Sermon – The hardest thing to say (Matthew 18:15 – 18:32) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Matthew: Parables of Jesus 2023

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Sermon 8 of 13

The hardest thing to say

Rory Kinnaird, Matthew 18:15 - 18:32, 29 October 2023

Rory continues our series in the Parables of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, preaching from Matthew 18:15-35. In this passage we see Jesus teaching about how to deal with sin in the church, and the parable of the unmerciful servant. We see Jesus’ response to Peter’s question, and what it all means for us today.

Matthew 18:15 - 18:32

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Matthew chapter 18 starting from verse 15. If your brother or sister sins go and point out their fault just between the 2 of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take 1 or 2 others along so that every matter may be established by the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses.

If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church, and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you were a pagan or a tax collector. Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. And whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if 2 of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my father in heaven. For where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there I am with them.

Then Peter came to Jesus, Austin asked lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to 7 times. Jesus answered, I tell you not 7 times, but 77 times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king. Who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

As he began the settlement, a man who owed him 10000 bags of gold was brought to him. 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. At this, the servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me, he begged, and I will pay back everything. The servant's master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

But when that servant went out, he found 1 of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. Pay back what you owe me he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him. Be patient with me.

Oh, pay it back, but he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, They were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servants in You wicked servant, he said. I canceled all that death of yours because you begged me to.

Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as as I had on you, in anger, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you, unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart. This is god's word. Rory's gonna come and preach. Well, good evening, from me.

My name is Rory Kanaire. Those who don't know me. I'm 1 of the members of staff here at Cornerstone. We need we need god's help tonight, to understand this. So let's pray as we begin.

Father, we've just heard, of people that are willing to travel up mountains just to get your words. And, so often can be the case that we don't wanna hear it. And so we ask for your forgiveness for when we are spiritually weak and, feeble, and we don't want to have anything to do with you. And so we pray that tonight, you will incline our heart to your words. We pray father that as we read this this this, chapter and this this parable, that you will help us to understand it, but not just to understand it, but to apply it to our lives.

We need your help, father, and so we pray by your Holy Spirit speak through us and show us the glory of your son, the lord Jesus Christ, and we pray this in his name, amen. I don't know what you would say. If I ask you the question, what is the hardest thing for you to say? Now I don't mean what's the hardest word to pronounce. I mean, what is the hardest phrase for you to say?

I think there's I think there's 2 that that people would often say. They're both 3 words long. The first 1 is I am sorry. Quite a hard thing to say often. Yeah.

Don't like saying I am sorry. In fact, there was a song I think it was by Elton John, he said, sorry seems to be the hardest word. Is that right? Yes. Thank you.

Elton John Fine. Let's get in there. Now, the other the other phrase that I think is equally as hard. If maybe not harder is what can be the response to that phrase. Which is I forgive you.

I forgive you. I'm sorry, but I forgive you. Now there are times when I forgive you, it can be quite an easy thing to say. It depends on the situation, does it? Depends on the person.

I'm If I like the person, if my wife says, sorry, I might be more inclined to forgive her, hopefully. Yeah? Got the audience good. It it it depending on the the severity of the of the crime committed against me, I might find it easier to say, I forgive you. And I might find it easier to forgive you if you've actually said the first phrase, I am sorry, but if you haven't said I am sorry, I might find it a lot harder to to forgive you.

And actually, I think in this world, we see that forgiveness seems so hard, and and we can ask the question, can we expect forgiveness? Should we expect forgiveness? Is forgiveness even possible? And is it right and forget fair? Is it actually okay not to forgive people I mean, if you think you just, considered this world that we live in, and what's going on right now, and you you think of the wars that are going on in in in between Ukraine and Russia, and could they ever forgive each other?

Or or you think about just the the horrors that are going on and the Middle East between Israel and Palestine, and and we could say, you know, is it is it possible? Could it be fathomable? That these people could forgive each other. Doesn't doesn't feel like they should have to, even. You you think about People in this country where families are are are divided now, and they seem like they've had such a falling out that that forgiveness never seems possible.

Friends that they used to be together for a long time have somehow fallen out and that that that that doesn't look like a lever get fixed. So how can we expect forgiveness? And I think, well, I know that the parable that we're looking at tonight tackles this. See, this parable is so easy to understand. If you can't understand this, Well, I know what's wrong with you.

