Forgiveness - Lessons from Philemon
Good morning. The coffee's working, are awake, gloomy day, but you're awake. You're here. Thank you for coming. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I heard a story about a Sunday school teacher. She wanted to make sure the students got the point of her lesson. So she asked the question at the end. What must you do to obtain forgiveness from sin? Is Sunday school guys like this is deep, right? So it's quiet for a while. Finally, a little boy raises his hand. So she goes through the question, what do you have to do right before you get this forgiveness? What do you see? Make it simple? What must you do to obtain forgiveness from sin? The boy said, sin
little bit of a hand grenade. Well see I get this right. So I know the feeling that this Sunday School teacher because it happens all the time, like, so I'll be preaching and then like, sometimes y'all will get stuck. And that's like y'all all y'all not all y'all, but y'all like, send me just some of y'all. You get stuck. I'm learning how to be in the south, staying like 10 years. But anyway, you know, now that seems like that. That right? So certain people get stuck on that. Right? And that's all you going to think about now? I'm talking, talking, talking and you're just like y'all, y'all, y'all all y'all. Everyone says, you know, it happens. And then what happens is like last week, right? It talked about New Year's resolutions. One of the keys is like just getting that stuff you're struggling with out of the house, right? So whatever it is, the sweets, the ice cream, the alcohol was going to point a finger on that one. But anyway, you know, like, just get it get it out of the house. Right? So then I know people like to look like kids, you lawyer everything right? So but what if my spouse is counseling now? Like, well, well, it's their fault, because they always bring the stuff in the house, right? So I'm trying to solve that problem through a little pastoral chests, right? So we're going to do that. And so I said, is, look, if you got a house, maybe you have a garage, you take your stuff, right? And you put it in that little mini fridge. Now this is the person that doesn't have the problem. And you put that in the garage, right? So y'all just got stuck right there. Because then some people who are like addicts, they're going, who? That's a great idea, right? So some people will like, yeah, I can put all my stuff in the stack. It's not your sin stash. It's like the stuff that you're not supposed to have goes in the garage. So anyway, so don't get stuck, you're going to get stuck on that. And that's there is no gaming the system in a new life in Christ, right? God can see you imagine that. So, back in our series here, Colossians. Quick recap our new life in Christ, that was really where we went with Colossians. Now, we're following Paul through the book of Acts, he landed at Ephesus. And so he wrote letters back to those places. So we looked at Ephesians, we saw that there are regional letters. So a map, I got a little map here, if you'd like maps, there it is. So there's Kalasa. And you have that whole area here emphasis and the letters to Revelation to so Asia Minor at the time. Now we're going to look at another regional letter. And a lot of people don't realize that it is, in fact, a lot of people don't realize that this book is even in the Bible. By Lehman, it's fun to say, it's like a one chapter book, and it's to this region. And so it's written by Paul, probably a prisoner in Rome at this time. Now, you'll remember some people are coming up on Nessus was one of them that we mentioned last week. Tickets, you remember him, that's fun to say too. So it's sent with the same mailman probably he's the deliverer of these letters to this region, if he has an all his mail bag, they're all together, and he's going from place to place now. Finally, Amman, why? Well, to start by Lehmann is a wealthy guy in the church. So we know he has like a home church that he's hosting there. We know he's wealthy enough, and we'll get here to own slaves to have like, what we might call servants today in the house, he has people in his employment wealthy guy now just, we're going to talk about that there are wealthy people in the church even back then, and that's okay. The key is they need to be generous. So the church back then needed benefactors to get the job done same as today. So it's okay to have nice things, but the generous So Paul is going to be encouraging him to kind of be generous about something and that is own SMS. So what you have here is an SMS is a runaway slave and so when you put all these things together, you kind of got to read put the pieces together. What most likely happens is when we know unless Miss ran away from finally man who owns him at this time It runs into Paul, Paul finds them now Paul is going to send them back because it's the right thing to do. You need to go back. But if I Lehman could kill him for running away. Also, it's implied that he stole something. So this would be really bad. So in essence is in a bad spot becomes a Christian meets Paul, Paul's like, okay, Tiki kisses headed that way anyway, where if I leave in is you go, I'll send a letter on your behalf. Cool. Well, why don't why is this important? Well, it's very interesting. You might wonder sometimes I'd be tempted to think like, why is this in the Bible, like this is a letter unlike a lot of like, the general letters to the church is a letter just to one person wanting you to read it. And so through the years, people kind of ask this question, as I happen more with like, First and Second Timothy, with Titus as well, because Paul will say some things to them. And you're like, really? Like, that's pretty crazy. So you might be tempted to think like, would he say these things if you knew it was going to be in the Bible, right, and I don't know, not as much