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THE PROCESS OF SIN + FORGIVENESS

Jesus People   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What happens when someone sins against us? What is the biblical process of sin? What is the Biblical Protocol? In unrelated news, what does it look like to forgive? Is there a limit to forgiveness? If we are a kingdom of forgiven people, what does that look like on a day to day basis?

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LAST WEEK

We talked about what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like
What Greatness in the Kingdom looks like
We talked about how we can stumble our children
We also talked about what Jesus does with Lost Sheep
How He is willing to leave the fold of 99 to go rescue the 1
We were encouraged to maintain a Humble Posture
A posture that speaks to Jesus’ character and lifestyle
Check it out on YouTube, iTunes, and our website.

THIS WEEK

We are going to look at what happens when we sin, when someone sins against us, when others sin against others
What is the Biblical process when someone sins against us?
Let’s Clear our minds for a second:
ASK YOURSELF
HOW HAVE I REACTED WHEN PEOPLE SINNED AGAINST ME?
VENGEANCE
REVENGE
MAKE THINGS RIGHT
HOW HAVE I REACTED WHEN I SINNED AGAINST SOMEBODY?
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
HOW OFTEN ARE YOU WILLING TO FORGIVE SOMEONE WHO HAS SINNED AGAINST YOU?
Once? If they really mean it?
A few times? If you see progress?
How many times?
HOW OFTEN DO YOU ASK FOR GOD TO FORGIVE YOU OF THE SAME THING?
Is there a limit to how many times we should forgive someone for sinning against us?
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