It's easy. It's so easy to understand intellectually simple. But to put this into practice, 1 of the hardest things you can ever do. And the the fact of the matter is is that every single 1 of us has has failed in this department. We've all We've all found it so easy to harbor in our hearts ill feeling and resentment to other people.

We've all we all find it very natural troll to hold grudges against other people. There there are people even who would stand up in churches and preach. And I am 1 of them who has failed in this area. That there are there are people. I've heard stories of of elders in churches who refuse to talk to each other because they're not willing to forgive each other.

And so what we want is this parable as easy as it is to understand to transform our hard hearts. See, last week, we we were looking at, verses 10 to 14. Tom Smith took us through, the parable of the wondering sheep. The parable of the wondering sheep, Tom was telling us and, and if you haven't listened to it, go back, listen to it. It was a fantastic sermon.

And he says that we should not spies, little ones. We should not despise, in other words, brothers and sisters in the church. We shouldn't despise people. Because they are so precious to the lord Jesus Christ. And if if these believers, if these precious ones are going away from from, Christianity.

They're going away from the lord Jesus Christ. We don't just let them go. No. In love, we go and we pursue them. Even if they have sinned, and even if they sinned against us, we want them back.

We we we we we want to get them back. Just like a like a shepherd will go and get his his sheep. And that that leads us into the the first part of the reason that we looked at in verse 15 to 20. And and and Jesus is saying, look, this is how you deal with sin then. This is kind of the practical out workings of someone as they go away from the lord Jesus Christ.

We wanna deal with the sin. It says there in verse 15, if your brother or sister sins And some of the manuscripts include against you. If they sin against you, go and deal with them. Go and get them back. And and and why Jesus is telling us to do that is because he wants his church.

He wants the body of Christ to be united and loving 1 another. That's what he wants. And so he's been saying, look, we need to deal with sin, and that prompts Peter. Love Peter. It always comes up with a good question.

Puts his foot in it usually, tries to make himself look really good, fails. Okay. So here he comes in verse 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 7 times. So here's Peter. He he's saying, okay. Well, you've talked about dealing with sin. How many times do I need to forgive, though?

How many times do I need to forgive? I mean, that surely Jesus has gotta be a number on this. You can't you can't expect me to do it all the time. And then he go okay. So let me put a number on it.

I'll I'll go 7. Now that that for Peter, he thinks he's he's generous. Because the rabbis at the time would have said 3 is the amount of ties before you stop forgiving. So Peter's like, watch this, Jesus. 7.

7? That's good, isn't it? I'm good. But Jesus's like, no. Look at what he says in verse 22.

Jesus answered, I tell you not 7 times, but 77 times. Or some people say it's 70 times 7. So either 77 or 490. Quick maths. Now now why is he saying Why is he saying 77?

Well, actually, it's harking back to Genesis when lamech, kills someone, and he says, God, god will avenge me 77 times. It was talking about vengeance, and Jesus is flipping it and saying it's not about vengeance. This is about forgiveness. And you're to forgive not 7, but 77. Now, what he's not saying?

Well, I can tell you what he's not saying. He's not saying Keep a tally. And when it gets to 78 or 491, if you're doing 70 times 7, you stop forgiving. That is not the purpose of Jesus' lesson here. The purpose is that you keep forgiving.

You keep forgiving. You keep forgiving until it's a habit. You keep forgiving until that is your heart that you are a forgiver. And then that gives Jesus an opportunity to roll out 1 of his famous parables. And it's a parable, I imagine, that many of us are familiar with.

We've probably heard it before. But it is so sharp. It is a parable about the kingdom of heaven, what it means to have Jesus ruling your hearts, and what it means to be a forgiver in his Kingdom. So here, look with me firstly then, forgiveness, the heart of the king. Forgiveness the heart of the king.

And, you'll see that we're introduced by Jesus to a king. This king comes, and he and he wants to settle his accounts. He wants to get what's owed to him. He's got a load of subjects. He's a king of a an area, a lot of people owe him owe him money, and it's time for him to call in this money.

And he's he he's met with 1 subject. And this subject is brought to him, and he owes a mighty fee. That's a lot of money here. Right? You see, look down with me first 24, 24.

As he began the settlement, a man who owed him 10000 bags of gold was brought to him. Bags. The other word actually is talents. He owes him 10000 talents of gold. Now if that's if you're thinking, well, what does that mean by today's units?

