Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Original URL | Wednesday, June 15, 2022


and brother brian's prayer forgiveness and and reconciliation

um no

you stuck

oh here we go

and it's an important subject forgiveness and reconciliation is crucial to our spiritual well-being and the spiritual well-being

of others

uh there's two aspects that i've uh considered

first is um

just i'm gonna try to get rid of some of this on the



forgiveness is required

for salvation this is the first aspect um

god's forgiveness from sin and our ultimate reconciliation by his his grace

and the second is forgiveness we offer to one another that hopefully leads to reconciliation and ultimately

our salvation

so this forgiveness is required for positive productive


both result in reconciliation

without forgiveness there can be no reconciliation

and we will be examining forgiveness required for positive productive fellowship

and briefly compare our father's forgiveness to the fellowship to the forgiveness that we offer

the character of god's forgiveness is totally different than the forgiveness of mankind and why is that we see in exodus 34 6-7 and he passed in front of moses proclaiming the lord the lord the gracious god slow to anger abounding in love and faithfulness forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin yet he does not leave the guilty

unpunished so we can see all the attributes and characteristics of of our heavenly father here and how that could be play into forgiveness god's mercy and forgiveness is freely given he is compassionate making the way open so we can be reconciled to him and have fellowship with him his son

and with one another

so just consider these

two verses here psalm 85 86 verse 5 for you lord are good and ready to forgive an abundant mercy to all those who call upon him

we can't always say that about ourselves

sometimes we have limitations and and and barriers that prevent that and this one from ephesians 2 4 and 5. but but because of his great love for us god who is rich in mercy has made us alive with christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace that you have been saved

so god's forgiveness is based on his gracious long-suffering opening the way

to reconciliation [Music]

and one of the beautiful things is that god

forgives completely

there is no barriers

for us forgiving is one of the most difficult things

to accomplish

it is difficult to forget when we have been portrayed

or deeply hurt we feel justified not forgiving someone this develops bitterness which gnaws away inside of us if we don't truly forgive then resentment festers in our hearts causing


in colossians uh paul reminds us of god's standard of forgiveness colossians 3 12 13. since god chose you to be the holy people he loves you must clothe yourselves with tender heart of mercy kindness humility gentleness and patience make allowance for each other's faults and forgive anyone who offends you remember the lord forgave you so you must forgive others so we see a very good picture here of of god's standard and some of the stumbling blocks that we may encounter and are in our attempt to forgive in

13 so what is man's basis for forgiveness

man must be prompted to forgive others man's act of forgiveness is motivated by the threat of judgment and we have this verse matthew 6 15 but if you refuse to forgive others your father will not forgive you your sins and so there's a there's a hint of a threat there that uh we may we may not be forgiven and we may be be judged because of it

so we do not freely forgive we think in terms of forgiveness only after there is being an apology it is justification and then forgiveness this is the opposite to what is required

of us

what impact does a negative approach have on us

so we have a negative approach in first john 2 and 11 but anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness

such a person does not know the way to go having been blinded by the darkness

so what's the meaning of being blinded by the darkness

of course it means a loss of sight

but it's also used as a as a metaphor in the new testament and that this phrase is


to dull mental discernment to darken the mind

or a loss of

sensitivity and all of these things would be a barrier

for us to

activate positive

forgiveness and possibly a reconciliation [Music]

so it's it suggests not forgiving can have a physical and emotional effect on us

so it's you know the idea is it's letting it go you know open yourself up to wanting to forgive and to reconcile

the ability to forgive is a powerful tool for personal transformation

true forgiveness erases negative influence in our hearts

and we do ourselves a huge favor when we truly let go and forgive

there is an extremely high return of peace and joy in our lives when we absolutely forgive those

who have hurt us

so we can conclude from that that forgiving is healing

and often the people whom we have not forgiven are unaware of the offense and don't even know they need to be forgiven


when we're in this situation this depletes our spiritual energy causing us mental and emotional distress so here are people that don't even know they need to be forgiven and we're we're all out of joint because we're not doing the proper thing

our wealth our well-being is at risk when we do not


now scripture is very definite about the necessity for forgiveness

in fact it was a serious topic of discussion between jesus

and his disciples

so what is jesus's standard of forgiveness we're going to just look at this we have to look at this briefly but i think there's a few interesting points here

