Sermon, The Scorekeeper and the Forgiver

On Forgiveness: Some people have a knack for score-keeping. They can remember every statistic for every player on their favorite team both for the current year and the previous ones! While some of us may not have a particular knack for sports and statistics all of us keep score when it comes to personal affronts and offenses.

Jesus, on the other hand, directs his disciples to behave differently. His disciples are called to rebuke sin without keeping score, without cutting off, and without withholding forgiveness. Freely forgiven, they freely forgive all who repent, even those who stumble daily.

Our ability to forgive is not the result of an extensive process of ascetic discipline nor a special power granted to a chosen few. Like  a servant who earns no special praise for doing his job we forgive because it is our duty to forgive. This duty arises from the fact that Jesus chose to pardon our sins completely, to pay our debts in full, and to give us His inheritance of eternal life in the new creation.

Therefore like Him, we forgive our brothers and sisters. It is our duty because He made forgiving us His duty.

In this week’s sermon we examine Jesus’ directive to his disciples on forgiveness, his corrective to sinful human pride that twists duty into self-glorification, and the comfort that comes from being forgiven of our unworthiness.

“He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

 

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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