Well, if you look down at the footnote, we're gonna do a bit of this today. It says, Greek 10000 talents, a talent was worth about 20 years of a day's labors a day laborers wage. Got it on the end. Right, 20 years. That's 1 that's 1 talent.

21 talent, 20 years. Eo's 10000 of the jolly things. Right? Worked that out on my calculator. That's 200000 years worth of stuff.

He hasn't got enough lifetime to be to be paying this off. Right? I'll I'll look this up in my in 1 of my study bibles. This is they said, and it's, unfortunately, it's American. Well, I don't know if it's unfortunate.

Sorry, American. They said this is the equivalent of about 6000000000 dollars today. Right? This is an astronomical amount of money that this servant owes to the master. There is no way that he can pay this back.

There is absolutely not a chance. He is in debt way above not just his ears, but his house. He cannot pay this back. You can see that in the next verse. 25.

He's not able to pay. And so what is What is the consequence for him not being able to pay? Well, if you read on in verse 25, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. That's that's that's the that's the result. You can't you can't pay you will pay with prison.

It was quite a common, sort of punishment in these days that if you couldn't pay, you would be put in prison, your family would be sold into slavery, and you would have to sell everything. And the only way you could get out of prison would be if someone paid got got the money together to pay it off. Because he can't earn any money in prison. He's in prison. There's nothing he can do that that he cannot earn this money.

He cannot he he needs like 60 lifetimes just to try and make a dent in it. And so what is his response gonna be? Well, there's only 1 thing he can do in verse 26. At this, the servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me, he begged.

I'll pay back everything. She's beg he's gassed it. There's nothing he can do apart from get on his knees and beg for mercy. I know I don't deserve this king. So just give me give me time.

Give me be patience, and I will pay it back, although we all know. You can't pay it back, mate. I'll pay it back. I promise. And so the master looks down at this man in this desperate state as he begs for mercy, And what does he do?

The servant's master took pity on him. He has compassion. That's what that word means. The word means that his heart literally goes out to him and he sees him in his desperate state and the fact that he can't pay off this this debt that he's racked up. And he says, I'll have compassion.

And as he has compassion, it says this. He canceled the debt and let him go. That word cancel is forgave. He forgave him of his debt. Wiped it clean and says you can go.

Amazing. Doesn't deserve it. At huge personal cost to this king, because that cost him a lot. He owed he's owed a lot of money. Right?

And he says, okay, fine. I'll absorb the cost. You can go free. That my friends is the heart of God. That my friends is the gospel.

See, the gospel tells us that we, all of us, as sinners, have wrapped up an enormous debt. A huge debt. Our debt is infinite. See, every time that we sin, the Bible says that the wages of sin is death. So every time I sin, I have a wage and the wage is death.

So I I keep on sinning and I keep on sinning for every little sin, which is an offense to god as another debt. It's another fine on my on my slate. I've sinned again. There's more debt. There's another sin and there's more debt.

There's another sin and there's more debt. And I could just talk about today, and there's enough there's enough debt there to try to have to pay off for 200000 years. There's absolutely no way that I can pay it off. I can I can try and pay it off, but, you know, those things where you try as hard as you can, the problem gets worse? That's what happens with sin.

It's a bit like when you're trying to clean something. Yeah? You know, if I got this dirty and I'm trying to clean it in clean it in, clean it off. What do you do? Someone help me?

You clean it off. And what happens? You just it gets worse and worse and worse. And you're thinking, the debt just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And and and I owe god so much.

And so I know that then, therefore, just as this man deserves to go to prison, I deserve to go to prison. I deserve the consequences of my debt. I deserve the prison of an eternal hell. That's what my debt. That's what my sin deserves.

And there is nothing that I can do to pay it off. So what can I do? What can I do while I must throw myself? On the on the mercy of god. And do you know what the good news is?

God is compassionate. God is compassionate. In god's great mercy, he sees me. He says I will cancel. I will forgive you of your debt.

I forgives But remember, forgiveness always comes at a cost. Forgiveness always comes at a cost. If you if you smash up my car, just sitting out there, The red 1, Volkswagen Gulf, if you want some ideas after some recreational activity. I hated that sermon's Smash. Anyway, Like I say I forgive you, I'm I'm gonna have to pay for my car wreck.

Well, god says I'll forgive you, and it comes at a huge cost. No greater cost is paid for the forgiveness of sinners than the than god gives here. He gives his most precious. He gives us all. He gives his son the most darling thing he has in the whole universe he gives, the lord Jesus Christ.

