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April 10, 2016 - The Scandal of the Gospel - Matthew 18:23-35

posted Apr 20, 2016, 1:29 PM by Grant Garber
  • Being merciful is certainly admirable, but aren’t there limits?
  • The scandal of the Gospel is that we owed God more than could ever be repaid because we sinned against Him, but out of the depths of His mercy God forgave the debt and set us free.  This is where the discussion of forgiveness begins – not with how merciful we have to be to those who hurt us, but with how merciful God has been with us.
  • Out of His steadfast love, God has forgiven and forgotten all our sins.
  • Maybe God doesn’t remember our confessed sin very well, but we sure do.  This may be the only thing we do better than God – remember sin.
  • If you keep confessing what God has already forgiven, if you keep rolling the guilt over and over in your mind, it means you haven’t accepted the forgiveness.
  • God forgives and forgets our sin because He would rather have a relationship with us than justice without us.
  • The worst thing that happens to us when we don’t accept God’s mercy is that we don’t become merciful.
  • If you refuse to forgive another, that can only mean that you have refused to take to heart God forgiveness of you, and that can only mean that you are still imprisoned and not free.
  • We persist in asking Peter’s question because we persist in defining ourselves by our hurts.
  • Remember how God responded to the hurt you caused Him, and do likewise.  We can’t call ourselves Christians, or those who live in Christ, and say that we don’t know how to forgive.
  • This isn’t to say that you have to keep being hurt by someone or even that you need to stay in a relationship with the person who is abusing you. But it is to ask, “Aren’t you tired of living a life defined by hurt?”
  • The great sin of our day is ingratitude, and it just makes us useless to the mission of God.  Grateful people find that giving mercy isn’t all that hard.
Pastor Jim Spon | Matthew 18:23-35