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"Handle God's forgiveness with care"

Summary of sermon by Albu van Eeden, 13 Oct 2013

 

Matthew 18

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

If we do not handle God's forgiveness in the right way we may end up worse than we were at the beginning.

Just as this king wanted to settle accounts with his servants, so God wants to settle accounts with us while we are alive. The devil will tell you, don't settle your account with God, He just wants to hurt you and punish you. But God does it because he loves us. We might think if we owe someone we would be happy if the person just forgets about our debt, but that doesn't settle it. God wants to settle accounts with us. He counts exactly how much we owe Him. And if we acknowledge our debt and ask for forgiveness He forgives us our debt.

We are blessed when God settles accounts with us in this life. We will be judged either in this life or the next. If we don't allow God to judge us in this life then we will be judged in the next.

Even if you should be found to be totally guilty, you must still know where you stand with God. Only then can you find forgiveness. Have you ever desired to know where you stand with God? Do you take counsel with a desire to know God's mind or to justify yourself.

The question is not in the first place, are you forgiven? But do you know where you stand with God? Are there grey areas in your life? It will rob you of your assurance of salvation.

You must know where you stand with God. If there's a grey area it will keep burdening you and make you depressed. One of the big causes of depression is a lot of grey areas in your life.

It's grey because you're not sure if it's right or wrong.

We also see that this man had remorse for his sin, his debt. This is a big problem in the church. People claim forgiveness but they never had true remorse for their sin.

How do you see your fellow men? We read of Jesus, when he saw the multitude, that he had compassion on them (Matt 14:14).

If you just see the mistakes of others without compassion you don't have the spirit of Christ.

This man had a huge debt which he could never repay. That's why he and his family had to be sold to recover a part of the debt. He pleaded for forgiveness and his master had compassion on him and forgave him all. But we also read that when that servant met one of his fellow servants that owed him a small amount he would not forgive him.

This man received forgiveness but his heart was not changed.

It is possible that you have received forgiveness but your heart hasn't changed.

When God forgives a person, it's as if you receive a clean slate. But it's important how you handle God's forgiveness. Maybe you don't commit the big sins (in your eyes) anymore, but you stumble and fall by getting irritated, angry etc. Then you get despondent and that takes you off the track. No, get up and confess it. Allow God to convict you and don't hide it. Otherwise you might return to your old life.

Some people, when they fall again after being forgiven, develop an approach where they only deal with the big sins. It's a way of surviving, spiritually. But then when they build their spiritual house some bricks in the wall have sand in stead of cement. Water washes the bricks out quickly. And the whole house becomes weak. Such a person becomes very difficult to work with. It shows in their character. Such a person becomes selfish, serving the Lord in his or her own way.

When Absalom rebelled against his father David, David fled. What helped David to make the right decision, in stead of "standing his ground"? His humility. He could easily have argued that all his mighty men were with him, but he was sober about the situation, and could flee when it was necessary.

Another characteristic of those who handle God's forgiveness correctly, is that evil grieves and upsets them. When Goliath blasphemed Israel and God, all Israel knew he was an evil man but it did not upset them to act. David got so upset that he knew something had to be done and he was prepared to risk his life and be despised by his brothers, to shut the mouth of Goliath.

If you are not upset at evil in our country, is it not perhaps because you have built with sandy bricks?

You will be deceived when you build with sandy bricks.

Note also that the other servants were not happy that this servant fell so badly. Their hearts were sore. They were grieved.

What's your reactions when others fall into sin?

They also did not allow the sin to carry on, but addressed the matter in love.

It was like the attitude of a parent towards a child that has done wrong.

Have you settled your account with God or are there still some grey areas in your life? Have you forgiven those who wronged you?

If someone has wronged you and you cannot forgive that person then you're like a person who drinks poison and expect the other person to die. Unforegiveness is a poison that will kill you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last edited on: Sunday October 13, 2013     E-mail us at: mail@ksb.org.za          Return to KSB Home page