That is what Christ comes to do. And so Christ goes to a cross, and it is on a cross. As he dies for people, it says that he pays the price. What does he pay the price with with his own blood? He sheds his blood so that my debt can be done away with, so that my guilt, my my my crimes and the things that I deserve, can be done away, done with, and dealt with.

And so I can then go and walk out free. And not only does he just forgive, but he continues to forgive. In 1 shot, it talks about how how when I mess up, which I do so often, but I can keep on going back to the throne room of grace and there is 1 there who is faithful to forgive time and time again that every time I fall in Graceland, I can get back up in Graceland and know the forgiveness of the father. Just amazing stuff. Look at this this verse.

I forgot my clicker, so I'm gonna ask Dan to oh, no, have I? Well, that's amazing. Oh, it's here. Sorry, Dan. I've got it.

Look at this verse. Colossians 2, 13 to 15. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. Here you go. Here you go.

He forgave us all our sins. Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross, and having disarmed the powers and authorities he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them, by the cross. Isn't that stunning? Isn't that stunning? Your debts nailed to a cross canceled.

Is that worth rejoicing? We we saw we saw a few weeks back in in the morning. I think it was last week. We have a cosmic problem that is our sin. We need a cosmic solution that is the lord Jesus Christ.

Christ forgives you of all your sins. And have you experienced this? Do you know this? You may be sitting here and you might not know the forgiveness of the lord Jesus Christ. Will come in that way.

And friends, do you understand this? Do you understand this? Do you? Do you get this? Do you get that you are forgiven?

Do you get that the the the the the The debt that you'd racked up was so big that there's nothing that you could do, and that Christ has forgiven you. Do you understand it? Do you? Well, we'll see if you understand it. Because usually when you you have to if you find out if you understand stuff when you when you pass the test, Yeah.

Some of you are young people, you have to do your exams. Some of you maybe do a driving test, a theory test. How do I find out if I understand intellectually, well, you need to pass the test, and here's the test. Look at my second point, forgiveness missed. Your merciful servant.

See, this is the test to see if you have understood the forgiveness of god through the lord Jesus Christ. The man leaves. He's just had the most amazing encounter with this king. And so how will he respond in the face of it? There he goes out and he comes across a fellow servant.

And it turns out that this fellow servant owes him a little bit of money. You'll see it here in verse, verse 28. He found 1 of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. Now look down with your your your footnote, very helpful again here. So, a hundred in our eye, a denarius was usually a daily wage off a laborer.

So this ban has got a hundred days worth of money racked up. I went to my American study Bible again, and I found out that that's about 12000 dollars. So it's a it's a it's a hefty fee. Yeah? I'd I'd want it back, personally.

You you know? And so how is he gonna respond to this man then that that that has that has that owes him Even after he's just been canceled 200000 years of debts, how will he respond? Here's the test. Has he understood the forgiveness? Has he truly been forgiven?

Well, look with me verse 28, he grabbed him and began to choke him. Pay back what you owe me. He demanded. So he takes the man. The word is literally throttling.

It reminds me of the I always think of the throttling, you know, when Simpsons, you know, ever watched the Simpsons, it always reminds me of home a throttling Bart Simpson. Yeah? What? That's a memorable scene. I can see it right now.

That's what he's doing. He's throttling him. Pay it back. Pay me back. And so the the debt is saying, well, I haven't got the money right now, but but and he and he says this you'll notice he says it has the same request as he had when he was in front of the king, looked down at verse 29.

His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him be patient with me and I will pay it back. But he refuses. He refuses to show mercy. He refuses to cancel that debt even. He does he he refuses even to give this man time.

And he throws him into prison, much the outrage of of his fellow servants, and he thinks he's doing what's right. He thinks that's just See, this man is proud. He's not a humble man. This man has not understood the great forgiveness that has been afforded him. And so, therefore, he has not been affected.

Buy it so that he can then forgive other people. And here's my question. Is that you? Is that you? Maybe you've been wronged or hurt And you're thinking I will not forgive that person.

Maybe someone's gossiped about you or slanted you behind your back and you're thinking there is no way that they can have forgiveness here. Maybe you've been cheated. Maybe it's that person who's annoying. Maybe it's that other people group I cannot forgive them. I will not forgive them.

