Sunday, September 11, 2011

They Must be Giants - Part 2: Un-Forgiveness

They Must be Giants
Part 2 – A Giant Named Un-Forgiveness
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

On September 11th, 2001, four coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. areas took place.  On that morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania before it could reach its intended target in Washington, D.C. after the passengers attempted to take control.

343 firefighters, 23 New York Police Offices, 37 Port Authority Officers and 3,000 innocent civilians died in the attacks.

Today we are talking about Un-forgiveness and how it can be the giant we face in our lives.
* Un-forgiveness can hold us captive to ourselves.
* Un-forgiveness can literally make us a slave to it.

Remember these points from David & Goliath over the next few sermons;

        The battle between the Palestinians and the Israelites was a spiritual one.  Today it continues between the Jews and the Arabs, who are descendants of Isaac and Ishmael. 

God told Abraham He would give him a son, not wanting to wait on the promise of God, Abraham and his wife Sarah decided since she was barren, God must have meant for Abraham to have a child with someone else, so he did with Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave.

Ishmael was the first born from that encounter, and traditionally the inheritance belonged to him, but he was NOT the promise of God, and eventually, just as God said, it was, and Sarah and Abraham had a child, Isaac, who was the one God promised.

This is the problem which continues today; the descendants of Isaac (Jews) and the descendants of Ishmael (Arabs) are still at odds, and there will never be peace in the Middle East, because Abraham and Sarah did not wait on God’s promise, but tried to FULFILL it themselves.

How often we do the same thing today…

        David had the Holy Spirit just as all of those who belong to God have access to.

        David recognized the battle was spiritual even though everyone around him could not.  He was walking in the spirit, not by sight, but by faith.

        When David faced the giant, he knew the battle was not a man against a giant, but a giant against the power of God.

        The battle was the Lord’s!

We must remember these points in our lives as well when we face things.

1.      It’s a spiritual battle
2.      We have the Holy Spirit if we belong to God
3.      The battle is the Lord’s

We speak so often on forgiveness, but fail to recognize our battle with un-forgiveness.


2 Corinthians 2:5 - 11
 5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

1.      This Giant Causes
1.      Bitterness
2.      Anger
3.      Resentment
4.      Dissension
5.      and causes us to sin against God

2.      The root of most of the problems in our lives and relationships with others can be un-forgiveness
1.      It is a slow poison in our system
2.      Over time it destroys us

3.      Why do we find it so hard to forgive?
1.      Is it because we feel we are controlling the person who hurt us, by not forgiving them in some way we are punishing them for what they did to us?
2.      We try hurting them as much as they have hurt us, perhaps to show them they have hurt us, and try to make them understand how we hurt.
3.      That never works though...when we do not forgive others, they never suffer as much as we do from the un-forgiveness.

Matthew 7:1-5
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”

So what is this scripture saying?  That we should not have discipline in the church?  That's how some read it.

Is it saying we should not point out sin in the congregation?  That's how some understand it.

What the scripture is saying is...before you judge another, take a good, long, hard look at yourself.

Have you judged yourself lately?

1.     I can't forgive them, they lied to me!
1.     Have you ever lied?

2.     I can't forgive them, they gossiped about me!
1.    Have you ever talked about someone?

3.      If so, we keep ourselves in a state of un-forgiveness, because we refuse to examine ourselves when we feel someone has wronged us.
1.      We are missing the “Right Perspective” in the situation.
2.      That “Right Perspective” that David had when he arrived on the battle field.

4.      To see what is REALLY going on, we need God's Spirit
1.      Are seeing things with our eyes, or the Holy Spirit.
2.      Are walking in the flesh or God’s Spirit.

5.      Why does God have a problem with Un-forgiveness?
1.      Because it is a form of pride.
2.      How? Because it’s about what “THEY” did to “ME”.
3.      Nothing good comes from un-forgiveness, nothing.

1. If we do not forgive, it cuts US off from forgiveness.

Matthew 6:12
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

The word used in the literal translation for debt is “Fault”

Lord, forgive our faults, as we also forgive the faults of others…As we forgive others faults, the Lord forgives our faults.

The scripture continues in;

Matthew 6:15
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

In the literal the word paraptoma is in the place of trespasses, and it means; a side-slip, i.e. (unintentional) error or (willful) wrongdoing.

So Matthew 6:15 is saying, if you do not forgive people when they unintentionally hurt you, or even when they willfully do you wrong, our Father in Heaven will not forgive you.

We unintentionally hurt God every day, and some willfully do God wrong, yet forgiveness is available for us, and should be available from us.

Remember, we are the Body of Christ, and we are living testaments of God, His love and His forgiveness.

When we do not forgive others, we give the impression that our God is not a loving and forgiving God.

We need to forgive because it keeps forgiveness from us when we don’t, and it gives the wrong impression of God and His forgiving love.

2. If we do not forgive, it cuts US off from prayer requests.

Mark 11:24-25
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

Un-forgiveness can hinder our prayer to the Lord.

3. If we do not forgive, it cuts US off from being able to give offerings to the Lord.

Matthew 5:21-22 & 23-24
21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…”

Many times un-forgiveness goes hand in hand with anger towards the one you have not forgiven.

23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”

Un-forgiveness hurts us and our relationship with the Lord.

We have all sinned, and the wages, the debt owed for those sins is death.

You owed a debt to your creator – The Lord for your sin.

Unable to pay that debt, you asked for pity and it was given by our Lord, the Lord forgave you of your debt!

This is Salvation.

If a small debt, (in comparison to the debt you owed to the Lord – your life – in which you were forgiven!) if a small debt is owed you, someone hurts you, or does you wrong, or sins against you, you must be merciful and forgive them.

The servant in the parable was NOT merciful and did not forgive the small debt owed to him, and he abused and punished the one who owed him.

When you see the master face to face, he will say to you, “You wicked servant!  I canceled your debt which was far greater!  I gave you mercy!  And you have shown no mercy.”

Jesus tells us something else…

35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

How is our debt to the Lord paid? Through Christ’s forgiveness.

When we forgive others, we too are forgiven.

When we do not forgive others, we are unforgiven, and living in a state of torture until we reconcile.

Un-forgiveness hurts us and our relationship with the Lord.

This Giant that we face in our life, this Goliath named un-forgiveness, is part of our spiritual battle.

We battle not against flesh and blood.

We need to approach this fight in the right perspective, through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, and realize that this is the Lord’s fight, and who is greater than our Lord?

All things are possible through Christ Jesus who strengthens us!

Forgiveness can happen today!