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Nov 17, 2019

Communion and Forgiveness

Communion and Forgiveness

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

Communion, the sharing of the The Lord's Table, is the one thing that binds the entire Christian church together.

Communion is about washing our heart. We all get dirt on our hearts every day. Not cleansing our heart can be very spiritually harmful. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with me. 

Pray that God would speak to us today. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak and show us His ways. 

Sharing Communion, the Lord's Supper, is the defining of our faith. Remember the lamb. Lambs were a sacrifice, an offering. From Genesis to the cross, it was always a lamb. The innocence of the lamb could pay for the sin. The great mystery of God is that the Lamb became the covering for our sin. He gave His life to save us. 

John 1:29 John the Baptist, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. That true, spotless, sinless lamb and that lamb's perfect blood covers a man's sin but also heals humanity of their sin nature.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His Son - The spotless lamb offered to me so eternal life and relationship could be given. 

Luke 22:19 This is My body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of Me. Remember! 

  • Remember - it was for your total and complete forgiveness.
  • Remember - it was so relationship with a Holy God could be restored for eternity.
  • Remember - that it was for much more than covering sins - those individual offenses.
  • Remember - it was to bring New Life - restoration of life that was dead by a terminal sin nature.
  • Remember - now you are no longer slaves to sin, but sons and daughters of God once again.
  • Remember - this is a washing away of the sin of mankind.

Jesus gave Himself so that you and I might be able to come before God. The bread and the cup symbolize the washing away of sin. John also describes this in a different way. He describes Jesus bound in the simple towel of a servant washing dirty, stinking feet.

John 13:14-15 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

If the bread and the cup are the illustration, the bowl and the towel are the practical working out - the demonstration of what we are to do - forgive. "I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you." Washing feet is washing away the dirt, the sin, as He forgave us. Peter who denied Jesus; Thomas who would doubt Jesus; John who would follow Jesus, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew. . . for all of them who would abandon Jesus.

The lesson: forgiven people forgive people. Our lack of forgiveness and unwillingness to extend the same servanthood to others is too common in the church today. Our most prideful self-righteousness is reserved for those who are slaves to sin. We are called to wash feet, not judge the degree of filth. 

Colossians 3:13 Just as the Lord forgave you, so also you should forgive one another.

Ephesians 4:32 Forgive each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.

To make this practical, here are 3 levels of forgiveness.

1) Common forgiveness: Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. Don't get uppity because you've done the same. Walk in forbearance with one another. Read "Forget it" by Uncle Judd Lewis. True love keeps no record of what has been wronged. 

2) Personal forgiveness (one of the most common infections in marriage and family): Reminding each other of wrongs done that were not quite repented of. Hurt people hurt people. Most of the time we say, "What is wrong with you for what I did?" Instead, we should say, "Did I do something that hurt the person I love?" Instead of defending, apologize. Don't say, "I'm sorry. (cause I got caught)." Next time say, "I was wrong." "I regret being part of your pain." "I regret hurting you." "Please forgive me." Apologies begin with "I'm wrong." 

3) Wounded-soul forgiveness: These wounds tear the soul of a person, and are associated and caused by abuse. Abuse is physical, emotional, sexual, abandonment or severe neglect. This forgiveness must follow others validating someone's pain. Abuse is so often hidden and is wrong to first respond with "you've got to forgive that person!" First, that soul wound must be validated with comfort and care. Once abuse has been validated, then we can come to "Forgive them, Father." 

Forgive is two words:

  • For = to be for someone, to move forward in life, look to another goal.
  • Give = forgiveness is given and can't be bought, stolen, earned or won. Matthew 10: 8 Freely you have received, now freely give. Because of this table, the death of the Son of God forgives, then surely I can forgive. 

Matthew 18:21-22 Peter asks how often should I forgive? Jesus replies with 70 x 7 (or every 3 minutes in a 24 hour period). Forgiveness doesn't end. 

Matthew 18:23-35 The parable of a man who is forgiven, then refuses to forgive another. Other people see what happens and he is handed over to be tortured. Forgive our brothers as we have been forgiven! 

What are the tortures of today? angry homes? drug, alcohol, or pornography addictions? depression? anxiety? broken family? lost generations? The antidote . . . forgiveness. Forgive your brother from your heart. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. It's not emotion and it's not a one-time thing but is done over and over. Our forgiveness never runs out! 

Psalm 139:24 See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in Your everlasting way. The everlasting way is forgiveness. Every day! 

Solomon 2:15 Catch the little foxes because they spoil the vines. The foxes are offenses - big and little. Let the Holy Spirit convict you and ask for forgiveness. If we don't want this torture, then forgive! 

Forgiveness is not a one-time thing and is not an emotion - it is a choice. Forgiveness does not remove hurt. Comfort removes hurt. Forgiveness is an act of defiance against the devil and obedience to God and a wanting to be like Jesus. 

How do communion and the washing of the disciple's feet go together?

Explain communion and forgiveness and how they link to our forgiveness of others.

How many times have you been forgiven? forgiven someone else?