I will not forgive them. See, you know why? It's easier to cancel them than to cancel their debts. It's easier to throw them into prison than to show them the forgiveness of the king. And so you need to examine your heart, and I need to examine my heart And am I resenting people for the way that they've treated me?

Harboring ill feeling for the way that they've talked about me, hating them because of the way they've treated 1 of my loved ones. Well, listen here. Be very careful. Be very careful because there's a warning here, and here's my third point Unforgiveness ends in judgment. Read with me from verse 32 to 35.

Then the master called the servant in, you wicked servants, he said. I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant just I had on you? In anger, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

See, do you hear the warning? Usually, there's consequences when you fail the exam. Well, the consequences here are very grave and a very serious indeed. And so you need to listen up now to the consequences of unforgiveness because unforgiveness could well be a sign that you are not a forgiven person. In the book of 1 John, it is an amazing book.

It says the mark of someone who is loved by the father, who is loved by god, who is a child of god, is that they love their brothers and their sisters. You can read all throughout. And then there's a great warning for those. If you hate someone in the church, if you hate a brother or sister, If you hate someone, be careful because your father might not be god. Your father might be satan.

The mark of a Christian is that they love 1 another. The mark of a of a Christian is that they forgive 1 another Because the forgiveness of god that we've seen by this great king, the forgiveness of god transforms the hearts of we can do it. That that the forgiveness of god transforms our hearts so that we can do that which is not easy. It it transforms us so that we can do that, which is not natural to us, but it it transforms us so that we can do what is certainly Christian. Forgiving people forgive.

If they if you don't remember anything else today, just remember that forgiven people forgive. Forgiven people forgive. That is the hallmark. Of whether you are in the kingdom of heaven or not. That is the hallmark of Kingdom living.

Forgiven, people forgive. I mean, it's in our lord's prayer. I mean, if you're not if you're if you're gonna say, I I I follow Jesus, but you're not forgiving, you're you're gonna find it hard to read the lord's prayer out loud. It says forgive us as we have forgiven our debtors. Gosh, a sticky 1, isn't it?

But I don't like him. Spurgin's great on this. If you don't know who Spurgin is, he's a Victorian preacher, It's just wonderful. He says this. The very prayer that teaches you to ask for mercy bids you say forgive us as we forgive our debtors.

Unless you have forgiven others, you read your own death warrant. When you repeat the lord's prayer, poof. That's strong isn't it? That's what you're doing. Look at the consequence for this servant, 34.

He's handed over the jail to the jailers to be tortured. Until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you, unless you forgive your brother and sister from your heart. If you're gonna be unwilling to forgive, be very, very careful because the consequences are grave. And so my fourth point, forgive as you have been forgiven.

From verse 35, but also look at this passage from Ephesians 4 says this. Be kind and compassionate to 1 another. Forgiving each other, just as in Christ, god forgave you. So what's the application here? Forgive.

Forgive. You have been forgiven a great debt so forgive. Why? Because if you forgive, you're showing that you know the forgiveness of Christ. If you forgive, and I can forgive someone who's wronged me.

I will know that forgiveness even more. I will experience that forgiveness of of Christ even more so than I did before. So forgive. And forgive because it shows just how amazing our forgiving Christ is. What a witness to a world that hates to forgive What a witness to a world that loves to cancel at the at the at the at the slightest wrong phrase or wrong thing to do?

What a witness when you say, I forgive. What an amazing lord Jesus Christ we have when we can show him off to this world and say, we forgive 1 another in this church. Yes, we get it wrong. Yes, we mess up. Yes, I wrong people.

Yes, they wrong me, but I can forgive. And I don't have that bitterness and that that resentment that that eats me up and and makes me feel sick, and I don't have to plot ways in my head, which I do. Sometimes when I when I'm not forgiven, I'm plotting ways of destroying that person, and I I then imagine ways of how I can beat them up in my head, and I'm I'm really strong in those moments. But I don't rather than that, I can be free, and I can forgive. Sound for you.

Now you might not have reconciliation The person might not say sorry, but you can have a forgiving heart. Now please don't get up after this this sermon and use this as an opportunity to outline every every failure someone has done against you. You don't need to do that. I don't have to go to Alex and say, look, do you remember this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this I forgive you. Doesn't feel that forgiving.

But do have a forgiving heart. And if you struggle with this, and you by the way, you will struggle with this. Some more advice from spurts, and he says, if you're gonna struggle with this, Have 3 words. After you say I forgive you, 3 more words for you to make it easier for Christ's sake. For Christ's sake.

