The Freedom of Forgiveness - Part 3

 "A New Way of Thinking"


like to do especially in a series
because journey is we got to kind of
recap quickly okay there we go so we
talked about and in part one we talked
about our anger and and how anger
manifests itself and everybody manifests
anger in a different way and we said the
anger was you know we we have anger in
our lives wind forgiveness is not a part
of our lives okay when we choose and not
to forgive the result is anger and anger
doesn't sit still doesn't operate in a
vacuum and it's actually like a box of
strawberries because when there's a
little mold on one strawberries it
affects all the strawberries over time
and same with anger anger does not just
affect one area of your life or affects
all and these are the four years that we
talked about it the physical the
psychological so depression anxiety
blood pressure stress heart disease all
those different things then a
relationship with the person we offended
the relationship or the relationship
with the person who offended us okay our
relationship with others primarily like
family and close friends are the ones
who feel it the most and and also our
relationship with God because he is a
God of forgiveness and when we choose
not to forgive it puts us at odds with a
God who is all about forgiveness okay
then last week we are saying that
forgiveness is something that it's easy
to identify and say that looks like
forgiveness yeah that seems like
forgiveness is a story about forgiveness
but sometimes difficult to define and so
this is our working definition when
unjustly hurt by another we forgive when
we overcome the resentment towards the
offender not by denying our right to the
resentment but instead by trying to
offer the wrong door compassion
benevolence and love okay so forgiveness
is not denying our right to be hurt but
when we are hurt choosing to not just
get to like back to baseline but to
actually go beyond baseline okay and be
positive towards the other person
okay either offering them compassion
benevolence or love okay and last week
we also looked at important things like
what forgiveness is not and and things
that we said forgiveness is not we said
it was not condoning or excusing the
behavior or the wrong that happen it's
not forgetting we do not like suffer
from amnesia you know when we want to
forgive we will not forget what happened
and we are actually wired to remember it
with detail okay so it's not forgetting
and no matter how long we wait from the
time we're hurt to whenever we won't
forget we will bury the problem alive
but a problem that is buried alive will
come back all right and also this idea
of using forgiveness as a tool to
control people or what we turned it as
like pseudo forgiveness saying like well
I forgive you but on a rainy day when
you cross me again I'm going to remember
this incident I'm going to remember this
incident and I'm going to hold it over
you okay but right now because other
people are looking I'm going to tell you
I forgive you okay so i can be morally
superior to you all right and we also
said that forgiveness is different is
not equivalent to trusting okay you can
forgive forgiveness is free but trust is
earned you can forgive your spouse who's
an alcoholic for abusing wasting your
money and coming home and abusing the
children but doesn't mean you trust them
at home with a bottle liquor okay
doesn't mean you give him free access to
your accounts but you can forgive him
Trust is earned okay so that's different
also we looked at what forgiveness is
more than forgiveness is more than just
accepting what happens or not caring
about it and it's more than just saying
I'm angry now so I'm going to wait a
period of time until I become less angry
and then i'll call it forgiveness okay
forgiveness is not is more than just you
know ceasing or diminishing our anger ok
and it's more than just being neutral to
the other person because we said in our
working definition we ultimately
want to offer compassion benevolence and
love towards some me doesn't mean
doesn't translate out to I'm your best
friend okay but it does mean that word
if we are to cross paths that I'm not
like inside having that eternal freaked
out internal freakout about being around
you and waiting for you to slip or
waiting for you to do something or
holding back potential like like if you
have good news but you hurt me in the
past and yes I've forgiven you it's more
than just being neutral so like if
something good happens to you I'm not
bitter about it I can actually celebrate
with you okay and it's more than just
wanting to do something different than
you know instead of just feeling bad or
sad that you're just always angry it's
more than just wanting to feel better
about yourself okay and what we're
saying you know last week is that we all
have our own rule of forgiveness and and
I don't know about you but every time I
do you know that talk I'm able to
identify the different things that I do
that aren't really forgiveness okay the
different things that I do that aren't
really forgiveness meaning like I may
think that I'm forgiving somebody but
really what I'm doing is just like CC
like like diminishing my anger ok or I
may think that I have forgiven you but
really I'm waiting for it to pull it out
on a rainy day ok we all have different
things that we do under the idea that
I'm forgiving ok but it's not really
forgiveness last week was to help us