here. But it's just an interesting thing to think about, we're getting a window, it's like reading somebody's email, right? So we're getting a window into like, his correspondence is a one on one correspondence, but it's going to teach us some things I'm going to show you what it teaches us today, upfront, what I want to do real quick, is just addressed the concept. If you've been here for a long time, you don't have a problem with this, but maybe there are new people here. Slavery, so you can just a way to do read your Bible, right to any topic, right? You never ever read this through the cultural lens of the day, it's the other way around, you will always get it. And you'll always find what you're looking for, too. And in the past, people have found what they were looking for in slavery, and then tried to use this out of context, we're going to see how bad it is today to justify slavery, so that it happens because they're, you're pushing what they call it reading things into the text, they're going to start reading things into the text, they're usually not there, or you're just looking to get something. No, the world must be seen through this. It's the other way around, right? So we have to put these lenses on first, then we get an appropriate view of the world. Now slavery in our time, right? So it connotates racism, and that's a very bad thing. We've seen this in the Bible, we're going to see it. Again, not good at all. It doesn't really mean the same thing here. So now what will happen is in Greek, it's a slave and there's a different word for servant, there's a different word for slave. It's important that they delineate that some don't, they merge, it messes the translation up, it also messes the gravity up of what Paul's trying to say a lot. When he says, I'm a slave like Romans, I'm a slave of Christ Jesus, right, that's important understand. But you have to understand is it could be commerce back that you could have a slave at the same skin color as you, and we're going to see it today. Even using one of Jesus's parables, we know that some slaves could actually rise to a very high position in a household and make way more money than free people. And we're going to see this today. So you got to think of it differently. I'm using the translation that will say slave, if it's not, I'm going to put it in there because they are different words. And I believe that accuracy is more important than our feelings. So if you're still here, you know that.
So anyway, it's just very important to be accurate, and you'll kind of learn why today. Alright, let's hop right in. So finally, I'll leave in one. This is a letter from Paul a prisoner for preaching the good news about Christ Jesus. And for my brother, Timothy. I'm writing to find Lehmann, our beloved co worker, and our sister Sophia, and to our fellow soldier, octopus, and to the church that meets in your house. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. So right up front of prisoner Paul is a prisoner. We're going to see where he goes with this. He's reminds him immediately notice that right, Timothy, we see Timothy coming into play here. He's been included in some letters that we've looked at in the past. Probably what's going on here is finally Amon. He's the home owner. For us, probably his wife Archippus, especially in the language, if we look at the under Colossians is probably there's some that's probably what's going on here. We don't know definitely. But that's the best guess. Again, Paul, grace, and peace has he started. Grace is very, very similar to other letters. Now Paul will go into like a Thanksgiving and prayer. We saw this a lot woven through Ephesians. It's not as long. But finally, even one four, I always thank my God when I pray for you finally, even because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people. And I'm praying that you will put in action, the generosity that comes from your faith, as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God's people. Okay. So here we get generosity is a sign of what? Faith right so to be very generous, you have to have faith right? You're not going to run into trouble because you're being generous. Exercise your face if I was giving this encouragement, this is the ramp up for Paul's like pastoral appeal for an SMS. He starts using these words like Joy comfort, my Brother, your kindness, finally even one eight. That is why I'm boldly asking a favor of you, I could demand in the name of Christ, because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you consider this as a request for me, Paul, an old man, and now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus, you see what he's doing here? He's now reminded him again, that he is a prisoner. He's in what like Shane's What's that all kind of like a slave would be. So I'm like, on SMS, so He's liking himself to him here, I could demand but it's the right thing to do. Right. So he's going to continue finally even one cent, I appeal to you to show kindness to my child. But as soon as I became his father in the faith, while here in prison on isn't as haven't been as much used to you in the past, but now he's very useful to both of us. I'm sending him back to you. And when Tim comes my heart, right, so again, so he has my Lehman has the right to kill this guy, but he's holding my heart. You got to kill him now. So again, I'm like a father to him. I'm sending my son to you basically, with the heart. Now, you may have a study Bible, you may have read this before, or Nissim is actually a better translation of this. They'll say it means useful, kind of value is better. He's a valuable man. So if you ever read that in your study Bible that's going on here. And a lot of people don't know. But Paul uses tons of wordplay. And so this is kind of one of them going on here. nerd glasses off, let's go. Finally, him and 113. I wanted to keep him here