matthew 18 14 and 15 you're all everybody's familiar with matthew 18. uh in verse 14 it says it is not the will of your father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish so

the father is always as concerned for us and that that

we remain strong and encouraging to one another and then in verse 15 it says if another believer sins against you go privately and point out the offense if the other person listens and confesses it you have won that person


so after this very blunt conversation regarding the resolving of differences between brethren peter emphasizes that there is even a better way

through such difficulties and we see in matthew 18 21-22 peter says

he came to jesus and asked lord how many times shall i forgive my brother or sister who sins against me up seven times

and what was jesus's reply i tell you not even seven times but 77 times seven times seven times

this is a a statement that's always intrigued me uh this uh

this calculation of 77 times

and i'm going to give you my thoughts on it but it might be a point of discussion at the end

if anybody has a different id on it

no doubt peter thought he was setting a very high standard of forgiveness

how did peter come up with the number seven [Music]

it may have been based on rabbinic teaching they were in the habit of quoting


amos uh one and three this is what the lord says because damascus has committed three crimes make that four i will not revoke my decree

of judgment

the rabbi's interpretation was if a man commits an offense once they forgive him if he commits an offense a second time they forgive him if he commits an offense the third time they forgive him but the fourth time they do not forgive

for this they inferred that the forgiving three offenses was as much as could be reasonably expended extended to a repeat offender

peter went far beyond that by adding the three and the four together making seven times no doubt peter expected to be warmly commended but jesus demanded an even higher standard

than it came to forgiveness jesus answer was that the disciples must forgive 70 times seven

jesus was insisting that every possible opportunity be explored in seeking to heighten forgiveness otherwise we have the potential of setting ourselves up to be judges of others

how did jesus arrive at this level at his level of forgiveness

well we turn to uh

genesis 4 verses 19 22 24. uh this is sort of a paraphrase

lennox second wife was zillow

and zilla bear dubocaine an instructor of every craft in brass

and hot and and iron [Music]

when lennox son tubal kane developed extensive skills in fashioning brass and iron to be used in the manufacture of tools and weapons limit bragged about this advancement with this taunting


limit said to his wives listen to what i say i have killed a man for wounding me and a young man for striking me if kane's revenge is sevenfold then lennox is seven

seventy 77 polled

because vengeance has been exacted seventh time on cain's behalf on lemic's behalf it shall be seven times seven limits boast was

greater than god who pronounced a mere seven-fold judgment against anyone who sought vengeance on kane

we see this in uh genesis 4 15 and then the lord said to him not so if anyone kills cain vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold but the lord put a mark on cainless any man who found him should attack him

so this is where lennock is boasting that he can exceed this

if kane were killed seven deaths would be exacted in retaliation


in atlantic uh case he said is that keynes revenge is seven fold and linux is is seven

times sevenfold

let boasted that 70 times seven deaths would be the penalty of revenge

if we were if he were slain

so what can we learn from lemmick's attitude

islamic is not only boastful he now ends the sin of revenge

boasting leads away from forgiveness and promotes revenge

and out of lenox formula of 70 times 7 comes unlimited revenge

the 70 times 7 is the exact phrase used by jesus

jesus offers us a formula for unlimited forgiveness with no evidence with no revenge at all

why do you think that jesus

set this high standard of forgiveness

oh scary i'm i missed a spider so let me glory in his power to take vengeance the lord's disciple is to glory in the extended extending of forgiveness to the positively highest level

while jesus's formula to forgive may appear to be unattainable it is very comforting for if jesus lays down such a standard for the disciples to follow will he not extend the same quality of forgiveness to us and they'd like but then that's a very comforting thing to think about that you know our forgiveness can be um without limit

so why do we think that jesus had set such a high standard

we can forgive but we do not always forget so whatever so whatever needs to be forgiven is always lurking

in the back

of our minds

it is not a matter of calculation but rather a matter of choice

it is essentially wrong to count the times of forgiveness for encounting we are remembering and not forgetting