point out what those things are and what
we are saying is that all of us have our
own special recipe of forgiveness we all
have our own special recipe or rule of
forgiveness I only forgive when the
person comes back and says they're sorry
ok maybe that's a rule that you have all
right and what we're saying is that we
come up with these individual rules of
our own forgiveness own definition of
forgiveness through different things
through our parents through our Sunday
School teachers
different life experiences through
culture culture has a lot to say on what
forgiveness is ok we have learned time
and time again it's ok love your brother
just forget about it well I'll kind of
forget about it I'm really hurt by this
I'm angry about this all right so all
these different things factor into our
personal definition of forgiveness they
agree with me ok so this is a a
proverbial tail so what it does is like
it's a picture that tries to tell us
something and what we if we look at this
picture what we see is that it's an
elephant ok clearly but you have
different people touching different
parts of the elephant and all these
people are blindfolded so if I am an
observer on the outside and I don't
necessarily see this picture so I'm
looking this way you guys look this way
I hear these five different people
describe I'm touching something that is
like it it's great or not great but I'm
touching something that has or like
really thick skin and it's kind of hairy
another guy and like at the bottom
there's like really tough like nails and
another person is describing something
like touching something yeah that's
Harry but actually like it moves a lot
it moves a lot so if I'm listening to
these five different people who all have
blindfold that they're all going to
describe to me a part of the elephant a
part of the elephant okay and through
the different descriptions that I hear
hopefully I would be able to come up and
put it all together and say hey these
five blind people are talking about an
elephant okay purpose that I brought
this in is that you know the truth in
this situation is that they're all
touching an elephant okay but they all
are experiencing like a different part
of the elephant okay but you can't go up
to one of them and say
who's described like the person who's
describing the trunk and say no you're
not talking about an elephant you're
talking about a trunk he's like yeah I'm
talking about a trunk but the trunk is
part of the elephant so his the truth of
the matter is that yes he's touching an
elephant but he's just focused on the
trunk so like truth you know truth looks
different from different vantage points
truth looked different to different
people okay truth can have different
like you can look at you know you know
something and it you know i'm gonna read
what i said because i'm getting confused
okay it teaches as that truth truth
looks different from different vantage
points okay all these people are talking
about an elephant but they're all
describing something a little bit
different so so is our perspective of
forgiveness okay we may all be talking
about forgiveness but sometimes we can
describe forgiveness from different like
perspectives or vantage point okay we
can describe forgiveness based on like
what I've learned okay what I've learned
and different like life experiences okay
we can describe we can be talking about
forgiveness based on like what what I
teach like if I'm a servant or a teacher
i can describe to you forgiveness from a
teaching standpoint okay i can also
begin to describe forgiveness and this
is like my rule of forgiveness for
example like the forgiveness that I give
to others okay i can describe
forgiveness but it be from my vantage
point of this is what forgiveness is and
this is how i treat others and then
lastly okay we see forgiveness from like
God's forgiveness of us and I might
describe something okay and if I'm
honest okay I might actually come up
with a couple different definitions okay
like points 1 & 2 okay what we learned
and like what we say and what we teach
like you can kind of term it and say
like you know I sell this but I don't
necessarily buy it because like what we
learn okay and what we teach may not be
what I actually give to others so I'm
selling you something but I don't buy it
selling you something but I'm by myself
but we're all talking about forgiveness
we're all talking about forgiveness here
alright points3 in the last two well we
give to others and what we you know
believe God is actually giving us and
you know this is where we kind of
redefine forgiveness to tailor me I
can't tell you the number of times like
I've had people come into confession and
and and begin to say like well yeah God
can forgive them but he can't forgive me
I was like wait a second why can God
forgive this person but not you this
person is good I was like okay but you
don't know what's going on in their life
God like I mean I'm telling you what's
going on my life like God can't forgive
this why are you scripting God's
forgiveness why are you rewriting God's
forgiveness so we can we can talk about
forgiveness but we have to be aware that
we may have four different definitions
of forgiveness what we've learned what
we teach people what we give people and
what I believe God does for me the
forgiveness God gives me or doesn't give
me because I'm so bad we may have four
different vantage points of forgiveness