with me while I'm in these chains for preaching the good news. And he would have helped me on your behalf. But I didn't want to do anything without your consent. I want to help because you were willing, not because you were forced, it seems that you lost on SMS for a little while so that you can have him back forever. He's no longer like a slave to you. He's more than a slave. But he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now, he will mean much more to you both as a man and a brother in the Lord. So he's laying it on pretty heavy. The chains here, I wanted to, but I have respect for you. Right, like do the right thing. I wanted to keep them, but I released him. You should do the same thing. Right? So this is what's going on here. What you might see in here, and I'll talk about it a little bit later. I kind of get a picture of like the prodigal son story. Right? You know what I mean? He went away he was a son. Although the roles are different. It's not exactly perfect. You get that kind of picture with what Paul's doing here. Like you know what I mean? You lost the son and now he's coming back to you as a brother but you could change the family member, a brother in the Lord by Lehmann 117 So if you consider me your partner welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything charge it to me. I Paul write this in my own hand I will repay it and I won't mention that you owe me your very soul yes my brother please do me this favor for the Lord's sake give me this encouragement in Christ again, brother partner that's a big word like Philippians partner with me in my suffering right key need to be having common with in the Greek. Alright, treat me as it should basically treat him as if he's me. Right now. Here's where you get like the implication that maybe he stole something if he owes you anything, right? Maybe you stole something from better than solos, probably self right? So essentially, they translate it solo because basically, he's saying like, if it weren't for me, you wouldn't have the gospel, you know, you wouldn't be saved, right? So you owe me your souls, while they're translating it that way. So finally, even 121 I'm confident as I write this letter, that you will do what I asked and even more, one more thing. Please prepare a guestroom for me. For I am hoping that God will answer your prayers. And let me return to you soon. If avarice my fellow prisoner of Christ, Jesus sends you his greetings so to mark our darkest demons and Luke, my co workers, me the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ view with your spirit. So this is great. I always laugh when I see this. Like, by the way, I'm coming to check on you. You know what I like? It Right? So the we can laugh a little. It's kind of funny. So good pastoral work here, right? A really good pastoral word. We see those names, right. So Mark, the author of the gospel of Mark. So do you see how it's a regional letter like the same exact people that he was and the other one, they're in here to Demas She's doing well. Now. We're going to read more about him in the future. And Luke, remember this beloved, Dr. Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts, and again me, the grace, grace and peace, it's always kind of endcaps that way. So how did it turn out? Do we know? Well, history and tradition. So according to ancient tradition by Lehman was consecrated like overseer or Bishop of Colossi and then later martyr so some stories like this whole thing. Families killed in the church home. Not great, but they died for Jesus. Okay, and absent is maybe the same Anessa Miss who Ignatius mentions, and he goes on to prominent prominence in Ephesus. So 40 years later, he becomes the bishop like or we would say like Overseer and correct biblical language. So this isn't really encouraging thing when we think about it. Right? very forward thinking when we think about it, right? So you have a slave here, who rises to prominence as an overseer, like, you know, a leader of an entire church. Pretty cool. Look at all the appeals. Paul Gibbs. It's amazing, right? So just you read this and you think about what's going on here, the fact that the Bible was ever used to encourage it, like they really needed to keep reading past the Old Testament a little bit, right? And you get this idea like your brother's your equals, like, it's amazing. I'm just considering like, this is 2000 years before slavery here was abolished. Very forward that well, that's God right forward thinking. But it's incredible. And that, look redemption, think about that, like this probably thief, like, you know, talking about lower socio economic class person who rises to prominence in the church. Incredible. So, again, we see a story reminiscent of the prodigal son, but finally him and instead of being this like, loving father, he's someone who has to be persuaded and encouraged. And here, Paul takes on the role of something like an intercessor and fancy word, right? I'm going to plead for you. But Jesus is our intercessor. Right? So he's coming in for us, and, you know, saying, hey, look, forgive him. Now, if we look to the other side of things, so what we'll often do in this is the same thing. Like as we look at the prodigal son, we see ourselves as an isthmus, right, rightfully so we've all done something wrong. We've all at one time run from God. And then please have me back kind of thing. Right. But if we turn it around, and let us let Paul appeal to us, things get kind of interesting. Like if we pretend that we're finally human, it's different. Now a lot of people like to do that, right? Because we like the hate no matter what I do. God's just like waiting there for me. Right? You know, that's amazing, right? So I can do what I want, like the kids sin. You know, and this is what we like. But what if, like, it's being written to us, and perhaps this is another purpose for the letter.
