Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
To him that has ears to hear.
We have established that submission is not a dirty word, but rather a pipeline through which God’s empowerment flows. Only through applied submission are we connected to the Father (the vine dresser) via the Son (the vine) and can accomplish our assigned task which is to produce fruit. As we do this, whether we think we have picked the fight or not, and regardless of our intentions, if we are “in Christ”, we are enemies of the Devil. Get it? He (the Devil) hates you if for no other reason than God loves you and has shown favor to you by providing the only way by which you might be saved, or reconciled to Him - Acts 4:12 and John 14:6. Nugget: Just as Heaven is too wonderful to describe, Hell is too terrible for words. Nugget: Many, if not most, professing Christians deny a literal hell, yet the Bible speaks of hell seven times for every reference to Heaven.
Spiritual Switch. We think of submission as something to be avoided in secular life, and although we don’t like to think about it, we are very particular about what areas we submit to God in our spiritual lives. Last week I promised you some practical application, so here goes. The single greatest area in which we drop the ball — did I say drop the ball? I meant Sin, is in the area of FORGIVENESS.
Matthew 18:21-35 is perhaps Jesus’ most concise teaching on the subject. It is a familiar story about a servant owing a great debt to his master (about the price of a home). After much whining, the master forgave him his debt. So the man walks out of the local restaurant rubbing his belly, tooth pick waving in his mouth, thinking life is good, when he meets a fellow servant who owes him a debt (about 100 days wages). What shall he do? He grabs the man by the throat and shakes him. Calls him some names and threatens him, till in tears, man # 2 promises to pay up. When the Master hears about this, he calls servant #1 on the carpet, chastises him severely - and has him thrown into debtors jail, or as the Bible puts it in vs 34: “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.” Then, just in case we are tempted to dismiss this as just a parable, He tells us in vs 35: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses”.
You see, forgiveness, as with all submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, is not just a guideline, or suggestion to enhance our lives, it is a Commandment from a Holy God, and is (as always), manifested by and through our conduct with each other. “In so much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” We say: “I love God, but that guy down the street? I’ll never forgive him”. Read the above Scriptures again. Is God serious about forgiveness? Are you living victoriously? Forgive.