#614 (2/6/22) FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS
‘Love…keeps no record of wrongs.’ (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.’ (James 5:16)
‘For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…’ (Psalm 51:3-4)
Forgiveness or confession is, I believe, a forgotten practice for many Christians. Forgiveness is something that we are to do each day: We are to seek forgiveness from God, give forgiveness to those who have hurt us, and, on occasion, go and talk to people about how they have hurt us or in order to seek forgiveness from them. Why do we fail to do this? Maybe you disagree with me and you are regularly confessing sin and practising forgiveness, but I don’t think that this is common. Whatever the reasons for our failure, let’s seek to grow in the loving practice of keeping no record of wrongs.
The Lord’s Prayer teaches us that we are to forgive and seek forgiveness every day:
‘…And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…’ (Matthew 6:12)
This is a sure way of protecting ourselves from growing resentment. Every small and large relational conflict is to be prayerfully forgiven. This daily practice keeps us humble and gracious to others. Paul Tripp writes:
‘But I have learned that the more I am bathing my heart in the wonder of God’s forgiveness of me, the more willing I am to forgive others.’ (Paul Tripp, Lead)
Regular, daily, confession of sin to God, sometimes to others, is a sure way of keep us loving and merciful toward those who sin against us. As with how Jesus taught us to pray, I encourage you to include a moment of ‘peacemaking’ in your devotions; spend time confessing sin and forgiving sin.
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'