2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Proper church discipline, when the full process is obediently pursued, is a means of overcoming Satan’s schemes. But just as the world is ignorant of how the Devil uses unforgiveness, so is much of the church. When someone is repentant, God calls you to forgive. This is the very moment that Satan has designs to divide people, and destroy relationships within the church. In each step of the proper church discipline process, the Devil has a design against it. If we aren’t ignorant, we won’t be outwitted. But people are ignorant of the full benefits of this God ordained process, and people fear conflict, loss, and reprisal, and so they are outwitted. Outwitted gives the idea of being defrauded or exploited. Satan wants to exploit our sins and amplify our conflicts and cheat us out of the mercy, joy, forgiveness, comfort, love, obedience, restoration and fellowship a proper church discipline process brings.
The process starts with confrontation and discipline. The next step would be confession and repentance. After confession and repentance would come forgiveness and restoration. Satan wants sin to run freely in the church, and he wants the church to avoid confrontation. He tries to mask the avoidance of confrontation and the failure to discipline public sin as love. Satan tries to get people to avoid confession and repentance by driving them to despair, hopelessness, and bitterness. He wants the church to forgo the comfort and love of forgiveness and restoration and hold onto a harsh sense of holiness and a false notion of purity.
The process of unforgiveness takes its toll when the process of forgiveness is never attempted. People act as if they have no responsibility when they are the ones who have been sinned against. But you must give the offender an opportunity to repent, you must offer a path to forgiveness and restoration. Luke 17:3 says that if your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And even if the offender has passed away, or you don’t know them anymore, you must forgive them from your heart. As Mark 11:25 says, whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. This is right where Satan attacks. The Devil wants the church to be a place where there is no place for reconciliation, where we give no opportunity for repentance, or we look to judge someone’s repentance instead of forgiving, comforting, and reaffirming them in love. Let me ask you, are you cooperating with the gospel, or cooperating with the Devil?
When there has been sin, and then repentance, you are called to forgive. It is a battle. And right there, God is going to get the glory from us, or Satan is going to take advantage of us. If you forgive, you are following God. If you refuse to forgive, you are helping Satan. Unforgiveness opens the door to the Devil, allowing him to harm you, others, and the church.
The whole basis of your relationship with Jesus Christ is through forgiveness. The whole basis of the church is forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is the foundation of the church. And unforgiveness is an attack on the foundation of the church. The truth is that forgiven people become forgiving people. So, don’t be fooled. If you open the door of forgiveness, you spread the hope of the gospel. If you won’t open the door of forgiveness, you open the door for the Devil.
What would you think if I told you that what you need is more fear in your life? What if I said that the more fear you have, the happier you’ll be, and the holier you’ll be? And what if I said that the remedy to anxiousness is...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
If you are a Christian, you are God’s, and so you are winning no matter what. This is what the Bible says. You see this “winning faith” in Romans 5:1-5. In vs.1-2, the Apostle Paul repeats the words “we have” three...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Matthew 14:22-33 is the passage where Jesus walks on the water. And you will hear some well-meaning people say, “If your faith is focused on Jesus then you too can walk on water”. I’m sure that most of those are talking about...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 – and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – This passage will help you deal with your pride, and also to help you deal with your feelings of inadequacy, and for those times when you feel like a failure. Understanding this truth has helped me tremendously. And I...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
There is a lot of anguish in the world today. And there is a lot of distraction in the world today. But even with all the anguish and distractions, Christians have a burden to see people get saved, to be discipled, and to worship Jesus Christ....[ abbreviated | read entire ]
In Christian marriage, God is drawing a picture of his character, promises, and redemptive work in the world. We don’t always see that represented very well, and maybe we haven’t upheld that picture very well, but it is true...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Psalm 117 – Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! This psalm doesn’t explicitly contain every answer God...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Luke 9:51-56 – How often do people presume to be standing up for the honor of God, and yet they do so in a manner not worthy of his grace? How many of us would admit we have been this way at times? How do you react when you see someone in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]