The Bible Doesn’t Say That | Week 2: Forgive and Forget? | Matthew 18:15-35
We continue in our sermon series “The Bible Doesn’t Say That” with the phrase “Forgive and Forget”.
We shouldn’t forgive and forget BUT we should never forget that we have been forgiven.
Date: May 30, 2021
Series: The Bible Doesn’t Say That
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THE REST OF THE SERMON | Special Guest: Matt Bedell
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The Bible Doesn’t Say That Week 2: “Forgive and Forget?”
REVIEW: WE started this series a few weeks back, birthed out of a conversation. “Assumption about the Bible always leads to corruption of the Bible.” We also took some serious inventory and said that when it comes to the scripture there are 5 types of People (*Show that Graphic) We built a foundation last week and said, “Before we can know what the Bible does and doesn’t say, we have to know what the Bible is!
INTRO> This week’s saying is a popular one! Ready…. “The Bible says…. forgive and forget.” Does it though?…. Nope, that sentence is literally NOWHERE in the Bible. That’s a secular saying that’s made it’s what into the Bible. Here is what I found doing a little research:
- The famous Spanish Novel, “Don Quixote”, written in the 17th century. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616): “Let us forget and forgive injuries.”
- William Shakespeare, King Lear, (1564-1616) “Pray you now, forget and forgive.” “King Lear”
I think the way that this gets snuck into the Bible is that it is a distortion of a Bible verse:
- “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah…No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34
A Couple things about Jeremiah 31:34:
- This verse is talking about God, you are not God.
- God doesn’t forget things because he is omniscient. (Psalm 147:5)
- God is saying that he chooses to not interact with us based on our sins because of his covenant love.
APP> The phrase, “Forgive and forget” is not only unbiblical but is harmful. (Some of us have been sinned against so grievously and are filled with guilt because we can’t forget.)
- We have to get this right. Forgiveness is the fuel that keeps relationships moving forward. (*Gas shortage)
6 Things Forgiveness is not:
- Forgiving is not forgetting.
- Forgiving is not immediately trusting.
- Forgiving is not foregoing consequences.
- Forgiving is not a one time thing.
- Forgiving is not waiting on an apology.
- Forgiving is not always reconciliation.
CONTEXT> So what is forgiveness? Well I think that’s the entire point of Jesus’ parable that he tells. Listen, these entire verses are spoken to his disciples, all of verse 15-20 are geared toward believers IN the church!
- Forgiveness is a choice to cancel the debt fully, freely and forever.
“23 For this reason the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.” Matt 18:23
- The Bible’s language for sin is synonyms with debts. Someone has hurt you, they have sinned against you, they have taken something from you.
- Forgiveness is a choice and a process.
- Dennis Linn’s book, “Don’t Forgive too soon” helpful stages:
Stage One: Denial. While we know something ugly happened, we don’t admit that it hurt us. We just go on with everyday life.
Stage Two: Anger. We recognize clearly that we are upset, and we rehearse to ourselves over and over again what the other person did to us.
Stage Three: Bargaining. We contemplate the possibility that we could forgive—but only if the person does exactly what we want them to.
Stage Four: Depression. We begin to give up on waiting for the other to change and we lose hope. We blame ourselves for what happened.
Stage Five: Acceptance. We accept what happened, we recognize that it was in the past, and we acknowledge that have learned from our experience.
2) Forgiveness is costly.
24 When he began to settle them, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[h] was brought to him. 25 Because the man was not able to pay the debt, his master ordered that he be sold, along with his wife, children, and all that he owned to repay the debt. 26 “Then the servant fell down on his knees in front of him, saying, ‘Master, be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!’ 27 The master of that servant had pity on him, released him, and forgave him the debt.” Matt 18:
- The whole point of this parable is to show how great the debt was but even when the master forgives him, the debt is still there. So who pays it? The master.
- If someone wrongs you, there are only two options: 1) You make them suffer. 2) You refuse revenge and forgive them and you suffer.
- There is no forgiveness without suffering. “13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14
3) Forgiveness is commanded.
32 “Then his master called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt when you begged me to. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 His master was angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay back everything he owed. 35 “This is what my heavenly Father will also do to you unless each one of you forgives his brother from his heart.” Matt 18:32-35
Big Idea > The doesn’t teach forgive and forget, the Bible teaches us to never forget that we have been forgiven.
“11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13