all describing something okay which is
forgiveness but what we ultimately need
to do is figure out what truth is
alright so I think the goal of today is
to let God speak for himself God has a
lot to say about forgiveness the Bible
has a lot to say about forgiveness and
so all of us need to quiet and we need
to let the Bible speak we need to let
God speak and let him let him tell us
what forgiveness is and based on the
verses we are going to read say okay
well what is God's forgiveness what is
God's forgiveness and we have to realize
that what the bite the definition
Bible is going to give us is going to be
the absolute truth about forgiveness
okay and the absolute truth about
forgiveness is going to trump the four
different vantage points that we may
experience or talk about forgiveness
that we talked about okay so Hebrews 12
2 let's look into Jesus the author and
finisher of our faith to define and tell
us what forgiveness is okay i want to
read romans five six through eight
because this is a nice beginning to it
so romans five six through eight says
for when we were still without strength
in due time christ died for the ungodly
for scarcely for scarcely for a
righteous man will one died yet perhaps
for a good man someone would even dare
to die but God demonstrated his own love
for us his own love towards us and that
while we were still sinners Christ died
for us that while we were still sinners
Christ died for us so God from the
beginning is starting to define his own
forgiveness okay as a society we like to
place value on things okay we like the
place value on things one of the things
that recently came out that I think is
the most cockamamie valued thing ever is
the iWatch anybody look on the website
high end of the iWatch you will spend
twelve thousand dollars who valued that
all right we place value on all kinds of
things big things that are small things
okay we also place value on the material
things and the immaterial things okay we
place value on material things are our
homes have a value our cars have a value
our clothes have a value okay we place
value on material things but also we
also place value on a material things
meaning like our value system okay I
somebody may highly value loyalty okay
but I'm a highly value transparency okay
so I place a value on a material things
all right we can place value on a
material things and that's how we
actually come up with our personal value
system all right unfortunately because
we're in a society that places value on
everything we place value on human life
okay we place value on human life for
example mr. Obama is a valued person in
society therefore okay for a righteous
man will just calm righteous for now
okay for a righteous man 1 i'm not
judging his character i'm just this is
an example okay you you deal with that
on your own okay and for our country he
is our righteous president okay one man
for a righteous man will one died sure
he's got Secret Service agents who are
trained to take a bullet for it okay
then you have other people were just
very good and well respected people okay
that somebody might die like you might
say like somebody might say I would die
for his holiness pope to address he's a
good man okay the value man I would take
his place for him because of what he
does for people all right but if I asked
you well would you die as a parent in a
family or a homeless person on the
street you think you think twice about
it I see many of us probably wouldn't
think about it we just say no
this is a huge point in the way we see
things and the way God sees things
because God said okay you may value a
righteous person you may value a good
person I value the worst person my value
system different than your value system
I see the sacredness of life in every
human being on earth you see a value
system every person every person is
unique to God and it's not about like in
this verse what he has done is he has
broken down social economic race and
gender issues he's taken out of the
picture and he said what i see is human
life male female black white christian
non-christian i see the sanctity of life
you see the value of people this is a
huge point in understanding God's
forgiveness of us okay so let's go we
want to this is what we talked about
last week what forgiveness is not and
what forgiveness is more than I want to
choose some of these and put some Bible
verses to them so that we can begin to
again define God's forgiveness of us
understand God's forgiveness let him
speak for himself and not let us take
our rule of forgiveness and apply it to
God and say this is God's forgiveness
let God speak for himself so it's take
away our rules of forgiveness and let's
look at truth let's look at absolute
God's forgiveness of us okay God did not
condone or excuse sin okay therefore in
Romans 5 12 therefore just as through
one man sin entered the world and death
through sin and thus death spread to all
men because all sinned God did not
condone or excuse sin he addressed it he
said sin came into this world
def came in through sin and all men have
sinned he followed up in Romans 323 said
for all have sinned and fallen short of
the glory of God he did not escape
around the issue of sin he addressed it
he acknowledged it he said that there
was a consequence to sin and the
consequence of sin was death so God did
not condone or excuse sin pseudo
forgiveness what did God have to say
about sudo forgiveness Romans 6 10 for
