Seven Fruits Of Forgiving
by Rev. James DeBraux, Sr
Rev. John PO Box 158
Newtonville, NJ 08346 USA
1. I know some of you in here have been estranged with someone at one time or another.Then you decided to ask that person forgiveness. How was your feeling at the time you asked? Pretty scary, wasn't it? But how did you feel after you asked? Much better, right? AAAH! Indeed you did! But being forgiven is much more than just feeling good.
2. I want to talk to you from the bible. I want to talk about the fruits of forgiving and forgiveness. The benefits of forgiving and forgiveness. The results of being forgiving and forgiven by others. The fruits of forgiveness is like going to a Hawaiian Luau. The Banquet Tables are full of good fruits. There are so many things we can say that are fruits of forgiveness.
3. But right now I want to look at seven, YES, just seven fruits of forgiveness. Now it may be a benefit to you to write these down. because, dear friends, if you have anything against another person or someone else has something against you, you get that right between you, AMEN! These seven fruits will be fruits in your life as well. Let's see what the Bible has to say about the Seven Fruits of Forgiveness. First of all one of the Great Fruits of Forgiveness is Reconciliation. Now, you have been angry with someone, perhaps someone dear to you...
4. Remember by seeking and granting forgiveness you can become reconciled with that person. Now what does it mean to be reconciled? Simply this. To be reconciled means to be at peace with. You see sighing a peace treaty isn't enough. Only forgiveness heals a wounded relationship. Just because you and your pastor, ushers, or Deacons and members of the same church or sons or daughters, wife and husband living in the same home have a semi - peace treaty, does not mean you have peace in your home. You have to have reconciliation and reconciliation comes through forgiving. When you forgive is when you are forgiven.
5- Remember Jesus words in Matthew Chapter 18 verse 15 "If thy brother sins against you, go and tell his fault between you and him alone; If he hears you, you have gained your brother." Now think about that statement for a moment. If your brother hears you that means he recognizes his sins and repents , if your brother hears you and repents of it.. You have reconciled with your brother/sister, you have gained your brother/sister. Now, does that mean you have lost your brother/sister if no reconciliation takes place? Yes it does. OOH.. He or she will still be your brother/sister, but he/she will be a stranger until peace replaces hostility.
6-Just as you have been reconciled with God by the blood of Jesus Christ, be reconciled with that person with whom you are estranged. Make peace through forgiveness. The First Fruit of Forgiveness is Reconciliation. Well, the Second Fruit of Forgiveness is to Right our relationship with the Lord Jesus. You see when our relationship to others is not right, when its wrong, our relationship with God is also not right. John included this problem in his first epistle. (First John chapter 4 verse 20). Here, John asks a question ..
7- If someone says I love God and hates his brother/sister, he is a liar; For he that loveth not his brother/sister, whom he have seen, how can he love God who he has not seen? That is a good question! Getting into a right relationship with others may be a fruit with a right relationship with God. But frequently the streak runs the other direction. We must right our relationship with others to be in a right relationship with God. That means seeking or granting forgiveness.
8. Friends, one of our great fruits of forgiveness is getting our relationship right. One of our great fruit of forgiveness is Reconciliation. But another one is getting our relationship right with the Lord, knowing that we are in a right relationship with others. Therefore we are in a right relationship with him.
9. Now, let's look at a third fruit.
For me one of my excellent benefits of forgiving is my Prayer life. Jesus
teaches us a very important lesson about this in Mark chapter eleven- right
after those great verses about having faith, about moving mountains, Jesus said
"and whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone,
Forgive Them, that your father in heaven may forgive you your trespass. (verse 25) Now do you see the relationship there. If you are praying, stop, seek or grant forgiveness first, then go back to your prayer. I think its important that we recognize Jesus, that he tells us to do this.
10. Jesus is saying that while you are praying and you realize you have a problem with another believer, or that they have a problem with you. Your responsibility is to stop praying and seek or grant forgiveness, which ever is appropriate and then come back to your praying. Now, why is that? Why is it so important that I seek and grant forgiveness before I pray? The answer: So God will hear my prayer.
