Healing School Part – 13
Very often in talking about relationships, we talk about offense but we somehow seem to not explain about forgiveness and the power of it in our lives.
What does the Bible teach us about forgiveness in our relationships? What did Jesus really say about forgiveness in the Gospels?
Matthew 6:9-15 NKJV (9) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (10) Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (13) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (14) “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
People often take things in the Bible out of context and make doctrinal truths out of those excerpts from the scriptures.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV (15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We are to look at everything in the Scripture from two different angles and rightly divide the Word.
Proverbs 3:3-4 NKJV (3) Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, (4) And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
John 1:14 NKJV (14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus always approached everything He did from both mercy/grace and truth.
Jesus would forgive sinners but at the same time rebuke the religious leaders of the day.
In our dealings with each other we must rightly divide the Word of truth and understand when it is appropriate to extend mercy and/or extend truth to someone.
Jesus exemplified this for us in His dealings with the woman that was caught in the act of adultery.
There is the Attitude of Forgiveness and the Act of Forgiveness.
God has an attitude of forgiveness toward all humanity. He wants to forgive people. But is God actively involved in the act of forgiving everyone right now?
Matthew 18:21-35 NKJV (21) Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (22) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (23) Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. (24) And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. (25) But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. (26) The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ (27) Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. (28) “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ (29) So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ (30) And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. (31) So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. (32) Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. (33) Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ (34) And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. (35) “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
If we cut the story in half, the man is confronted and acknowledges the truth that he does owe the money.
You have to acknowledge the truth in order to find mercy.
The problem happened when his servant came to him and did the same thing – acknowledged the truth, repented and promised to pay – and he would not forgive him.
The man received mercy because he admitted to the truth.
We cannot see each other’s hearts, so how can we see if there is truth or not?
Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV (1) “Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Jesus did not say have no judgment at all. He was telling us that the way we treat others is the way that we can expect to be treated.
Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV (3) And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? (4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (5) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. He wasn’t saying, “Don’t ever judge anybody; don’t ever tell anyone they are wrong.”
He is saying, “Don’t tell someone they are wrong if you are more wrong than they are.”
Clean your own act up and then you can help other people. When we are living right, it gives us a moral authority to try and help someone.
We can have contact with sinners in order to win them, but if there is someone that claims to be a Christian but is obviously involved in sin, the Bible teaches that we are not to have fellowship with them.
Why are we supposed to respond this way? Because if we truly love that person and want to see them helped we cannot bless them and pour favor on them because that will only blind them further to what they are doing wrong. It will only empower them and make them bolder. When we pat people on the back that are doing wrong, we are pushing them further away.
Let’s look at an example of Jesus showing mercy and truth:
Luke 19:1-10 NKJV (1) Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. (2) Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. (3) And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. (4) So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. (5) And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (6) So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. (7) But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (8) Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” (9) And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; (10) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Zacchaeus had set aside his pride and demonstrated that he was serious about Jesus.
Zacchaeus repented and acknowledged the truth that he had done wrong.
Jesus dealt with people in truth and mercy. If people acknowledged the truth and repented, Jesus showed them mercy.
Luke 17:3-4 NKJV (3) Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (4) And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
This is in the context of Christian brotherhood and relationships.
How do I know that he has repented? I will be able to see it in his actions.
Matthew 3:8 NKJV (8) Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
Matthew 3:8 AMPC Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart];
Matthew 3:8 NLT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
We then have to understand the difference between the Act of forgiveness and the Attitude of forgiveness.
When someone meets the qualifications in that they acknowledge the truth, repent, and then show the fruits of that repentance, then I MUST show them the act of forgiveness. I must restore our relationship and allow them to be able to move forward in our relationship.
Mark 11:22-26 NKJV So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. (23) For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (25) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (26) But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
What if they never meet those qualifications of repentance? What if they never come around and even ask for forgiveness?
Can I hate them? Can I hold malice in my heart towards them? (Malice is the desire to see harm to come to someone because they wronged you.)
Matthew 5:21-22 NKJV (21) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
I cannot spend the rest of my life hoping that evil comes on someone that has wronged me.
Because we are human, however, there is something in us that cries out for justice.
But we must come to a place that we trust that God is the only one that can truly settle the score and we let go of that anger and malice and leave justice up to Him.
The best way to get even is to let go of the malice and move forward and fulfill the will of God for your life and rub the enemy’s face in your life, giving honor and glory to God.
We must walk in the attitude of forgiveness towards those people, let go of any anger, malice and bitterness towards them and then leave the payback and justice up to God.
Remember, God always wants to show mercy and it is not our place to determine if He is able to that and when. We let Him determine what the best course of action for people is.
James 1:12-13 NKJV (12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (13) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
James 1:13 CEV (13) Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others.
Temptation = Greek – peraismos
We do not want to imply that everything bad that happens in our lives is because of fear. There may be other reasons.
The Three Storms of Life:
Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV (24) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (25) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (26) “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: (27) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Jesus said there would be storms that we would encounter in this life.