the death that he died he died to sin
once for all but the life that he lives
he lives to God okay the other verse
that I want to put on their pseudo
forgiveness is Romans 8 32 he who did
not spare his own son but delivered him
up for us all how shall he not with him
mostly also freely forgive us all things
sudo forgiveness is important because we
tend thicker we confuse sudo forgiveness
with consequences of sin okay for
example like I sinned I made a mistake
all right and I go to confess about my
my sin but I deal with consequences
because of my action ok so then
sometimes in our minds what happens is
we say well God didn't necessarily fully
forgive me because I'm still suffering
the consequences of sin okay for example
like my son I tell him no running in the
street no running in the street no
running in the street sees the other
boys the neighborhood runs on the street
okay god forbid he gets hit with a car
all right I may forgive him for running
in the street it's against my rules but
I can't take away the consequences of
getting hurt by the car I can't take
away the consequence of getting
hurt by the car the consequence of him
being hurt by the car is not a
reflection of me not forgiving him it's
just a natural consequence to his
decision to disobey we make decisions
that come with consequences okay
suffering the consequences of our sin of
our mistakes does not equate it is not
equivalent to God sort of forgiving us
but still sort of wanting to punish us
he doesn't sort of forgive and sort of
punish he forgives and he allows the
consequence of our sins to come upon us
he doesn't do it halfway none of these
verses say halfway for the death that he
died he died to sin once and for all
it's a very absolute statement okay that
no sin falls outside of his sacrifice no
sin is too great or has been repeated
too much that it falls outside of his
ability to forgive he died once for all
he doesn't do over and over alright the
other thing to think that he may forgive
and then but still try and like strike
us to teach us I have Romans 8 32 he who
did not spare his own son but delivered
him up for us all it's kind of like it's
contradictory thoughts to say that
although God may forgive me that he
still wants to smack me doesn't make
sense because 832 says he who did not
spare his own son if you're going to
give such a high sacrifice to somebody
you're not going to do it like half half
there's no half half when God he didn't
like give us half his son he gave us his
whole son he didn't just give him to us
for him to be tortured he gave him for
death the death which covered all sins
once for all and then have his son come
back with the love of his father and
still want to continually give us all
things okay him also freely give us all
our minds don't match up with what the
Bible tells us about God's forgiveness
okay God's goal is freedom okay not
control Romans 6 20 through 22 for when
you were slaves of sin you were free in
regards to righteousness meaning like
you you didn't really care about doing
what was right okay what fruit did you
have then excuse me what fruit did you
have did you have then in the things of
which you are now ashamed asking you is
asking us when you disregarded
righteousness when you disregard a
relationship with me you did whatever
you want he's asking us to reflect what
fruit did we have from that that sort of
life for the end of those things is
death but now having been set free from
sin you have become slaves to God you
have your fruit to holiness and the end
being everlasting life his goal is for
us to be bears of fruit his goal is for
us to be free not to manipulate the
situation not to manipulate us when we
come and ask for forgiveness he wants us
to have something greater talk about God
and forgetting these are two verses that
we commonly hear that gives us this idea
that maybe God forgets okay as far as
the East is from the west so far has he
removed our transgressions from us and
adding to that for I will forgive their
iniquity and their sin I will remember
no more there's also a famous picture
that many people may have in their home
that's that picture of Jesus saying when
I forgive I forget so we get all these
like different verses and we come up
well does God forget I don't know about
you but I don't think in all knowing all
present eternal God forgets he doesn't
forget we're not going to come to like
judgment Danny's me like
what's that thing you did back in two
thousand hold on just give me a second
just let me check my records like he
doesn't do that he doesn't forget what
has happened but what he doesn't do is
bringing it up in a like way to trying
to control us say remember when you did
this to me or you did this against me
well now I expect you to do this back
for me it's not the way God works okay
but we have versus that sometimes we can
misinterpret to lead us to that if we're
not careful and also like the sermon
earlier today like we were talking about
how we look at certain verses out of
context okay we may very easily come to
a false understanding of what the verses
God does not forget but we have these
verses that paint a literary picture for
us that when he does forgive he does not
bring it up again to hold it against us
he does not hold it against us okay he
removes it so far that it's out of reach
is that the picture that the these
verses are trying to give us okay God's
forgiveness is more than I'm going to
