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What! I Would Die, Before I’d Do That!

Opening Sermon Prayer: Father, we thank you, in advance, for understanding you more, may
these words I speak, be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths in Jesus name, Amen.

Matthew 18:35
NIV-"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother
from your heart."
KJV-So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not
every one his brother their trespasses.
CEV-That is how my Father in heaven will treat you, if you do not forgive each of my
followers with all your heart.

Matthew 18:21-35 (The Message)


21
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or
sister who hurts me? Seven?"
22
Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
23-25
"The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As
he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred
thousand dollars. He couldn't pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children,
and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
26-27
"The poor wretch threw himself at the king's feet and begged, 'Give me a chance and I'll
pay it all back.' Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
28
"The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants
who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, 'Pay up. Now!'
29-31
"The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, 'Give me a chance and I'll pay it all
back.' But he wouldn't do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When
the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the
king.
32-35
"The king summoned the man and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when
you begged me for mercy. Shouldn't you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant
who asked for mercy?' The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back
his entire debt. And that's exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you
who doesn't forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy."

I’m sure you realize by now, that I am speaking to you today about, forgiveness. Just so we are
on the same page, let us define forgiveness. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary,
forgiveness is willing to forgive, and allowing room for error or weakness. Let’s expand the
word forgive and also include it. To forgive is to give up resentment for or claim to requital for;
like an insult. To grant relief from payment of debt. Lastly, for purposes of this discussion
today, to cease to feel resentment against an offender. In other words, pardon to forgive one’s
enemies. Now, let us look to scripture for spiritual application and understanding of what
forgiveness is.

Follow me to Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV)


31
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from
you, with all malice:
32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's
sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3:12-14 (KJV)


12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even
as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Let us take from an interview that Saul, who now is named Paul, had with King Agrippa. You
will find this interview in the book of Acts, chapter 26. I am reading from Acts 26:13-18 (KJV)
Listen, carefully…13At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the
brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the
Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the
pricks.
15
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee
a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the
which I will appear unto thee;
17
Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto
God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are
sanctified by faith that is in me.

Even Jesus, in explaining what His ministry was all about, also included forgiveness as part of
His mission.
Now, we say to ourselves that we are Christians and we follow after Christ. We also say that
we want to be like Him. We desire for a better country than this one. Basically, we are
traveling through on this planet. No matter what flag we honor, our ultimate and true allegiance
is to the Kingdom of God and to Him who crucified Himself for us so that we could inherit
eternal life. We are virtually sons and daughters of the King of the Universe!

You might be saying to yourselves, “Why the emphasis on forgiveness?” I believe it goes to
attitude. After all, the only possession we have that we will take to the kingdom, the only part
of us that we are asked to perfect, the only item in our care that is to be tried through the fires of
affliction, is our what church? Yes, Character!

As we let the great potter, Jesus Christ, spin the wheel of our lives, as we yield to every poking,
twisting, smashing, grabbing, pounding, molding, shaping, breaking, wetting, pushing, pulling,
cutting, scrapping, smoothing, firing, and glazing. Whoa!! That’s a lot of doing just for a
living soul. Ok, we know a bit of the potter’s job. What is our job as the clay? We are to be
pliable, yielding, bendable, and easy to work with, open to suggestions, not easily rigid, soft
spoken, loving, joyful, peaceable, and longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithful, meekness,
temperant, and forgiving.

Jesus imparts to us the desires of His heart. Just as not all of us are eyes, so that the body of
Christ is full of eyes; after all, he all ready has a creature like that in heaven. What I mean to
say is, as the body of Christ, He is the head, and we are members of the body fulfilling the
purpose of the body that Jesus Christ desires for each and every one of us.

So if a part of the body is hurting, according to scripture, the whole body should hurt. Let’s
look at I Corinthians 12:12-26 (KJV)
12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being
many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether
we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14
For the body is not one member, but many.
15
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the
body?
16
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of
the body?
17
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where was
the smelling?
18
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20
But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I
have no need of you.
22
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow
more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given
more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care
one for another.
26
And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be
honoured, all the members rejoice with it.(That sounds like one big family to me.)

Let us do an exercise…. At the end I will have a question for the church.

Let us form groups of two, old and young alike. Ok church, repeat after me…

By the love that Jesus showed me, by forgiving me of my sins, in Jesus name, I forgive you of
any wrongdoings to me, whether intentional or not, I will also treat you, from this day forward,
as righteous before God, will you please in the name of Jesus, forgive and treat me the same
way also?

What is your answer church? And the church said. Amen! 1 John 1:9

This sermon would not be complete without sharing with you the eternal weight of possessing
forgiveness in your lives, I’ll be brief. Or you may not forgive me. ;~{)

Here are a few texts for your consideration. First, follow me to Luke 6:36-38 (KJV)
36
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive,
and ye shall be forgiven:
38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and
running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it
shall be measured to you again.
Let us now turn to Psalms 31:23-24, and Psalms 32:1-2 (KJV)
23
O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully
rewardeth the proud doer.(A good case for being proud. Of course, it is talking about not only
hearing the word but the doing of it.)
24
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
1
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no
guile.

And finally, just a couple of these. Mark 11:25-27 (KJV)


25
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which
is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-16 (KJV)


14
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure
their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their
reward.

Sing – All to Jesus I Surrender Altar Call

Closing Sermon Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the bread of life you have
given us this day. For the precious work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Quickening us to good
works, not because we have to, but because we want to. We are not doing these things to be
saved, for we are already saved because we accept the sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ. This
is our way of saying, with our lives, thank you for the gift of salvation. Forgive us Father for
not forgiving others. We’ve learned today that forgiveness is a vitally important function of the
body. We want to answer Jesus’ prayer in John 17, “that they all may be one, as You, Father
are one in Jesus.” May we unite under the banner of love, this Sabbath day, is my prayer in
Jesus name, Amen.