so we must adopt the opposition is of that i choose to forgive

forget about how many times

just make the choice

to forgive those

who offend us or sin against us

so under what circumstances is forgiveness required

from luke uh 17 verses 3 and 4 says take heed to yourselves

if your brother sinned against you rebuke him and if he repents forgive him and if he sins against you seven times in the day and seven times in the day returns to you saying i repent he shall forgive him

and so the message here is if he repents

we have to forgive

and we have all been affected by someone else's thoughtless actions unkind words or being put down by someone's indifference

if he repents we have to forgive

and when you forgive in no way

can change the past

but you sure do change

the future

how does

forgiving affect the future

while it restores relationships

when we

when we go forward with a clean slate we can build on the relationship and on reconciliation

and for a few minutes i'd like to compare this to the parable of the

prodigal son

uh it should be called actually the parable of the loving father

the father must have been waiting and watching for the son to come home for he saw him a long way off and when he came he forgave him with no recriminations

this is a portrait of our heavenly father whose love and forgiveness and compassion

have no limits

well what was the son's reply

the son said to him father i have sinned against heaven and against you and i am no longer worthy to be called

your son

the sun's attitude had now become acceptable demonstrating penance contriteness

and true repentance

and you know as we've just seen if someone repents

we must forgive

and when you think about this we're all prodigal sons and daughters to some degree and in need of our father's loving embrace

and forgiveness and i thought of this psalm about who can stand

psalm 133 and 4 if you lord kept a record of sins lord who could stand

and so how do we

how can we be forgiven of our sins

of course we know that we're dependent upon divine mercy

but with you there is forgiveness so that we can with reverence serve you so through god's mercy we see this

reconciliation that can take place and we're in a position to serve again and this same principle can apply to the relationships that that we share one with another

and you might add that it is only the only path forward that is available to us the interaction between the father and the son have all the elements of forgiveness and reconciliation it tells us much about the forgiveness of god the father the father was waiting and watching for the son to come home

and when he came he was eager to forgive

and it's a very



picture to to place in our minds the father waiting and watching for us to come home and he's eager to forgive

forgiveness must be absolute there can be no reminder for reliving the act that precipitated the need for forgiveness

remember god forgives completely

and this is our standard

this is the example we have been given and the standard by which we should forgive and create positive


forgiveness creates


and in the in this parable we see

repentance the repentance of the son

the absolute forgiveness of the father

which leads to reconciliation

the father displays the perfect formula for building

a relationship

and the father's response shows to true forgiveness he is open

and welcoming

and so it's all about relationships

relationships with one another require

a commitment to forgiveness

and jesus provides the standard

through his life he was subject to prejudice violent persecution and eventually murder however he was faithful to his father's example of forgiveness and even as he was nailed to the cross he prayed father forgive them for they know not

what they do

so there's one

element here that's left out and that is the elder sun

the older sun in the parable depicts the opposite of god's standard of forgiveness

and reconciliation

we read about heaven in the 15th chapter of luke 25 to verse 30. the older son was in the field and he came near the house and he heard music and dancing and he called one of the servants and asked what's going on

and hit the answer was your father has come and your your brother has come and he replied

and your father has killed the fattened calf because he was back safe and sound

the older brother became angry and refused to go in

so his father went out and pleaded with him

but he answered his father look all these years i've been saved slaving for you and you never just never disobeyed your orders you have never given me a young goat so i could celebrate with my friends

but when the son of yours has squandered your property with prostitutes and comes home you kill the father calf

for him


this is uh

a suggestion and you may you may agree with it and you may not and it would be worth some discussion if you don't but who doesn't the elder brother represent in in this story

does it represent individual brothers and sisters

does it represent the ecclesia

as a whole

the elder brother he has all the characteristics that are not forgiving

and i just like to review these characters what are these what are these characteristics

there is a refusal to welcome his brother back

the elder brother was actually sorry that his brother had come home

his attitude was

one of a lack of sympathy he refers to the prodigal not as my brother but as your son

and there is no brotherly bond

he represents the self-righteousness of a person who would rather see a sinner lost than saved

he should have he should have known better

his attitude shows that his years of obedience to his father has been years of grim duty and not loving service

he has become


and he had a particularly nasty mind

there is no mention of prostitutes

until he mentions them

jesus leaves this parable incomplete it is designed to make us think about our own