lump these three together okay because
there's something that God has done
through His Son Jesus Christ you know
his sacrifice on the cross but also he
ultimately he wanted was to bring all
people to him which I'm going to term as
reconciliation this is where we learned
that you know forgiveness is not just
about coming back up to neutral with God
okay or with others but our goal is to
kind of be in the positive okay to show
others compassion to show them love to
show them like goodwill towards them
okay that's reconciling for us
reconciliation always takes two ways God
has reconciled the world to himself but
have I personally reconciled with God
for there to be total reconciliation God
has done his part I gotta do my part
that's a reconciliation is
so look at second Corinthians 5 18
through 19 now all things are of God who
was reconciled who has reconciled us to
himself through Jesus Christ and has
given us the Ministry of reconciliation
that is that God was in Christ
reconciling the word world to himself
not imputing their trespasses on them
and has committed to us the word of
reconciliation okay this is where we are
able to say that forgiveness is not just
about like not being angry or just
getting over it or anything like this
but that same ministry that he has given
to his son to reconcile the world bring
the world into a relationship with with
him okay says and has committed to us
the word of reconciliation the goal of
reconciliation okay which is us going
beyond just being neutral but when we
have a fight when we have an argument
okay where we hurt each other to go
beyond okay to work towards a positive
relationship a loving relationship a
relationship of compassion and goodwill
towards one another that is
reconciliation okay God desires a
fruitful relationship with us he said
abide in me and I in you as the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself unless it
abides in the vine neither can you
unless you abide in me I am the vine you
are the branches he who abides in me and
I in him bears much fruit for without me
you can do nothing these aren't the
words of somebody who has like pseudo
forgiveness these aren't the words of
somebody who is waiting to hold
something over our head these aren't the
words of somebody
who just wants a very neutral
relationship with us these are the words
of somebody who wants to impart on us so
much more so we got time we're going to
end with a video hope you enjoy it's one
of my favorite Bible stories
his arm stretched out wide as if to say
welcome home welcome home that's what I
kept shouting to him but I don't know if
he could hear me so I just kept shouting
it over and over all I wanted to do was
just scoop him up in my arms like he was
when he was like a little child I just
let him know that everything was gonna
be okay and as I got closer to him I
could see tears running down his face he
was crying tears of joy and you know
what my son did next I choked I was
nervous I was excited and so I literally
jumped and you know what my father did
all I fell backwards he's a big boy it
then and then he hugged me and he
embraced me like only a father can
I kept saying over and over again I am
so sorry I'm so sorry I'm so sorry I
don't deserve to be called your son my
son is back get him some clean clothes
let's give him a meal no a feast for my
son will no longer live as an orphan for
all my hopes have come true I guess it
was hope hope that made me start that
journey back home hope that got me
through all the miles I hope that my
father would take me back and somehow I
could be forgiven forgiven it's all
forgiven and I will never bring it up
ever again there is no shame there is no
guilt for my son was lost and now he is
found so I liked the video because I
think it brings two words like what what
we want to experience when we come to
God when we come with our mistakes we
comes with our sins when we come with
our guilt and shame the Bible is clear
on how God deals with us but along the
way like we've created our own
definition and we've put a barrier
between us and God next week we talked
about the barrier because the holdup in
forgiveness and the freedom in
forgiveness doesn't come from God
withholding forgiveness God doesn't hold
forgiveness back but actually the
barrier is me and you we don't forgive
ourselves next week we talked about
forgiving ourselves any questions stand
up and let's pray
thank you Lord for anything given to us
we thank you for this day we thank you
for speaking so clearly on forgiveness
for giving us your word through the
Bible that that casts any doubt about
the extent the depth the genuineness and
the authenticity of your forgiveness
towards us your children pray Lord that
as we continue on that we would see even
more clearly how beautiful this gift of
forgiveness is and how how much it is a
choice for us and when we choose to
forgive it is a gift it is a choice that
brings freedom from our emotional
prisons and freedom from our mistakes
and it also opens up a freedom and an
ability to love others through the
intercessions of all your saints here's
as we say our Father who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come
Thy will be done on earth as it is in
heaven give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us
lead us not into temptation but deliver
us from evil through Christ Jesus our
Lord for thine is kingdom the power and
the glory