Book: Day 28 – “By Forgiving Each Other”
“We’re Connected to Grow Together…By Forgiving Each Other”
This chapter is again, very good. So again, I have nothing to offer other than to add a few comments.Â
Fellowship without forgiveness is impossible.
This is a true statement, and an excellent point to stop and ponder. I was recently listening to several sermons by the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones where he also made a similar statement. I was also reading a commentary on Leviticus 3 by C.H. Mackintosh that elaborated on this priciple from the nature of the fellowship offering. This is a very important topic of the scriptures, and one which we need to carefully consider and ponder in our hearts. Our familial relationships teach us this same thing; if we are a member of the family, we must live in mutual submission or there is no fellowship. The same is with God. If we think we can come into His presence without the conviction of unconfessed sin, we are wrong. True worship is not a party and a method of achieving an emotional high which we hope will last us through the week. It is an extension of private worship which occurs within the congregation, but is nonetheless entering into the very presence of the Most Holy and creator of the universe. We ought not to take such a great priviledge lightly. Finally, those who claim to be in fellowship with God but remain in unrepentance towards God are liars and, as the Apostle John stated so clearly, have no part with Him.
As believers, we’re called “to settle our relationships with each other” (2 Cor 5:18, MSG).
While it is true that we must forgive one another as is so clearly communicated in Matt 18:35. Even still, the Message has again constrained the meaning of 2 Cor 5:18 to exclude our primary mandate on this Earth which is to reconcile people to God. The NLT translation clearly indicates this, but leaves out our duty to also be reconciled with one another. Plainly stated in the Greek, we have the ministry of reconciliation, though we are not commanded to compromise our stand for truth to reconcile relationships with people who have rejected that truth, and therefore have disdain for us.
God sets the standard so high because he knows how much is as stake in our life.
For the true believer, forgiveness will be natural. And with the inner working of the Holy Spirit, forgiveness even for those who are unrightly stoning you to death like Stephen will be the words that flow from your perishing lips. Matthew 18:35 is very clear: if you do not pass on forgiveness in like manner as your Father in heaven has forgiven you, then you are not saved. You can be sure of that! You will be amongst those gnashing their teeth in anger on that day of reckoning. So be sure to know, understand, and fully comprehend the forgiveness the Father has for you, so that you, like the woman in Luke 7:47, will show much love because you understand just how much and how deeply you have been forgiven. So its not just how much is at stake in our lives and the pain that unforgiveness causes us in this life, but what is at stake eternally. Which do you suppose is more important? The temporal results of unforgiveness is your warning against eternal loss.
When we remember the price Jesus paid to forgive us, how can we not forgive?
Not only this, but all true believers are compelled in their innermost being to forgive from their hearts. If you find that you cannot do this, earnestly seek God for the answer. Review the law in the 10 commandments and see how you compare in thought, word and deed (remember, if even you commit adultury in your heart, it is the same in God’s sight). Now do you see how you have been forgiven? Now think of what it took to convince Almighty God to take on a body of flesh and bones to live amongst the vilest of sinners and become a servant of all, even so much as to die a painful and shameful death on the cross, bearing our sin before His Father in heaven! Can you see His vast love for you? Strive to understand it, weaken your knees and tremble before Him… for this sort of fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and results in the good soil of conversion that produces a 30, 60 or 100-fold crop!