Sunday Morning 4/17/2011

Posted by Sherry

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A REAL “FORGIVER”

Philemon 1:4-8

CBC 4/17/11 SM PALM SUNDAY

Jesus entered the city at the beginning of Passion Week

The crowd expressed their love for Him

At the end of the week the crowd was calling for His execution by means of crucifixion

On the cross Jesus prayed, “Father FORGIVE THEM...”

What does it take to be a real “Forgiver”

  • Have you ever been...
    • slandered
    • betrayed
    • lied to
    • crucified (fig. speaking)

C.S. LEWIS: “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.”

Will you be ready to forgive when the time comes?

4In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight).

5[I thank my God] for your fellowship (your [a]sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.

6And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

7It is right and appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because [b]you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart as partakers and sharers, one and all with me, of grace (God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing). [This is true] both when I am shut up in prison and when I am out in the defense and confirmation of the good news (the Gospel).

8For God is my witness how I long for and [c]pursue you all with love, in the tender mercy of Christ Jesus [Himself]!

IT TAKES FAITH IN CHRIST (V5)

5 I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News—help you gave from the first day you believed until now.

“…because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus…”v5

  • Paul was continually hearing of Philemon’s faith
    • present tense - continual action
    • Paul had led Philemon to Christ earlier
    • Philemon trusted Jesus to forgive his sin, so he could be reconciled to God
    • Philemon’s ability to forgive came from the forgiveness he received when he placed his faith in Jesus

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

We have instructions:

Ephesians 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

  • we will never be asked to forgive more than God has forgiven us!
  • Martin Lloyd Jones - “I say to the glory of God and in utter humility that whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody and anything.”

IT TAKES UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TOWARD OTHER BELIEVERS (V5)

5 because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now.

(“…because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints.)

  • GR word - to love by will or by choice, of self sacrifice & humility. Unconditional

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LOVE IS...

  • patient
    • we must not make impatient demands but allow people to grow at their ow pace
  • kind
    • be gentle & sensitive to the needs of others
  • not jealous
    • a concern for others best, despite my own circumstances
  • does not brag, is not arrogant
    • selflessness, not time for self-exaltation
  • doesn’t act unbecomingly
  • doesn’t seek its own
    • it’s not about me & my feelings. It’s about God and His feelings
  • is not provoked
    • a Christian’s love can most gloriously be displayed in a hostile situation
  • doesn’t take into account a wrong suffered
    • there are not “lists”
  • rejoices with the truth
    • primary concern is being obedient to God’s Word
  • bears and believes all things
    • not limit to our forgiveness, b/c love bears all things.
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things
    • any situation, no matter how long or difficult, a Christian’s love can endure

With this type of “Supernatural” love,

there’s no room for unforgiveness

So Focused on Christ we don’t think...

my rights have been violated

my pride has been tarnished

IT TAKES DEMONSTRABLE FELLOWSHIP (V6)

* capable of being demonstrated, evident, apparent

5for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now,

6 I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.

(“…and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake”)

Fellowship - communion, participation, sharing

not just donuts & coffee

  • Paul is referring to the fellowship in Christ
    • fellowship in Holy Spirit
    • fellowship in gospel
    • right hand of fellowship

Gal 2:9 And when they knew (perceived, recognized, understood, and acknowledged) the grace (God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing) that had been bestowed upon me, James and Cephas (Peter) and John, who were reputed to be pillars of the Jerusalem church, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, with the understanding that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Jews).

  • Mutual sharing of life in Christ
    • Doing Life Together (CBC Motto)
  • (become more effective) “Powerful”
  • denying forgiveness is NOT AN OPTION
    • fellowship by definition is the coming together and mutual sharing of Christ likeness
  • Our ability to forgive comes from the Holy Spirit living “inside” TRUE CHRISTIANS!!!!!!
  • Forgivers are powerful examples to an unforgiving world

IT TAKES BRINGING REFRESHMENT TO OTHERS WITH YOUR PRESENCE (V7)

7as it is righteous for me to think this as to you all, because ye have *me* in your hearts, and that both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the glad tidings ye are all participators in my grace.

“For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.”

  • Paul rotting in prison experienced much comfort in Philemon’s love
    • just knowing Philemon was a blessing to others
  • Refreshed
    • to take rest from bodily activity
    • intermission at a play
    • refresh by giving comfort or compensation
  • give to others the feeling you have when your are...
    • relaxing on the beach
    • lounging on the cruise ship
    • neutrally buoyant scuba diving

Matt. 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.]

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