Matthew 18:35 – “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” NASB
Our objective is being set free from the clutches of Sin and the terribleness of unforgiveness. I have dealt with people bound by this terrible taskmaster and they frequently argue, “I really haven’t done anything wrong. It is unfair. Do you know what the have done to me?” Basically, it is “I Am A Victim!” It is will often become a demonstration of Self-Pity Syndrome. If that exists in any area of your life it must be eradicated now!
The crux of the matter is whether or not we receive and internalize what has been done to us. Tragically too often we own it. The devil delivers the package to our front door and we can either sign for it or reject it. The choice is ours. That is probably overly simplistic, but it is true.
Jesus said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Do you understand what He was saying and doing? He separated the sinner from the sin. He was saying, “I see that the devil is using them in this.” In 2 Corinthians 10 we find the powerful truth that this is War but not a war with flesh and blood, it is spiritual. Therefore, I do not have to take offense, I can separate the sin from the sinner and Forgive!
Self-Pity says, “They are doing this to me. I am going to blame everyone but myself. I am the victim.” It is vicious and deadly. I’ve tried to pray with and for people who were wallowing in ‘self-pity’ and it was an exercise in futility. When I tried to console them, they just dug a little deeper into their mire. The matter grew bigger and bigger and they could not shake their sense of being the victim.
Let me offer this warning – Do not focus on Fairness! God never said that life would be fair. That is one of the lies and schemes of the devil and believe me it is impossible and deadly to attempt to engage in a non-aggression pact with the devil. He will sift you like wheat. You cannot do that and fight this spiritual war at the same time.
According to 1 John 2:1, the standard is “not to sin.” But if we fail and sin, there is provision. However, our objective and goal must be to “not sin.” Let me suggest that you meditate on the following realities in 1 John 1, it is enlightening and can be liberating. 1:6 – “if”. 1:7 – “But, if”. 1:8 – “if”. 1:9 – “if”. 1:10 – “if”. Carefully consider what the ‘if’ means and is instructing in each of those verses. The objective is “not to sin.”
The Bible teaches the incredible need and benefit of Fellowship (Koinonia) which means – “Community, joining together, fitting together, linking bone to bone.” It is to become one through with Christ and with each other as the Body of Christ. If my hand offends my foot, I do not cut off the hand, but they must work together as one body. Hebrews 10:25 instructs, “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” Why? Because we need it. No, because it is vital for the life of the body.
I am not talking about meeting but assembling together. I am talking about all the parts being linked together in the right place and in the right relationship. I am talking about linking in function and purposes where the Body builds itself up in love. We are God’s Spiritual House, Christ’s Body, a Community, and the Family of God!
I have upset religious people by saying, “I do not go to church, I am the church.” They think I mean I do not attend meetings, but I continue, “I go to meetings, but the meeting is not the church, we are the church, the Body of Christ.”
Tragically our ‘fear of exposure’ keeps us from being assembled in the biblically prescribed manner. To truly be assembled requires a significant amount of transparency and inter-dependency. Unfortunately, too often we listen to the lie of the devil and run away and wear our masks. The devil seeks to isolate and separate us, but God wants to link us to each other as one.
I want to discuss “releasing the hidden things” that shame produces we can be free like we have never been free in our lives. We will dig into that goldmine in the next session, but for now, we will pause.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!