April 25 & 26, 2020
Ten: Week Six
The Sixth Commandment – Forgiveness
God gave us the Ten Commandments to teach us about relationships, relationships with Him and with other people. We’ll study this sixth commandment by examining:
- What it means to murder and The Principle of Forgiveness.
- The six stages that lead to murder.
- How unconditional forgiveness breaks the progression to murder.
- In the Sixth Commandment, God tells us that “You shall not murder,” and The Principle of Forgiveness will keep us from breaking this commandment.
We don’t have the right to take another person’s life.
The word “murder” in Hebrew means “a wrongful killing.” This is different from the Hebrew word “kill,” which is used in cases like capital punishment, war or self-defense.
This leads us to the relationship principle behind this commandment, which is The Principle of Forgiveness. The ability to forgive will keep us from breaking the Sixth Commandment.
- There are six stages that lead to murder.
1st Stage: Unconditional Love
- In John 13:34, Jesus tells us to love one another as He has loved us.
- Jesus uses the word “agape,” which means “seeking the highest good of the other person.”
- This is not an emotion; it’s a decision regardless of how you feel about a person.
2nd Stage: Unconditional Love often leads to Unmet Expectations
- In Luke 7, John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin) is in prison where he will stay until he’s beheaded.
- In Luke 7:19, John questions Jesus because his feeling are hurt over his unmet expectations.
3rd Stage: Unmet Expectations often lead to Unresolved Offenses
- In Luke 7:22-23, Jesus replies with a blessing on those who don’t get offended because of Him.
- Unmet expectations create offenses in our relationships. With a spouse, employer or friend, we assume certain needs/wants will be met. When those expectations aren’t met, we get offended.
4th Stage: Unresolved Offenses often lead to Unbridled Anger
- The first murder in the Bible was because of anger, which is the story of Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:3-5,8)
- It’s ok to feel angry, because we can’t control how we feel. But, it’s not ok to act on that anger because it can lead to sin. Our anger should never control us. (Ephesians 4:26)
- In Ephesians 4:26, Paul tells us to deal with our anger in a timely manner.
5th Stage: Unbridled Anger often leads to Uncontrollable Hate
- Genesis 37:4-5 tells the story of how Joseph’s brothers came to hate him.
- In Genesis 37:17-18, we see how that hate turned murderous.
6th Stage: Uncontrollable Hate sometimes leads to Murder
- Unconditional forgiveness stops the progressive stages to murder.
If you have a problem giving forgiveness, you have a problem receiving forgiveness. (Matthew 10:8)
If you feel like you have to earn forgiveness from God, you will make other people earn forgiveness from you.
In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus tells us it goes beyond murder. He says that if anyone is angry with a brother or sister, he/she will be judged.
Do your part and forgive and God will do His part and heal you.