Date: June 3, 2018
Bible Text: | Pastor Stephan Bauer
Matt. 18:21-35 – “Forgiveness: The Non-Option”
Sun. June 3rd 2018 – Pastor Stephan
I. The Truth about Jesus Christ and the Gospel is an Offense to Many (1 Pet. 2:6-8).
A. Jesus offended many while He ministered because He loved them enough to speak the truth (e.g. Matt. 15:7-14).
B. If anyone challenges the truth of the gospel, it is the time to be offensive without apology.
C. Jesus meant what He said about forgiveness: if you don’t give, you don’t get (Matt. 6:14-15; Mark 11:24-26; Luke 6:37).
II. Believers are Called to Forgive as they have been Forgiven (Matt. 18:21-35).
A. When an offense occurs, a debt is owed. Forgiveness is like the cancellation of that debt (vs. 23-27, Col. 2:13-14).
B. A person who cannot forgive has forgotten the great debt for which they were forgiven (vs. 28-30).
C. A person who cannot forgive has never understood the great debt for which they were forgiven (vs. 31-35).
D. A “believer” who does not or cannot love/forgive may be deceived (1 John 4:20-21).
III. Focus on God and Praise Him as He Grows Us through Life’s Trials and Tests.
Questions for Study and Reflection
1. Recall a time when someone told you something that caused you offense. How did you respond? How did you handle that event moving forward?
2. Do you believe that the message of the gospel of Jesus is offensive to many people? Why or why not? Look up Matt 15:7-14, Luke 7:18-23, John 6:67-69, 1 Cor. 1:18, etc. What should our response be to those who are offended?
3. Read Matt 6:9-15. Explain in your own words verses 14 and 15.
4. Read Matt. 18:21-35 in a couple different translations. Compare the size the relative debts of the two servants in the story. Why do you think the wicked servant did what he did to his fellow servant?
5. Who does Jesus say are the “wicked servant” and “fellow servant” in this parable? Who are those persons today?
6. Read verse 34 again. What is the fate of the wicked servant? Read verse 35. What is the fate of those who do not forgive?
7. Do you believe more along the lines of point IIB or point IIC above? Explain why. Give Scriptural references to back up your belief.
8. Do you agree with point IID above? Why or why not?
9. Why is it so important for us to do what point III above suggests?
10. Continue to seek the Lord to search your own heart’s attitude regarding the matters discussed this week. Pray for yourself and those that you may feel offended by. Reread the Matthew passages above. What is the next thing to do?
Bethel 3.0 Theme for June: The Holy Spirit
This month as we move further along in our life as a church, we are coming to understand ourselves more through the study in God’s Word regarding offence and forgiveness.
In that vein, as we recently celebrated Pentecost we will look at how new birth by the Spirit begins the pathway to freedom, forgiveness and keeps us from offence. It is your activity this week to find where you see reflections of the Trinity commonly around you, and to, perhaps, throw a small celebration this week alone, or with family/friends because of the Spirit. A small get-together, or have a special meal – celebrate the spirit and greatness of the Trinity this week!
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