Three basic examples of storms in the Bible:
- Storms of Disobedience
Jonah’s storm – came because of disobedience – God’s written or spoken instructions to our heart.
Only solution to this kind of storm comes through repentance.
- Storms of Obedience
Jesus and the disciples got into a storm as they went to the other side – the disciples were obeying the direction of the Lord and got into a storm.
When you are doing the will of God, Satan will resist what you are doing and bring storms into your life.
The solution to this kind of storm is the command of faith – “Peace be still”.
- Storms of Association
Paul got into a storm because of the people he was with were in disobedience. Sometime the people we associate with can cause storms in our lives. Caleb and Joshua suffered a 40-year delay in the wilderness because of the disobedience of the people they were with.
The solution to this kind of storm is not to use your faith as you must endure the storm but know the outcome will always be the same – the mercy and compassion of the Lord extended to you.
We must have the revelation that God is not behind the destruction and he does not use the devil to cause destruction in your life. God will always move to bring deliverance and victory and twice as much as you had before.
The book of Job is a book of extremes: Job was extremely good, extremely wealthy, extremely short on information about God, extremely tested by the devil in every area of his life, and extreme infirmity.
Theological debate in the book of Job that lasted 36 chapters and none of the participants knew what they were talking about.
Job and his friends had little or no knowledge of God whatsoever.
The lesson contained in this is seeing what man will do when they interpret God in light of their circumstance without referring to the Word of God.
God discredits what these men said about Him.
Job 38:1-2 NKJV (1) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: (2) “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
Everything that had gone before was not the counsel of God.
Job 42:1-6 NKJV (1) Then Job answered the LORD and said: (2) “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. (3) You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (4) Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ (5) “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. (6) Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
Job responded that he had uttered things that he knew not and he repented of those things.
God forgave Job of those things from that point forward.
Job 42:7 NKJV (7) And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.
Job did not say anything right up until the point that he repented and starting speaking right from that point forward.
When we read these 36 chapters we are seeing Who God IS NOT!
Job 4:7-9 NKJV (7) “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? (8) Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same. (9) By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed.
- The first conclusion that a person who is not informed about God, will be that the calamity and suffering is judgment from God for sin and wickedness.
Sin will open you to difficulty because of the fact that sin separates you from God.
Judgment is not that fist of God’s wrath being brought down upon you in retribution, but rather His hand of grace and merciful protection being lifted away.
God has labored to bring His protection back to man since the Fall: the law was given to provide protection.
It is not simply a list of rules and commandments but rather a way back into God’s mercy and protection.
What is experienced in this earth is because the god of this world brings to bear the curse of sin in people’s lives; however, God’s protection is available to us to the extent that we allow Him to.
Job 5:17-18 NKJV (17) “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. (18) For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.
- The second misconception is that God uses suffering to teach us a lesson. This is not the way that God chastens us.
2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV (16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16 AMP (16) Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),
This is how God chastens us, through His Word.
Job 25:4-6 NKJV (4) How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? (5) If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, (6) How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?”
- This is the origin of the worm syndrome: Because man is of such as a low estate that he is destined to suffer the calamities of life.
Incorrect Statements by Job:
Job 1:21 NKJV (21) And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In the light of the New Testament, this statement is not true.
Job 2:10 NKJV (10) But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 6:4 NKJV (4) For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Job is perpetuating the concept that God must be behind the suffering – but HE WAS WRONG!
Job 7:11 NKJV (11) “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 9:18 NKJV (18) He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills me with bitterness.
Many Christians are bitter about things that have happened in their lives, towards life in general or sometimes against God.
If you do not deal with the bitterness, your suffering will be extended just as it was in Job’s life.
Job 23:14 NKJV (14) For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him.
This is the misconception that the suffering in their lives is God’s predestined plan for their lives.
Why do people fight for the right to blame God for their troubles? Because it relieves them of the responsibility for the condition of their lives.
God does have a plan for your life but you must make the choices that will take you down that road.
Job 30:23 NKJV (23) For I know that You will bring me to death, And to the house appointed for all living.
This is the misconception that God is in the death business.
Death has never been God’s idea. (Romans 5:17)
God’s plan has always been to deal with the death that entered the earth by Adam’s sin.
There is Elihu mentioned in four chapters of Job as he speaks when Job’s other three friends are quiet.
He did make some misstatements but Elihu was not rebuked by the Lord because he is the only one that pointed Job away from his circumstance and toward the creation which could have revealed the Creator to Job.
Rom 1:20 KJV 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Job 37:14-16 NKJV (14) “Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. (15) Do you know when God dispatches them, And causes the light of His cloud to shine? (16) Do you know how the clouds are balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?
Elihu wanted Job to consider the interdependencies and order of Creation.
God begins to speak in Chapter 38 and picks up where Elihu leaves off.
Job’s whole problem was his limited knowledge of God.