Forgiveness Pt. 2 (Ephesians #32)

Text: Ephesians 4:31-32

So we saw last week what forgiveness is.  Which led to the question, what happens when there is no forgiveness?  Either someone isn’t willing to forgive.  Or someone isn’t willing to ask for forgiveness.  Let’s recap a couple things then deal with relationships in which there is no forgiveness between people.

Forgiveness is cancelling debt based on acceptable conditions

  • The world would say you’re a Christian and you need to forgive and move on.  You can move on without forgiveness.
  • Blood is required by God for forgiveness
    • Leviticus 4:15, 18, 20
    • Colossians 1:14.  God would show His willingness to forgive sinners.
    • But just because Jesus Christ shed His blood for you does that mean you were forgiven?  Or was there something required of you?
  • Confession and repentance are required by God for forgiveness
  • Does God require something of you before He forgave you?  Or were you automatically forgiven when Jesus died on the cross for you?
  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
  • True confession and repentance accepts the consequences.  A person can be forgiven and still suffer consequences.  Someone that says they have sinned and may never recover, may never get their family back, may never be looked on favorably again, but their chief concern is between them and God.
  • Forgiveness is not blindly applied everywhere.
    • Some things don’t get forgiven.  When these criteria aren’t met, there is no forgiveness.
    • Matthew 12:31-32 blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.  Nation of Israel in Acts 7.  Also all individuals who reject God’s last attempt to ensure they are forgiven.

Forgiveness between people

  • …forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
  • Ready to forgive and ready to rebuke
    • Luke 17:3
    • First reason is because God’s attitude toward sinners is that He is willing and has made provision for sinners to be forgiven.  
      • Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive…
      • …even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
    • Second reason is it allows you to be free from bondage
      • Ready to forgive is the right attitude.  If you’re going to be ready to forgive, then some things have to be let go.  Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
      • Job 42:10…turned his captivity when he prayed for his friends…
      • Matthew 5:44-48
    • Third reason is it allows you to give someone the benefit of the doubt
      • Psalm 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
      • There is so much unnecessary bitterness and drama.
    • Fourth, it allows you to correct lovingly and introspectively
      • Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
    • Fifth reason is it makes you quit playing the victim
      • The reason you play the victim is so you can get away with doing something wrong.
      • Sometimes it’s fun to have a pity party.
      • 2 Corinthians 11:19-28 – Instead of Paul playing the victim, he uses those to show victory, not defeat.  Now our list wouldn’t look like that.  We might say, “I survived the sideways look from so and so and it didn’t ruin my day.  And I’m STILL going to pray for them!”  Baby steps.
    • Sixth reason is it prevents Satan from gaining the advantage – 2 Corinthians 2:6-11
      • No forgiveness when the sinner is not repentant.
      • 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.  Carnal Christians are more quick to gloss over the wicked because it makes them feel like good people, but more apt to judge and criticize the spiritual Christian.  Just need to give them room to grow.  Don’t spiritualize your arrogance.  Room to grow without a direction to grow in isn’t room to grow.
  • Ready to repent
    • Now, what if you’re the offense?
    • 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 – inconsiderate of brother and sisters here.  Church is suppose to be rest.  Rest for the heart, eyes, ears, mind.  Church is where I come to grow, not battle the world.  God’s people are suppose to provide rest in this world that hates you, your God, and your brothers and sisters in Christ.
    • You didn’t control your mouth.
    • You didn’t control your emotion and you blew up or you harbored bitterness toward someone.
    • You were letting everyone else parent your children.
    • If you don’t get over yourself, you’re the offense.  Not only has it ruined your spirit, it will ruin your testimony, it will ruin your friendships.
    • From Pastor Rick Sowell
      • The test of expediency (1 Corinthians 6:12)
      • The test of enslavement (1 Corinthians 6:12)
      • The test of evangelism (1 Corinthians 9:18-19)
      • The test of edification (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)