Living on a Higher Plane – Colossians 3:13-14

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

January 16, 2011

Christian Virtues, Pt. 2 – Living on a Higher Plane

Colossians 3:13-14

Introduction

I think most of you would agree that one of the more difficult things in life is learning to get along with those that irritate you and do you wrong. There are people around that make going to the dentist for a root canal seem like a pleasurable alternative. Yet, such people are part of life and we will have to deal with them in some manner. For the non-Christian, there are a lot of options ranging from trying to ignore them in some manner to murder. There are also a lot of options for a Christian, but they range from trying to ignore them in some manner to making them into a friend.

Why the huge difference in response? Because there is a radical change that occurs when a person turns from their sin and self-righteousness and places their faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul has described several of these changes in the book of Colossians. The believer is delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13  See: The Prayer for the Colossians, Pt. 2 ). He is redeemed from sin and reconciled with the eternal God so that he might be holy and blameless (Colossians 1:14, 22  See: The Preeminence of Jesus Over the Church). We who were dead in our transgressions were made alive together with Jesus with all of our sins forgiven since they were nailed to the cross with Christ (Colossians 2:13-14 – See: The Superiority of Being in Christ).

In our study of Colossians 3 Paul has described the Christian as having died and been raised up with Christ with their life now hidden in Him in God (Colossians 3:1-2  See: Consequences of Life in Christ). For that reason, the old man, the person we used to be, is to be laid aside for he has died and we are not to keep dragging that old corpse around with us any longer. We are to cease living according to the desires of the flesh and lusts of the mind. We are to put to death things such as immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed as well as anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech (See: Mortifying the Flesh, Pt. 1). We are to no longer walk in the ways, speech and motivations that used to control and characterize us (Colossians 3:5-9 – (See: Mortifying the Flesh, Pt. 2).

Instead, we are to put on the new man because we are new creatures in Christ and we are to now live in a manner that pleases our Lord (Colossians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of our identity in Christ we are now able to set aside our selfishness and prejudices and freely embrace as brothers and sisters all others who belong to Christ regardless of their ethnic or cultural heritage, socioeconomic level or former religious background (Colossians 3:11 – (See: Mortifying the Flesh, Pt. 3). God has chosen us and made us holy and His beloved (See: Christian Virtues, Pt 1 – The Character of the Elect). For that reason we pursue transformation by the renewing of our minds so that our positional righteousness may be exhibited in righteous living (Romans 12:2). We immerse ourselves in Christian virtues so that others may easily identify us as those who belong to Christ.

Paul lists out five virtues in Colossians 3:12 which we examined last week. These are bowels of compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience. Paul then continues on to list and discuss three more virtues in the verses that follow along with encouragement in putting them into practical action. Let us read through Colossians 3:12-17 to set the context for this morning’s study.

3:12 (NASB) “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

 

The Five Virtues Colossians 3:12

Let me quickly review the five virtues listed in verse 12 and point out the difference between them in the life of a believer who has put on the new man and an unbeliever or a Christian who is still walking in the memory of the old man.

The bowels of compassion spoken of here is an emotional response of sympathy and empathy for those who are suffering. That compassion in turn is motivation to try to alleviate the suffering if possible. Non-Christians can and often do feel compassion for those who are suffering and want to help, but those in Christ are to have that response even toward their enemies. That was Jesus’ point in the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:33-35.

Kindness and humility describe the temper of mind of the new man. Kindness here is the desire to do good to others and is the opposite of malice. The unregenerate generally do desire good for those they like, but the believer has been made alive by Christ and so is to desire good for all people including those that hate them (Matthew 5:44).

Humility, one of the most cherished of Christian virtues, is to be lowly of mind. Those who live according to their sinful and selfish desires can be and often are humble before others they consider superior. Hence the fawning over those they consider heroes and the celebrity culture that has developed. But humility in the disciples of Jesus is much deeper removing selfish pride and driving us to esteem others as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4). It is why we treat those who are inferior in ability and accomplishments with genuine respect.

Gentleness and patience are the expression of a proper Christian temperament toward others. Gentleness treats others with proper courtesy and respect, but e
ven those without a new nature can learn to behave with proper protocol and politeness since it can make them more successful. That is why Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” became the most influential business book of the twentieth century. Gentleness in a person who has been raised up with Christ arises from submission to the Lord and His will. The result is that they retain control of themselves in meekness in order to do the Lord’s will and bring glory to His name, not to manipulate people for their own advantage.