Just as in Christ, God forgave you. So there you are. But it but they they they spread malicious gossip about me, well, for Christ's sake. Forgive. But but they they they were horrendous to my parent, and they were the way they spoke to him and treated him in his for Christ's sake, I forgive.

But but they they they keep on letting me down time and time again. They've they've taken me for a mug, really, for Christ's sake. Forgive. Here's what spurgeon says. Oh, charming words, how it melts us And as it melts, it seems to leave no trace of anger behind it.

For Christ's sake, our love suffers long, and never fails. For Christ's sake, keep him at the center and you'll be able to forgive. It's not a feeling, by the way, it's an action to start off with. You have to action it first I forgive you. And look, we have plenty of opportunities to do it.

We have the lord's supper. What an opportunity that is when we take it to examine my heart and say, have I got a forgiving heart just as the lord Jesus' heart to me? It's interesting. I told you about we talked about Israel and Palestine. And you you would look at that situation.

You would say, can there be forgiveness between these 2 groups of people. Do you know what? There's a really amazing, charity that's caught I I hope I say this, right? It's Mus aloha. I don't know if anyone's heard of this.

It started when a Palestinian Christian and an Israeli Christian, they went out and they met each other, and they worked through forgiveness and reconciliation. That is now an organization that seeks to bring the 2 groups that would we would say no way They take them out to the desert, and they go through the bible, and they teach them about forgiveness and reconciliation. There can be forgiveness. Whatever you say about the conflict going on there, the thing that really needs to win out is the gospel of forgiveness. That's what all the prayers should be.

I think Caroline prayed it brilliantly the other other week. Another story of forgiveness. You might have heard this. I I I'm sure you have. There was a lady called Corrie 10 Boom.

I'm sure most of you've heard of her. She's just amazing. Her and her sister, Betsy, were living during World War 2, and, and, they were taken to a concert iltration camp and treated horrifically, in a concentration camp called Raven's Brook. She she was a Christian and she used to go around churches talking about this message of forgiveness. She would go in and tell tell her these messages of forgiveness.

Now there was 1 meeting She was there in 19 47, and a man comes in, and he sits, down in a in a row, and she recognizes him straight away as a man who was a prison guard in Raven's Brook concentration camp and treated her horrendously. Someone that she was have to parade in front with nothing on. Someone that that was responsible for her sister dying. And as she's talking, he listens. And here here goes to story.

You mentioned Raven's blocking your talk. He was saying as he talks to her, I was a garden there He did not remember me. But since that time, he went on, I have become a Christian. I know that god has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, But I would like to hear it from your lips as well, frau line. His hand came out.

Will you forgive me? And I stood there. I, whose sins, had every day to be forgiven, and could not. She can't do it. Betsy had died in that place.

Could he erase her slow, terrible death simply for the asking? It could not have been many many seconds that he stood there hand held out, but to me, it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do. For I had to do it, I knew that. The message that god forgives has a prior condition that we forgive those who have injured us. If you do not forgive men, their trespasses, Jesus says, neither will your father in heaven forgive your trespasses?

And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart, but forgiveness is not an emotion. I knew that too. Foregiveness is an act of the will, and the the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. Jesus help me. The Christ's sake.

I prayed silently. I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling. And so woodenly.

Mechanically, I thrust my hand into the 1 stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raised down my arm, sprung into our joint hands, and then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being bringing tears to my eyes. I forgive you brother. I cried.

With all my hearts. For a long moment, we grasped each other's hands. The former guard and the former prisoner I had never known god's love so intensely as I did then. Incredibly simple, parable, incredibly hard. But if you wanna know the love and forgiveness of Christ, you forgive.

So last thing that I'll say, and and I'll leave you with this. I was reading there a commentary on this by a bloke called Warren Waresby. Warren Waresby, he does a a load of commentaries on all these parables All of these parables, after everybody's got, like, 5 questions, 5 questions, 5 questions. After this 1, he only has 1 question. And here it is, and I'll leave you with this.

Is there anybody you need to forgive? Is there anybody you need to forgive? Maybe just take a moment to think through what we've heard, and then Tilly will bring us to your close.

Preached by Rory Kinnaird
Rory Kinnaird photo

Rory is a trainee pastor at Cornerstone and oversees our Youth Work with his wife Jerusha who is also a youth leader.

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