"Forgivers with a Tender Heart"
1. HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
“Joseph said to them,
"Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?”
1. Time of private prayer and reflection to think about when you were forgiven and regenerated by God. Thank God for His forgiveness.
2. Thank God for His kindness and forgiveness.
3. Ask God to honor Christ by making us like Him
Romans 8.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined
to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
3. especially in the part described in Ephesians 4:31-32.
3. INSTRUCTIONS TO KIDS (AND TEENS)
Draw picture of Joseph and brothers.
Write three things to put on.
Write caption from the last slide.
4. HAVE EVERYBODY STAND TO READ THE TBC CHURCH COVENANT
The covenant of the church is as follows:
We, the Members of this Church … covenant together, God helping us…
That as strangers and pilgrims we will refrain from fleshly lusts. (I Peter 2: 11)
2. That we will put away from us all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us. (Eph. 4:31-32)
3. That as we have opportunity, we will do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6: 10)
4. That we will remember them who have the rule over us who speak unto us the Word of God. That we submit to the loving oversight and discipline of the Members and officers of this Church of Christ.
5. And that we will give as God has prospered us, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:7)
5. FIVE COMMITMENTS OF THE CHURCH COVENANT
1. STRANGERS with a heavenly home.
2. FORGIVERS with a tender heart.
3. DO GOODERS with an outward look.
4. FOLLOWERS with a submissive spirit.
5. GIVERS with a generous joy.
6. BIG IDEA
As imitators of God
we will be
I. CONTEXT OF EPHESIANS 4:31-32
· The second commitment to be forgivers is found in Ephesians 4:31-32. Let’s turn there to see the context for this imperative is found in.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
“Gentiles” is used to refer to unbelievers who do not “know” Christ.
Notice three tragic things:
1. They were blind, unaware they were sinning
2. They were past feeling, didn’t even care anymore.
3. They had dedicated themselves to pleasing their desires. (“greediness”)
The sad truth is that statistically, there not significant difference between those who profess Christ and those who don’t.
“I Want a Principle Within” by Charles Wesley v.1
I WANT a principle within
Of jealous, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin,
A pain to feel it near;
I want the first approach to feel
Of pride, or fond desire,
To catch the wandering of my will,
And quench the kindling fire.
A. Put off / Be renewed. / Put on.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
· “...this truth has ethical implications.” —Francis Foulkes TNTC
· Put off / Put on: The picture is of changing clothes: taking of the ones that are growing rotten and putting on new clothes of righteousness and holiness. (Take off the grave clothes.” —Warren Wiersbe BEC)
· This includes a behavioral change. But it is more than just an external change.
· Between the putting off and putting on is the renewing.
· Cf. This refers to a change in thinking a priorities.
Colossians 3.9-10 avakainos
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Romans 12.2 avakainos
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
· Christians [should] think differently from unsaved people. Note the emphasis here on thinking: mind (Eph. 4:17, 23), understanding (Eph. 4:18), ignorance (Eph. 4:18), “learned Christ” (Eph. 4:20). Salvation begins with repentance, which is a change of mind. The whole outlook of a person changes when he trusts Christ, including his values, goals, and interpretation of life. —Warren Wiersbe BEC
· new man ἀνανεόω Strong's G365 - ananeoō Greek has two adjectives for new: kainos, which means new in the sense of fresh and distinctive, and neos, which means new in the sense of young.4 Here we have the verb from neos, which thus implies ‘putting off the decrepitude of the old nature’ and the ‘regaining’ of ‘undying youth’ (Barry). The present tense emphasizes further that what is required, and made possible in Christ, is continuous renewal. The place of this constant renewal or rejuvenation is the spirit of their minds. The construction here impels us to take pneuma as the human spirit and not the divine Spirit, though the expression is without parallel in the New Testament. —Francis Foulkes TNTC
Verses 25-29 give four examples of putting off and on.
· 25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
· 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
· 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
· 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Grieved also in John 21.17 ...Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time...
Sealed see Ephesians 1.13-14
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Day of redemption— “the time that a believer receives his new body (cf. 1:14; Phil. 3:20–21)” —Harold W. Hoehner BKC
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
B. Imitators of God.
5.1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Imitators — Two motivations or standards
1. as dear children — We should resemble him because we are his children. Children resemble their parents.