Patience here is long-suffering and is the quality of having self control to be able to wait, persevere, and endure without complaint. In a polite society, whether Christian or not, this is exhibited at least in public, though the picture can change rapidly in private as the complaining starts. We also find that the non-Christian is usually patient with those they love – and those they fear. The patience in a Christian is different because it arises out of seeing the bigger picture and seeking to do the Lord’s will by faith. Gentleness and patience are the opposites of passion and wrath in which emotions control the mind and behavior. The Christian learns to be patient with all men (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

These various virtues are qualities of God and several of them are specifically listed as being fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They are divinely empowered, but they are put into practice by faith. In believing what God says to be true, you step forward to live in the manner He commands and He in turn empowers you to do so and changes you.

I think it is easy to see that just these five virtues alone radically change the manner in which a Christian will respond to others as compared with his previous state when the old man was alive. The selfishness of immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed along with their expressions against others in anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech are replaced by the selflessness of compassion, kindness and humility along with their actions of gentleness and patience.

This morning we come to the next three virtues; bearing with one another; forgiving each other and putting on love above all (Colossians 3:13-14). In many ways these continue to raise the level of selflessness required to a much higher plane. I want to examine each of these with an effort to explain how they arise out of being a new man raised up with Christ, and how they can be fulfilled in practical terms even with those that irritate you the most.

 

Bearing with One Another Colossians 3:13 (ajnecovmenoi ajllhvlwn / anechomenoi all l n).

The word here is also translated as forebear, endure and suffer. This virtue adds to patience and long suffering the element of holding up against a thing and so to endure. The idea can be captured in the image of a man with heavy weights placed upon his shoulders and still standing erect. The word is used fifteen times in the New Testament with its intensity ranging from having to endure the ignorance and foolishness of others (Matthew 17:17) to persecution and affliction (2 Thessalonians 1:4).

There are many things we will suffer at the hands of others ranging from mildly irritating to severe persecution, yet in all of them we are to continue on in the virtues already talked about and go forward. We are not to let our circumstances and trials drag us down. It is one thing to be stoic while suffering, but it is another to continue to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient with others in the midst of it. Paul gives us a picture of this in 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 in which he explains some of the things he was suffering and his response to it. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, [even] until now.

Paul’s circumstances were difficult and he was treated very poorly by others including those who were supposed to be fellow believers, yet his response was one that demonstrated that he had indeed been changed from Saul the persecutor into Paul the apostle of Christ. His manner of life reflected Jesus living in and through him. In the book of Philippians Paul expands on this theme explaining how to be joyful in all circumstances for he was rejoicing even while he was unjustly in jail awaiting another trial.

Bearing with one another along with the other virtues are all part of the change that occurs as we learn to put on the new man and let our identity with Jesus Christ control our understanding of the world around us and our response to it in how we live. In Ephesians 4:1-3 Paul entreats believers “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Forebearing with one another along with the other virtues is simply part of walking in a manner worthy of Jesus’ calling of us.

How then do you bear up when others treat you improperly, even cruelly? By making sure you have put on the new man to walk according to Christ instead of according to your own passions and desires. The foundation for that is making sure you are identifying yourself first and foremost as someone who has been redeemed, reconciled and raised up to new life with Christ. The more your mind is controlled by the new man instead of the old selfish mindset and sinful habits, the easier it will be to view your circumstances according to God’s perspective instead of your own limited one. Acts 6 & 7 record that Stephen was able to do this and so was able to respond with compassion toward those who were stoning him crying out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” even as he died. But that brings up the next virtue, which is even more difficult.

 

Forgiving Each Other Colossians 3:13 (carizovmenoi eJautoi'” / charidzomenoi heautois).

The full verse states, “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” It is one thing to endure suffering, it is quite another to forgive those who are the cause of it, yet that is the response of those who have put on the new man. Because their identity is now wrapped up in Jesus, they desire to follow the Lord’s example in their treatment of others. That includes forgiving others in the same way in which the Lord has forgiven us.

