember how to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. We must first restore our relationship with God in order to witness how He seeks reconciliation.Sande, Ken. 2004. The Peacemaker. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. Accessed October 9, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central.Glorify GodIn seeking reconciliation, I have often lashed out and tried to force reconciliation in anger. This is in no way a method of glorifying God. In fact, it is the quite opposite. If we have a problem with someone, seeking private consultation with the person is first.Our actions should be that of imitating the ultimate peacemaker, Jesus Christ. We may rebuke one another in love, but gently as a shepherd brings in a sheep who is wandering with his shepherd staff doesn’t harm the sheep but restores it to the fold.How are you glorifying God in your acts of reconciliation?Gently RestoreThroughout history, we have many witnesses of the church not gently restoring those who need forgiveness. Even within our own lives, we often suit up with a warriors armor against each other instead of seeking reconciliation.After a person has sought forgiveness, sometimes we have not truly forgiven that person. We hold a grudge and continually remind that person of their faults, their trespasses, their guilt, and their shame. Know that these are tactics of the enemy against God. God forgives you and you must forgive others.Sande indicates that there may be a desire to hurry through the reconciliation process. We should not accept a quick compromise or the hurried, “I’m sorry” without a clear path of reconciliation.Jesus knows that we were bonded in our sin and shame and knows that we may falter throughout our time of reconciliation. We are on the right path if we admit we need the help of the shepherd along the way.We are never complete here on this earth restored without Jesus Christ guiding our path. The same goes for us as we restore others. We must persevere and forgive much.Go and Be ReconciledWhere is your heart with those who have hurt you? I heard a story Friday evening of a man who finally forgave his father when he was 71 years old. Even if we hold anger in our hearts, Jesus says that is murder (Matt 5:21-23).It is our duty as Christians to preach the reconciliation of the world to God. Jesus Christ already did the actions that wipe away the debt, provide the path of restoration, and offer the scripture which implores people to see God’s love for them.Our actions are to mimic this in the world.Stop holding grudges with those who have hurt you. If a person has sought forgiveness with you, has proven they are attempting to be restored, and knows they are working towards that path, stop bringing up the faltering steps for them.They are well aware of what their own sins are at that point. Continually bringing that up means you are at a point of unforgiveness in your heart. Actual reconciliation restores a healthy relationship.
- 10,000 REASONS (BLESS THE LORD)
- I Lift My Hands
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