THIS IS A TEST PART 5 – THE TEST OF FORGIVENESS
DISCUSS THE CALL TO ACTION
GOD EXPECTS US TO FORGIVE OTHERS JUST AS HE FORGAVE US.
God freely forgives us based on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The forgiveness he offers us is complete, perfect, and with no strings attached. Because of this great forgiveness, He expects us to forgive others when they wrong us. When we forgive, we are mirroring the example that He has set for us.
The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
“The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
“The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’
“The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.
“The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”
The passage above was a parable shared by Christ about how God views forgiveness. In it, a servant was forgiven a massive debt but failed to forgive someone else for a smaller debt.
When the king found out about the unforgiveness, he was furious and held the evil servant accountable. This is an example to us of how seriously God views our actions and attitudes toward extending forgiveness to others who have wronged us. We must forgive….not because they deserve it. But because we have been forgiven the greater debt and are asked to keep that perspective always.
FORGIVENESS DOES NOT JUSTIFY WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO YOU, IT INSTEAD KEEPS PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT HAS BEEN DONE FOR (I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled…..)
For us to have the capacity to extend forgiveness to others, we must first have perspective on just how much we have been forgiven. God’s Word is clear, nothing we have done or can do will ever earn us the love and forgiveness of God. We were dead in our sins and destined to spend an eternity apart from our Heavenly Father. But in His great love, God sent his son to die so that through faith in Him we could have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. No greater love has been shown than this. Once we gain perspective of what He has done for us, we then see the wrongs others have done to us in the right light and can extend forgiveness.
Question for group
How does the right perspective change our attitude toward forgiving others?
FORGIVENESS IS ABOUT KEEPING THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIP HEALTHY (And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally….)
We can mistakenly think that in order to truly forgive someone we must keep our relationship with them. This is simply not true. When we extend forgiveness, we do so in order to keep our relationship with God healthy. God will never stop loving us, but when we do not forgive we are denying the very work that He did for us. The result of unforgiveness is that it harms our relationship with God.
When we follow in obedience to His command and forgive, we keep our relationship with God healthy and strong. There is nothing that stands in the way of us having a close, personal walk of faith. We may not ever walk close again with the person that we forgive, but we can rest knowing that the most important relationship, our relationship with God, is strong and healthy.
Question for group
How does unforgiveness toward someone damage our relationship with God? What are practical ways you have seen this play out?
FORGIVENESS IS LESS ABOUT THEIR FREEDOM AND MORE ABOUT YOURS (Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt)
We hold the key to our own freedom. When we forgive others we aren’t so much setting them free as much as we are setting ourselves free. Unforgiveness is a prison that holds us back, traps us in despair, and poisons our very souls. When we forgive others we unlock our ability to walk in joy, peace, and love. The biggest prisoner that is set free when we forgive is us.
Question for group
Looking at forgiveness through the lens of setting us free, do you feel forgiving someone is a one time event or a process? Explain.
NOV 9 | 12-4p
College Football Rad Social
150 Essex Place, Forsyth
We are invited any and all men to join us for some college football and fun community building! We will be watching the UGA / Missouri game, but also other national games on as well. We will also be cooking some great food!
NOV 9th | 2-4p
Ladies Crafting Rad Social
360 Heritage Drive, Macon
Our ladies will be painting and spending time with each other at one of our most popular Rad Socials. Please reach out to Marquita Self for more information and cost.
NOV 16 | 5:30 – 8:30p
Radiant Kids Family Fun Night
79 Pinewood Drive, Forsyth GA 31029
Bring the whole family for an Outdoor Movie Night! Popcorn, drinks, and fun all included for free!
NOV 17 | 12- 1p
Sonny Carter Elementary School
Interested in Next Steps with Radiant? Plan on joining us for this one week class that covers our history, our mission, and how to get involved. Lunch is provided!