Forgiven Matthew 18:21-35
Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield II, Pastor
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church
Kansas City, MO
Worship Service Summary
October 1, 2017 10:00 AM
Forgiveness is a demonstration of unconditional love whereby a gracious act of mercy is extended making possible relational healing and transformation.
Forgiveness is expected to be put into action in our everyday life. It is part of the natural rhythm of our lives. It demonstrates support and value for another. Forgiveness is not rooted in conditions. Christian forgiveness is a radical for of forgiveness. You cannot have forgiveness without grace... unmerited favor. The victim extends mercy to the offender. This extended grace makes healing and transformation possible. The Christian extends this mercy because we value relationships.
Forgiveness is a perquisite for life. Peter understood this, but he was questioning how often one should forgive and if everything is forgivable. We tend to measure the degree of the offense. Jesus was trying to tell Peter that counting the number of times to forgive is an indication that forgiveness is not accompanied by grace.
To further explain, Jesus uses the parable of the unforgiving servant. God has created each of us a stewards and expects that we will live life in a responsible way. The debt the servant owed was outlandish and could not be paid off. Some things that we do are beyond our capacity to make restitution for. In the story the King choose to forgive. The servant is released from the debt and released from prison. This servant becomes a part of the community of the forgiven.
Out of the sight of the King this servant encounters one who owes him a little bit and refuses to forgive him. When we refuse to forgive, it translates into an act of violence. It's like seizing one by the throat. In some of our relationships we have grown accustom to jailing others.
The king hears that his act of mercy was exchanged for an act of violence. What would cause the forgiven to demand justice through violence? Maybe he took forgiveness for granted. When you are forgiven, the least you could do is to forgive another. What does it look like when God has forgiven me of so much yet I reach out and seize another by the throat? Forgiveness is an act of grace.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Maybe rather than focus so much on what has been done TO us, we should focus on what has been done FOR us. If it had not been for The Lord on my side, where would I be?
Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound that save a wretch like me.