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← Forgiving One Another As Christ - Jesse Barrington

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Showing Revision 5 created 01/01/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. If you'll open your Bibles
  2. to the book of Colossians again.
  3. We just sang that redeeming
    love is our theme.
  4. And if that's true,
  5. it will be reflected in our lives.
  6. We're going to look at Colossians 3:12-14.
  7. It says, "Put on then,
  8. as God's chosen ones,
  9. holy and beloved,
  10. compassionate hearts,
  11. kindness,
  12. humility,
  13. meekness,
  14. patience,
  15. bearing with one another,
  16. and if one has a complaint against another
  17. forgiving each other,
  18. as the Lord has forgiven you,
  19. you also must forgive.
  20. And above all these, put on love,
  21. which binds everything together
  22. in perfect harmony."
  23. As I mentioned yesterday in Colossians 3,
  24. Paul has transitioned as he does
  25. in the book of Ephesians,
  26. from out of the doctrines
  27. and into the living out of these doctrines
  28. in our lives.
  29. Living the Christian life.
  30. Again, he is speaking of living a life
  31. that is consistent with the Gospel
  32. of Jesus Christ.
  33. And I want us to know that the only hope
  34. anyone in here has
  35. of living a life consistent
  36. with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  37. is that verse 1 of chapter 3
  38. is a reality for your life,
  39. and look at it with me.
  40. "If then you have been
    raised with Christ..."
  41. If you've been raised with Christ.
  42. So let's begin there first.

  43. Have you been raised with Christ?
  44. Are you a new creation in Jesus Christ?
  45. That is so much more
  46. than knowing who Jesus Christ is;
  47. knowing about Christ
  48. or even affirming doctrines about Christ.
  49. It is a supernatural work of God
  50. where He literally makes us new creations.
  51. He takes out our heart.
  52. He puts in a new heart;
  53. puts His Spirit within us,
  54. and then we walk in the
    newness of that life.
  55. Having been raised with Him.
  56. A new direction of life.
  57. And it's not morality.
  58. It's not morality.
  59. Do you bear the evidence of a new life?
  60. Brother Tim asked the question yesterday.
  61. Is your chief desire Christ?
  62. His glory?
  63. Brothers and sisters,
  64. without the work of the Holy Spirit
  65. in your heart and a new Spirit within us,
  66. there's no hope of
    living this Christian life.
  67. There's no hope.
  68. Now, there's a very important truth
  69. taught through all of Scripture.
  70. And the important truth is this:
  71. That every person,
  72. saved and unsaved,
  73. lives out of their heart.
  74. The Bible speaks so much about your heart
  75. and the living out of your heart.
  76. And if you remember in Matthew 15,
  77. when the Pharisees are coming
  78. to Jesus' disciples and they say,
  79. Hey, you didn't wash your hands
  80. before you eat.
  81. And Jesus says, don't you
    know that it's not what goes
  82. into the body that defiles a man,
    but what comes out of the body?
  83. And He says, for out of the heart
  84. proceed evil thoughts:
  85. murder, adultery, sexual immorality,
  86. theft, false witness, and slander.
  87. And what's He teaching us there?
  88. That we live out of the heart.
  89. That we live out of our hearts.
  90. And for us as Christians,
  91. God has given us a new heart -
  92. A new heart that responds;
  93. that has the ability to respond
  94. in obedience,
  95. and with the new heart came
  96. new desires -
  97. a desire to live for God
  98. and to bring glory to His name.
  99. So if Paul knows that we
    live out of our hearts,
  100. and he's calling us here to live
  101. this Christian life,
  102. then it's important where
    our hearts are at
  103. if we're going to live
    this Christian life.
  104. I think the beginning of v. 12
  105. is the key to living out v. 12-14.
  106. The beginning of v. 12,

  107. Paul's going to work into our hearts
  108. a remembrance of the Gospel and grace
  109. of Jesus Christ.
  110. And he wants us to live in light of
  111. that Gospel and that grace.
  112. Paul here is calling us to live
  113. Gospel-centered lives.
  114. Think about that.
  115. Gospel-centered relationships
  116. here in the church,
  117. where I don't treat you
  118. based on how you deserve,
  119. but rather I treat you based on
  120. how He treated me in the Gospel.
  121. That's what Paul's calling us to.
  122. A Gospel-centered relationship
  123. here in the assembly of His people.