relationships and who we need to


and how we can activate

that forgiveness

it's all about relationships

that's my place here

did the older brother have a change of heart and join the happy fellowship of father brother and all the household

or did he persist in his self-righteous aloofness and thus by his unforgiving spirit create a worst rift in the household at the time when the bond should have been even stronger than ever

the bond should have been strong with the father the son and with one another

it's something to think about this you know if if it is representative of

of the community

it is something that we need to consider quite seriously

so there's something lacking in the in the elder brother and i think it's this

to forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace

and this is what is sort of crucial for all of us because if we refuse to to forgive

we won't have peace we won't have peace of mind we won't have peace of comfort we'll always be

in turmoil and always second-guessing the person we need to forgive

jesus taught vividly that anger between brethren had to be resolved before one could be reconciled

with god

we take this from matthew 5 23-24 therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar first go and be reconciled to them and then come and offer your gift

sacrifice of prayer is ineffective while animosity exists

between brethren

if christ died that men and women might be reconciled to god we are obligated to continue that work and we do injury to the redemptive process when we in anger refuse to be reconciled to a brother or sister

an attitude such as this negates our fellowship at the table and our service to god can can be compared to our sacrifice

in the temple

we cannot be reconciled to god if we do not reconcile to our brothers

and sisters

it is a barrier to being reconciled to our heavenly father

we have this verse in proverbs 13 and 10 where there is strife there is pride but wisdom is found in those who take advice

and this is the model for reconciliation and of course it's found in matthew 18. we're just going to spend a couple minutes on this but

if another believer sins against you go privately and point out the offense and if the other person listens and confesses

it you have won that person back

now i used a different version here but uh

in another version the key word is alone

you go to the person alone

uh face to face there's no letters there's no emails

and you do not solicit input at this point or listen to gossip

and here are some

practical suggestions to implement reconciliation




and long suffering

these are all things that help us to

work through the difficulties of reconciliation and they help us to achieve the goal to be reconciled

with your brother

or your sister

sometimes this doesn't work and we know that and so we go to matthew 18 16. but if you are unsuccessful take one or two others with you and go back again so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three


what would this verse the instructions of this verse accomplish

if agreement cannot be reached involving a wise and calm brother or sister could help to facilitate reconciliation

and the presence of others may create a positive spirit in the discussion you know we hopefully when we enter into these things we're on our best behavior and we're not going to be bringing up past hurts but try to focus on something that is meaningful and productive and a path forward


we go to matthew 17 if a person still refuses to listen

you're you take the case to the ecclesia then if he or she won't accept the eclipse decision treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax corrector collector

this is not good and it's not pleasant

how do we prevent the involvement of the ecclesia

well the first thing would be the way to prevent this unpleasant circumstance prescribed in this verse is to strongly allow follow the advice in 15 and 16 so we don't have to go to 17. the first impression in verse 17 is that the person must be abandoned as hopeless and unrepentant

this does not sound like jesus

you have to remember that he set no limits on forgiveness

remember jesus is teaching

his disciples

the lord's disciples to extend the forgiveness to a positively unreasonable level

it's the 70 times 7 principle

he never abandons anyone

think about peter

and judas

it does not necessarily refer to this fellowship

it may represent an attitude of scriptural rebuke that hopefully guides a brother or sister to reconciliation

what then did jesus mean

and he may have meant something like this

when you have given the sinner every chance and they remain stubborn and unrepentant you may think that they are no better than a renegade tax collector or even a godless gentile

well you may be right but i have not found them hopeless my experience with them is that they can be reconciled

and converted

with patience and love

and you can accomplish the same

and there's a couple of scriptures that i would just touch on briefly that help us in this area 2nd thessalonians 3 13 13-15 [Music] but as for you brethren do not grow weary in doing good and if anyone does not obey your word in this epistle note that person and do not keep company with him that he may be ashamed yet do not count him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother

and a sister and so there are still the family relationship that has to be maintained

nurtured encouraged

and built on

and then in james 5 and 20 says let him let him know that he who turns a sinner that's the same as reconciled from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins and so

there is


to not go the full length of the recommendations in 18 and 17. of course there are party occasions when

