Sunday, 6th June 2021
Pastor Kathy Poon
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)
Forgiveness is difficult lesson but also an important element to enter into a blessed life. It’s normal for us to get angry, even Jesus was angry at the people doing business in front of the temple. But the Bible teaches us not to stay angry overnight. There are some spiritual principles that can help us to stop being angry and learn to forgive.
A. THE NATURE OF UNFORGIVENESS
We learnt about the material world and the spiritual world that affect each other, and when we get angry, the devil will push us to sin in the spiritual world that cause us to really sin in the physical world. The spiritual world is real, therefore we need to deal with our anger, don’t turn it into bitterness and unforgiveness. We can be angry, but before we go to bed, we need to strive to deal with our anger, instead of leaving it and letting it expand into complaints, bitterness and unforgiveness.
- Unforgiveness is a sin
- Unforgiveness gives place to the devil
The first spiritual principal of forgiveness is that if we choose to be bitter and unforgiving, then we choose to side with the devil and separate ourselves from the Grace of God. There is nothing more destructive to a spiritual atmosphere than bitterness and unforgiveness. When we are around people, who like to complain, we will also be affected in their atmosphere and become people who like to complain. We must be careful and do not be affect by the people full of bitterness and unforgiveness, at the same time, do not let our anger turn into sin that affect our lives and others around us.
B. THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNFORGIVENESS
- Fall short of the Grace of God
- Being defiled by the root of bitterness that affects our body, soul and interpersonal relationships
When we have unforgiveness, we choose to follow the devil, and we will leave the blessings and grace of God. Furthermore, we will be defiled by the root of bitterness. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to forgive those people, who sinned against us, then we can have God’s Kingdom come down to earth as in Heaven. Bitterness allows us to live in the past and cannot see into the future. Bitterness not only distorts a person’s perspective and poisons your view of the person who has hurt you, but because you interpret your life in terms of your painful past history, it can even affect hoe you see the world.
When we are being hurt by someone, we want to break our relationship with them but if we don’t deal with our hurts, then even if we left the person we will still be influenced by the past hurt. Furthermore, we cannot run away from everyone, who hurts us. If we don’t deal with our past hurt, then different people will continue to hurt us in the same way. We need to know what forgiveness is, in order to really forgive and move on.
C. WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
- It is not justifying the actions of the one forgive, but breaking off ungodly soul ties between us and the other party and their negative influence on us.
- It is not based on whether the person is worth or deserve forgiveness.
- It is not minimizing the pain or hurt we suffered, but seeking God’s healing so that we are not tormented by the hurtful feelings.
- It is not forgetting or trying to avoid talking about it, but becoming the victor, not the victim.
- It is not based on feeling, but on a decision we make in our heart.
- Forgive is a verb, which means to lay aside, to leave, and to let go.
- Forgiveness is a noun, which means liberty, freedom, and deliverance.
Forgiveness is about coming to God, telling Him that we are hurt and unhappy, then asking God’s healing to come to us. It’s not about forgetting out past hurt or ignoring it. Because all these hurts and pains are still there unconsciously, and when we come to God, the Holy Spirit will remind us of how we got hurt, then we can bring it to God, break off the devil’s lies, and become the victor over the problems. This is not an easy thing to do, and it is not something we do when we feel like it, but it is a decision we have to make.
D. BLESSINGS OF FORGIVENESS
- Be set free (Luke 6:37, Matthew 18:21-35)
- Let God avenge (Romans 12:19)
- Receive healing (Psalm 103:3)
Jesus used stories to teach us the importance of forgiveness, furthermore, the reality of how God has forgiven us a lot more than what we are to forgive others. Jesus already died on the cross and paid for our sins, what a great sacrifice He made for us? If we really truly His love and forgiveness towards, then we can see how it is much easier for us to forgive others. The second spiritual principal of forgiveness is that when we choose to forgive, then we choose to follow God, and we choose to receive protection, grace, and blessings!
E. STEPS TO FORGIVENESS
1) Choose to give thanks, reject bitterness (I Timothy 2:1-2)
Giving thanks is a heavenly element that supernaturally influences culture, the environment and the spiritual atmosphere, with the power to cleanse and sanctify it. When Jesus gave thanks for the five loaves of bread and two fish, supernatural power came down from Heaven and fed five thousands people. When we learn to give thanks, God will also bring down His miracles and wonders in our lives and transform our environment.
2) Prayer of confession (I John 1:9)
We need to humbly come before God, admit the things we complained about and the people we judged; admit we have bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts. It’s easy for us to complain to God about bad things happened to us, but God actually wants to change our lives and bless us. We are the ones, who choose to side with the devil and push God away.
3) Look up the cross (Luke 23:33-34)
Forgiveness does not come us because we don’t have the ability to release forgiveness. Only the cross of Jesus can help us to forgive. But what we can do is to take the action, by bringing to the cross our past hurts, leaving it to God and choose to forgive. Then through the precious blood of Jesus, He can heal us and release His love to us.