Perhaps we're finally human. So what you see here, which is very, very interesting, in this intercessory role, like, like, like, he's a lawyer for him, right? He's doing that kind of thing. Paul is really injured. He practices what he preaches, and he's following the laws of that time. He, you know, you can see, he clearly like, doesn't want this because he said in other letters, there's no Jew, Gentile slavery, we're all wanting Christ. He's not happy about it. But he's kind of working in the parameters and masterfully at that. Right. So you want to obey those governing authorities, but he's, he's working with it. With this grace and peace. He's breaking down the socio economic barriers. So he's working at that, these walls of hostility. And so, we've seen this kind of thing before in Paul's letter. So let's go back to Ephesians. The first of these regional letters Ephesians 214. For Christ Himself is brought up brought peace to us, He united Jews and Gentiles into one people went in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations, he made peace between Jews and gentiles be creeped by creating in himself one new people from the two groups together as one body of Christ is reconciled both groups to God by means of His death on the cross, and a hostility toward each other was put to death. He brought this Good News of Peace to you Gentiles, who far away from him and peace to the Jews who are near now, all of us can come to the Father to the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. Now, the context is a little bit different. You know, I told you about unity, right? So you have the Jews, early Jewish Christians in the church and the Gentiles. It's kind of like if you're not Jewish to me, if you're not Jewish, trying to get along, right unity. So that's what's going on here. But what is this? This is a racial barrier, right? You have the Jews, racial, you know, religious, that's why he's talking about the law, racial and religious barrier here. Right. So let's just boil it down. It's a cultural barrier. No, the walls of hostility have been broken down between you. Right? So this should cause us to reflect on some things. What barriers are there in our lives today? Do we have some walls of hostility put up in our lives? Right now we're playing it like finally even now like, you know, Who are we like prejudice against Who are we against like what's going on here? So really simply, like we could start at home and we've done this a bunch so we're not going to do that too much. Right. So there we saw the key right to break Going down those walls of hostility with servant relationships, right? So being a servant to your spouse, if that's the issue here, if you're a child, and the parents to be nice, and we saw these all over the place, like don't provoke your children, fathers, you know, children obey your parents. So working both sides of those relationships, so there's no wall of hostility. But now let's expand it a tiny bit to our neighbors. So like just outside the house, if you live in a community like I do, I can, like touch my neighbor's wall from my window. So like, just little bit outside the house from you just outside the house, or their walls of hostility? You know, here in Naples, like, are we jealous of some of our neighbors? Are we like competing? With some of our neighbors? They call Keeping Up with the Joneses? Maybe they say that? No, I
don't know. Right? Are we doing that? Are we in a competition with them that they don't know they're in?
All right. Do we do that race? Does that stop any of us today? Not the same race, you don't have things in common. You don't make as much money as I do. Or they make more money than I do? Politics. You drive through this neighborhood. He comes down like Pompeii, I think there's an individual that likes to put all this political stuff out on the lawn. Now for him that maybe his wall of hostility, most likely, right. But should that keep us out? Or should we break that down? Even if we don't believe the same things he does? Or the way he's doing it? Like should that know? Right? And the rhetorical questions, guys, so no, right? We should just we should be able to look past that. And see the human being that Jesus died for gated communities do we literally have walls of hostility now your HOA, you're going to get you if you get out there. If you live in a gated community and you start like you get a sledge hammer and start taking your aggression out on the wall or the gate, and then you know, what's not going to work for you and the HOA pastor Jean told me to do it's a religious exemption. I'm allowed to destroy this because it's a wall of hostility. You're not going to work, so don't do it. Anyway, but you know, do we keep people out? Yeah, you don't know. Okay, could that be for our safety? Yeah. Okay. Who else do we keep it out? Why are we doing it? You know, what, what do you do to remedy this? For some of us, me? Like, for me, it was remembering that that's where I was. It Oh, you could go back there at anytime, buddy. You know, for some walking a mile in their shoes if you've never walked that walk. Okay. We'll try what spending some time with some people getting out some see three cars, take a walk outside your gated communities. Okay. Depending on where in Naples, you went, but anyway. Right. So I got to break it up all the way because you guys get serious and there's trying. The Holy Spirit helps with this. We got to let them work and it's compassion. It's called compassion, have compassion for other people. Colossians 310. Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and be like him in this new life. Doesn't matter if you're a Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters. And he lives in all of us. pretty redundant. When you read it a lot amazing. He keeps saying the same thing because we don't get it. They're like sale signs ever walk into a store and see 8000 sales sign? That's just telling you how stupid people are. That's really what that the Bible doesn't do, right? Like, why does they sell 800 times because we don't get it the first time doing right. So the Bible, it's very redundant. And for a reason God knows we don't always listen, to have it repeated to us. So as much as it said, like, are we still guilty of this today? Even as Christians who should know better? I'll give you a couple of funny examples. Right? So we should know better, right? Just if you're new here today, you've never read the Bible before. But from what you've heard, like, how are you gathering that we should somehow be on different like status levels and have separation from You wouldn't get that? You get that? Because what do people do? They read the Bible through the lens of the world. And what does the world says? Well, the world says that people make more money or better than other people, right? Like so. And there's all these statuses and I got to have a name for this and a title for that was Paul Collins off again, a slave of Christ Jesus, right. So it's the world injecting this stuff. So what do we got? Alright, so this is kind of fun. We moved into the service of the church here before us. This is how long ago five years now? Think about time goes. So anyway, so five years ago, I talked to you before we moved into the church, and so it was just all set up, which was really, really nice. God blessed us, but right up front by the stairs. Is there right a very front there were like a couple, at least two signs that said reserved for the pastor. Those were the first things to go. I got rid of them. Before we had the parking lot paved on nice. There was gravel. And so we instructed all the leaders, you park on the gravel by the dumpster. Right? So because we are servant leaders now, what they would say to me is we're supposed to honor myself, I know those scriptures. I read my Bible, right, Hebrews 13, First Thessalonians, five, First Timothy five, I know where they are. I know what they say. Right? So honor your leaders obey your leaders, Timothy, ooh, those who can teach double honor, not like 100 million times honor, double honor. Anyway, they kind of need to learn a lot of things as people do that kind of thing. So I get honoring your leaders, right. But what does this do? Well, it says there are groups of people in the church and not because they're handicap right, that are better than you. Would you call that like separation? Right? Yeah, I would. First Corinthians one through four why Paul tees off on the church in Corinth the first topic and tell them I'm going to come and beat you with a product. Right? Why pastor worship? That's why it's the first topic in First Corinthians pastor worship for chapters of it. Apollo's Paul I'm glad I didn't baptize any of you. Except Christmas gifts to finance his household then anyway. Because you might say you were baptized in the name of Paul. So I come to you like a loving father with a rod What do you think Paul? Do those parking lot signs all right, I wanted to, but I didn't. Alright, so that's the theme. Don't create these factions is better or worse than like, try to break that stuff. You know who I am like, it doesn't need to be like maybe somebody sign anyway. I think they're on the side of the building too. So could be very dangerous. Here's another thing don't worry I'm not so priority seating. Never go to church and see that. It's disgusting. Some of you have seen it. I've seen it right so yes, my wife sitting in the front right? That's just because I like to sit next to me sometimes. Right so I tell her to like sit here because I think we have problems who are you? Anyway, but you get my point. Right? So this is where we put all the celebrities right and celebrity pastors like that's where they go can I tell a joke Am I allowed? Ladies and gentlemen, Telly Savalas? Yeah right here and if you're old enough to remember that year old anyway, we're friends I guess stop. Okay, good. So that right but you see in this kind of thing reserved for the pastor, the rich people. But the Bible does say that James to if someone wealthy comes in, maybe they have a gold ring on nice clothes. Don't say to that person. Ooh, sit up here and your Telly Savalas. Now, you know. And then a poor person comes in. You seen him in sit over there, James to read it. It's clear, scriptures are crystal clear. Don't do that. But then people do it and celebrate it. They're counting on you not reading the Bible. But when you do you start to find these things as disgusting as they really are. That's against God's word. It's you're being disobedient to God by doing that. clearly outlined read it is supposed to be no X socioeconomic classes in here. Here's another one a lot of people don't get and it's kind of interesting when you really think about it. Donor plaques. Donor plaques. We had some old benches, but they're from the old church when they used to do stuff like that. We got rid of all that stuff. But donor plaques we don't do them. Well, think about it. First of all, what did Jesus say in the Sermon on the Mount? When you give to the poor like, don't sound a trumpet. Don't let one hand know what the other hand is doing. There's that and that should be enough, correct? Yes, yes, that should be enough. That should be enough to go wow, we really shouldn't do that. Right? Because we're look how much money I gave. You know. Jesus said that's wrong. Okay, but that's not enough kind of nuts. But let's take it to the one with the two coins. Mark 12 What happens people are doing that. They're like given all this money from their leftovers. There's always wealthy people giving us money. As it was Jesus to this woman comes in to copper coins worth like a penny nothing. She gives. She gave more than any y'all than all y'all would have been corrected. Right? Like she gave more in all y'all right? So I'm trying to give like a new translation you get, you get the point. So, so she's so heavy. Why are you making jokes because I read it all. That's I'm so but he applied, she gave everything she had to live on while the rest of you are giving your leftovers. And you're trying to make a show of it. No, no. But here's the thing. Now think, isn't really unfair to the poor. They have no hope of ever getting a donor plaque, even though they proportionately gave everything they had maybe.
What does Jesus do? He gives the poor woman the donor plaque. That's what Jesus would do. Interesting. Plus, here's the other thing. Why do you need a donor plaque? Why? I got on it, because you're prideful, not you. But
right, but it gets your pride or this like kind of way to get immortality because you have no face. You don't believe that Jesus gave it to you already? Who cares? Nobody. That's a person who doesn't believe that. So why as a pastor, why would you want to encourage something like that in
someone? It's not good. This is building a wall of hostility in the church.
