Forgiveness – A Heavenly Culture

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Series: Other Speakers; Forgiveness

Sun am 14 July 2013 – Justus Swart

1 Tim 4:7; Rom. 12:1-2; Eccl. 7:19; Gen 1:1-3 (NIV); Gen. 2: 1; Ps. 24:8; (Isa. 9:6-7);
(Isa. 11:1-12); John 1:1; (Col. 1:15-20); (Col. 2:9); (Luke 8:44); Phil. 3:20; Matt. 18: 15-22;
Matt. 18:8; (Isa.53) 1 John 4: 19-21; (Col. 1:27); (Luke 23:34)

As we continue to sit under the word, we need to recognise our responsibility to ‘Train ourselves in godliness’ (1 Timothy 4:7). An integral part of that process is the renewing of our minds spoken of in Romans 12:2, which comes through a process of reflection on the Word of God.

Genesis 1-3 introduces us to the awesome creative power of God, who subsequently assigned the Spirit to hover over His creation. This was God’s intention from the start, that man would have access to God in the heavenly realms. Unfortunately The Fall cut man off from that access, which was later restored by Christ. When Christ restored our ability to interact with Heaven, he issued in a new way of living, a new culture. Part of that culture meant that we as Christian have a new way of dealing with conflict in our lives. Matthew 18:15-22 shows us how we are to deal with what has become known today as Christian Politics.

In a world in which forgiveness comes at a heavy price, Jesus has charged us to freely offer it to those who’ve wronged us. However, it is we who must confront those who have wronged us with the intention of offering forgiveness that does not accept peace as a substitute for reconciliation. We love, because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister (1 John 4:19-21). These are not difficult principles or concepts, but it is a hard lifestyle to embrace as it involves confrontation with the hope of forgiveness.

It is necessary for us to train ourselves (1 Timothy 4:7) to respond in this way. We are inclined to feel hurt or rejected at times, however, in Jesus we are offered a better way of confronting those hurts. As Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).