Sermon Follow Up - Week 11, 2021
Jesus wants his disciples to know what their life will look like as sinners who have been redeemed and now belong to a different kingdom. We, as Christ's disciples, will hurt one another and be sinned against. We will come across ideas or be harmed by the words and actions of others that cast doubt on the gospel's legitimacy. For these reasons, disciples are to adopt Jesus' evaluation that sin is insidious and not meant to have free reign among the body of Christ. In order to take the power out of sin's punch, Christians are called to forgive wrongs done against them in the same way in which Jesus has done for us. Then and only then do we see the gospel's power to maintain and restore human relationships no matter how many times it threatens to divide, destroy, and dissolve our fellowship.
The Sermon Text
“And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
(Luke 17:1-4 ESV)
The Main Point of the Sermon
We must protect one another from the insidious nature of sin while mercifully extending forgiveness to those who humbly ask.
Questions to ask ourselves regarding forgiveness, an appropriate concern over sin in our lives in others, and the need for reconciliation believers:
1. Are you harboring unforgiveness in your heart against a brother or sister in Christ? Perhaps with someone who has long since apologized. Perhaps it’s a spouse. Perhaps someone you don’t come across regularly anymore. Perhaps with someone in this church. Pay attention to yourself! That bitterness can turn your heart to a rock and cause you to lose sight of the forgiveness you yourself have been graciously and undeservingly granted.
2. Is there a situation where you could involved another trusted believer in order to reconcile with another person? Would you want one of the pastors to help facilitate a conversation just to help get things off the ground?
3. How have you responded to loving rebuke in the past? Are you proactively open to it right now?
“Father, I’m so glad you didn’t “get even” with me for all the ways I rebelled and still rebel against you… for all the ways I’ve chosen my gain over your glory… for all the ways I’ve misrepresented you to the world. You didn’t get even, you got generous. You presented Jesus as the sacrifice for my sin. May the cross keep me humble, patient and expectant of the Day of consummate justice. I don’t want to waste one more self-absorbed moment relishing personal revenge. May all that energy be invested much more redemptively. I praise you that evil will not prevail. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name."
“For Jesus, faith is not merely a private affair, but something the community pursues together. The community of believers is a family in the sense that the best interests of each member is the concern of each other member. Thus, the call to rebuke is the exercise of a familial responsibility…The assumption in all of this is that disciples have a certain quality in their relationships that allows this type of positive, honest, loving, confronting behavior to occur without destroying their relationships.”
"We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a local church: we will pray for and serve one another, exercise affectionate care and watchfulness over each other, and reject all opportunities to speak or hear gossip or slander. We will instead seek to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith."
-SGCD Membership Covenant
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Do I still forgive someone who hasn't repented of sin against me? What's my obligation as a Christian when it comes to that person? If you are wondering about brief answers to these questions, read this article written by Ray Ortlund entitled: "REAL FORGIVENESS"
Sovereign Grace Music- "Forgiven"
CORRECTION DISCLAIMER: Upon further review, I noticed only during the sermon on Sunday that I misused a verse in reference to Scripture's caution against withholding forgiveness. The verse is John 20:28, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” This is a statement about a person's receptiveness to the gospel in which forgiveness (of their sins) is withheld only in the case that that they don't believe the saving message. In other words, this has nothing to do with a sinful unwillingness to forgive though I initially assumed that it did. Scripture is much more clear in that area in Matthew 18:34-35, “And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (other examples, Matt. 6:14-15, Mark 11:25). I sincerely apologize for not taking a closer look at the meaning of John 20 prior to applying it in our sermon knowing that I am accountable for how I handle the Word. I trust and thank you in advance for being gracious and forgiving!