Now Philemon should also prompt another question in our hearts, if we're looking at it as if Paul's writing to us to who has wronged us that we need to forgive? Forgiveness. That's what he's asking if I leave it. Remember, this was probably stolen from him. You ran away, cause a problem for this guy. Forgive him. That's what Paul's writing for now. I'm going to really ruin something for you. I love to do this. It's kind of like a hobby. For me. It's all Christmas is the tradition. So now I'm going to run some free. So most of us maybe even if we haven't read the Bible or been to church much, you might know the Lord's Prayer. You might have that memorized. So really, really common even in the rooms of AAA. Often they say the Lord's Prayer kind of cool. Yeah, and with what its test. Providing is the kingdom of glory in the power of yours forever and a recent right, she ended with something like that, right? Yes. What if I told you that's not in the original? Jesus didn't say that. That line, it's not that it's in the way of something. I'll get to that in a second. But that's not there. The earliest manuscripts do not have that. That is why modern Bibles today, it's not there in my Greek Bible, the original. It's not there. It was something added by the King James translators. That's what it is. Or it's in the manuscripts that they were reading, which are not the oldest ones closest to the date, it was added by some scribe, back then. And it's funny, if you're really into the King James, I read the King James, because this is King James months, I'm going to read the whole King James Bible. But yes, that's a thing. So you know, I appreciate it for what it is they nail some things, they get some things right. But even if you read the preface to the King James, and they don't put it in there anymore. If you read the real preface, they say, basically, paraphrasing, we doubt Australia, whatever. But they basically say, we're doing the best with what we have. Other translations will come along. We ignore that. And they did. They did a great job for the timeframes in press writing a Bible for the king or and so it won't get into that. But to do it, okay, but no, they're not the oldest man. So that's not there. But what Pray tell is there. Let me show you, Matthew 614. And this has been the King James. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, Your Father will not forgive your sins. Some of the most terrifying lines in the whole Bible. Interesting, that's the way the real like our father prayer ends. Check it for yourself. So even though that's the real ending, what Jesus really says why don't we say that somebody along the lines, put that in there like Okay, now we're done here. But before, subscribe, like, I really don't like that line. Let me put in another line in front of it and say, Amen, so they stop. Maybe that happened? We don't like it. It's scary. But the truth is, if we don't get that line, right. The rest of what we just prayed is lip service is a key component. We see a similar teaching. And even Peter didn't like it right if you go to Matthew 18 So last cheaper than you get Jesus talking about reconciliation. And it's this reconciliation process, which is so funny. When I first came into church, I went, Well, we got to go do the Matthew 18 thing. You know, it's like this like, formula. And basically, it's like, depending on how you're counting like 123 strikes, you're out. But the point is, and everybody misses it, if someone sins against you, you go to that person one on one, instead of gossiping about them, though, right now slandering them on the internet. You know, you go to that person, one on one and work it out. What's the point? You've gained a brother? Right? So reconciliation, that's what Jesus wants to gain the brother. This is always the goal. So Jesus puts it Okay, step two, if they just don't listen to you know, whatever, green carpet people along right, you know, you got some witnesses, whatever. These are ideals, right? If he doesn't listen to that, tell the church. Then you treat him like a senator. It's like, get rid of the guy. Right? So that's it, but everyone goes there, right? So the I want step four, please. Don't want do like, a missed the point. And so does Peter kind of because then Peter comes along and he goes, Lord, like, how many times do I have to forgive like saved seven? Say, like, we have to do this seven times? Is that enough? Jesus like no. Depending on what you read, like 77 times, or seven times 70 490 times anyway, you throw it. It's hyperbole, like forever, like you always have what's wrong with you asking that question? Why are you doing that? Like, why don't you want to reconcile with people, right? There's a fundamental problem. So then, Jesus tells a parable. So here's a good example. This is a note. This is an example of slaves making a lot of money or like being in prominent position, because some will say, servant, that's wrong. It actually says the king has like slaves, right? So this one slave come to settle these accounts. And it says that he owes him a mere Yahveh myriad, a myriad of money, such as a lot. And most translations say 10,000 talents, right? So I think it's talents, but whatever that is, it's like million dollars million plus dollars, like, how would a slave Oh, this guy millions of dollars, well, maybe he's out there selling affairs, he's collecting taxes. And sometimes you can make a profit doing that. That's what tax collectors are hated. So they go and collect the taxes, they're responsible for that district and they make some money. And then they got to settle that account could be the case, we're not told, not real people. Jesus is just telling a parable. But there's a king in the slave. The slave can't pay. And so that's it, you're going to get thrown in prison, tortured, and we're going to sell your family right to get the money back. No, and some Bible that almost worships this king, like, please don't please. So the king has compassion is mercy on the guy, let him off the hook. So you've been forgiven a million dollars, right? So what do you think he's going to do about that? Well, he turns around, finds another fellow slave that owes him like, say, 100 bucks, nothing, chokes him and demands his money. What's right, then he throws them in prison. So everything can be paid back. Then the other servants see it and they go and tell the king like, wow, and here's what happens. Matthew 1832. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, you evil slave. I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Should you have mercy on your fellow servant or slave justice, I had mercy on you. Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.