  124. Paul's going to motivate and empower us,
  125. so look at the beginning of v. 12 with me.
  126. "Put on then, as God's chosen ones,
  127. holy and beloved..."
  128. Now, for time's sake,
  129. I won't be able to hit all of v. 12-14.
  130. So if you'll allow me some liberty
  131. to focus on just a few of the words
  132. in the text to get through it today.
  133. The first thing Paul says is
  134. you're chosen by God.
  135. You're elect of God.
  136. Now, how does that motivate
  137. and empower us to be compassionate,
  138. kind, forgiving, and loving?
  139. And brothers and sisters,
  140. this is where your understanding
  141. of election becomes extremely practical.
  142. Not just something to sit in rooms
  143. and debate about.
  144. But this is where how you understand
  145. the doctrine of election -
  146. the sovereignty of God in salvation
  147. becomes extremely street-level,
  148. practical in the living out
  149. of the Christian life.
  150. And Paul here is pointing to it
  151. as a motivation and an empowerment
  152. for you to live this life
  153. He's called you to live.
  154. You see, in the doctrine of election,
  155. this so-called debate -
  156. the argument is not whether God elects.
  157. That's not the argument.
  158. That's not the debate.
  159. The question is the basis of His election.
  160. The question is why does He elect?
  161. Or on what basis does He choose?
  162. I want you to think about
    something with me.
  163. You have a group -
  164. an Arminian view -
  165. that says and believes,
  166. God elects,
  167. but the reason or the basis He chooses,
  168. or the reason or the basis that He elects
  169. is based on foreseeing choosing of God.
  170. In other words, they believe that God
  171. looks into the future
    and can see all things,
  172. and He sees that they,
  173. in and of themselves,
  174. will choose Him.
  175. And based on them choosing Him,
  176. He now elects them.
  177. So the Arminian argues
  178. the basis of election is conditional.
  179. It's conditional upon that man, that woman
  180. choosing God.
  181. Now, if that's true,
  182. which I do not believe that it is,
  183. but go with the thought for a second.
  184. If that is true,
  185. why in the world would Paul
  186. point to that doctrine there
  187. as a motivation to bring out
  188. humility in you?
  189. To bring out compassion in you?
  190. To bring out love in you?
  191. You see, if the reason I have been chosen
  192. is because I chose God
  193. on my own,
  194. that does not breed humility in me.
  195. It separates me from those
  196. who did not choose
  197. because I chose Him;
  198. I figured it out;
  199. I wanted Him;
  200. I saw my sin;
  201. I understood it more,
  202. and therefore I'm elect.
  203. That's not motivation to bring me
  204. to a place of humility,
  205. of lowliness, of compassion,
  206. of patience with others,
  207. of forgiving of others,
  208. of loving of others.
  209. It doesn't make sense in the context.
  210. But, if the basis of God's election
  211. is not found in me,
  212. but rather in Him;
  213. if the basis of God's election
  214. is grace and mercy,
  215. and the fact that He is love
  216. and in His freedom, He sets that love -
  217. all the people He sets that love on
  218. are hell-deserving sinners.
  219. It's not that He looked at us
  220. and He saw something
  221. that just attracted us to Him;
  222. that He was wooed by us.
  223. Rather, He looked at us in our sin,
  224. in our filth,
  225. and then He chose
  226. to set sovereign grace upon us.
  227. And if that's true,
  228. I have no boast except for
  229. the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
  230. Now if that's true,
  231. that is motivating in humility.
  232. That is motivating in compassion
  233. towards other people;
  234. in patience toward other people.
  235. Why? Oh, He was compassionate
  236. to a wretch like me.
  237. He was so patient with a wretch like me.
  238. He forgave me in the cost of His own Son.
  239. He set His love upon me
  240. not because I'm lovable,
  241. but because He is love.
  242. You see why the doctrine of election
  243. is very practical -
  244. not just to have debates in rooms,
  245. but to foster Gospel-
    centered relationships?
  246. That's humbling.
  247. I need to say this to us all.
  248. And maybe I'm speaking to some of you
  249. and maybe I'm speaking to
  250. some people that you know.
  251. I meet many people in Texas
  252. and in different places that I've preached
  253. who claim to have reformed theology,
  254. but they're not kind.
