The Reconciling Community

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The Good and Beautiful Community - Part 6

2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Matthew 18:23-35, Colossians 3:13 and Ephesians 4:32

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The Reconciling Community

  1. 1. 2 0 1 4 S u m m e r S e r i e s : T h e G o o d a n d B e a u t i f u l C o m m u n i t y The Reconciling Community
  2. 2. Wouldn’t it be great if we could hand-pick everyone around us? SWEET! Much better. NICE!!! Lovin’ it! Hey!!!
  3. 3. 12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (MSG) Colossians 3
  4. 4. Reconciled by Christ, Agents of Reconciliation 2COR 518 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
  5. 5. to reconcile
to cause to coexist in harmony
  6. 6. “…not counting people’s sins against them.”
  7. 7. ? ?? ? ?Wait. What?!?
  8. 8. Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra IFES Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement “Grace changes everything.”
  9. 9. At least Jesus thinks it should.
  10. 10. 23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. 25 Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. 26 But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 27 The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan. Matthew 18
  11. 11. 28 “When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred coins. He grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what you owe me.’ ! 29 “Then his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he threw him into prison until he paid back his debt. Matthew 18
  12. 12. 31 “When his fellow servants saw what happened, they were deeply offended. They came and told their master all that happened. 32 His master called the first servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 His master was furious and handed him over to the guard responsible for punishing prisoners, until he had paid the whole debt. 35 “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18
  13. 13. False and True If I don’t forgive someone who has sinned against me… …then God won’t forgive any of my sins. If God truly forgives all my sins and I’m eternally grateful… …then I will be moved to forgive others all their sins.
  14. 14. –James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful Community, (116) “It is absurd for us to glory in the forgiveness God has given us and yet remain unwilling to forgive someone who has harmed us.”
  15. 15. can’t have it both ways
  16. 16. The deeper our experience of God’s mercy, the easier it is show that same merciful love to others.
  17. 17. 41-42 “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?” ! 43a Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.” Luke 7
  18. 18. 43b-47 “That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” Luke 7
  19. 19. 48 Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.” 49 That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!” 50 He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7
  20. 20. Undeserved Favor Experiencing the grace of God began to change everything.
  21. 21. The more we appreciate how much Jesus has forgiven us, the easier it is to forgive the sins of others. We love in direct proportion to how much we’ve been forgiven.
  22. 22. (benediction slides follow)
  23. 23. “4 Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. He doesn’t want what belongs to others. He doesn’t brag. He isn’t proud. 5 He isn’t rude. He doesn’t look out for his own interests. He doesn’t easily become angry. Jesus doesn’t keep track of other people’s wrongs.” 1Cor13
  24. 24. “6 Jesus isn’t happy with evil. But he is full of joy when the truth is spoken. 7 He always protects. He always trusts. He always hopes. He never gives up.” 1Cor13
  25. 25. “8 Jesus never fails to love us.” 1Cor13

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