July 9, 2018

Matthew 18:35 (NLT) — 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Remember what I said a couple days ago that our God gives commands not suggestions? Well extending forgiveness is a command and there are consequences for not obeying.

‎The Lutherans say, “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith which is alone.” Faith comes first, but our new nature will express itself after that in what we do. The conclusion is, if we do not forgive others, we are not forgiven. We are not justified people. We are not God’s children.

Pastor James Boice shares this comment on our verse: “The parable of the forgiven but unforgiving debtor makes three points.
1. A judgment is coming. Jesus did not pass over that teaching. He spoke of forgiveness, but he also spoke of what happened to the wretched man in his story. He was cast into prison until he should pay back all he owed. That judgment hangs over everyone who has not experienced God’s forgiveness through faith in Christ.
2. There is forgiveness. God does forgive. God sent Jesus to make forgiveness possible.
3. The only sure proof that a person has received God’s forgiveness through true faith in Jesus is a transformed heart and changed life. How do we get that down into the practical areas of our lives so that we actually begin to treat others as we have been treated? By standing before the holy God and seeing ourselves as the sinners we are—vile and yet forgiven through the death of God’s Son. We must know that we have been saved solely because of the undeserved mercy of God. That awareness should humble us so that we simply have no other option but to forgive others and to do it from the heart.”

By forgiving others you show yourself to be a child of God. You show that you have had a heart change. You show that the Spirit of Jesus lives in you.

‎Ezekiel 11:19 (NLT) — 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,

Galatians 5:6 (NLT) — 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
‎James 2:17 (NLT) — 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
‎James 2:26 (NLT) — 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
James 2:24 (NLT) — 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

Be Inspired Hilltop!