  255. They're not humble.
  256. They're not compassionate or patient.
  257. And they're not forgiving and loving.
  258. And it makes me wonder how much
  259. of that truth they really understood.
  260. Brothers and sisters,
  261. listen, we believe in sovereign grace.
  262. But if we believe in sovereign grace,
  263. it should be manifested
  264. in how I act towards all of you
  265. continually.
  266. We who believe in sovereign grace
  267. should be the most humble people
  268. on the planet.
  269. And I know we are not perfected.
  270. And I know we struggle.
  271. And I understand sanctification
  272. is a progression.
  273. But if we really grasp sovereign grace,
  274. like so many like to run around
  275. and talk about in their debates -
  276. if we really grasp it,
  277. we should be a lowly people.
  278. Poor in spirit.
  279. Compassionate with one another.
  280. Not harsh.
  281. Paul's pointing to the grace of God
  282. as a motivator to empower and compel us
  283. to Gospel-centered relationships.
  284. The grace of God is God's unmerited favor.
  285. And I will tell you this,
  286. the grace of God is the only
  287. lasting motivation to
    live the Christian life.
  288. Did you hear that?
  289. The grace of God
  290. is the only lasting
  291. motivation to live the Christian life.
  292. You may have come to the conference
  293. and met some brothers and sisters
  294. like I have,
  295. and I've heard your testimonies;
  296. I've talked with you.
  297. I've enjoyed you.
  298. It's been great fellowship.
  299. That's motivating.
  300. But see, the context where Paul's asking
  301. us to live this out
  302. is in the context of a local church
  303. where we share life together.
  304. Where I have you in my home
  305. and you have me in your home.
  306. And I weep when you weep,
  307. and I rejoice when you rejoice,
  308. and I see your good days
  309. and I see your bad days.
  310. And he says in that context,
  311. I want you to be loving,
  312. compassionate,
  313. kind,
  314. and forgiving.
  315. That's the context.
  316. At a conference,
  317. it's kind of easy
  318. because I don't really know you.
  319. And I only spend a little
    bit of time with you.
  320. But if I live in your town
  321. and I live in your church
  322. and you begin to see my inconsistencies,
  323. the days that I'm not so kind,
  324. what's going to motivate you to love me?
  325. Can I tell you this?
  326. It isn't going to be me.
  327. It's going to be the grace of God
  328. and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  329. It's not to say that what
    we are experiencing
  330. this weekend is not true.
  331. It is.
  332. But it is to say that our chief motivation
  333. in living the Christ-centered life
  334. is the grace of God and the Gospel.
  335. The Gospel does not just deliver us
  336. from the wrath of God
  337. which we do deserve -
  338. brothers and sisters,
  339. it is the center of every relationship
  340. we have.
  341. Maybe my favorite Bible verse
  342. in the entire Bible is Romans 11:36.
  343. "For from Him and through Him and to Him
  344. are all things.
  345. To Him be glory forever.
  346. Amen."
  347. Now think about that.
  348. My relationship with you is from Him.
  349. My relationship with you
    is lived through Him.
  350. And my relationship with you
  351. should point back to Him.
  352. Meaning what?
  353. It should manifest the Gospel.
  354. How you and I relate
  355. and how you relate with your people
  356. in your local churches,
  357. should be a manifestation of the Gospel.
  358. My relationship with my wife
  359. is to be a manifestation of the Gospel.
  360. And I am to love you,
  361. and be compassionate with you,
  362. and be patient with you,
  363. and be forbearing with you,
  364. and be forgiving of you,
  365. and be loving with you.
  366. Why?
  367. Because He has been so with me.
  368. And when, by His grace,
  369. in helping me see
  370. and remember these things,
  371. and empowering me in them,
  372. people witness the love of God
  373. in local churches,
  374. Christ gets the glory.
  375. I remember one day,
  376. a 73 year old man came to our church
  377. with his wife.
  378. She was converted and he was not.
  379. I remember the initial conversation I had.
  380. She was standing there talking to me,
  381. and he was about two
    steps back right here.
  382. And he came faithfully with her
  383. for about three or four weeks.
  384. And then he came up
  385. and said something to the effect of this:
  386. I have never seen love like this
  387. amongst a people.
  388. I have never seen love like this
  389. amongst a people.
  390. And let me tell you have typically
  391. in Dallas.
  392. Listen, the people of God
  393. are every tribe, tongue,
  394. and language and people.
