Philemon: Step #5 The Forgiver
Date: July 8, 2018
Speaker: Jason Jordan
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Philemon 1:8-25 “The Forgiver”
INTRO> This is a picture of a monument in memory of the lives lost during the Holocaust, it was erected in the 1990’s in the Prokhorov Square in Russia. It is in honor of the Jewish and Gypsy people who lost their lives, some 54,600 people were murdered by the Nazi regime. The plaques attached to the sculptures say “Holocaust, Never again!” in Ukrainian, Russian, and Hebrew and “We will never forget, we will never forgive.”
APP> Wow. The reason why I show this is because many of us have a monument like this in our lives. Literally a monument of hurt and grief so big, that we say, “Never forget, never forgive.” These things are serious, very serious. As I have been studying the issue of forgiveness in the scriptures during this series I have come to see why God is so serious about this, because he loves us and cares for us. One scripture that is constantly standing out is this, “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 APP> Paul says that at a level un-forgivenss is demonic. This is serious. So today as the final lesson, the boot on the ground for forgiveness. This is the only solution that I see.
Big Idea > The gospel frees us to forgive others.
CONTEXT> So what we are going to do today is I am going to have to spend a little time on What forgiveness is not, then what forgiveness is and what it looks like.
B) What forgiveness is not.
- Forgiving is not forgetting.
- Forgiving is not immediately trusting.
- Forgiving is not foregoing sin.
- Forgiving is not a one time thing.
- Forgiving is not waiting on an apology.
- Forgiving is not always total restoration.
APP> We must have the scriptures shape our understanding of forgiveness.
B) What forgiveness is.
- Receiving the situation. v12
- “formerly he was useless to you but now he is useful to me…” Paul is acknowledging that wrong doing has happened but I love the way in which he is going about it. He saying that there is something at work here, something greater.
- “for this is perhaps is why he was parted from you…” Now Paul is hammering the same nail! There is something at work here, at it is the providence of God.
APP> There is a scene in the OT, a guy named Jospeh has been hurt by his brothers, horrible things have happened to him but he says these words, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Genesis 50:20 APP> Often times God uses the very thing that has hurt us to heal us.
2. Releasing the person. v18
- “if he owes you anything….” Paul is using debt language here to describe what forgiveness looks like. We see this debt language all through out the bible, Jesus even uses this language.
APP> There are two choices when it comes to hurt and forgiveness. (*Bring two people up front and show) Two choices: 1) You make them pay- which in turn leads to bitterness and hardness of heart and what you find out is that is consumes you. or 2) You pay– that’s right, you have to absorb the blow.
APP> Forgiveness is the choice to cancel the debt that is owed.
APP> I know what you are thinking, “Jason, what about justice?! who makes right what has been wronged?!” APP> Justice without forgiveness is actually vengeance. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:9
3. Responding in obedience. v21
- “Confident of your obedience… you will do even more..” I love how Paul handles this, he basically has done all that he can do and he leaves the ball in Philemon’s court.
APP> forgiveness is a matter of obedience. *ILL- Dad and Mom
4. Relying on Grace. v25
- “The grace os the Lord Jesus Christ be with you…” I love that Paul wrote that. Because he knew that it takes grace to give grace!
APP> You can’t offer what you don’t have.
Big Idea > The gospel frees us to forgive others.
CLOSE> So how do we deal with this, what do we do?
“Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end; submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him and with Him everything else thrown in.” C.S. Lewis
- Bring our casket. Today we release the debt.
*End in Lords Prayer.