The Parables of Jesus
Imagine having to “pay God back” for your sins before being allowed to enter into heaven!! What if God required you to somehow pay a penalty for every sin you ever committed?!! Obviously, none of us could do it! “The wages of sin is death!” And we have all earned God’s just judgment. Yet, He gave His only Son to bear our sin, to pay our penalty, to take our place, so that all who believe in Jesus receive forgiveness instead of judgment. Oh, amazing grace!! Knowing that you have received forgiveness, Jesus calls His disciples to be ready and willing to forgive those who sin against us. It seems, however, that many misunderstand what it means to forgive, and others are like the unmerciful servant in Jesus’ parable … unwilling to forgive! It is important to understand to whom Jesus is speaking and why forgiving others is so necessary in the Church, where believers are called to be witnesses to others of the grace and power of Christ at work in them. We are called to be different than the world around us. The lives of believers should look different than the lives of unbelievers. Our relationships should put on display the truth of the Gospel: repentance, faith, forgiveness and reconciliation. Divisions within the Body of Christ caused by a failure to confront sin or a refusal to confess sin or to forgive one another brings dishonor to Christ and negatively impact our witness for Christ. Pray for God’s Spirit to move among us to produce the fruit of repentance and forgiveness, for His glory and for our good!