  395. They're not just one people.
  396. But if you come to Dallas
    and you step into some churches
  397. you might think it's just one people.
  398. Because there is great segregation
  399. into each type of person
  400. in many churches in Dallas.
  401. And by God's grace,
  402. He chooses who He saves.
  403. He chooses who He draws.
  404. But in God's grace, if you looked out
  405. amongst the assembly in our church,
  406. you would see almost every tribe,
  407. tongue, and language out there.
  408. You would see diversity of incomes.
  409. You would see differences in ages.
  410. You would see all of that together.
  411. And when this man -
  412. and I boast in Jesus Christ alone -
  413. but when he looked at young,
  414. African-American men
  415. and old caucasian men,
  416. and he looked at young Asian people
  417. and he looked at poor different people,
  418. and when he saw them centered together
  419. with one unifying thing
    being Jesus Christ,
  420. and all the diversity that was there,
  421. was cast aside,
  422. because there was a greater unity,
  423. a supernatural unity in Jesus Christ,
  424. and they loved each other.
  425. And he saw that.
  426. And he said, I've never seen
  427. anything like that before.
  428. I'll tell you this,
  429. God converted that man.
  430. He is saved.
  431. He is a saved man today.
  432. We baptized him two years ago.
  433. Brothers and sisters,
  434. our relationships in our local churches
  435. should be a manifestation of the Gospel.
  436. In case you haven't figured this out yet,
  437. Christians are an imperfect people.
  438. Will you look at v. 11 with me?
  439. Look at 3:11.
  440. "Here there's neither Greek or Jew,
  441. circumcised or uncircumcised,
  442. Barbarian or Scythian,
  443. slave, free, but Christ is all and in all.
  444. That's the reality of the body of Christ.
  445. We are united in Christ.
  446. We are one person in Jesus Christ.
  447. There are two realities in this world.
  448. You are either in Adam
    or you are in Christ.
  449. There's neither slave nor Jew.
  450. There is Adam and there's Christ.
  451. And you're either in Him or in him.
  452. But with those in Christ,
  453. there's a great diversity, isn't there?
  454. What do you mean diversity?
  455. How about diversity in maturity of Christ?
  456. I hope people are getting saved
  457. in your churches.
  458. What do you do when you have someone
  459. who's been saved for 40 years
  460. walking by God's grace faithfully in that,
  461. and you have a brand new Christian
  462. in the church now?
  463. How are they going to be united?
  464. How can they relate?
  465. What do you do when
    there's a great diversity
  466. in the body of Christ with giftings?
  467. We've studied 1 Corinthians 12.
  468. We know that God gives gifts
  469. to each of the members of the body,
  470. and with that diversity of giftings,
  471. he seems to give passions
    towards those giftings, doesn't He?
  472. Praise the Lord for that!
  473. What are those giftings for?
  474. The edification of the body.
  475. The building up of the body.
  476. What do they tempt us to do though?
  477. To look through our gifting,
  478. to look through our passion,
  479. and look at Mack and go,
  480. the Lord's called me
    to evangelism, brother,
  481. and you don't evangelize like I do
  482. so you must not love Jesus like I do.
  483. Now, that's wrong,
  484. because my stirring by God's grace
  485. and gifting in evangelism
  486. should be an edification for the body -
  487. not something that separates us,
  488. but something that stirs us.
  489. And where God has gifted this
    brother and stirred this brother,
  490. I should look at his life
  491. and I should be compelled
  492. to be more like that aspect of Christ
  493. in my own life.
  494. And the body comes together
  495. and they form a body
    that is fit for the Head
  496. Who is Jesus Christ.
  497. And when each part is doing its work,
  498. we grow in maturity in Jesus Christ.
  499. But it's hard. You know why?
  500. Because we're not like each other
  501. in many aspects.
  502. And it's in that context
    that he says this:
  503. You love them.
  504. You forgive them.
    You be patient with them.
  505. You be compassionate with them. Why?
  506. Because I was with you.
  507. Because I was with you.
  508. So I'm only going to look at
    two of the things here.

  509. We've seen the motivation.
  510. The motivation is God has loved us.
  511. God has chosen us.
  512. He has freely set Himself upon us.
  513. He has purchased us with the blood
  514. of His own Son.
  515. Now live in light of that.
  516. Now I want to look at two areas
  517. where He called us to
    live in light of that.