TURN TO

Matthew 18:15–35 NKJV
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
PRAY THAT GOD WOULD GIVE US CLARITY ON HOW TO HANDLE SITUATIONS
PRAY THAT GOD WOULD GIVE US COMPASSION FOR THOSE WHO OWE US AN APOLOGY, MONEY, OR ANYTHING FOR THAT MATTER
PRAY THAT WE WOULD BE KNOWN FOR OUR FORGIVING CHARACTERISTICS
MATTHEW 18:15
Matthew 18:15–17 NKJV
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
IF YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER SINS AGAINST YOU?
HOW MANY OF US HAVE HAD CHRISTIANS SIN AGAINST US?
So, WWJD?
Jesus gives us clear instrution
“Go and Tell him his fault between you and him alone”
HOW?
Privately
Why?
Because, the purpose is not to ever publically shame someone
But to privately correct them
To privately minister to them with brotherly love.
Sternly
But Sternly
That word “Tell”
Elencho
To reprove, convict, expose, reproach
To sternly admonish
It is in the Aorist Imperative
Which means that this is not an option
It is mandatory
If he hears you, then awesome, you have gained a brother
But what happens if he does not hear you?
How many of us like to be told that we are wrong?
How many of us like to be told that we have sinned?
Most of the time, we will not hear people out
Most of the time, we will neglect the fact that we are wrong or in sin.
We will make excuses and justify it, all while continuing in unrepentance.
IF WE DO THAT, what makes us think that people will be so easy to receive our rebuke?
So what do we do when they don’t want to hear it?
So what do we do?
We get other people involved
2 or 3 others
Who are on your side
Who see things the way you do
Who are just as legalistic as you are
WRONG!
You get 2 or 3 others who have seen the sinful behaviors for themselves
Others who have seen the perpetrator in action
Why?
Because by the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses, every word is established
Remember, we are talking about eye witnesses
Maybe
Not just people who agree with you
But people who have seen and heard the evidence for themselves.
If that doesn’t work, Jesus says, to bring it to the Church’s attention
If the person is still unwilling to repent
Jesus says
Let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector
Let him be to you like an unbeliever, traitor, and outsider
Jesus uses some very strong language here
Why?
Because unrepentant sin is that important
It is that serious.
WHY IS UNREPENTANT SIN THAT IMPORTANT?
What
Because unrepentant sin is what differentiates the believing and the unbelieving
What is the difference between a believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an unbeliever
One actively repents of their sins and the other does not.
One actually believes in the solution presented by the Gospel, while the other does not.
If we as a church have the solution for when we sin
Yet, when it comes to forgiving people, we don’t put that solution into practice
The question then is, are we really a church?
Why does Jesus get the Church involved in this process?
Because how the Church handles sin sets precedent for the world
The Biblical Church sets the standard for how to deal with sin
The Biblical Church not only preaches on the solution of sin, but actively trusts that solution when it sins.
The Biblical Church believes in the protocol of sin, because of what Jesus has done about sin.
The Biblical Church should be the Catalyst of Forgiveness
This is why Jesus follows that up with the next statement:
Matthew 18:18
Matthew 18:18–20 NKJV
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
IN LIGHT OF WHAT JESUS WILL DO ON THE CROSS, JESUS IS GIVING THE DISCIPLES AUTHORITY TO CARRY OUT HIS WILL HERE ON EARTH
Remember, He has been reminding them about going to the Cross
Here, he tells them, in light of that truth
Whatever you bind or forbid will be forbidden in Heaven
Whatever you loose or permit will be permitted in Heaven
It is almost as if Jesus is painting the picture of what the Kingdom here on earth looks like
Remember when he taught the disciples to pray?
May Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
The goal is for the church to live in reflection of what exists in Heaven
Jesus not only gives them authority to run the Kingdom here on Earth
But to have dominion of the Spiritual Realm
Assuredly, be careful of what you approve and forbid within the church
For it is a reflection of Heaven
OH AND BTW, UNITY BETWEEN 2 BROTHERS, WHEN IT COMES TO SIN
WILL RESULT IN THE FATHER WORKING ON YOUR BEHALF
When it comes to church discipline
Whatever you ask that is aligned with the Will of God, He will do.
That means
That if you handle sin biblically, with the heart of God, centered around the Will of God
God will respond
God will do the impossible
God will tear down walls that you could not.
Church,
We need to understand the power of verse 20
If there are 2 or 3 gathered in Jesus name, He is there in their midst
When people sin
God is not only grieved
He uses His church to bring order and reconciliation by accompanying them