11. You see, harboring an unforgiving spirit or not asking someone to forgive us, IS SIN. The bible reminds us if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. PSALMS 66 verse 18. So a third fruit of forgiveness is the Fruit of a Prayer Life. So you see, you cannot have much of a prayer life if you are not a forgiving person. To summarize, The Seven Fruits of forgiveness thus far consist of the First Fruit which is Reconciliation, The Second Fruit is we must right our Relationship with the Lord. The Third Fruit is that we have a fruitful Prayer Life.
12. Now what about number 4. The
Fourth Fruit of Forgiveness is Removing Bitterness From Our Lives. You see there
is an undeniable link between a bitter spirit and a spirit of unforgiveness. The
more bitter a person becomes, the less likely they are to forgive. Here are the
words of the apostle Paul "Do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, by whom
you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and
anger, and clamor,and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: And
be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christ's sake hath forgiven you." That is in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 30,
Now did you notice the contrast in these verses? In one verse he said to put away bitterness, wrath, anger and so on. In the next verse he said be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another. You see the first is just opposite to the second. Fact is we might as well say the first is diametrically opposed to the second. If you have the first, you won't have the second and if you practice the second there will be no room for the first.
13. Bitterness and forgiveness are mutual exclusive and that means if you are not forgiving you are inflicted with bitterness. But if you truly forgive, you have rooted out that root of bitterness. Remember it this way, the Fruit of Forgiveness is better than the root of bitterness. If there is bitterness, anger and wrath in your life, there cannot be kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness in your life, there will be no bitterness, wrath and anger.
14. Now, just look inside your own soul, you will see which of these is there. We will now look at the Benefits of Forgiveness. We have seen four thus far. Reconciliation with another person, a right Relationship with the Lord, an unhindered Prayer Life and the Rooting out of Bitterness. Now the fifth Fruit is Being Forgiven. Just could be revival. Both personal revival and cooperative revival, and we are reconciled to someone who has wronged us following hard on the heels of that reconciliation could be, just could be revival to getting right with God and His people.
15. The one sin that is doing more to hold back the power of God in revival than any other is a unforgiving spirit. I know that is right . Satan knows its the little foxes that spoil the vines. Sometimes a great movement of God in a local assembly, a great revival in a local church may be fortis (dull or dry) simply by just two people who are unforgiving toward each other. Isn't that exactly why Paul addresses the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche in the book of Philippians chapter 4. Revival in that church was just too important to let two unforgiving women spoil it for everyone. When we forgive one another the same way God forgives us, it will not bring revival to the church, it will be revival in the church.
16. The sixth great reason for forgiving one another is to insure that God has forgiven us. Remember Jesus words in the Lord's Prayer Matthew chapter 6 "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.' That means either forgive us in the same way we forgive others or forgive us to the same extent we forgive others. Either way if we are not going to forgive, we are not going to be forgiven. Jesus continues immediately after that prayer and says for if you forgive men for their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
17. Now let's see? Is this understandable? Is this verse open to a dozen different interpretations? I do not think so. Friends that's pretty plain. Those are stern words from our Lord and indicate one of the Fruits of Forgiveness is to know we have been forgiven by God. That in itself is enough to make us want to be forgiven. Well, we are considering Seven Fruits of Forgiveness and to me this last one is the best. Fruit number Seven is the Benefit of Being Forgiven or Forgiving; Is A Clear Conscience. You see Christianity is a religion of the conscience.
18. Once we are convicted with wrong, we will be miserable until we make that wrong right. In fact, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost will see to it. That is what his convicting power is all about in the life of a believer. Titus 1:15 refers to a deviled conscience. If we are unforgiving, we have such a conscience. However, First Peter 3:16 and First Timothy 1:5 speaks of a good conscience. Now which one would you rather have? Would you prefer a conscience that thumps like a sore thumb all the time or a conscience that is smooth free from pain and distress. You can have this last kind of conscience but only when you are free from offense to God and to others...
19. To be free from offense to God and others you must be both forgiving and forgiven. That my friends is why FORGIVING OTHERS is so important.
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