  518. First one I'm going to look at

  519. is this call to forgiveness.
  520. The call to forgiveness.
  521. In v. 12, he motivated us:
  522. "Put on as God's chosen ones,
  523. holy and beloved,
  524. these things..."
  525. And then when he gets to v. 13,
  526. he says, "Bearing with one another,
  527. and if one has a complaint against another
  528. forgiving each other,
  529. as the Lord has forgiven you."
  530. What's my motivation to forgive?
  531. Because that other person
  532. deserves it so much?
  533. Because that other person
  534. has repented just like they should
  535. and come crawling on their knees
  536. and beg for my forgiveness?
  537. No.
  538. I have a model before me
  539. of what forgiveness should look like.
  540. It's Jesus Christ.
  541. And how did He forgive us?
  542. What if He said I'm going to wait
  543. until you turn your life around;
  544. Until you start acting like you should;
  545. Till you treat Me with
    the respect I deserve,
  546. and then, I'll forgive you.
  547. That's not what He did.
  548. While we were yet sinners,
  549. He sends His Son.
  550. He pursues us.
  551. I love that Jesus Christ
    is a pursuer of me.
  552. I need Him to pursue me.
  553. And I want you to know this,
  554. if your forgiveness is going to look like
  555. and be modeled after Jesus Christ,
  556. you have to be a pursuer of people.
  557. You say will what if they
    have sinned against me, Jesse?
  558. Well, read Matthew 18.
  559. What does it say?
  560. If your brother sins against you, do what?
  561. What do you do?
  562. Go to him!
  563. Go to her!
  564. Pursue them.
  565. You know what we do sometimes?
  566. You sinned against me.
  567. So I'm going to wait till you come to me.
  568. No!
  569. When your brother or
    sister sins against you,
  570. you go to them.
  571. You pursue them.
  572. You pursue forgiveness.
  573. Well, ok, I can get with that one,
  574. but what if they think I did something
  575. to them and I didn't do anything to them?
  576. What does Jesus tell us in Matthew 5?
  577. If you've come to offer your gift
  578. at the altar,
  579. and there you remember what?
  580. That your brother thinks
    you have offended,
  581. sinned against him.
  582. What are you to do then?
  583. Did you hear what He said there?
  584. Leave your gift at the altar.
  585. We're coming to worship You, God,
  586. but I know this brother
    thinks I've offended them.
  587. There's something between us.
  588. Set the worship down, Jesse.
  589. Go.
  590. Be reconciled to your brother first.
  591. And then come back
  592. and offer that gift.
  593. I'm not saying everyone has to do this.
  594. Every Sunday in our service,
  595. we begin our service
    with a time of confession.
  596. Because I'm not going to stand up there
  597. and sing songs when my heart's not right.
  598. That's just going through the motions.
  599. So we sit and we pray
  600. and we ask,
  601. "Oh God, search me and know me;
  602. try me and see if there be any
  603. evil way in me."
  604. And we encourage,
  605. if there is an issue in this assembly
  606. between relationships,
  607. you go be reconciled first.
  608. Why? So you can worship
    in spirit and in truth.
  609. The onus is always put on you
  610. in forgiveness.
  611. If your brother sins against you,
  612. you go.
  613. If your brother has something
  614. you've done against him,
  615. you go.
  616. We are to be pursuers of peace.
  617. Why? Because Jesus Christ pursued you.
  618. We must pursue one another.
  619. And you say, Jesse, don't you understand
  620. that in reconciliation,
  621. it requires both people?
  622. Yep. I understand that.
  623. But what does Jesus tell us in Matthew 18?
  624. You can listen.
  625. I'm sure you're familiar with the text.
  626. "The Kingdom of Heaven
  627. may be compared to a king
  628. who wished to settle accounts
  629. with his servants.
  630. And when he began to settle,
  631. one was brought to him
  632. who owed him 10,000 talents.
  633. And since he could not pay,
  634. his master ordered him to be sold
  635. with his wife and his children
  636. and all that he had
  637. and payment to be made.
  638. So the servant fell on his knees
  639. imploring him,
  640. 'have patience with me.
  641. I'll repay you everything.'
  642. And out of pity for him,
  643. the master of that servant
  644. released him and forgave him."
  645. Out of what?
  646. Pity.
  647. Compassion.
  648. Seeing the hopelessness of this person
  649. and the mercy of God is extended out
  650. to that person.
