Forgiven to Forgive
- Date: February 1, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."(Matthew 18:35)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
If someone sins against you and asks you to forgive them, don't ever hold the sin against their account, demanding that they pay. The Lord said you'd better be careful, because if you can't forgive, you will not be forgiven. Is it worth having all of your sins brought up again? If you refuse to forgive, every sin God ever forgave you will be put back onto your account in the final judgment. In this parable, the servant went out, took this man by the neck, and said, "Pay me all that you have" (Matt. 18:28). Since he wouldn't, he had him thrown into prison. When the master heard about this, he was angry and said, "I forgave you all that debt because you asked me. Should not you have compassion upon your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?" (18:33) Most of us in this scenario have the roles reversed, seeing ourselves as the one with the smaller debt, but every one of us is like the first man with the huge debt. "Should you not have had compassion, even as I had pity on you?" Love as you've been loved.
The lord was angry and delivered this man into torment. "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye from your heart forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (18:35). You may say, "I'll forgive you from my doctrine. I'll forgive you through my will." How about forgiving them from perceiving how freely all of your wickedness was forgiven? The next time somebody sins against you and asks forgiveness, why not see it as a privilege to share the love of Jesus and exhibit the love of God? The spirit of forgiveness is a powerful, powerful principle of dismissing, releasing, sending forth, and blotting out. Aren't you glad that the Scripture represents our sins as cast behind God's back and into the sea of His forgetfulness?
Some say, "I'll forgive, but I can't forget." You can't forget because you're carnal, but if you move in pure love and in the Spirit, you can forget. God can. When He looks at us through His blood, the omniscient God doesn't even remember! Some of you might be thinking, "How can God be omniscient and not remember?" It's because He's sovereign, that's why! You'll get in trouble when you try to figure God out, because the moment you do, He's as little as you are. According to this parable, God can remember everything that He forgot if you don't forgive. How quick are you not only to forgive, but to forget? Love forgets. Love doesn't rejoice in iniquity and does not think evil (1 Cor. 13:4,5).
Over the years, before you were saved or afterwards, you've had people transgress against you. The transgressions have been from everything minor to the most heinous things you could imagine. The fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal. 5:22). But you say, "I've been hurt!" You've hurt Jesus. "But I've been misunderstood!" You've misrepresented Jesus. "It doesn't seem just!" He was made sin with your sin and that wasn't just.
Let's embrace this spirit of forgiveness. Be ready to forgive. We need to be emptied of self so that our own standards and our perception of justice don't supersede God's. Does our limited perception of who deserves mercy conflict with God's infinite mercy, love, patience and kindness? "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).