Friday, September 2, 2011

100th POST! The Commands of Christ - Luke 17:3

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." -Luke 17:3

Who is this command to?

Spoken to the disciples. This is a command that is to be passed from disciple to disciple under 'teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.'

What does this command require?

Be very careful when a brother sins against you to rebuke him and forgive him when he repents--even if he offends you seven times in a day, when he comes and repents, forgive him.

What truths do we learn from this command?

Forgiveness is a vital part of the Christian life and church life. Jesus uses the words 'take heed to yourselves.' In other words, pay close attention to yourselves in this. For a Christian to neglect forgiveness is not only disobedience to this command, it is a failure to act how God acts towards you. My mind takes me back to the parable of Matthew 18. The king forgave one of his slaves a vast debt, but that slave could not forgive a fellow slave even a small debt of five bucks. That wicked slave was thrown to the torturers until he could pay his vast debt. Then Jesus says some very interesting words, "So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother's trespasses." (Matt. 18:35) This is serious stuff! Forgiveness in the Christian life is an extension of the mercy and forgiveness that God has shown each one of us.

My mind also takes me to 1 Corithians 13:5 which tells us that love keeps no record of wrongs (NIV), is not resentful (ESV), and thinks no evil (NKJ). Seven times a day we must forgive. Matthew 18 tells us that we are to forgive 70 times 7. Anyone who can forgive 490 times IS NOT KEEPING TRACK! Jesus command is to forgive. Forgive when you don't feel like it. Forgive when you remember the sins against you of the past. Forgive no matter who it is. Forgive forgive forgive. Show mercy because God has shown you mercy without partiality. You didn't deserve it and you couldn't earn it. Humanly speaking, your brothers in Christ that offend you don't deserve your forgiveness either. But God has commanded you to forgive. So forgive your brother and let the love of Christ shine through.

What are the consequences for disobedience?

broken relationships, failure to extend the love and mercy of God to others, God will withhold mercy from you,

No comments:

Post a Comment