He doesn’t just say, go talk to them and figure it out on your own
He says, Go and tell, be not afraid, for I am with you.
This should bring a godly fear to the one in sin
If one person couldn’t convince you of your sin
2 or 3 come on the scene
We should know that Jesus is among us
That it is Holy Ground
That we must honor the process of reconciliation when we sin.
TAKE A STEP BACK FOR A SECOND:
HOW JESUS HAS DEALT WITH OUR SIN, SHOULD SHOW US HOW WE SHOULD DEAL WITH OTHER’S SIN
THINK ABOUT HOW JESUS HAS DEALT WITH OUR SIN?
IF OUR DESIRE IS TO BE MORE LIKE HIM, HOW DOES FORGIVENESS PLAY OUT IN OUR LIVES?
When we have been sinned against
When we are the victims
We should always speak the truth in love EPHESIANS 4:15
We should let our words be Gracious seasoned with Salt COLOSSIANS 4:6
We should always come into the situation with positive intent
Not looking to show them whose right and whose wrong
But to put on display the Love of the Father
To balance grace and truth
To show them that whom the Lord loves He disciplines
To approach the situation with a heart to reconcile.
Think about when you came to faith:
Did God yell at you?
Or did He use a still small voice?
Was God angry about your sin?
Or was He gentle and let His lovingkindness lead you to repentance?
Did He demonstrate His wrath?
Or was He demonstrating how rich in Mercy He is.
O
HOW GOD HAS DEALT WITH US, WHEN IT COMES TO OUR SIN, SHOULD SHOW US HOW WE SHOULD DEAL WITH SIN
BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE CONTINUES TO SIN AGAINST US?
HOW DO WE APPROACH THE SITUATION?
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD WE FORGIVE SOMEONE?
MATTHEW 18:
Matthew 18:21–27 NKJV
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 18:21 NKJV
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:21–22 NKJV
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
JESUS SETS THE BAR HIGH WHEN IT COMES TO FORGIVENESS:
Before we become like Peter
We must ask ourselves
“How many times has God forgiven us of the same sin?”
Before we ask the question, “How many times Lord”
How many times have we failed?
Ask yourself
How many times have we been forgiven?
“How
How many times has God been so gracious to us?
Jesus goes on to say
Its not just 7 times Peter
It is 77 times
Think about it though, what do we say?
“Ive not only forgiven them, one, twice, but 3 times . . .”
3 times is a lot for us
But here Jesus is encouraging us to do it 77 times.
I dont know about you, but thats going to take some work
Work that we in and of ourselves might not have the patience or the skill set to do
Which is why we must rely on the Holy Spirit
THINK ABOUT IT:
He is our HELPER
He is our COMFORTER
He is the TEACHER OF ALL THINGS
Therefore
He can help us forgive those who have wronged us
He can comfort us when we have been wronged
He can teach us how to handle situations
If we want to be more like Christ, we must tap into the Power of the Holy Spirit
CHECK OUT THIS STORY
IT REVEALS OUR NATURE
Matthew 18:23–35 NKJV
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Matthew 18:22–35 NKJV
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
VERSE 23
GOD’S DESIRE IS TO SETTLE ACCOUNTS WITH HIS SERVANTS
VERSE 24
WE ARE THE SERVANTS WHO DON’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO PAY THE SPIRITUAL DEBT WE OWE
VERSE 25
IN FACT, OUR SPIRITUAL DEBT, OUR SINFUL BEHAVIOR WILL COST US OUR FAMILIES IF WE DON’T DEAL WITH IT.
VERSE 26
WE CAN PLEAD ALL WE WANT AND TRY TO PAY THIS DEBT
VERSE 27
BUT IN THIS KINGDOM, THE MASTER KNOWS OUR OUR SPIRITUAL POVERTY
VERSE 28
HE IS WILLING TO FORGIVE OUR DEBT & RELEASE US BECAUSE OF HIS COMPASSION TOWARD US
IF WE WANT TO BE LIKE OUR MASTER, WE MUST LIVE INTO THIS EXAMPLE
FOR THIS IS WHAT SETS HIM APART FROM EVERY OTHER MASTER HERE ON EARTH.
BUT THE REALITY IS THAT WE ARE SELFISH
LOOK AT VERSES 28-34
AFTER BEING FORGIVEN OF SUCH A DEBT
AFTER EXPERIENCING THE GRACE OF OUR MASTER
AFTER EXPERIENCING HOW MERCIFUL HE IS
WE WHO HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, MISREPRESENT HIM BY BEING UNFORGIVING
WE TREAT THOSE WHO ARE IN THE SAME POSITION THAT WE WERE IN
THOSE WHO COULDNT PAY THEIR DEBT
THOSE WHO PLEADED WITH US
WE TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY THAN WE WERE TREATED
WE MISREPRESENT THE GOSPEL WHEN WE DO THIS
WE MISREPRESENT THE GOD WHO SAVED US WHEN WE DO IT
WE ARE THE HYPOCRITES
WE ARE THE HEATHEN AND THE TAX COLLECTORS
WE BECOME THE OUTSIDERS.
Matthew 18:35 NKJV
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
If we are count
JESUS AND THE FATHER HAVE PAINTED THE PERFECT PICTURE OF FORGIVENESS FOR US
IN ORDER TO FORGIVE THE SON HAD TO WORK
IN ORDER TO FORGIVE THERE HAD TO BE A SACRIFICE
IN ORDER TO FORGIVE LOVE HAD TO BE INVOLVED
IN ORDER TO FORGIVE, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
JESUS SAYS: “FATHER LET THEM BE ONE, AS ME AND YOU ARE ONE”
LET’S FORGIVE AND LOVE JUST AS THE FATHER AND THE SON HAVE FORGIVEN AND LOVED.
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