Unforgiveness – Part 1
Three of the most destructive things in the life of the believer which we need to learn how to navigate past are: Unforgiveness, Jealousy and Disappointment.
As believers we all want to see the fulfilment of Habakuk 2:14 of the knowledge of the Glory of God covering the earth as the waters cover the sea. However, many of us don’t realize that God’s masterplan for that to happen is through us.
– The people of God are the temple of God.
– That’s why Paul says in
Colossians 1:27 “… Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
In order to see the fulfilment of this we need to grow up into our identity in Christ:
- Jesus’ authority was delegated to us
- Jesus’ means of victory was given to us
The Devil can only destroy the atmosphere of heaven in you is if you let him in. You are the one that lets him in.
Three of the most dangerous doors we open to the devil are: Unforgiveness, Jealousy and Disappointment.
We have seen that Jesus’ priority was bringing the Kingdom. When we are talking about Kingdom we are actually talking about the rule and reign of God.
What is wrong with the planet? The rule and reign of God is missing. When God is fully in charge (ruling) there will be universal peace and harmony.
The amazing realization Jesus’ original audience would have had as Jesus went around living out the Messianic prophecy which He announces at the top of his ministry:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.[a]”
… that God was at last liberating Israel from her slavery and thus setting the whole world back to rights.
If God isn’t in charge then someone else is. The Devil is in charge (Luke 4:6).
6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.
In this whole process of Kingdom bringing Jesus shows us that forgiveness is the master key.
The principal understanding of the cross for the first 1100 years of the Christian faith was Christos Victor,: On the Cross Jesus ultimately and once and for all time defeated the enemy. He took back the keys of authority.
The means of taking back the keys was accomplished by one thing: Forgiveness.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34)
He took our sins that we didn’t have to bear the consequences of sin and in doing so forgave us and in the process disarmed the devil.
Israel was looking for the Second Exodus… They were prisoners in their own land. In this sense they were still exiles. A nation occupied under the pagan rule of Rome.
Their oppression and exile, according to all the prophets, had come about because of Israel’s sin. So, if Israel was set free from oppression and exile, that event of liberation would be, quite simply, the forgiveness of sins.
If Jesus uses forgiveness to set the world free from sin and hell, what would the withholding of forgiveness do. It would keep the person in hell.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h]was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Peter approaches Jesus to ask the question: How many times shall I forgive? It is a reasonable question.
So Peter wanted to know how long he had to wait before he could really let the guy have it. When is it okay to blow your stack?
Jesus replies 77 times. It is an idiom that means an infinite.
Then he tells this story.
Jesus compares being sinned against to being owed. It is interesting to also see that one translation about forgiveness of the Lord’s prayer reads: Forgive us our debts.
- Our forgiveness compared to God’s forgiveness of us is miniscule
- Forgiveness is unconditionally required
- Unforgiveness will hand you over to the tormentor. If you want to invite demonic oppression into your life, here is the way to leave the door right open
Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die.
How do we forgive?
Verse 35 says we need to “forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
- Acknowledge the debt against you
- Name it. Describe it
- Describe how it has affected you
- Release the person from the sin
The difference between forgiveness and mercy.
How to know I have forgiven
The memory no longer carries a sting.
Forgiveness is often a process.