by Tony Nester

Knowing How Forgiveness Works
Tony R. Nester
1 John 1:5-10

Last week I told you that this town needs a church that is the perfect church for imperfect people.
I believe this is the kind of church that Jesus wants us to become -- a church that welcomes and helps people whose lives are not perfectly in order.
I also believe this is the kind of church we have to become if we're going to fulfill our purpose to make disciples for Jesus Christ -- the only kind of people available around here to disciple are imperfect people.

What does it take to become the perfect church for imperfect people? Last week I said it takes seeing people with fresh eyes. Only as we see people through the eyes of Christ will we help them become the "new creation" that Christ makes possible.

Today I want to go a step farther and add a second item on the list. If we're going to become the perfect church for imperfect people, then we have to know how forgiveness works.

The news media has been full of the word forgiveness with all the reporting on President Clinton's recent apologies and the reports of Mrs. Clinton's forgiveness of her husband's betrayal of her trust.

Preachers have taken opposite sides on how President Clinton should now be treated by the American people.

Some say he should leave or be removed from the Presidency because only that kind of radical surgery will remove the moral decay that has infected the man, the Office of the Presidency, and the culture that winks at adultery, fornication, lying under oath, and abuse of power in the work place.

Other preachers are calling for forgiveness. These preachers are reminding us that we're all sinners and that we all stand in need of God's grace.

Forgiveness is confusing. There are of lot of tough issues to work through:
Is saying "I'm sorry" enough to warrant forgiveness?
How do we know when someone is truly sorry for the sin he or she has committed, or is merely sorry he or she was ca ...

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