there would be a disassociation but the idea is try again and try again

this is not an injunction to abandon a person it is a challenge to forgive and reconcile them with love and compassion it is not a statement that some people are hopeless it is a statement that jesus christ

has found no one hopeless and neither must we

well i got i was done quicker than i thought so i'll just close with this this thought for your consideration

for if you forgive men when they sin against you your heavenly father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive men their sins your heavenly father will not forgive your sins

so it's it's something that should encourage us to build

forgiveness and reconciliation into our our lives

thank you

thank you david that was that's an important message and uh i thought you presented it well

and i like your slides

you can put more information into a talk if you can zip through them yeah i have a question hi yeah hi richard go ahead

um where it says um

the steps that the brother doesn't hear you or whoever it may maybe uh you need to get two witnesses and then if you don't hear them take it to the uh clevia because we know under the law it says that

you have to have two or more witnesses and uh then he says take it to the uh uh to the occlusion and if he doesn't hear the athleisure treat him as a tax collector i remember picking up a magazine uh the uh i forget the name of it it's uh

it was written by the ecclesia and the brother said that uh it was the the understanding of that wasn't uh

understood right in other words because peter had uh the pharisees them said this man is with tax collectors and sinners and jesus said that's who i came to save

and so when it says take him to the ecclesia he doesn't hear them treat him as a text collector

or whatever and so

jesus said he come to save those

same citizens

that's an interesting turn on the idea yeah

yeah i think that's also i do think that's interesting richard it's almost like uh it's time to start all over right

yeah thanks for that



so david there are times when there are certain sins that have significant consequences

um you know sins against children for example or uh

you know embezzlement things like that um

you know how

what advice would you give regarding forgiveness

and protection you know against repeated uh

sins or you know uh you we might forgive somebody but if somebody has a


you know if somebody struggles with a certain sin i mean how do you protect while still forgiving any thoughts on that

well first of all

you look for um


you work on rehabilitation

but if you know you mentioned like sins against children like

i mean you'd have to have some very

strong barriers to put in place that a person like that never has an opportunity to interact

with children say they're just that would just be out of the question

i think i remember somebody drawing distinction between you know the forgiveness of sins and and the consequences that there's a difference between the the sin and the consequence and we can we can forgive the sinner but the consequence remains yeah and that might be that you know hey the embezzler is not going to be the treasurer of the inclusion



i think you have to just you have to just i think you have to discern too when it comes to forgiveness at least this is what i think

if it's a sin against you

you can forgive that

yeah but if it's not against you that's in the head that's in the hands of the lord

you know some people like you know somebody does something say somebody commits adultery in the occlusion

yeah i've heard people say well we should forgive him well he didn't commit adultery against me

he should be it's his wife that needs to or vice versa needs to do the forgiving and then it's taken to the to to god

but so

i don't know whether you would agree with that or not but i think i think you have to make a distinction between

who the sin is committed against hmm


any other thoughts anybody else

what about uh linda hi linda hello dave knows me don't you dave oh linda how are you

i'm fine thank you we work together a long time so we know one another going back a long way but i thought your class was excellent and very helpful thank you i've got can i make a couple of comments one is on your comment brother steve that you were just talking about um because some of those things that you were referring to are actually crimes in the sight of the law not just

you know he stepped on my toe and i'm mad at him kind of a thing

that's a that's a good point linda yeah and in in first corinthians chapter five

um [Music]

it's uh

and well i don't know what i don't know where to start well it's i guess i'd have to start at the beginning of the chapter um it's reported commonly that there is fornication among use and such fornication as is not so much as named among the gentiles that one should have his father's wife so and apparently that was against roman law that's a crime in other words it was a crime against the law and in verse 5 it says to deliver such a one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the lord jesus

and i heard this these are never original thoughts with me one things i've got written in my margin from other people um [Music] the brother was not to be protected by the ecclesia but delivered to the authorities which is deliver him to satan

the authorities to appreciate the error of his way in other words they would throw the book of the law at him and he would then realize the

the seriousness of the crime


and repent

and see our own thing

and receive forgiveness from god ultimately

so oftentimes we'll look at that verse and we think of turning them over to satan is just simply casting them out of the occlusion to the into the world but i think that what you're suggesting is that this satan here

