“Forgiving Others Frees Us”

Mt.18:21-35 (Eph.4:30-32) Nov.18, 2007  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

Ambivalence about Anger

•    Surprising display of anger baffling, embarrassing
•    Some say anger OK but not to be prolonged (Eph 4:26)
•    Henry Blackaby: anger = sin

Be Careful Whom You Consult

•    Commentaries may ‘read in’ emotions not actually in Scripture text (Mt 21:12; Jn 2:15f)

Divine Anger at Human Unbelief

•     Jesus angry / distressed at stubborn hearts (Mk 3:5)
•    God’s wrath against disobedience at judgment (Rom 2:8; Heb 3:10f, 17, 4:3)

Get Rid of It!

•    Anger makes subject to judgment; get rid of it (Mt 5:22; 2Cor 12:20; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; 1Tim 2:8; Jas 1:19f)
•    Human anger does not produce God’s righteousness

Right of Revenge Reassigned

•    Not grieving Holy Spirit: yield our ‘right’ to be angry
•    Bless persecutors, respond to evil with good, leave revenge to God (Rom 12:14, 17, 19, 21)
•    Re-direct the pain to Jesus

New Community, New Emphases

•    Matthew 18 discourse takes sin seriously; grace is greater; relationships matter ultimately (6-9, 12-14, 5, 20, 35)

Exploding Conventions of Consideration

•    Need to forgive someone countless more than 3 or 7 times (21f)

Extraordinary Grace for Extreme Debt

•    King inexplicably forgives debt that’s obviously impossible to pay (23-27; Ex 22:3; Lev 25:39; 2Kings 4:1)

Absurd Anger at a Minimal Amount

•    Ungrateful servant then proceeds to abuse, imprison person owing tiny amount (28-30)

Locked Away for Tortured Pay

•    Others inform king, who reverses earlier release: jailed indefinitely with torture (31-34)
•    God will treat us so unless forgive others from our heart (35; Mt 6:15)

Praying and Repenting to Overcome Bitterness

•    Girl found it impossible to please mother, became nervous, depressed
•    Husband’s porn problem only increased guilt, depression
•    Listed and prayed through bitterness, shared with Jesus who brought relief
•    Freedom resulted from forgiveness