Sabbath 6/18/16 Seventh Day Baptist of Daytona Pastor Wray sermon “Forgiveness: The Very Essence of

Sabbath 6/18/16 Seventh Day Baptist of Daytona Pastor Wray sermon “Forgiveness: The Very Essence of Our Faith” Matt 6:15-15

This scripture is frightening in its impact. It places limitations – if you forgive, you will be forgiven. If you are not forgiving, you will not be forgiven. God has given us these principles to put in our lives.

Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son because he was the son born in his old age. Jacob let his other sons know that Joseph was his favorite by giving Joseph a special coat. The older brothers began to resent their younger brother. Then Joseph told them of his dreams, that they he would rule over them and that his brothers would bow down to him. Eventually, Joseph being their father’s favorite son and his dreams, made the brothers very angry. They plotted how to kill Joseph but instead of killing him, they sold Joseph as a slave. They said good riddance to their dreaming brother. At the age of 17yrs old, Joseph became a salve in Egypt. Later he became a prisoner in jail for a crime he had not done. Somewhere during this time, Joseph decided to forgive his brothers. Joseph’s character was refined through forgiveness.

The importance of forgiveness:

Most of us want to receive forgiveness but are hesitant to give it. Jesus made it plain, we can’t have forgiveness unless we forgive others. These words allow no room for doubt or discussion. Forgiveness is at the core of our emotional wellbeing. Unforgiving people are bitter and physically sick. Anger gives off chemicals that attack the body. Then the stress, rage and depression affect our body and our mental health. We get depressed and do over eating or over spending. Un-resolved anger keeps us from moving forward. It locks us into the time that the offense occurred. We have bitterness and alienation from God.

Forgiveness can’t come to us until we admit our failures and acknowledge our need of it. We cannot extend it until we admit we have no right not to give it. Christians must give forgiveness to others. It is the core of our belief. The fear of loss is one reason we are afraid to forgive others. Some people are reluctant to let go of the anger that keeps them moving. Their anger is their purpose. They are also afraid of losing leverage and being hurt again. They think if they forgive the other person, then the other one may think they can do it to them again. Forgiveness does not guarantee a change in the other person’s behavior. We can limit their ability to hurt us by forgiving but then ending the relationship with them. This way they can’t hurt us again. Some of us expect too much from people anyway. Forgive them and then realize that they will NEVER change. Accept them for what they are.

Also, there is a fear of losing power and control by forgiving others. Some feel forgiveness is an act of surrender. Some parents hold some wrong against adult children, just to get gifts from them. The fear of losing their image of superiority, is the reason some people don’t forgive. We feel we are better than them so we don’t forgive. We think we are like God and are superior.

Forgiveness is NOT condoning their behavior. The act of forgiveness does not compromise our moral standards. It is NOT saying what you did is okay. It is saying the consequences of your behavior belong to God and not to me! To forgive means to transfer your debt of sin from us to God. Now God has to deal with the punishment for your sin because we have forgiven you and moved on. When we forgive, the initial anger and hurt feelings gradually diminish.

To forgive does NOT mean we trust them again. If they are a thief we will NOT give them a key to the house. We can forgive someone for the wrong they have done without giving them a chance to do it again! Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation. It is dangerous and silly to reconcile to an unrepentant person. Jesus did say to forgive everybody. Forgiveness will benefit us whether the other person asks for it or not. An attitude of forgiveness is needed by us instead of just having one act of forgiveness. Jesus said to forgive others through the power of God. We can ask God to forgive others through us. We can become a conduit of God’s Grace. If we forgive others who sin against us, God will forgive us of our sins. But if we don’t forgive others then God won’t forgive us. We must have an Attitude of Forgiveness for everybody.