Disciple Up #99
Wounded by the Church, Pt. 3
By Louie Marsh, 3-13-2019
Very common problem –
Focus on ASSESSING my wounds,
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4 (ESV)
You are blessed if you are spiritually poor or mourning, but only if you KNOW that! Without a real, honest, frank self assessment you are in real trouble!
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)
The real hope here is that when we see it, admit it and turn to God for help, HE WILL HEAL US AND HELP US TO GROW THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE NOT JUST GO THROUGH IT.
26 He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited.” He says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt.” He says about their ruins, “I will restore them.” Isaiah 44:26 (GW)
Restoration: Rise From the Ruins
Step Two: Fight to Forgive
By Louie Marsh; 4-28-2013, Parker AZ
1) What GOD HAS DONE for me in Jesus.
22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:22-25 (ESV)
Forgiveness (what God has done for us in Christ) is a gift given to us by God. In Christ our sins for forgiven immediately when we repent and cry out to God, because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection. We are declared forgiven and right with God in an instant.
This has to be the starting point for any discussion of forgiveness for the disciple of Jesus, because our forgiveness is motivated by and modeled after Jesus’ forgiving of us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
This forgiveness from God continues to be active in our lives to continue to cleanse us from our sins as we ask Him too.
So God’s forgiveness to me is in two parts or sections, or has two sides to it. One is immediate when I’m declared righteous and a forgiven status with God is credited to me through Christ’s account.
Secondly the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from the guilt of our sins. We know this continues because John wrote that verse in the present tense, which means continual action. The blood of Jesus continually washes us clean when we turn to Him – Hallelujah!
2) DIVORCING MYSELF from the pain.
Original Word: ἀφίημι, aphiēmi
(1) send off or away, let go (MK 4.36); (2) as a legal divorce (1C 7.11); (3) abandon, leave behind (MT 26.56); (4) of duty and obligation reject, set aside, neglect (MK 7.8); (5) of toleration let go, leave in peace, allow (MK 11.6); (6) of sins or debts forgive, pardon, cancel (LU 7.47)
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47 (ESV)
11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11 (ESV)
Its things like this that just make me love the Bible! Who would have ever thought that you could translate a word forgive in one place and divorce in another!
So the first thing that forgiving consists of is letting go. To send off and away from us the pain, hurt, anger, remorse, guilt, etc that is associated with the issue in question. Or to put it another way, and this is how I often think of it, DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM THE PAIN.
3) DISMISSING the hurt and pain.
Original Word: ἄφεσις, aphesis
Usage Notes: denotes “a dismissal, release” (akin to A, No. 1); it is used of the remission of sins, and translated “forgiveness —Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77 (ESV)
Another powerful image, one that supports the first one as well. It doesn’t’ mean dismissing in the sense of belittling it, saying “Oh it’s not that bad.” No it means I am to Let it go, turn it loose, and keep turning it loose until it’s gone! I’ll come back to this image later..
4) RELEASING God’s grace into broken circumstances.
Original Word: χαρίζομαι, charizomai – Usage Notes: “to bestow a favor unconditionally,” is used of the act of “forgiveness,” whether Divine, Eph. 4:32; Col. 2:13; Col. 3:13; or human, Luke 7:42, 43 (debt); 2 Cor. 2:7, 10; 2 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:32 (1st mention). Paul uses this word frequently, but No. 1 only, in Rom. 4:7, in this sense of the word.—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
You may have noticed this word contains the word Charis – or Grace! Now there’s some good news. Grace is unearned, unmerited favor from God. That’s what we pass on to others each time we forgive.
God wants his grace to active in every situation and every human heart, but it won’t be and can’t fully be there until I begin to forgive. Then I release it or inject it into myself and the situation.
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
Note again our forgiving is modeled and motivated by Christ’s forgiveness of us.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT…
1) Forgiveness is not…
Approving or diminishing sin
- Enabling sin
- Denying a wrongdoing
- Waiting for an apology
- A onetime event
- Trusting – built slowly, lost quickly
- Reconciliation – it takes two – “do your best to be at peace with all men…”
FIGHT TO FORGIVE…
So forgiving means I let go of my anger, resent, and all ill feelings towards those that hurt me.
5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV)
The Two Hand Method:
One Hand –– LORD FILL ME WITH THE SPIRIT
- The Other Hand – LET THE PAIN GO TO GOD
6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)
29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:29 (ESV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)
Learning to forgive takes time – a lot of time – and is always accompanied by pain. Its part of following Jesus, and like much else in the authentic spiritual life is often painful.
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