and throughout much of the new testament you can actually identify it as the roman authorities right and so it's saying you know if he's committed a crime let the legal authorities handle it is that what you're saying yes yeah it makes a lot of sense to me and that verse

seems to me to say that you know because we

cannot protect people

they clearly protect people who are committing crimes otherwise we're getting we can forgive them but they still have to deal with the consequences and those consequences maybe um

you know ended out by the by satan by the authorities yeah is this linda yeah yeah hi jim

hello there anyway the other point that brother david made that i thought was excellent you had a little slider probably not quoting it exactly but said we don't forgive because the person needs forgiveness but because we need

peace peace was it yes

yeah and

where you were in matthew 18 at the end of that chapter there's that parable of the unmerciful servant who has been forgiven debt himself and then he won't forgive the debts of others and at the end of that it says and his lord was rough and delivered him to the tormentors

till he should pay all that was due unto him and i just think your comment about we need peace

if we don't forgive people

we are tormented by that person you made another comment which i totally agreed with the beginning of more to the beginning of your class where the person who needs the forgiveness can be going merrily on their way oblivious oblivious yes to the fact that you won't forgive them but you're being tormented

every time you see that person you're being tormented in your mind da da da da he did this to me you know whatever i'm mad at him and that verse seems to suggest deliver him to the tormentors

we're the ones that get tormented by our lack of forgiveness don't we

anyway i thought that was an excellent point you're on your point about

not protecting um the ecclesia protecting people i'll give you a personal experience i was involved in some committee work at one time

and there was a a person that was con

i wasn't accused it was a proven fact that they were a pedophile

and this person wanted to

start a virtual sunday school

and i said no way

and and and a couple other people there said well we have to forgive them i said no when you do something like that you can't you can't

give him an opportunity to jeopardize another child

so i agree with that what you said about that about you know the theoclesia should not protect people like that

yeah dave if i could just pick up on on that point because i think it's a very solid point um we we've all seen or heard or whatever within our community at times where for the sake of the the truth we tend to throw out common sense

you know the idea that you don't give a pedophile opportunity is just common sense you know and yet we'll say well you've got to forgive them it's like it's like somebody who has an abusive husband and you say well you know you married him so so tough luck you know we jesus never throws common sense out the window uh for the sake of truth and i think that's a mistake that we can we can definitely make whereas if we look at it with a point of wisdom uh we can find the logical ground to be able to forgive and at the same time not set people up set the situation up for that person to hurt more people

good point

so david could you elaborate i know we're running up uh on 8 30 but can can you just elaborate a little bit on um your comment earlier on about those who um

i don't want to put words in your mouth but it was almost as though

we sometimes want to wait for the person to come acknowledge their sin ask us to be forgiven and then we can forgive but jesus standard i think you showed was higher than that do i understand that right

i'm not sure i'm following you okay let me see if i can word it another way um

i would suggest that there are times in my life or maybe in other people's lives where i'm hesitant to forgive somebody because they haven't quote unquote earned my forgiveness they never asked me to forgive them

and um

i sense that that's a different standard than the one that jesus exhibits in his life jesus yeah yeah i get to know because well because


like i was i think i said in that part was that

first of all we generally forgive because we're we're in threat of judgment

and we want to you know we want to avoid that so it's partly not that the forgiveness is not sincere we're just protecting ourselves

and okay and then the other

what was the last point that you made and sort of lost my three and a thought well it was just that you know jesus looks out at the crowd and says you know father forgive them

you know they know not what they do and it's nobody in the crowd was saying will you forgive me right jesus has a different standard of forgiveness yeah and i think you brought up a passage in luke you know if someone asks you to forgive them you know someone repents then you forgive yeah right and i think that there's almost like you can view it in two different standards while they are i think what i said was is that

we look for an apology

yeah yeah yeah and and then and then um and that's our justification to forgive and that was not jesus's standard you know his standard was that you know we forgive we forgive under any circumstances we shouldn't even need to be we need to be prompted to forgive we should we should want to automatically do that

doesn't mean it doesn't mean that it's easy no

hey you're right you what we're at 8 30. i'd like to uh i'd like to close with prayer but then maybe we can continue for those that are able to hang on we can continue uh our discussion