Forgiveness: The Benefit, Blessing, and Burden
February 1, 2009
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Paul exhorts and warns us in Ephesians of the danger of harboring ill-feelings toward another.
Ephesians 4:26-27, "Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."
Anger can be unselfish and based on love for God and others. However, if not released, it can turn to bitterness; it's progressive.
This is a quote from the Psalmist:
"How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood?
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD."
"set apart" – made wonderful. The entire context of this Ps 4 is "total confidence in God amidst his crisis" .8
The best biblical illustration of Eph 4:26-27 is to be found in II Cor. 2:3-11
Note verses 7-11
"So that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices."
BOTTOM LINE: Unforgiveness really gives the Devil an opportunity to disgrace the unity of a church's fellowship or a family's fellowship. With this in mind, forgiveness restores the believer to the place of maximum blessing from God. It restores the purity and joy of fellowship with God.
I. THE BENEFITS OF ...
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