  651. If you're in Christ,
    that just described you.
  652. You had an unpayable debt.
  653. You could not do anything about it.
  654. You stood condemned justly.
  655. And God in His mercy had pity on you.
  656. Well, then how should
    that impact my life, Jesse?
  657. How should that change how I live?
  658. "But when the same servant went out,
  659. he found one of his fellow servants
  660. who owed him a hundred denarii,
  661. and seizing him, he began to choke him,
  662. saying 'pay what you owe.'"
  663. Do you see a problem already?
  664. Oh God, give me grace and mercy.
  665. Give me justice.
  666. Do you see an inconsistency there?
  667. I receive Your grace and mercy freely.
  668. Thank You.
  669. You better pay me what you owe.
  670. How big of a problem is that for the Lord?
  671. "When the same servant went out
  672. and found one of his fellow servants
    who owed him 100 denarii,
  673. seizing him he began to choke him
    saying 'pay what you owe,'
  674. so his fellow servant fell down
  675. and pleaded with him,
  676. 'have patience with me.
  677. I will repay you.'
  678. He refused.
  679. He went and put him in prison
  680. until he should pay the debt.
  681. And when the fellow servants
  682. saw what had taken place,
  683. they were greatly distressed
  684. and they went and reported to the master
  685. all that had taken place.
  686. Then his master summoned him
  687. and said to him,
  688. 'You wicked servant.
  689. I forgave you all that debt
  690. because you pleaded with me,
  691. and should you not have had mercy
  692. on your fellow servant,
  693. as I have had mercy upon you?'"
  694. Gospel-centered relationship.
  695. "And in anger, his master
  696. delivered him to the jailers
  697. until he should pay all of his debt."
  698. Application: So also,
  699. My heavenly Father will do
  700. to every one of you
  701. if you do not forgive your brother
  702. from your heart."
  703. I understand that there may be situations
  704. in your life
  705. where either you have been sinned against
  706. or your brother thinks you have sinned
  707. against him or your sister,
  708. and you have pursued them,
  709. and you have sought to be a peacemaker;
  710. to have reconciliation,
  711. and they will not have it.
  712. But have you forgiven them in your heart?
  713. Listen, if you sit here this morning
  714. with a broken relationship
  715. and as long as it depends upon you,
  716. you have not sought peace,
  717. you need to hear this.
  718. God does not take that lightly.
  719. You know why?
  720. Because it is a minimization
  721. of His grace and the Gospel towards you.
  722. When we do not forgive others,
  723. we minimize the grace,
  724. and when the king saw
  725. that the servant minimized
  726. what he had done for him,
  727. he seized him and he said,
  728. "you are wicked!"
  729. And Jesus said My Father
    will do the same to you,
  730. if you do not forgive.
  731. Now, is He making a contingency
  732. that God's forgiveness towards us
  733. is contingent upon our
    forgiveness of others?
  734. No, what He is saying is this.
  735. If you have truly experienced
  736. the forgiveness and grace of God,
  737. you will forgive.
  738. You will forgive. Why?
  739. Because of all the grace and mercy.
  740. That doesn't mean it's easy.
  741. That doesn't mean it's
    not without challenge;
  742. without difficulty,
  743. but if you can sit here today
  744. in bitterness in heart,
  745. unwilling to forgive people,
  746. and the Father has not in Hebrews 12
  747. come and chastened you,
  748. it's because you're not His child.
  749. I witnessed a lady that was
  750. close to our family growing up.
  751. She went to church every single Sunday.
  752. As long as I knew her -
  753. 40 years maybe?
  754. She went to church every single Sunday.
  755. She was in Bible studies.
  756. She gave a lot of money away -
  757. I'm talking millions of dollars away
  758. to churches, to charities, to ministries.
  759. But she was an unforgiving person.
  760. And she died with bitterness
  761. and unforgiveness towards so many people.
  762. And listen, I don't stand here today
  763. as her judge, but I
    look at that and I say,
  764. that is completely inconsistent
  765. with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  766. Yes, we can struggle with forgiveness.
  767. Yes, it is costly.
  768. Yes, it is hard.
  769. But God, in His grace, will enable us,
  770. will empower us,
  771. and He motivates us
  772. by returning us to the Gospel.
