Forgiving One Another

December 3, 2023 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: One Anothers - Experiencing God Together

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Ephesians 4:31–32

The steadfast love and kindness for other believers that make us eager to forgive them define the true Christian. The Christian virtues named in Ephesians 4:32 anticipate the occurrences of disagreements both within and outside the assembly. That is why Paul writes—to show us a better way to respond than the world would respond. So that the church would reflect Christ to a lost world. The sermon has been divided into the following outline:

  1. The Opposite of Forgiveness (v.31)
  2. The Attitude of Forgiveness (v.32)
  3. The Demonstration of Forgiveness (v.32b)

Through our words and actions, we are to pass on God’s kindness to those around us. In a family, each member is a sinner. The same is true in God’s family. When you take a lot of people and put them together into a small space, one thing is sure to happen. People’s toes will be stepped on. In the church, you will have your toes stepped on. Brothers and sisters will sin against you. That is why forgiveness is necessary. Do not respond with selfish anger. Do not respond with hurtful words. Do not give the devil an opportunity. Forgive and forget. Christ has forgiven us much. We should forgive others too.

How did He forgive us? Generously, willingly, graciously, lovingly, sacrificially. Jesus went to the cross and took upon Himself the full burden of all of our sin, and for that, He received the full blow of God’s wrath—the punishment that should have landed on us.

The sacrificial death of God’s sinless Son is also the means to obedience. We can put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice when we are redeemed by Christ because He gives us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26), gives us His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), and fills us with His Spirit who empowers us to obey (Ephesians 3:16-21, Romans 1:5).

Getting Started                          

  1. In this day of entitlement, self-promotion, and impersonal, virtual relationships, many people have forgotten what it means to be kind to one another. Have you witnessed any discussions on an internet forum that had eventually degraded to a contentious, virtual, keyboard shouting match? Share your story.
  • Read Ephesians 4:17-32
  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

  1. According to Ephesians 4:17-19, how do the Gentiles (unbelievers) walk?
  1. The apostle Paul told the Ephesians to put away six sinful attitudes and behaviours. What are these six sinful attitudes, and what do they mean? Refer to v.31.
  1. What are believers to put on in place of the six sinful attitudes? Refer to v.32

 The Heart of the Matter

  1. Being kind to one another means finding a way to forgive rather than blame. Read Matthew 5:7Luke 6:3610:37James 2:13. What is perhaps the most stunning example of this found in God’s supreme act of kindness?

  1. ‘Forgiving’ means literally to give freely and unconditionally or to bestow as a gift of grace and then to remit a debt, and hence to forgive. We can forgive others because God forgave us! Can you remember the moment you knew of (experienced) the forgiveness of God? Share your testimony. 

  1. The gospel shows us how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with us. Are there times that you struggle to see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? What does this look like in your own walk with the Lord?

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