• Matt Beaney

PART 27 – THE DAILY WASHING OF FORGIVENESS (2/4/20)

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)


“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

Yesterday, we saw how we are justified - God declares us “not guilty” and gifts us with Jesus’ righteousness. We contribute nothing to this. Our justification is the work of Jesus on the cross, and is not dependent upon anything good or evil that we have done or may do. This is our washing of salvation. This washing can never be stained by anything we do. It’s Jesus’ perfection given to us by grace (as a gift). This is radical and foundational.


However, we still sin. And when we do, we need to ask for forgiveness. As in any close relationship, mistakes don’t break our love for one another, however, we need to restore the relationship when we’ve done wrong by asking for forgiveness.

Jesus’ prayer that we are considering, teaches us that we have to ask for the Father’s forgiveness regularly - very regularly if you are anything like me!


We need Jesus to continue to wash us

Jesus, before His death, washed His disciples’ feet. He did this to show how His going to the cross was for the washing away of our sins. After some back and forth with Peter, Jesus goes on to say,

“Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean…” (John 13:10)

This episode teaches the point that I’m making today - we’ve ‘had a bath’ (we’ve been forgiven and justified once and for all); however, we still need ‘to wash our feet’ - to wash away our daily transgressions.


What do we need to wash away?

The Bible defines what sin is. For example, Jesus teaches us God’s will when He says,

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

Sin comes in two forms: sins of omission - The loving things that we should have done for God and others but haven't; secondly, there are sins of commission - The unloving things that we have done against God and others. It’s too often overlooked that righteousness in less about what we don’t do (sins) than about what we do for God and others!


As the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin against these commands (for example), we need to ask for forgiveness, and change course as He directs.


RESPONSE

Let’s be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction as we go through each day. Let’s endeavour to keep our relationship with the Father healthy through the daily washing of forgiveness.


During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – KEEP WASHING OUR HANDS (KEEP ASKING FOR, AND KEEP GIVING, FORGIVENESS)


Opener

Do you find it easy to say sorry? How often have you done so in the last week?


Introduction - please read in your group

This week we will learn from Jesus what it means to pray,

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

During this Coronavirus crisis, we are being encouraged to wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds. When you do so, why not get into the habit of saying The Lord’s Prayer? Washing our hands is a great illustration of receiving and giving forgiveness - it needs to be done regularly.

Forgiveness means 'to send away' to have our sin sent away. This has been made possible because Jesus has died for us. To forgive others, is to send their sin away - we send it to Jesus and allow Him to be the judge. We can forgive much more easily as we remain mindful of how much we ourselves have been forgiven.


Read The Lord’s Prayer

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (“…For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”) (Matthew 6:9-13)

Discuss/share together


i) The cost of our forgiveness

i) When we talk about forgiveness, it’s easy to think that when we say sorry to God, He just chooses to overlook our sin. However, sin cannot just be forgiven (sent away) - anyone whose ever brushed something under the carpet knows that it just goes under the carpet! Forgiveness is possible because of the cross.


Discuss: What does Ephesians 1:7 say about our forgiveness?


ii) The cost of forgiving

R. T. Kendall wrote about forgiving,

This means that you keep on doing it - as long as you live. It won’t do to forgive today and then return to folly tomorrow. I know of a person whose wife said, ‘I thought you forgave me.’ He replied, ‘that was yesterday’. Total forgiveness is a life-long commitment; you may need to do it every single day of your life until you die. No one said it would be easy.’ (R. T. Kendall, Total forgiveness, Page 59)

Forgiving is painful for us. It's choosing not to be bitter toward someone. It's choosing to treat our 'debtors' with love. It's a great sacrifice.


Discuss:

  • How does remembering the gospel help us to forgive others?

  • What advice would you give to someone who is finding that their anger and resentment keeps flaring up?


Pray together

Pray together as you feel led.


Notices

Please share from this week’s Church News.

In particular, can we all be sharing the digital invite for our Sunday morning service.


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