  773. Have you forgiven from the heart?
  774. Have you sought reconciliation?
  775. As long as it depends upon you,
  776. are you living at peace with all?
  777. Brothers and sisters, if not,
  778. just stop playing games.
  779. Go and be reconciled.
  780. I think one of the fears we have
  781. in being the pursuer
  782. in the area of forgiveness,
  783. especially, let's say it's a reality
  784. where the other person truly is
  785. at fault here,
  786. and you are innocent.
  787. That's often the perception we have,
  788. but let's say it's a reality.
  789. I think the fear is that if I pursue you
  790. when you were the one at fault,
  791. you're going to think that
    what you did was ok
  792. and you're going to think I'm saying
  793. I was the one at fault.
  794. And I want to tell you what that is.
  795. That's unbelief that God's ways work.
  796. Listen, it's not your job
  797. to convict that person.
  798. It's not your job
  799. to help them see their sin, per se.
  800. That's the work of the Holy Spirit.
  801. My job is to obey the Scripture.
  802. To be consistent with the Gospel.
  803. So whether you're going to get
  804. the wrong impression if
    I'm pursuing you or not,
  805. if you're going to go,
    yep, here he comes.
  806. He was at fault. I knew it.
  807. And this is the evidence.
  808. I don't care if you have
    that perception of me.
  809. I'm not here to have a right perception
  810. from you towards me
  811. or to have this situation appear
  812. that it really was your fault.
  813. We are here to glorify God
  814. and to magnify the Gospel.
  815. I'm going to be obedient to the Gospel
  816. of Jesus Christ.
  817. I'm going to pursue you
  818. even if you think that's me saying
  819. I'm at fault.
  820. I don't care about that.
  821. I'm going to give an
    account to God one day.
  822. Did I manifest the Gospel
  823. in my relationship with you?
  824. I'm going to trust
    that to the Holy Spirit.
  825. The other thing Paul says in Colossians
  826. is "above all these, put on love,
  827. which binds everything together
  828. in perfect harmony."
  829. Paul said you chosen ones,
  830. you holy, you set apart by God,
  831. you beloved,
  832. you loved of God,
  833. God has loved us.
  834. Where does love come from?
  835. In the book of 1 John 4,
  836. the Bible teaches us in v. 8
  837. that God is love.
  838. Have you ever thought
    about what that means?
  839. That means anyone
  840. who does not know God
  841. through His love in Jesus Christ
  842. has never known true love,
  843. because love comes from God.
  844. Now, I know there's a
    lot of talk out there
  845. about what love is.
  846. And almost all the talk about
  847. what love is from a worldly perspective
  848. is emotion and feeling-driven and based.
  849. But the love of God is not devoid
  850. of emotion and feeling,
  851. but it is not driven by
    emotion and feeling.
  852. Can I tell you this?
  853. God did not look at us
  854. and He was not wooed by us.
  855. There was nothing in us
  856. compelling Him to love us.
  857. In fact, the only thing in us
  858. that compelled God was our sin
  859. and it compelled Him to
    have just wrath upon us.
  860. God is love (1 John 4:8).
  861. Love is from God (1 John 4:7).
  862. So why did God love you?
  863. V. 10 of 1 John 4 tell us.
  864. "In this is love,
  865. not that we have loved God,
  866. but that He loved us
  867. and sent His Son to be
  868. the propitiation for our sin."
  869. God chose to love you,
  870. not because you're attractive.
  871. Not because He saw something in you.
  872. But because He's love.
  873. And what Paul is saying here
  874. in Colossians is,
  875. knowing that you have been loved
  876. by God in that way,
  877. love each other.
  878. Not because the people in your church
  879. are so lovable,
  880. but God has set His love upon you.
  881. Brothers and sisters,
  882. the Scriptures teach us
  883. that by love in our life is how people
  884. will know we are disciples.
  885. Listen, I know a lot of people that have
  886. their doctrine and theology down pat,
  887. and they're unloving.
  888. They're just unloving.
  889. They don't bear the fruit of love.
  890. Which is really what all these things are,
  891. aren't they?
  892. Compassionate, kindness,
  893. humility, meekness, patience, forgiving.
  894. Fruits of the Spirit.
  895. Manifestation of love.
  896. So, I'll leave us with this question.
  897. What is your spiritual
    barometer for your life?
  898. Your faith?
  899. Ministry?
  900. Your sacrifice?
  901. I'm going to read to you in closing here
  902. what your spiritual barometer
  903. should look like.
