Thursday, March 30, 2017

Personal or Small Group Study of Matthew 6:14-15 (forgiveness isn't fair?)

For the next few weeks (Monday and Thursday), I am going to present a small class Bible study looking over Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. 

Study

QUESTION: Have you ever said or heard someone else say; “That’s not fair.”

QUESTION: Can you agree with the statement that “something may not be feel right or fair but it is right?”

You may or may not agree with the statement but there are times when something doesn’t feel right or fair but it is right. It isn’t fair that a child has to take chemotherapy or radiation treatments but if they have cancer it may be the right thing to do. Today’s teaching from Jesus for most feels like it may be right but it doesn’t feel right.

READ: Matthew 6:14-15 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
First, you need to know you need forgiveness. The Bible teaches that no one outside Jesus is perfect, we all need forgiveness. (Romans 3:23+)

To understand this verse we need to understand what forgiveness is and what it isn’t:

Forgiveness (in a Christian context) is:
1. Letting go of the need for vengeance
2. Letting go of the anger/bitterness connected with the offense
3. About you and no one else
4. A way to find peace in life

What forgiveness is NOT:
1. Allowing bad/illegal behavior to continue
2. Trusting someone (Forgiveness is given, trust is earned)
3. Refusing to testify about a crime
4. Pretending nothing ever happened
5. About the other person
6. Quick and painless (at least not usually)

Before we go any further it should be stated: God doesn’t ask you to do something he doesn’t give you the strength to do. You may think this is impossible but with God everything is possible.

QUESTION: Do you know someone who has forgiven someone for something horrible?

Here are some examples
Eva Mozes Kor -survivor of the Holocaust, she and her twin sister Miriam were subjected to human experimentation under Josef Mengele at Auschwitz
CS Areson- Grandmother murdered by serial killer & father betrayed family in an unmentionable way.
Jesus - Crucified on a cross but prayed “Father for give them…”

If the disciple of Jesus wants peace with God, they have to be willing to forgive other. It may not be easy, and you may need help, but it is the medicine you need, even if it doesn’t seem fair.

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