Episode 36: Forgiving others
It seems that one of the most difficult things for us to do is forgive another for a wrong (real or perceived). Yet Jesus said if we are not willing to forgive one another, neither will He forgive us. We dare not let un-forgiveness take hold of us as it can cost us our life in God. Why is it so hard to forgive? What happens when we don’t forgive? If we are struggling with un-forgiveness, how can we be set free?
• Why are we offended?
o Wrongly accused or treated
o Slighted or neglected (In my opinion)
o Hard (hurtful) words from another
• God’s solution for not being hurt
o Dead (crucified) in Christ
o Nothing to defend (an open heart before God and men)
o Not considering self (Christ is our example)
• What do we do if somebody does sin against us?
o God is a God of mercy
o Forgive as we have been forgiven
o Forgive 7 times 70 (A miracle of grace)
o Pray for the other person (they don’t know what they are doing)
o Return love (a soft answer)
• What happens if we don’t forgive?
o Broken relationships
o A root of bitterness begins to grow in us (Heb. 12:14-15)
o Spiritual blindness sets in
o Our relationship with God grows cold
• We are struggling with un-forgiveness, so what do we do?
o Remember Christ on the cross
o Remember how much I have been forgiven of
o Come boldly to God and ask Him to work in our heart (Heb. 4:16)
o Let it be an opportunity to know God in a deeper way (Phil. 3:10)
Episode 35: How can the sin of adultery be forgiven?
One of the very big issues that the church has been increasing facing in recent years has been the question of adultery. There is great disagreement among many over what adultery is, what is necessary to be forgiven, and whether those involved in a broken relationship can be remarried. The scriptures have a lot to say about this subject. We dare not ignore the plain teaching and strong warnings, but rather face the matter honestly. Let us come humbly before God, believing that He is for us and His grace is sufficient in every way. Let us ask God for ears to hear what He has said to us with a heart to obey.
• What is marriage (Matt. 19:4-6)
o Union between a man and woman
o Pronounced by God based on what is done
o Only death can break the union (I Cor. 7:39, Rom. 7:1-3)
• What is divorce
o Separating a God-ordained union
o Does not break the union in God’s eyes
o Man cannot break what God has joined (Matt. 19:6)
• What is adultery (Matt. 5:32, Mark 10:11, Luke 16:18)
o Entering into a union with another person’s mate
o An adulterous relationship
• What is the result of adultery
o Great havoc on all affected relationships
o Destruction of the testimony (Eph. 5:31,32)
o A leavening affect in an assembly of God’s people (I Cor. 5:6,7)
o Eternal separation from God (I Cor. 6:9)
• How can adultery be forgiven
o Repentance by breaking the sinful union (2 Cor. 7:10,11)
o Coming to Jesus for forgiveness based on Calvary
• Drawing on the grace of God
o Must be dealing with the living God
o Need to come to the scriptures with a heart to obey (John 7:16)
o Must know a miracle of divine grace (Heb. 4:14-16)
Episode 34: Christ the Power of God
If the Christian life is anything, it is the life of Christ lived in power in these vessels of clay, the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This may be firmly established from scripture, yet the experience of so many of us seems to fall short of knowing this power. Why is that? What are we missing? What is the way in to experience what God has provided for us in Christ our Lord? We need power to live in this sin-sick world and rise above its pull. Paul said that the gospel is the power of God to do that. Do we know what the Gospel really is? It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is God in Christ and Christ living His life in us. That is the “normal Christian life.” Do we know this in reality?
• Christ the Power of God (I Cor. 1:24, 2:2)
o The Christian life is not trying to live up to a certain standard
o The Christion life is living in union with the person of Christ
• Christ has already overcome all things
o We enter into His victory by union in the Spirit
o Faith (ceasing from our works and trusting unto obedience is the key)
• When we live in Christ, everything that He did is ours
o No condemnation (Romans 8:1-4)
o Dead to sin (Rom. 6:1-14)
o Delivered from the law (Rom. 7:1-6)
o No longer bound by the flesh (Rom. 8:9-13)
o Dead to the world (John 15:18-19)
• All of this is made real in us in experience as we abide in Christ
• Struggle comes when we try to attain by our efforts instead of abiding in Him.
• The power of God is experienced as we rest in Christ (Heb. 4)
Episode 33: Working for God
Today we often hear the statement regarding “our work for God” or similar words. Does God call men to work for Him? The needs we see around us are so many, and we may have a great desire to see those needs met. The laborers seem so few. What is the place of man in meeting the needs? What is our specific place in this labor? How can we know we are laboring in the will of God? These questions are most often asked by young people as they become aware of the bigger world and the great needs among mankind. There are many mission societies that recognize the great zeal in youth and seek to give them an opportunity in their area of interest. Are their scriptural guidelines pertaining to the work done for the purpose of God? How can we know that we are laboring properly?
• The Great Snare (see link below)
o Working for Jesus (Phil. 2:12,13)
o Knowing God
o Doing His Will (Matt. 7:24-26)
o Finding a Place of Rest
• All Labor must be according to His purpose and grace
o His purpose is eternal
o The working is spiritual, not natural
o The labor is according to His plan, not ours
• Some important questions:
o Is the work initiated by God or by me?
o Am I laboring according to His plan?
o Am I depending on my natural ability or His grace?
o Are the weapons of my labor spiritual (2 Cor. 10:4)
• What about my natural ability or skills?
• Does all labor need to be in the gospel and church?
• What about my desires (John 15:7)