From time to time we are presented with relational challenges that drive us to our knees. There we are confronted by a flood of emotions which would seemingly rip us apart. On the one hand we are a “new creation” in Christ Jesus and, thus, no longer “slaves” to the sinful “hate” filled nature (2 Cor. 5:17, 19; Titus 3:3). On the other hand, we do hate. We sinfully execute our opponents in our darkest thoughts. We justify our own position. We become defensive to anyone who might question us. We begin to crave justice and vengeance.
So, what are we to do? Well, we know this. We have no choice in the matter of forgiveness. No matter what the offense, we are called to release those who sin against us just as the Lord has released us from our sin against Him.
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
As followers of Christ, we must forgive. In a recent post, I invited readers to dive deeply into the theory and application Biblical reconciliation and restoration. The goal of that post was to encourage the reader to develop a conciliation theology that goes well beyond knowing the steps Jesus taught in Matthew 18. This post is a follow-up to that book review. In this sermon I preach through the passage and parable which follow Matthew 18:15-17. In those verses it is clear that Jesus never intended to simply leave His followers with a checklist to follow in the event of a relational breakdown…He was going after the heart.
I hope you are encouraged by this recent sermon I was honored to preach at Faith Baptist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.