I want to expand on this whole idea of forgiveness since it is so often misunderstood even within Christian circles going to both extremes. For some, forgiveness is universal and unilateral which then becomes a pacifistic response that removes all accountability for those who do wrong. Others withhold forgiveness until the conditions they have set are satisfied which easily results in rationalizing forgiveness away. But before I do that, I want to point out that this verse presents forgiveness as a universal need because there is a universal element of people complaining about one another.

The Need for Forgiveness. The word for complaint here (momfhv / momph ) means to find fault or blame, and that has been a universal characteristic of humans since the fall into sin in Genesis 3. No statement is made about whether the complaint is legitimate or not, for forgiveness must enter into the relationship whether there is a just complaint or not. The greater tragedy is that normally people complain to one another about other people instead of going to the person that they are com
plaining about. This fosters greater complaining and conflict.

Conflicts are inevitable because even simple differences of opinion and purpose cause frustration, hindrance or even blockage of the goals or desires of others. Paul and Barnabas got into a conflict that split their missions team over a difference of opinion about taking John Mark with them (Acts 15:38,39). The Corinthian church was fractured over many internal conflicts including how people were using their spiritual gifts. Even simple misunderstandings can result in arguments between people who eventually learn that they actually agree. Add outward sin to this mix and conflicts can become explosive. James 4:1-3 tells us that the root of quarreling and conflict is our selfishness and envy. Without forgiveness these conflicts will hinder, damage and destroy the loving relationships we are to have with one another. How is the Christian to deal with complaining, both their own and that of others against them? Forgiveness.

Foundations for Forgiveness. Forgiveness arises from the other virtues which are all founded on love which we will talk about in depth next week. Without love, relationships are only something to be manipulated in order to achieve your own selfish desires, and there is no basis for true forgiveness in that.

Because of the Christian’s love for God, we seek out a relationship with Him and desire to remove any obstacle to that relationship. Since God is always right, any conflict with Him requires us to confess our sins to Him and thereby receive His forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). Forgiveness “signifies the remission of the punishment due to sinful conduct” (Vines), and God grants forgiveness as the outworking of His love for us. That love was proven when Jesus died on the cross as the payment price needed to satisfy God’s justice. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved the acceptance of the sacrifice and the truth of His promises to forgive those that place their faith in Him. In Christ we can be forgiven. That is the example of forgiveness for us. The Christian’s forgiveness of others must also be founded in love of God and others.

The Goal of Forgiveness. The goal in forgiving is not just an end of the conflict, but to also bring about the reconciliation of the relationships damaged by the conflict. It is a quest for true peace and unity, not just the end of current hostilities. Peace is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and we are to pursue peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

It can take a lot to bear up in the midst of a conflict when someone is complaining about you, yet we are still to be patient and gentle in our response. We put into action kindness and humility, and humility is an absolute necessity to bring about reconciliation and forgiveness. Jesus addressed this issue in Matthew 7:3-5 when He commanded us to take the log out of our own eye before we tried to take the speck out of our brother’s eye. Paul expands on this in Galatians 6:1-5 saying that seeking to restore an erring brother is to be done in a spirit of gentleness while also looking to yourself, lest you be tempted. Humility allows more give and take between humans in the quest to find a resolution to the conflict that will then glorify our Lord. Christians are to walk in humility (Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 5:5) and so be willing to forgive (Luke 17:3,4) resulting in peace and unity (Ephesians 4:3).

The Offer of Forgiveness. Romans 12:18 tells us, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, bet at peace with all men.” The tragic reality is that such peace will not be possible with all men, yet we must do all that we can to make it possible and that includes a proper effort in forgiving.

One of the great fallacies currently popular in some Christian circles is that forgiveness is unconditional and unilateral. This requires the one offended in a conflict is to forgive the perpetrator without reconciliation and can even be done without the offender’s knowledge. This idea has taken root because it is partly true. There are unconditional and unilateral elements in forgiveness and it can be accomplished this way in certain situations when the conflicts are minor. However, as conflict escalates there arise of necessity conditional and bilateral aspects to forgiveness. I want to examine the unconditional and unilateral aspects to forgiveness first.

