Weekly Bible Study Tuesday, 10th May, 2022 Topic: God Expects You To Forgive Others (1). Text: Matt. 6:14-15. INTRODUCTION One truth of the scripture is that “You Must Forgive Those Who Wrong You If You Wish God to Forgive You.” The very idea that you must forgive others for God to forgive you is an alarming concept to some people. It is only natural to love those who love you, but to forgive those who hate or have seriously wronged you is quite another matter. However, think for a moment: How can God forgive an unforgiving heart? His nature of love and justice will not permit Him to indulge and give license to the passions of a person's unforgiving spirit. God can forgive you only when your heart is filled with mercy toward others only when you yourself are willing to forgive. How can you expect otherwise? In our passage, Christ teaches the basic principle of forgiveness: you must forgive those who wrong you if you wish God to forgive you. (A) First, you must acknowledge that you need forgiveness. You have transgressed God's law. Even the most mature among us fail to keep God's law perfectly. We all stumble, fall, blunder, and fail; and we do it much often. Think of your own daily experiences. 1. How often you come short of what you should do or be? You come short of God's perfection and holiness everyday (Rom.3:23). 2. How often you cross over from the path you should be following and deviate into a forbidden area? In light of your own sin and failure, you desperately need God's forgiveness. And God promises that He will forgive you if you will, first, turn away from your sin and, second, forgive those who wrong you. One of the greatest gifts in all the world is to be forgiven by God: to be absolved and released from all guilt and condemnation; to be accepted and restored by God and assured of seeing Christ face-to-face. Forgiveness means that you re set free, set at liberty to live abundantly and to live eternally with God in perfection. But the only way to be forgiven your sins is to forgive others when they sin against you. Forgiving others means several very practical things. (1) You are not to be judgmental or critical. (2) You are not to become bitter or hostile. (3) You are not to take revenge or even to think about it. (4) You are not to hold hard feelings against another person. (5) You are not to talk about, gossip, or join in spreading rumors about someone. On the contrary, you are to correct the rumors. (6) You are not to rejoice in the trouble and trials that fall upon another person. (7) You are to love and pray for the person who wrongs you. Having bitter or angry feelings against another person is sin. It is holding sin within your heart. But for giving a person who wrongs or harms you is proof that you wish to have a clean heart. You genuinely want God to forgive you. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt.5:7, KJV). (a) Second, Christ issues a strong warning: refuse to forgive others and you will not be forgiven. (Mt.6:14- 15). If you pray for forgiveness and hold feelings against another person, you are being hypocritical. If you continue to harbor ill will toward another person, it is clear proof that you are not right with God. Christ is perfectly clear in His warning about forgiving others: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven (Luke.6:36-37, NIV). The warning and the promise are direct and forceful judge, and you will be judged; condemn, and you will be condemned; be unforgiving, and you will not be forgiven. God could not be any clearer.
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The Debacle At Meribah.