• Matt Beaney

#611 (30/5/22) LOVE FORGIVES


‘Love…keeps no record of wrongs.’ (1 Corinthians 13:5)

True love -Christian love (Apapé) - keeps no record of wrongs. The word ‘keeps no record…’ (logizomai) means to account and reckon. Like a man counting his money, one who keeps a record of wrongs counts up his past hurts. A hoarder is someone who keeps hold of things in case it comes in handy only to find that his life is a mess; likewise, we are all tempted to hoard how people have hurt us and it just damages and corrupts our lives and relationships. Jesus commands us,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

What is the love with which Jesus has loved us that we are to imitate? Simply, He has taken our record of wrongs and has nailed it to the cross! Love is hospitality, generosity, service… but the greatest love we show to others is to forgive them. This is our most painful gift; forgiveness is to refuse ourselves the pleasure of revenge and show kindness instead; This is to carry the cross. Kistermaker wrote,

‘God forgives the sinner who comes to him in repentance and faith. He demands that the forgiven sinner show the same forgiving spirit toward his fellow man.’

RESPONSE

Does your love forgive? Your love may do practical service. Your love may give away money. Your love may cause you to pray for people… but does it forgive? Perhaps, you’d like to take a moment to meditate and pray from what we read in Ephesians 4:

‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:31-32)
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next aspect of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Last week we looked at how 'Love…is not easily angered…’. This week, we are considering the next attribute of Christian love: ‘Love…keeps no record of wrongs.’


True love -Christian love (Apapé) - keeps no record of wrongs. The word ‘keeps no record…’ (logizomai) means to account and reckon. Like a man counting his money, one who keeps a record of wrongs counts up his past hurts. A hoarder is someone who keeps hold of things in case it comes in handy only to find that his life is a mess; likewise, we are all tempted to hoard how people have hurt us and it just damages and corrupts our lives and relationships.


Forgiveness (aphiémi) is to send away and leave alone. When we forgive we ‘give’ the sin of others against us to God. We leave judgement to Him. We are acting like God who sends our sin away onto Christ.


Forgiveness can be compared to wiping the slate clean: in the past, a debt was sometimes recorded in chalk on a piece of slate; when the debt was paid, the records was wiped away. Someone explained forgiveness as:

'Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. - Anonymous'

This is what God does to us in justification and it's what we need to do for others who sin against us.


Like the returning prodigal son in Luke 15, we deserve nothing, however, the Father welcomes us home, declaring: "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him..." Our Father forgives us. We now have a choice: we can be like the Father and be quick to forgive; alternatively, we can be like the older brother in the story who kept a record of wrongs saying: "When this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!"



Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) What is forgiveness?

iii) This section on love is about the correct use of spiritual gifts; how will keeping no record of wrongs help us to have a church in which the gifts of the Spirit are used healthily?

iv) When is it right to forgive secretly - between you and God, and when is it right to go to a person to ask for forgiveness or confront them about how they have hurt you?


SIV - What effect will the avoidance of unforgiveness have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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