Unilateral Forgiveness. On the unilateral side, Christians are to individually be willing to forgive. Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question in Matthew 18:21-25 about how many times he should forgive someone was “seventy times seventy.” Jesus then went on to explain the proper response of being forgiven is to forgive. If we are unwilling to forgive others, then our Heavenly Father will not forgive us (Matt. 6:15; 18:35). Those who are merciful receive mercy (Matt. 5:7), but those who are not, do not receive it themselves (James 2:13). Are you willing to forgive?

On the unilateral side, an individual can choose to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 states, “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” Sometimes that is done to avoid something worse happening as Proverbs 17:14 warns, “The beginning of strife is [like] letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.” Hopefully, for the Christian at least, it is because it is the application of love to the situation. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Corinthians 13:5 describes this aspect of love as “not taking into account a wrong suffered” (NAS). This is how we deal with people with all the minor irritations of daily life. In effect, you absorb the wrong done and overlook it. This is easier for those who are less sensitive to personal offences. Those who are sensitive to such offenses work harder at it, for they must consciously set aside the transgression.

As the nature of the offense increases, the ability to unilaterally forgive decreases while the necessity for the offender to be involved increases. If the conflict is causing your relationship to be strained and it is uncomfortable to be around the person, then you probably need to talk with them and try to work things out. Just discussing it may quickly resolve any issues or misunderstandings, or you may find that though your relationship was strained, it is actually of such a minor nature that you choose to now unilaterally overlook the offense without any action on the part of the offender.

Bilateral Forgiveness. When there is a breakage of some kind in the relationship, then forgiveness can no longer be unilateral. It will take work on the part of both parties to repair the relationship. Ideally, the matters are quickly resolved with the needed apologies resulting in forgiveness and reconciliation between both parties. However, granting forgiveness does not mean forgiveness is accepted. When that happens, the relationship remains broken and has subsequent consequences.

I remember the time many years ago when I loaned some money to Debbie, a non-Christian co-worker who was seriously ill. Her illness continued resulting in an even worse financial condition. I finally told her told her that the debt was forgiven and to forget about paying it back. That is how Christ forgave me. I owed a debt I could not pay, so He paid it for me and offered me forgiveness. However, she continued to insist on repaying me, but her guilt over not being able to do so caused her to start avoiding me and then shun me. I forgave Debbie, but she did not accept it, and so the relationship was destroyed. Her response to the gospel was the same. A broken relationship requires forgiveness to be a transaction between both parties. Jesus paid the price for sin and offers forgiveness, but unless it is received, there is no reconciliation and the unbelie
ver remains condemned to eternity separated from our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

Some conflict may only be able to be resolved to an “agree to disagree” or a mutually agreeable settlement through an exchange of promises. Jacob and Laban in Genesis 31 are an example of this. They were not able to reconcile, but they were able to agree not to harm each other and they set up a pillar as a witness. In Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas disagreed about Barnabas’ cousin, Mark, so they agreed to go their separate ways. There was an eventual reconciliation, for Paul asks for Mark to be brought to him because he was of useful service (2 Timothy 4:11).

 

Issues of Sin. As conflict moves into areas of sin against you (Matthew 18:15) or another (1 Corinthians 5:1-8), or you catch the person in a trespass (Galatians 6:1), then confrontation becomes necessary. It can no longer be overlooked. There are steps to this confrontation. Ideally this should be in person (Matthew 18:15), but Paul had to do this by letter in 1 Corinthians 5. If there is no resolution, then it escalates and others are also brought in to establish the facts (Matthew 18:16). The goal is to “win the brother” and mediation by a third party is very helpful. In Philippians 4:2-3, Paul asked Clement to do this for Euodia and Syntyche and help resolve their conflict. If the one in sin still refuses to listen, then the church is told to bring in their assistance, and if they still refuse to repent, then they are to be treated as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer (Matthew 18:17). They are no longer treated as fellow Christians. That is the final step of what is commonly known as church discipline, but church discipline starts with a simple confrontation over a conflict of some type. It only precedes to the next step when there no resolution. It is done out of love for the one in sin in the same way that children are disciplined because we love them (Hebrews 12:4-11).

When sin is involved, forgiveness is not unconditional. While we are to be willing to forgive, there are conditions that must be met for it to be offered and accepted. Jesus said in Luke 17:2, 3 “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Repentance is not a popular topic in modern American Christianity, but it is still a Biblical one. Repentance, metanoevw / metanoeô, is a change in one’s mind or purpose with a change in action as a result. Repentance in salvation is a recognition of and turning away from sin and to belief in the Savior, and it is a requirement for salvation.