Jesus told the Pharisees, “You do the deeds of your father." There actions gave evidence to their heritage.
cf.— Matthew 5:44-48
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
2. as Christ also loved us —
“As” is hōs (ὡς); “the comparative particle points to the manner or character in which the imitation is to be made good, and indicates at the same time a reason for it.
C.f. — 2 Corinthians 5.14-15
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
· “Other moralists, including Greek and Roman non-Christians and Philo, appealed to the imitation of God for a standard of ethics. But non-Christian writers of Paul’s day could not cite the example of a god who had lovingly sacrificed himself for his people (4:32–5:2)” —IVP Bible Background Commentary
What clothes are you wearing?
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...” Romans 12.2
Even if you are not in the Spirit or sensitive to His promptings, concrete objective standards given here, and in Galatians 5 and Colossians 3 to show that you are wearing the “old man” clothes.
1. Cling to Christ. (not a moral system or culture)
Embrace the ethical implications of who He is.
Walk as He walked.
“…Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3.11
II. KEY IDEAS
A. Put Off
Six things are named here decisively to be put away.
They don’t form a complete inventory, but are illustrative.
1. bitterness πικρία Strong's G4088 - pikria - (lit.) bitter gall (metaph.) bitterness, bitter hatred.
The Greeks defined this word as long-standing resentment, as the spirit which refuses to be reconciled. So many of us have a way of nursing our wrath to keep it warm, of brooding over the insults and the injuries which we have received. — William Barclay
—> wrath 2372 θυμός [thumos /thoo·mos/] outbursts of anger
YLT, KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV—wrath;
NIV, YLT—rage; WET—violent outbreaks of wrath
—> anger 3709 ὀργή [orge /or·gay/] any "natural impulse, or desire, or disposition," came to signify "anger," as the strongest of all passions.
· When we put a lot of lighter fluid on the charcoal to light it we get a big whoosh (wrath-thumos).
· After a while the flames give way to that lingering glowing heat (anger-orge).
· Vincent says: “What is commanded in verse 26 is here forbidden, because viewed simply on the side of human passion.” —Wuest
4. clamour 2906 κραυγή [krauge /krow·gay/]
‘the loud self-assertion of the angry man, who will make every one hear his grievance’ (Findlay) —Francis Foulkes TNTC
“Whenever, in any discussion or argument, we become aware that our voice is raised, it is time to stop. … The argument which has to be supported in a shout is no argument; and the dispute which has to be conducted in insults is not an argument but a brawl.” — William Barclay
5. evil speaking 988 βλασφημία [blasphemia /blas·fay·me·ah/] blasphemy
YLT, KJV, NKJV—evil speaking;
NASB, ESV, NIV, WET, NLT—slander
· “...a word often used in the Bible for speaking against God, but also common for slanderous or abusive speaking against one’s fellows…” —Francis Foulkes TNTC
· Titus 3:2 Teach them … to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
6. malice 2549 κακία [kakia /kak·ee·ah/]
· "badness in quality" (the opposite of arete, "excellence"), "the vicious character generally" (Lightfoot) —Vine’s
· all malice, purposing by ‘an inclusive word to gather up all that has been specified and anything else of a similar kind not precisely mentioned’ (Mitton, NCB) —Francis Foulkes TNTC
B. PUT ON
· The parallel Colossians 3:12 says, ‘12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. ’ Three of these Paul has spoken of in this chapter in verse 2; here he dwells on the others. —Francis Foulkes TNTC
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness (humility) and gentleness (meekness), with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, ...
1. Be kind—χρηστός Strong's G5543 - chrēstos - useful, pleasant
· -When our kids are bickering we tell them to be … kind (or be nice).
· -It is interesting that the Greek word is spelled a lot like the Greek word “Christ.”
