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From the Pulpit...

The Unforgiving Servant - Matthew Postiff

Audio from June 5, 2022 AM | Matthew 18:21-35
Posted June 13, 2022 | Length: 00:43:05 | File size in bytes: 15514848

True Christians have been forgiven a mountain of sin against God and have been welcomed into God’s family as justified saints. God’s children act like God their Father does (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2, 10, 5:2). God is forgiving. Therefore, we should be too. We have been forgiven so much more sin than we can count or list; it is relatively nothing for us to forgive an offender against us. Look at the examples of Christ (Luke 23:34) and Stephen (Acts 7:60). This means that we always live with an attitude and heart ready to forgive because we understand our own wickedness and the great pardon we have received. When an offender comes to us and asks us to forgive, that readiness is exercised by actually forgiving the person. Thus, the offended comes together with the offender and a “transaction” of forgiveness is finalized. The professing Christian who does not understand this and/or does not practice it, thus demonstrates that they do not truly understand the forgiveness of God. He or she apparently did not experience that forgiveness, or else would automatically understand the need to practice real forgiveness. The practical challenge for us is not to intellectually understand what we have studied today. The difficulty is to do it when we have been hurt. When our hurt consumes us, we demonstrate selfishness and not love for others. This is when our heart gets clogged up with self and cannot extend forgiveness to another. This is not godly. In another side of this, we need to know how to apologize and ask forgiveness. The two men in the story had a desperate need—huge debt that they could not pay. They had no problem asking for the debt to be forgiven because they understood the consequences if they did not. We all have a similar need in our sin-debt toward God, and our sins toward others. But the problem is pride. We do not want to admit we are wrong. We think somehow we can avoid paying our debt to God or that we can make the things toward others go away with time or other clever techniques. We need to humble ourselves and ask to be forgiven by admitting our sin to God and to others whom we have wronged. Far better that, than carrying around unresolved guilt all the time.

Our Scripture reading was found in Ezekiel 39:1-29.

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