It is true that God’s forgiveness in salvation is certainly unilateral from the stand point of its offer, for man does not seek it on his own and apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, no man seeks after God at all (Rom. 3:11,12). It is also true that God’s forgiveness of sin is unconditional in the sense that we could not earn it by any manner of work, penance or restitution. God paid the price Himself in the bloody sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). However, forgiveness is certainly not unilateral or unconditional in its application, otherwise all people are forgiven and Hell will be empty except for the devil and his demons. The offer of forgiveness of sins, which is universal, and receiving forgiveness of sins, which is not, are two different things. In addition, we find that there are conditions on receiving forgiveness from God. Salvation is conditional, not universal.

In Luke 24:46,47 Jesus said, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Repentance is a condition of forgiveness. There must be a change of mind in regards to sin and the Savior and there also should be fruit in keeping with that repentance (Matthew 3:8; Acts 2:38).

In Acts 10:43 Peter proclaims of Jesus that “all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” God’s forgiveness demands a belief in the truth about person and work of Jesus Christ. This includes His deity, humanity, sinlessness, substitutionary sacrifice, and resurrection. 1 John 1:9 adds “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We must believe and agree with God that He is right and we are wrong.

Conclusions

How then do you deal with people that irritate you or even do you wrong? You put on the new man and follow the example of Jesus. For minor irritations you can choose to unconditionally and unilaterally forgive by overlooking them or covering them with love. As the basis for complaint increases and the relationship gets strained, you talk with the person and seek to resolve the conflict. Let me quickly point out that both parties in a conflict are responsible before God to seek reconciliation. The one who is offended should seek out the one who caused the offense (Matthew 18:15, Galatians 6:1; etc.), and when you learn someone is complaining you have offended them, you are to seek them out to reconcile, for your worship is hindered until you do (Matthew 5:23-24).

When sin becomes involved and is apparent, you confront the one in sin and seek to do all that you can to bring about reconciliation though their sin and selfishness may keep that from happening. Any desire for revenge is left in the Lord’s hands and you overcome their evil with good (Romans 12:19-21). You go with a humble heart willing to suffer the loss or pay the price of the consequences of the other person’s sin so that you can offer forgiveness. You have been forgiven much by God, so you can forgive what they have done (Matthew 18:21-35). It is then left in their hands to repent and accept the offer to bring about the reconciliation. If they do, you both rejoice. If they do not, a mediator can be brought into help if they are willing, but either way you leave the offer on the table and pray for their change of heart. You then continue on with your life, always willing to try and reconcile again, knowing you have pleased the Lord.

Being raised with Christ changes everything about how we deal with other people. Duane Ray, an elder at Grace Community Church when I was there in their Career group, received the news one day that his teenage son was murdered in a store robbery. His response was to go to the jail to present the gospel to the murderer. Elizabeth Elliot, Olive Fleming, Mary Lou McCulley, Marge Saint and Barbara Youderian had their husbands murdered by the Auca Indians as they tried to make contact and establish a missions work among them. All the widows wanted the work to continue, and only a month later Elizabeth Elliot and the martyred Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel, were living among the tribe. Several of the men that had done the killing became Christians and close friends with the widows and their children. These supreme acts of forgiveness could only be done because they had put on the new self so that Jesus Christ was the first priority in their lives. That same ability and power is available to you. Will you use it? Will you do it by faith?

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.

Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times “forgive” is used. Discuss with yo
ur parents how you forgive someone who irritates you or has done something wrong to you.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What gives Christians the ability to behave so differently than non-Christians? Define the five virtues listed in Colossians 3:12 and explain the difference in behavior between a Christian and an unbeliever or immature Christian in carrying them out. What does it mean to “bear with one another” and how can the Christian do this? What is the importance of forgiveness? What is the basis for forgiveness? When can forgiveness be unconditional and unilateral? When does forgiveness require both parties to be involved? What is required if sin is involved? How does God forgive us in Christ for salvation? What does that example teach us about forgiving others? Trace out the steps of confrontation in Matthew 18:15-17. What should the attitude be when confronting someone about sin? What happens if the other person refuses to reconcile – either forgive or accept forgiveness?