This is redundant. It's not like some one off. Jesus is very this is clearly a key. It is clearly a key here.
This is a stern warning to be mindful at all times of the grace that has been poured over us the blood of Jesus Christ the ultimate sacrifice for us always be mindful of that
when dealing with anyone else Jesus is so redundant on this so the question is
do we feel like someone owes us still we still feel like somebody owes us an apology money whatever it is. We talked about going through those open doors last week right new life in Christ so we got it the doors open right prodigal, the father there waiting for us. Let's go through. And maybe we tried. We tried to go through. But what was the problem if you feel like you're a bit stuck? Because maybe there's a chain to another old door that you needed to close, holding us back from really going through. Not forgiving someone just keeps that door open that shouldn't be closed. And we that sin, lack of forgiveness is clearly a sin and with it comes what? anger, hostility, resentments sins. Since selfishness is a sin so have you gone through the door and then you just you feel like there's something pulling you back from that joy, love peace, all the fruit of the Spirit. That's what it should be. Okay, love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control. But you're having problems with that. Why? Probably because you're chasing some of that fruit, that scent of the flesh right and talked about can't do both like that. Perhaps you're shackled. Talk about slavery. Lack of forgiveness makes you a slave to sin. That's what it does. You can enslave yourself. It has been said I'm going to use some bumper sticker phrase. It has been said that lack of forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies. That's what it's doing to you. It's killing you. And according to Jesus, it's killing your eternity to forgiveness is freedom. So just practical stuff. We must always do that step one that Matthew 18 process we was always trying. And we want reconciliation if we don't, you really need to pray you need to ask the Holy Spirit to come on in. And like clean that out. Why don't you want that? Why do you want things to reconcile? Don't you want peace in your life? You want to be aggravated all the time? Get that thought that comes up everyone's you want to feel like that? Why? That's weird. So reconciliation. And so you got to close some doors sometimes. I but we want to try to reconcile first I told you don't want to burn a bridge. Why? Because remember, I was telling my story. Like it just toxic environment. Bad friendships do a lot of bad stuff. And I had to be like, Hey, guys, I just got to close this door. That's it. But the bridge is not heard. Like, okay, you know? And then what? Yeah, now they're talking to me again. Oh, his life isn't like constant drama machine, right? Because of drama. All the time, right? I'm not dealing with it as much of that craziness and toxicity all the time. But here's the thing. forgiveness isn't about proximity of people always think that right? Like, it's this idea in your head. Like, it's weird. There's no in between. It's like a light switch. Like you're either not forgiving the person or we're best friends. Right? And it's like, you know, there's something in between, right? Like, there's some other relationships you're going to have with people. Right? You didn't get like, Hey, bro, what are you doing now? Okay, I'll call you in a minute. Hey, bro, what do you do? You know, I mean, there's like something in between BFF and like, just like, hey, we can hang out once a while like, right? Hello. Maybe we're doing this to make things harder to make that forgiveness process harder. Forget, it's not about proximity. Forgiveness can happen from afar. That's fine. That can happen. Especially what if they're toxic if they're causing you to send them to sin? If you have family members, you're responsible for protecting like, well the gym is so you can love someone and forgive them from over there. Like you just do your thing here. And politely I'm going to be busy. So that's the kind of thing so it's not always possible to reconcile. But that's not what we want. We want the reconciliation. It's not always possible. And that's when you do you over there. I'll just do my own thing. But in our hearts, right, we've, it's okay. I forgiven it. You don't need to repay me anything. You're the same thing. You don't owe me anything. Just I love you. And I
just hope you come to Jesus. And that's it. So again, we must always be aware of that grace has been poured over us everything we've done. Just hold up a big old mirror all the time.
But sometimes that's only part of the problem. Sometimes it's not really the whole problem. You see, sometimes we have trouble forgiving someone else. Because we haven't forgiven ourselves that's big. We can enslave ourselves, right? So that same cycle of anger, guilt, now we got guilt in there shame or regret. All the stuff that Jesus freed us from we need that. Just beat ourselves up and we get stuck. We make ourselves a prisoner to this and then we project onto others. That's what's going on there. Now here's the thing I invited people that I invite people to church all the time of course right and would pass right so what I hear sometimes it's really funny, especially if I'm talking Oh, I was in the music business like some well rock and roll buddies and different things like that. They're still living that type of life. They'll say things like, Ben, you don't understand. I will burn up in that church. I'm like, I'm not burned up. Like, you're good. Like, it's okay. Come on in. Right? So there's this idea like, you don't have any I mean, they don't say that to me because I used to party with them, but, but you don't have any idea what I've done. If you really knew what I've done, you would not want me in your church.
