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Forgive One Another ~ Colossians 3:12-13 August 18, 2013 ~ New City Church Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: Lyle Lovett, God Will. So who says hell forgive you, and says that hell miss you / and dream of your sweet memory? / God does, but I dont / God will, but I wont / And thats the difference between God and me How do you respond when others hurt you, sometimes even grievously? Option #1: respond with rage and bitterness, imprisoning them in a prison cell of hatred. Option #2: Extend forgiveness. o Conversation with a person who was exploring Christianity and reading the Lords Prayer when he came across the phrase, Forgive us of our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. He said, I have a real problem with that. If someone hurts me, I want to hurt him back. Im a fighter, Ill take out my pound of flesh. We are in a series called Life Together: An Exploration in a Different Way of Being Human Together. We want to learn to be devoted to one another as followers of Christ. Love one another Serve one another Encourage one another Pray for one another Welcome one another Show hospitality to one another

Were seeking to learn what it means to live out our Christianity with one another moving away from a consumer mindset (Whats in this for me?) to a close-knit family that is devoted to one another and to one-anothering. Like any close-knit family we will rub each other the wrong way. We will sin against each other from time to time. And so we will need to forgive one another. So its not surprising that the Scriptures give us this mandate. Forgive One Another ~ Colossians 3:12-14 12 Put on then, as Gods chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 1. The Apostle Paul is giving instructions on living the Christian life. Religion vs. Christianity: religion says, Follow these steps to becom e something you are not. Christianity says, Live in light of who you are! o OT titles for Gods people: chosen ones, holy & beloved o Col. 1:13-14, He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 1

o Col. 2:13, And you, who were dead in your trespasses, God made alive together with him [ie., Christ Jesus], having forgiven us all our trespasses. 2. In light of what God has done for you in Christ Jesus, put on or clothe yourselves Each of the traits listed are traits perfectly portrayed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 1. Bearing with one another : being patient with one another. Forgiving each other : word related to grace = be gracious to one another 2. The basis: the Lords forgiveness of the believer. The principle: God expects Christians to forgive each other the way he forgave them So, how does God forgive us? Five truths illuminate for us what Gods forgiveness is like (based on Chris Brauns work, Unpacking Forgiveness). (1) Gods forgiveness is gracious, but not free. Gods offer of forgiveness shows that he is willing to forgive. Likewise, Christians should have a disposition of grace towards those who have sinned against them. o Come Ye Sinners : Come ye sinners, poor and wretched, weak and wounded, sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, joined with power. He is able. He is able. He is willing doubt no more. o Mt. 18:21-22, Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Forgiveness is a gift that God graciously and freely offers to us, but forgiveness is not free. We dont have to earn it or pay for it. Brauns: Christians are called to offer a present to those who have hurt them. That package should be wrapped and tied with a ribbon, with a tag addressed, To you, regardless of what youve done. Forgiveness is what is found inside if the offender chooses to open the package.

(2) Gods forgiveness is conditional. While Gods love is unconditional, Gods forgiveness is not unconditional; it is always granted on the condition of repentance and faith in Christ. 2

o 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Are you forgiven? Gods forgiveness of your sins is conditional based upon your repentance and faith in Jesus. Luke 17:3-4, Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. o There is a difference between the offer of forgiveness and the actual transaction of forgiveness between two persons. (3) Gods forgiveness is a commitment. Psalm 103:12, as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Hebrews 10:18, I will remember their sins and their lawlessness no more.

(4) Gods forgiveness is necessary for reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:17ff, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God who has reconciled us to himself. In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.

(5) Gods forgiveness does not eliminate all consequences.

Summary: For the Christian, forgiveness is a costly commitment to graciously pardon a repentant person and to be reconciled to that person, although not all consequences are necessarily eliminated. (adapted from C. Brauns). Conclusion: Picking Cotton: The Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton story. The Christian has every reason to forgive because we have been deeply forgiven by God. The local church is called to be a display of what humanity would like under the kind rule of Jesus Christ. Thats why its essential that we forgive one another. Our mission in this world is directly connected to it.