Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

 

Matt 18:21

JESUS' LAW OF FORGIVENESS

Mar 1, 1970 am

HERE IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY MISUNDERSTOOD AND MISS-PRACTICED DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURE

  • God's forgiveness is misunderstood and missed; Man's forgiveness is miss-practiced and lost
  • There are definite rules to this game of life- ignore them and you cannot win- some try hard
  • May God help me make this clear to you- For in this is revival or ruin- right now, or later

(This text was picked two months ago; I appreciate Fannin and Agnew's help Friday and Saturday)

THE DIVINE LAW OF THE TRESPASS   Matt 18:15-19

This problem saturates every church, family, I know of - Illustration: Clifton: 2 deacons and a car deal

THE PROBLEM - v.1 and 15  SOMEONE IS ALWAYS PUSHING TO GET AHEAD, AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS

  • The question - "Who is the greatest" v.1, focus on Mark 9:33-34 - a dispute of first position
  • James and John later -Mark 10:37, pushed by mother; other disciples v.41 were wroth - mad
  • So Jesus told them what to do in case of an offense - Luke 17:1-4 offenses will come- so!

THE DISCIPLINE Matt. 18:15-17 - THE RULES OF HOW TO DEAL WITH AN OFFENSE ARE PLANLY STATED

  • If offended - talk with the brother alone- rebuke him, if he will listen - there is gain!
  • If he refuses, take a spiritual friend or two v.16, then the church - v.17.... ever hear of this?
  • If he refuses the church, count him as a tax collector - II Thess 3:14,15

THE POWER  Matt 18:18-20  WHEN GOD'S LAWS ARE APPLIED, GREAT POWER IS UNLEASHED - IT WORKS!

  • We often quote v.19,20, but apply them to sweet requests in prayer, not church discipline
  • But this has to do with v.15-17, and even Paul wrote with force- I Cor. 6:1-8 for the church
  • We are forgiving criminals and thugs, but friends, brother Christians- never!  We would rather fight!

Senator Fannin's "Forgiveness Syndrome" is a serious abuse of this law, wrecking others!

THE DIVINE LAW OF FORGIVENESS   Matt 18:21-22

Our Lord did his best to make this law clear, for we certainly need it - friends, families-

THE QUESTION - "SHALL I FORGIVE HIM SEVEN TIMES?"  Matt 18:21  PETER WAS QUICK TO SPEAK

  • You can be sure that Peter had someone in mind- and so did each one of the apostles - each other
  • The Talmud taught only three times for forgiveness - based on Amos 1:3, 2:6, but not the fourth time
  • The Pharisees in their tradition had really gone all out - seven times - then Zap!  They counted!

THE SOLUTION "IF THY BROTHER TRESPASS AGAINST THEE, REBUKE HIM"  Luke 17:3 STARTING PLACE

  • If the trespass is not serious enough to obey this scripture, forget it!  Or you are sinning!
  • If someone gets miffed at you, and you see that they are not going to recover, go to them!
  • But we are conditioned to jump on the rebuker - the police, the soldier - excuse guilty with no reconciling!

THE LIMIT - "IF HE REPENT, FORGIVE HIM", "SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN"  Luke 17:3, Matt 18:22

  • This is God's law, if we do not keep it, our civilization is lawless!  This is the way of love!
  • This instruction is not to the legal authorities, but to Christians in personal relationships
  • We have perverted this to make serious sin easy and acceptable; and to expect perfect saints-

When civil disobedience is excused and preachers of law and order persecuted - we pay the price

THE EXAMPLES GIVEN BY THE LORD

The Master Teacher used both good and bad examples to teach us, and we had better learn

THE EXAMPLE OF THE WICKED SERVANT  Matt 18:23-35  THE WICKED SERVANT WOUND UP IN HELL

  • This example centered on money; this is the easiest way to see where one's treasure/heart is
  • The lord forgave an impossible debt (7.5 million - you couldn't), but the wicked one refused to forgive a $12.50 debt
  • This is not to teach fiscal carelessness, but that we should pass on to others God's love!

THE EXAMPLE OF THE LITTLE CHILD  Matt 18:3,4  WHEN ADULTS GET INTO THE FIGHT, THEY ARE OFFENDED

  • But the quarreling disciples were commanded to become converted and become as little children
  • The humility of a little child- the symbol of greatness in the kingdom- forgiving, forgetting
  • The open-hearted simplicity of a little child we should copy- quick to speak mind and forgive

THE EXAMPLE OF THE ONE LOST SHEEP  Matt 18:11-14,  WE SEE THE 99, THE LORD SEEKS THE ONE LOST!

  • Whose fault was it that the sheep got lost?  The sheep's, but the shepherd still went after it
  • We need Sunday School teachers who will go bring them back; seeking the lost, not blaming them!
  • God's way of seeking and forgiving is complicated, and costly, but He paid the price- to save

Moses learned the difference between smiting the rock and speaking to the rock - have you?

THE WAY YOU APPLY GOD'S LAW OF FORGIVENESS WILL GIVE YOU REVIVAL OR RUIN AS A CHRISTIAN

  • If you are guilty before God- let Him find you!  His desire is not punishment, but forgiveness
  • If you are a Christian and full of bitterness, why not apply God's law and let it work!
  • Your church cannot have God's blessing, unless YOU apply God's law - DO IT NOW!
  • If you are too weak, or lack courage to rebuke, or forgive, that is why we have a prayer cushion by the pulpit area - seek the Lord's help and He will give it!