  904. And if you match this,
  905. you're going to be safe.
  906. "If I speak in the tongues of men
  907. and of angels..."
  908. Do you measure your spiritual life
  909. by the gifts God has given you?
  910. "If I speak in the tongue
    of men and of angels..."
  911. surely then I'm spiritually
    mature and doing well.
  912. Well, hold on a second.
  913. "...but if you have not love,
  914. you're a noisy gong and
    a clanging cymbal."
  915. So gifts aren't the test.
  916. "If I have prophetic powers
  917. and understand all mysteries
  918. and all knowledge,
  919. and if I have all faith,
  920. so as to remove mountains..."
  921. I've got my doctrine down!
  922. I believe.
  923. I understand these truths.
  924. I can explain them.
  925. I can tear people apart with them.
  926. I know all the verses.
  927. "...but if I have not love, I'm nothing."
  928. "If I give away all I have,
  929. and deliver up my body to be burned..."
  930. I have the oldest car in my church.
  931. I have the least amount of clothes
  932. of anyone in my church.
  933. I live in the poorest house in my church.
  934. I can live off the least amount of money
  935. in my church.
  936. Do you have love?
  937. I'm not in any way implying
  938. that these other realities
  939. that 1 Corinthians 13 is speaking of
  940. are not important.
  941. What this is teaching us is this:
  942. If you have those, but
    you don't have love,
  943. you have nothing.
  944. Now, we need gifts in the church.
  945. We need knowledge.
    We need faith in the church.
  946. We need a sacrifice.
  947. We need sacrificial living
  948. in the church.
  949. Amen to all that.
  950. But if you all that, but
    you don't have love,
  951. you have nothing.
  952. As one brother said,
  953. five minus one equals zero
  954. here in 1 Corinthians 13.
  955. You have all these five things,
  956. but you don't have love,
  957. you've not nothing.
  958. So what should the barometer be
  959. of our spiritual life?
  960. Love.
  961. You know why?
  962. Because if you genuinely have love,
  963. these other areas will manifest
  964. in your life.
  965. These other areas will
    show up in your life.
  966. What's Paul calling us to do?
  967. He is calling us
  968. to understand who Jesus Christ is -
  969. that's Colossians 1.
  970. To believe Who He is.
  971. To believe what He accomplished.
  972. Colossians 2.
  973. And to know who we are in Jesus Christ
  974. through faith,
  975. and to live in light of that reality.
  976. To know this love.
  977. To know this election.
  978. To know this setting apart,
  979. and then to live
  980. in light of those realities.
  981. You say, Jesse, I'm struggling with love.
  982. I can tell you what you've done for sure.
  983. You know what it is?
  984. You've taken your eyes
    off of Jesus Christ.
  985. You've taken your eyes off of
  986. the grace of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
  987. And Paul wants you to be fixated
  988. upon the grace of God in Jesus Christ
  989. and the Gospel.
  990. And if that is continually
  991. being renewed in your mind
  992. and unveiled by the
    power of the Holy Spirit,
  993. then we will be motivated and compelled
  994. to live that reality out,
  995. and in living that out,
  996. God gets glory in our
    life and in our churches.
  997. So that's my prayer for you
  998. is that you would grow in the depth
  999. of the Gospel.
  1000. Brothers and sisters,
  1001. the Gospel's not just the entrance
  1002. into the Kingdom of God
  1003. and then we move on
  1004. to greater things.
  1005. You're never going to
    get out of that Gospel.
  1006. You're just going to go deeper
  1007. and deeper and deeper into it.
  1008. And as you understand it more,
  1009. here's where it will be reflected:
  1010. in your love, forgiveness, compassion,
  1011. patience, forbearing with the church.
  1012. That's where it shows up.
  1013. And the lost as we go out
  1014. and preach the Gospel,
  1015. and our love for God.
  1016. So, do you see the need to prioritize
  1017. the nurturing of your soul
  1018. in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
  1019. If you take your eyes off that Gospel,
  1020. you forget that it's all grace.
  1021. All those things Paul called you to
  1022. are squashed by pride.
  1023. The Gospel as grace brings humility.
  1024. So, may the Lord work
  1025. the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  1026. and the grace of Jesus Christ
  1027. evermore into our hearts.
  1028. Amen?
  1029. Amen.