"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with (Jesus) Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
(Ephesians 2:4-5)

Chapter 3: Joseph, 9/29/2019




Genesis 37-50

Series: The Story

Pastor Luke Kjolhaug

2 Responses to “Chapter 3: Joseph, 9/29/2019”

  1. Marcia says:

    Would you go so far as to say that if I don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive me? Is my salvation in jepordy? Does forgiveness of God depend on my willingness to forgive others? I base this question on Matthew 6:14-15.

    • Luke Kjolhaug says:

      I apologize for the 6-month-late response! Speaking of forgiveness, I may need a little myself 🙂

      This is a great question. One crucial thing to keep in mind is that God’s forgiveness is never earned but always freely given. It’s not transactional. So, it’s not as if our own forgiveness of others somehow merits God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is bestowed without regard to the worthiness of its object, and it is dependent only upon Christ’s substitutionary atonement. 1 John 2:2: “He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” God’s mercy and pardon are simply part of His character, and they always originate with Him. So, I think the best way to understand the Matthew 6:14-15 passage is that Jesus is providing further clarification on the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, which He has just given to His disciples. He’s emphasizing–in no uncertain terms–the importance of mutual forgiveness; someone forgiven much goes forth and forgives others as well. Withholding forgiveness hardens our hearts–it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. So, when we deliberately and hard-heartedly refuse to forgive, we do so at the peril of our own souls. But even a withholding spirit like this is not outside God’s ability to forgive, and when we confess that we have unforgiving hearts God forgives that, too.

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