Thursday, April 7, 2016

72nd Annual Carolina Lectures Address of 7 April 2016

“Forgiveness – The Defeat of Revenge & The Victory of Surrender”
Russell H. McCullough / 72nd Carolina Lectures / Mountain Island church of Christ 

Text:  Matthew 6.14 – 15 (Context: 5 – 15)
Job 42.10 – “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.  And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
James 5.19 – 20
The IRONY of Christianity: The more we mature, the more we are aware of our own sins.  The more aware we are of our own sins, the more our need of forgiveness.  In order to receive more forgiveness, the more forgiveness we must give to others.  The only way that is accomplished is to be increasingly engaged in the lives of others.  AND the only way that is accomplished is to increasingly spread the gospel,
Thesis:  “Biblical forgiveness isn’t emotion, it isn’t action, it isn’t even theological – Biblical forgiveness is DEFINITIVE, it is who we are!
“In short, The Who of Forgiveness is ME, the What of Forgiveness is SURRENDER, the When of Forgiveness is NOW, the WHY of Forgiveness is God’s Will, and the Where of Forgiveness is EVERYWHERE.”
OBSERVATIONALLY:  Forgiveness is “Ify,” – I get what I give, forgiveness is necessary for OTHERS, forgiveness is necessary for me and…forgiveness is definitive of God!

1          Intro: “Forgiveness in the Pharisee’s Theology”

A.   The Pharisee followed, not the Law and the Prophets, but the Oral Law of the Jews…what is now known as the TALMUD.
1.      The TALMUD is a written commentary by many Rabbi’s over about 400 years beginning about 200 B.C and ending about 200 A.D.
2.     By the time of Christ these “traditions” had become superior to the Scriptures themselves.
3.    In truth, the concept of “forgiveness” was nearly foreign to the Pharisees theology.  As he saw it, he didn’t NEED forgiving!  Why?

             He was of the chosen race
             He was the child of Abraham
             He was the possessor of the Law
             He was the possessor of the Land
             He was the possessor of the Temple
             He was the possessor of the Promise
             He was the possessor of the Mark of God
             He was the possessor of God’s blessings of health,
             wealth, power and position
             His atonement was accomplished in Babylon
             His restoration was accomplished upon the return
             Forgiveness was only for others beneath his station
             not himself
             Forgiveness was only for those who asked him for it
             Forgiveness was given by him only to others who
             deserved it
             Forgiveness was only for those poor and sick
             Forgiveness was a quid pro quo, reciprocity,  
             transaction where the giver got something of “equal or
             lesser value” in return

2        The Meaning of the Word “Forgiveness” in the NT:

A.   The Root Word for “Forgiveness” is Translated 3 Ways:
1)     Matthew 26.28 – “Remission”
2)    Mark 3.29 – “Forgiveness”
3)   Luke 4.18 – “Liberty”
B. THAYER – “Release from bondage or imprisonment.  Forgiveness or pardon of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty.”
C. STRONG – “Freedom, pardon, deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission.”
D. In reality, forgiveness defined is a process.
             1) Defeat one’s “right” of revenge
             2) Seek the good of one’s adversary
             3) Pour out the gospel of forgiveness
             4) Achieve victory for both you and your adversary by your
                   surrender to the will of God - 
“Forgiveness – The Defeat of Revenge and the Victory of Surrender!”

3        What Does Forgiveness Look Like to JESUS?

A.   Forgiveness is EXEMPLARLY – Luke 23.34
B.   Forgiveness is PURPOSEFUL – Luke 4.18 - 19
C.    Forgiveness is REACTIVE – Matthew 5.43 - 46
D.   Forgiveness is PROACTIVE – II Corinthians 5.10 – 11a
E.    Forgiveness is CONDITIONAL – Matthew 6.9 - 15
F.    Forgiveness is COMMANDED – Matthew 28.18 - 20
G.   Forgiveness is REWARDED – Matthew 6.19 - 21

4        The Meaning of the Text

A. The longer one lives, the more forgiveness one needs!
B. The way to receive more forgiveness is to give more of it away!
C. The more forgiveness one gives away, the more one receives!

5        The Challenge of the Text

A. II Corinthians 5.16 – 21 – Surrender to one’s calling
B. Seek out the enemy
C. Surrender your “rights”
D. Engage the enemy through love and caring
E. Pour out the sweet wine of the gospel from your vessel to theirs.

6        “The Gospel Call” – Defeat Revenge, Find Victory in Surrender, Find forgiveness by giving the gospel away to the enemy”

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