Summary: A message about forgiveness... what it is and what it is not
“Seventy Times Seven”
Forgive One Another
NOW IN - Matthew chapter 16 Jesus made a very bold prediction…
On this rock (on this truth that I am, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God… on Me, on who I AM…
I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. – Matthew 16:18
REMEMBER… church has nothing to do with geography, a place or a building and everything to do with a people.
Jesus did not predict a place, He predicted a people.
A people who would flourish, expand, and keep pressing forward to every corner of the world.
I pray… for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
– John 17:20,21
UNDERSTAND – Jesus didn’t pray that we would…
• Build great buildings
• Preach great messages
• Have great worship
• Do great things
INSTEAD – Jesus simply desperately prayed that we would be one and brought to complete unity.
BECAUSE - Jesus knows that the entire deal… that the spread of the Gospel and the redemption of mankind depends on us His followers having relationships that are remarkably different than those in the world….
BY THIS – (how we love one another, how we one another one another)… BY THIS – all people will know that we are His disciples!
MG – that is why we are doing this series.
AND - that is why I put these LG Interest Cards on your seats.
LAST WEEK – we talked about ‘The Fellowship Of The King’ about carrying one another’s burdens.
THIS MORNING – we talked about forgiving one another in a conversation called, “Seventy Times Seven.”
MG - I think… no, let me rephrase that…
Without a doubt the most difficult challenge that you will ever face as you strive to live out God’s kind of love…
IS WHEN - somebody hurts you, when they do you wrong, or when they do wrong to those you love.
BUT UNDERSTAND - forgiveness is not just some sidebar or footnote of Christianity. It’s not just one app in the app store. Or a pretty cool topic that we should get around to whenever we have the time.
INSTEAD - forgiveness and the dispensing of grace is the operating system for Christianity.
LIKE – it’s the basis for the whole deal that you and I are a part of. FORGIVENESS - is what makes the rest of it run.
To follow Jesus as a disciple is to become a practitioner of radical forgiveness. Conventional forgiveness, easy forgiveness, reasonable forgiveness is what most rationally minded people are willing to engage in. Christ’s followers are called to radical forgiveness, unreasonable forgiveness, reckless forgiveness, endless forgiveness, seemingly impossible forgiveness.
The expectations regarding forgiveness that Jesus places upon his disciples are among the most demanding aspects of Christian discipleship, but these demands must not be ignored.
AND YEAH – I get it, I know that forgiveness… opposes the way our world operates, kicks against our natural instincts, and IS so very uncomfortable to look at closely…
YET - it’s still something we have to deal with…
BUT – at the same time it’s hard to deal with…
BECAUSE – there is real hurt/pain/wrong/out there…
AND THEREFORE – the last that I want to do is stand up here (not knowing your story, not knowing that hurt and pain you went through), AND ACT - like forgiveness is an easy thing to do… OR EXPECT - that in our conversation this morning that everything will be worked out…
HOWEVER – however… what I do want to do… IS TO - open up your heart and mind to the incredible opportunity that forgiveness is. UNDERSTAND – forgiveness is recognizing…
• THAT - God is good,
• THAT - the Gospel is that true,
• AND THAT - the scandalous grace which surrounds us is not only abundant, but freeing.
MG – what I am trying to say is that forgiveness (or as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, not keeping a record of wrongs) is not a burden that God has placed on us…
BUT RATHER - a gift, an opportunity, that HE gives us.
OKAY – let’s do this, ‘Seventy Times Seven, Forgiving One Another.”
AND HERE – is how I want to attack out conversation by unpacking 4 statements.
Forgiveness, What It Is Not
Forgiveness, A Parable
Forgiveness, What It Is
Forgiveness, What It Is Not
UNDERSTAND - there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings as to what forgiveness really is.
AND LISTEN - these misunderstanding of forgiveness (in my opinion) play a major role in why we refuse to forgive… which is why it is important to talk about what forgiveness is not.