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Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday's Message: Exercise Forgiveness

If there is one thing all Believers have in common, beside that we are all sinners saved by grace, it is that we all have an enemy.  His name, of course is Satan.  He hates all Believers just as he hates God; and if he can do anything at all to cause us to lose ground, or to fall, or just to sin at all, he will certainly do it.
In light of that, if there is any area we know that there is something we can do to ensure he does not get an advantage of us, we must be sure to learn what it is, and do it!
Please notice the words in II Corinthians 2:9-11  For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
The primary theme of the teaching here is our forgiving someone who has done wrong, someone who has sinned, even to the point of our having to break fellowship with them.  As this was the case of the man referred in the previous verses which point back to I Corinthians 5.  But now this man obviously has repented and reformed, and had sought restitution with the church; and Paul calls on the folks of the church at Corinth to forgive him. 
Two things are emphasized: 
1. From vs. 9, “…whether ye be obedient in all things.”
As this verse is nestled in the context of forgiveness of others; we must realize, it may be an oft overlooked sin of ours.  Yet, unforgiveness is not only sin; it hinders our prayers, and also can lead to bitterness, which Hebrews 12 teaches us, sprouts roots, and latches onto areas of our lives, and just tears away at us.
2. As mentioned before, this unforgiveness on our part is not only refusing to be obedient in all things; it also gives Satan an advantage of us.  So we must learn the 2nd part of vs. 11; and not be ignorant of his devices.  The wrong done to us, or to those we love, if allowed to create bitterness or that we have ought against someone, is a device of Satan to drive a wedge between us and our Lord, and drag us down, and away from righteousness. 
Forgiveness is one of the most Christ-like things we can do; as no one has been sinned against as much as the Lord, and so no one has exercised forgiveness as He has.

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