#613 (1/6/22) FORGIVENESS AND WORSHIP
‘Love…keeps no record of wrongs.’ (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Knowing how God keeps no record of wrongs - He forgives us- has dramatic effects upon all of our relationships; One of the results is that we become overflowing worshippers. On one occasion we read:
‘A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.’ (Luke 7:37-38)
Why did she do this? What would cause us to worship Jesus this extravagantly? Jesus answers us, and corrects the grumbling Pharisees, by telling them a brief parable:
“…I have something to tell you. Tell me, teacher, he said. Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven. You have judged correctly,” Jesus said….Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:40-43, 47)
Jesus was teaching the Pharisee, and the Pharisee in each of us, that when we understand the gospel: the holiness of God, depths of our sin and the cost of forgiveness and reconciliation, we become gracious, and we will worship extravagantly. Worship reveals whether or not we are Christians!
Knowing that God does not keep a record of wrongs against us, makes us gracious to others. More importantly, I think, it transforms us into worshippers: We ‘owed money’, we were bankrupt, but our debts were forgiven. Our worshipful response reveals whether we understand the scale of our debt. May we ‘judge correctly’ about the nature of our sin and so overflow with great love.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
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'