· “Kind” is chrēstos (χρηστος), “benevolent, gracious, kind,” opposed to “harsh, hard, bitter, sharp.” —Wuest
· Kindness, used of God in Eph. 2:7, is urged here as a fundamental Christian virtue. It is love in practical action; as Barclay puts it, it is ‘the disposition of mind which thinks as much of its neighbour’s affairs as it does of its own’. —Francis Foulkes TNTC
· Ephesians 2
· But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
· Benignant, mild, courteous, “polite” - χρηστοὶ chrēstoi 1 Peter 3:8. Christianity produces true courteousness, or politeness. It does not make one rough, crabby, or sour; nor does it dispose its followers to violate the proper rules of social contact. The secret of true politeness is “benevolence,” or a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of people. There is no religion in a sour, misanthropic temper; none in rudeness, stiffness, and repulsiveness …” —A. Barnes
2. (adj) tenderhearted—εὔσπλαγχνος Strong's G2155 - eusplagchnos
(lit.) having strong bowels; (fig.) compassionate, tender hearted
· (the bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections, etc.) —Vine’s
· “Strong enough to feel the joys and hurts of others.”
· tenderhearted (eusplanchnoi), a word used elsewhere in the New Testament only in 1 Peter 3:8, the apostle makes sure that he cannot be understood as requiring acts of kindness without a heart of sympathy and love prompting them (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1–2). —Francis Foulkes TNTC
Mark 1 —modeled by Christ
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
1 Peter 3.8-9 —urged for us
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
1 John 3:17 --an example
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
heart lit. “bowels or intestines” like in the word Greek tenderhearted
3. (v) forgiving—χαρίζομαι Strong's G5483 - charizomai (root word is grace) - a) to show one's self gracious, kind, benevolent b) to grant forgiveness, to pardon
· The word can have the wider meaning of ‘dealing graciously’ with one another, but this includes forgiveness, which is probably the dominant thought here. In Colossians 3:13 the addition ‘if one has a complaint against another’ makes this meaning quite specific. The supreme example and motive for all Christian forgiveness is God’s own forgiveness. God in Christ, the RSV rightly translates (cf. 2 Cor. 5:19), forgave you. —Francis Foulkes TNTC
· “Forgiving” is not aphiēmi (ἀφιημι), the word usually used when God forgives our sins, which word means “to put away,” God forgiving our sins in the sense that He in the Person of His Son bore them on the Cross, paying the penalty, satisfying the just demands of His law,
· but charizomai (χαριζομαι), “to do a favor to, do something agreeable or pleasant to one, to show one’s self gracious, benevolent, to forgive in the sense of treating the offending party graciously.” The same word is used of God here forgiving us in Christ. The translation should not be “for Christ’s sake,” but “in Christ.” The Greek is en Christōi (ἐν Χριστωι), “in Christ.” —Wuest
· To forgive means to relinquish the right for revenge.
· To forgive means to cancel a debt.
· As God, on account of what Christ has suffered and done, has pardoned you. He has done it:
(1) “freely” - without merit on your part - when we were confessedly in the wrong.
(2) “fully;” he has forgiven “every” offence.
(3) “Liberally;” he has forgiven “many” offences, for our sins have been innumerable. –A. Barnes
3 Reasons to forgive
1. Why we must forgive
· We have been forgiven by God (Our forgiveness is a witness to God’s forgiveness and the power of the Gospel.
· Mathew 18/ Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
· Ill.—Moral Bankrupcy
· Jesus suffered horribly on the cross for that offence. it was sufficient for God. Is it enough for you? What more are you going to expect.
2. We should obey God’s command.
3. We forgive to rid ourselves of the destructive feelings of bitterness and malice.
Focus on Christ
Not “the storm,” not the offence, not the person. What is Christ’s interest in your conflict?
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
HOW to forgive
· Forgiveness is kind of like a check. We promise someone forgiveness. Will we honor it when we are reminded of their offence?
· Forgiveness in not about forgetting a fact or event. It is about how we think about the thing that happened.
1. Start by being kind, doing kind things for another.
2. Then, pray God’s blessings on them (not just “Fix them”) Work to empathize.
3. Release them from the obligation of their offences.
APPLICATION: (and picture caption)
“Am I in the
place of God?”
(to not forgive you)
15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him." 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, "Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 'Thus you shall say to Joseph: "I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you." ' Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father."
And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants."
19 Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.