Sermon 7 questions – Part 2 on Forgiveness

Here are my final thoughts in response to Sunday’s questions:

Is unforgiveness sin?

Yes. We are commanded over and over in the scripture to forgive others. Consider Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

How do you handle a friend who is divorced and in a relationship with another person who is also divorced but they are not married and having sex?

Sex outside of marriage is sin. It really is that simple. If we have a friend committing any sin, the loving thing to do is to confront that friend about their sin. We don’t confront out of pride or arrogance, but rather out of brokenness. We don’t confront to condemn but rather we confront to correct. Many adults in relationships are drawn into intimate experiences, but that does not make it right. When two people are dating who have been previously divorced, it seems to me the temptations for sex would be even greater than that experienced by two teenagers who have never had sex. It requires a real commitment to Christ and moral purity by both parties. When a friend is struggling in the spiritual life, we can step in to encourage them and help them by praying for them and talking with them about their spiritual commitment. We might could offer to help our friend do the right thing by agreeing to hold them accountable. The problem is that in our culture, many people do not see anything wrong with sex outside of marriage. We might should have a heart to heart talk with our friend to help them see how important it is to follow God’s plan outlined in the Bible.

When I forgive, am I condoning sin?

No. When you don’t forgive, you are practicing sin. When you do forgive, you are being like Jesus. Forgiving does not mean overlooking sin or not requiring change or accountability. All of those are different things. God has forgiven you, and He certainly doesn’t condone sin.

Does God really “forget” our sins since he’s all knowing?

The Bible states in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins,” and in Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Finally Hebrews 10:17 says,. “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Consider this definition of forget: “to treat with inattention, overlook, or to disregard … intentionally or unintentionally.” If you consider the definition of remember, the opposite of forget, it means pulling something up to the front of your mind that has lain dormant in a memory data bank. It doesn’t mean the data is not there, but it does mean that you have not thought on it. It could be retrievable, but you have not retrieved it. So, God forgetting our sin does not mean He is not omniscient (knows everything), but it does mean he chooses not to pull up your sins and dwell on them because they have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.

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