Like, why would you do steal a paperclip? Yeah, because it's nothing. Nothing. You just don't know, I can't be forgiven of that.
Stuff that just God wouldn't not forgive. Says it nowhere in here, maybe somebody told you that it's a lie. It's a lie. We understand that. That's the whole thing about real church, real people. I get it, people don't like it, right? Because there's a lot of people, especially in our society, if it's Naples, or whatever, you know, they just want to hide, like, I really don't want to deal with any of that, you know, hopefully, I just, there'll be like a long time, I will know I'm going to die. You know, I won't get hit by a bus. If someone gets hit by a bus today. I'm just going to feel so bad. But, you know, like, you know, I'm going to have time I'm going to call in a priest, you have this imaginary scenario in your head, you know? And then we'll do the whole thing. I'll get baptized and then good, washed. You know what I mean? Like, right? What do you think God's going to do when he finds out your game that system or knows you've gained the system? Not good is not the right way to do it. But I guess that's the way a lot of people want to be they don't want to deal with their stuff. So they just don't want to talk about or whatever we do. We do. If you've heard my wife story can be sober almost 10 years? Yes.
Me? No, no, because y'all all y'all that was a joke. Not really, anyway. I had to break it up there. We get serious and then I got to ruin it. Like everything else.
So I'm told this stuff like we just when you get to know the people here, like we've seen, we've seen it all. And we love you. You're still welcome here. We love you. I'm trying so hard not to say certain names, but it's like, you get to meet some of the people and it's you know, it's a pretty funny band of misfits, you know. I'm one of them. Right? You know, we've all got a story, we've all got stuff and it tests becomes a testimony. The message becomes the message, we embrace it, it's fine. No matter where you are. Just keep coming to church. We love you. It's fine. There's one more thing before I close, I just I just feel that I need to say on SMS What did I say isn't value? You have value. In plain sense, you bring something to the table. I said a long time ago. I don't need church as a while back. I don't need church I'm like was a very selfish thing to say because maybe your church needs you. It does. Every single I come up with brings me such great joy if you if you don't know and don't go back there and bother me. Like I have a room where I get ready. Like I put my church clothes on like I do not dress like this ever. It's like tank top shorts, flip flops, right? But you don't want to see the hairy legs. So I get changed. You know, she fixes my hair. For me. It's cute. Little room, right? But not in the past. Like, you know, I'd be like all people are going because they're getting the cafe ready. And so there's a lot of noise and stuff like that. And then generally very prepared now, but when it first started, like a lot of noise, it bothered me, I was like no, I'm trying to concentrate and pray. You know, now I'm like, That's okay, I'm a little bit better what I do know. And so like, I hear all the bustle up in the cafe and it just warms my heart. These people we don't pay anybody, anything to do any of this. They come up here with joy. They're like Hi, what's up, and they're all getting along with one another and there's tons of food coming out and people need food upon food and they're talking on like that that that's the other half of the worship service. But they all have value. So if you just feel like you don't have value maybe you're not finding that your job. Maybe you haven't realized that that you need to find that in Jesus. That's the key. You'll never be happy trying to find value in anything else. I tried my story really hard. Not going to find value in the money the stuff people's approval, the better job you know, showing your dad up you know, whatever it is. It's not going to work I tried. You will not find value in that you will only find value in Jesus Christ. And you can find that here. And then as the body of Christ, the body of Christ the church, you can be edified. You can be encouraged in that value. So if you're new here, Phil, you'll be told how you connect with us, right? So real church, real people I want I want to talk to you, I want to get to know you. That's what it is. Or a family of faith. If you've been here for a while, maybe you're just kind of like, little bit distant, I get it because I wouldn't want to like shake hands with me. But Introduce yourself. Alright, if I don't get you first. Alright, so up until you go up in the cafe. It's fine right here. Say hi. Right? If you haven't been addressed, if you haven't been plugged in, we know each other and maybe, you know, you want to find a little value outside of things that have to do with money or society or any of those other things. Come talk to me, my wife does the volunteer coordination, but I really think it's like family member coordination. That's what it is. She says, See something, do something. I want you to be encouraged that you have as a son and daughter of the Most High King, you have value. We pray for you. Laura, thank you for this church, that is your body. Everyone came in to hear your good news. And indeed it is good news. And Lord, we thank you for it. Let's be reminded of that grace and just let it pour out to everyone we encounter this week. Love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. So we can introduce people to your gospel message and that they too can find their value in you. As these things in Jesus's name