A Forgiving Community
Topic: AM Service Passage: Colossians 3:12–3:13
One of the clearest things in the world today, in spite of all the efforts by society to hide it, is the fact that each of us is a sinner. In so many ways we fail each other and hurt others. The reality of this is written in broken families, strained business relations, and discontent in communities. How then can the Church of Jesus Christ, as a community of sinners, be a place of hope and joy? Do we simply hide behind masks and pretend that nothing is wrong? The sad truth is that in many instances we are tempted to do exactly that. But hiding and pretending are not a path to stable relationships and community. Thankfully, the Lord in His Word points to a far better path: forgiveness and restoration. God knows (best of all) that we are not perfect and worthy; instead we are a broken and all-too-often hurtful people who need to be healed. Forgiveness, then, is absolutely critical to not only our individual standing before God, but also to our relationships with each other. We are called to be “A Forgiving Community” (Exodus 34:6-7; Colossians 3:12-13).
I. Forgiveness is Needed
A. Before a Holy God
B. To Break the Chain of Sin
II. Forgiveness Requires Action
A. In Our Lives
B. In Our Relationships
III. Forgiveness is Founded in Grace
A. We Find Forgiveness in Christ
B. The Forgiven Forgive
Questions for consideration: (1) What is there in your life that you need to ask the Lord to forgive? What do you need to ask others to forgive? (2) What habits can you start this week to cultivate a forgiving disposition? (3) For what things have you failed to forgive others? Why?