December 11, 2016 – “Freedom Through Forgiveness” – Pastor Joe


December 11, 2016 –

Last week we spoke about the power of love.  More specifically, we discussed the power of love to forgive.  We looked at forgiving people who have hurt us because of the love in us.  It is the love of God that is spread broad in our hearts and it has transformed us into love people.

This week we are going to talk about the freedom that comes from forgiveness.

We all want the freedom that comes through our relationship with Christ.  No longer do we want to be slaves to sin or burdened by religious regulations.  We want to live in the freedom that comes with our choice to serve God.

In John 8:31-32, Jesus talks about us, people who believe in Him.  We are told, “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings”. So, Jesus is telling us that proof of our Christianity is by doing what He has instructed us to do.  He goes on, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

What is Jesus talking about here?  He is saying that when you discover the truth then you will no longer be bound by the lie.  You will be set free.

The lie is that you are worthless and will never amount to anything.  The truth is that you are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image.  Your value comes from what God says about you and not what a person, society, or culture say about you.  When you discover this truth you are free to pursue the plans and purpose God has for you without concern about what anyone else thinks about you.

In John 8, Jesus tied discovering the truth by being faithful to His teachings.  One of those that we discover is the responsibility to forgive.

Mark 11:24-25, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

It is our responsibility to set free the hurt feelings, the pain, and the trauma that unforgiveness keeps trapped in our lives.  The freedom that comes from forgiving is our freedom and not freedom for the person who has wronged us.

Let’s get to today’s message and discover more about the freedom we receive when we forgive.