The Forgiving Church

I John 1:9

I want to talk about us becoming a forgiving church. Many of us have either heard or read something like "if I sinned, I'd rather go to the bar than go to the church". The world is saying - "We are more forgiving that you." We forgive abortion, homosexuals, pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex, drug pushers, murderers, etc.

We need to distinguish between "the church as it is" and "the church as it should be". As it is many have forgiven, but have not grown much in their Christ-likeness. Their forgiveness is not anything like Christ's. Many tend to act like the world or like the Pharisees in John chapter eight. Remember them with the lady taken in adultery? What did they want to do with the woman? (stone her) What did they want to do the man? (ignore it)

Some churches and some of us have handled sin that way; by cutting people off or ignoring sin. Sometimes when the world criticizes, they have a point (even though their way of forgiving is wrong, we have not always provided a good model of forgiveness. What I would like to do tonight is address the way we should be as a church.

I. We Need to be People Who Remember We Have Been Forgiven.

II. Is that different form the world? Very different!

III. It's Easier to Ignore or Condone Than to Forgive

A forgiving church is often misunderstood by the world, and by worldy Christians. The world has definitely got their definition of forgiveness confused. We should do all we can to be exercising the true biblical alternative of biblical forgiveness. We must be a forgiving church. That means we must be forgiving people.

Do not be afraid of applying the Word of God in your lives. Do not be deceived by those who would call us 'unforgiving' because we deal with sin biblically. There is hope tonight for the sinner. It is found in Jesus Christ. Do you know His forgiveness? Are we living there tonight?