Last Sunday’s Sermon Summary
Pastor Tim Tseng • April 24, 2016
Forgive One Another
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col. 3:12-13, NIV)
Main point: Forgiveness is the most difficult corporate spiritual discipline for Christians, but because it so closely mirrors God’s love, it offers the clearest path of transformation and healing for individuals and the church.
- The difference between forbearance and forgiveness: Forgiveness is called upon for offenses that inflict deep wounds, tempts the offended party to become bitter, create emotional distress and lead to an obsession with the hurt that another caused. Forbearance applies to relatively minor annoyances and idiosyncracies.
- The power to forgive comes from the experience of being a sinner. Jesus taught that it is impossible to forgive others if we do not realize how much God has forgiven us. The woman in Luke 7:36-50 loved Jesus much because she knew how much she had been forgiven. “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
- Calculate the Cost of Forgiveness and Unforgiveness:
— If we forgive, we (I) give up the right to get even, (ii) live with the possibility that God might not deal with people as we want and expect; (iii) anticipate that it can be very painful; (iv) need to have strong faith.
— If we do not forgive, we will be (i) miserable; (ii) condemned to live in the past; (iii) become an uncontrollable hurricane – destructive to all, but especially to the one who doesn’t forgive.
- Forgiveness has limits:
Forgiveness does not release offenders from the need to take personal
responsibility, absolve offenders from guilt, deliver the offender from the consequences of sinful action. The offender is still accountable to God and to us. But when we forgive, we release the offender from our need for fair and just compensation.
- Ultimately, forgiveness has great possibilities for demonstrating God’s love. We wish offenders well and hope that our relationships with them will grow. We want them to prosper. We pray God’s grace and peace on them. We choose to love them even though they don’t deserve it. Combined with confession, amazing things can happen!
- Steps to Forgiveness:
(i) admit and feel our hurt – don’t cover up the pain – seek counseling;
(ii) reinvest in relationship with the offender, which might be people in a church or even the church itself.