 

Sermon Notes – 1/16/2011

Christian Virtues, Part 2: Living on a Higher Plane – Colossians 3:13

 

Introduction & Review

People who irritate you and do you wrong are part of life, we must learn to __________to them properly

Christians respond differently because they have been radically ______________ by God

The old man is dead, don’t drag the corpse around. Put on the __________________and live for Christ

As those ________of God, holy and beloved, we are to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle & patient

 

The Five Virtues Colossians 3:12

Non-Christians can feel compassion for those suffering, but Christians are to have this for their ________

The unregenerate desire good for those they like; believers desire good for all even those who _____them

Sinful people can be humble before a superior, Christians are ____________even with those inferior

Any one can learn to be courteous, but believers are gentle to please the ______, not to manipulate others

Non-Christians can be patient with those they love – and fear; Christians are to be patient with ________

These virtues are put into practice by _________ and divinely empowered

 

Bearing with One Another Colossians 3:13 (ajnecovmenoi ajllhvlwn / anechomenoi all l n).

This adds to patience & long suffering the element of holding up against a thing and so to __________

We are not to let our circumstances and trial drag us ___________ – 1 Corinthians 4:11-13

Ephesians 4:1-3 – Forbearing is simply part of ___________in a manner worthy of Jesus’ calling of us

You can bear up when you have put on the new man to walk according to ____________ instead of self

 

Forgiving Each Other Colossians 3:13 (carizovmenoi eJautoi'” / charidzomenoi heautois)

The Need for Forgiveness – complaining & blaming have been a ___________human trait since the fall

Conflicts are _______________because they can arise from even simple difference of opinion & purpose

The root of quarreling and conflict is our ____________________ and envy – James 4:1-3

Foundations for Forgiveness – Forgiveness arises from the other virtues which are all founded on _____

Forgiveness “signifies the ________________ of the punishment due to sinful conduct” (Vines)

God grants forgiveness as the outworking of His ____________ for us in Christ

The Goal of Forgiveness – bring about the reconciliation of the relationships damaged by ___________

______________ is necessary to bring about forgiveness – Matthew 7:3-5; Galatians 6:1-5

The Offer of ForgivenessRomans 12:18

Peace is not possible with all men, but we are to do ________________ to make it possible

Unilateral Forgiveness – Christians should _________be ready to forgive – Matthew 5:7; 6:15; 18:21-35

An individual can choose to ______________an offense – Proverbs 19:11; 17:14; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 Cor. 13:5

As the nature of an offense increases, the ability to unilaterally forgive ________________

Bilateral Forgiveness – a breakage in the relationship requires ____________ parties to be involved

Granting forgiveness does not mean forgiveness is accepted – leaving the relationship still ___________

Some conflicts may only resolve to an “agree to _____________”

Issues of Sin – Sin requires __________________ – Matthew 18:15; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8; Galatians 6:1

Step One: Confront to “win the brother” in ______________ if possible, or by personal means if not

Step Two: If no resolution, involve ______________ / mediators – Matthew 18:16; Galatians 6:1-4

Step Three: If no resolution, tell it to the ____________ – Matthew 18:17

Step Four: If no resolution, treat the sinning brother as a “____________ & tax gatherer”

When sin is involved, forgiveness _______________ be unconditional

Repentance – Luke 17:2-3. Repentance is a ________of mind resulting in a change of purpose & action

Salvation is unilateral / unconditional in that man does not seek it nor can he earn it, God must _______it

Forgiveness in salvation is not unilateral or unconditional in its __________________

Luke 24:46-47 – ____________ – Matthew 3:8; Acts 2:38

Acts 10:43 – _________ in the person and work of Jesus Christ

1 John 1:9 – ____________ of sin – God is right and you are wrong

Conclusions

Put on the _______ man and follow the example of Jesus

________parties in a conflict, offender and offended, are responsible before God to seek a reconciliation

Do all you can to reconcile and leave ____________ in God’s hands – Romans 12:18-21

Go with a _______________heart seeking to suffer the loss or pay the price so you can offer forgiveness

God has forgiven you much, ____________ can forgive others – Matthew 18:21-35

Follow the steps of Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1-4

Always leave the ___________ of forgiveness available – and then continue on with life


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