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									           October 28, 2007
• Opening Thought: Forgiveness Defined,
  Examples, Illustrated
• Read Colossians 2:6—23
• Commentary
• A Contemporary Example of “Hollow philosophy”
• Spotlight on The Persecuted Church: Iraq
• Closing Thought
         Forgiveness Defined
• God's desire for you today is that you
be free in your spirit—free to embrace
all the blessings, challenges, and joys
that the Lord has for you, now and in
your future.
                                             Dr. Charles
• But the bondage of living in guilt and       Stanley

unforgiveness stifles a person's ability to love and to
receive love. It stunts the growth of marriage and
friendships. It keeps a person from enjoying the full
and abundant life that Christ promised to those who
• But limited forgiveness will never do.
  Complete forgiveness is required if we
  are to know personally and fully that God
  is our loving heavenly Father.
• Forgiveness does not mean, "It didn't
  matter.” If you have been hurt by
  someone, or if you have committed a sin,
  it does matter.
• Sin matters. Hurt, pain, bondage, and guilt
  come in the aftermath of sin, and you are
  unwise to try to deny their reality.
• Forgiveness does not mean, "III get over
  it in time." You may not immediately feel
  the consequences of sin—which can
  cause you to think that God has
  overlooked your sin.
• A wrong that you attempt to bury will only
  rot in your heart and very easily can turn
  into bitterness, anger, and hatred—all of
  which are destructive emotions to the
  person who harbors them and a root of
  destructive behavior that may affect
          Forgiveness in Action
  Kara’s Story (Cree Indian)
• I was raised in a home where
  my mom and my sisters went
  to church every Sunday. My dad
  never came because he was an
• There was a lot of fighting and stuff Ron Hutchcraft
  when he’d come home drunk. He was
  verbally abusive to my mom, so I grew
  up having an alcoholic father.
• I was the type of person
  who pretended
  everything’s OK and I’m
  always happy. I tried to
  hold my family together
  and make everything OK       Kara (right) sharing the Gospel with a friend.

  when I knew things              Even though I
  weren’t. I have two other       continued to go
  sisters, and I was at           to church, I didn’t
  home a lot taking care of       fully grasp what
  my little sister and being      having a
  there for my mom. My            personal
  dad officially left home        relationship with
  when I was twelve.              Jesus Christ was.
• When I was thirteen years old, I was sexually
  abused by my best friend’s dad, who was also
  a family friend. I held everything in and was
  afraid to tell anybody because I was afraid that
  people wouldn’t believe me.
• It wasn’t until I was sixteen and joined the On
  Eagle’s Wings team that I really learned what a
  personal relationship with Christ was. I had
  never heard the term “personal relationship.”
• Now that I have a personal relationship with
  Jesus, I can forgive the one who abused me,
  see my dad’s alcoholism as a cry for help, and
  tell others of the love that can fill their lives.
• He is all that matters now. No past abuse or
  “what-I-never-had story” to excuse my failures.
  No more acting like it’s OK or holding it all in

   On Eagles Wings
   Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, 2007.
            Forgiveness Illustrated

Source: “Adoption,” p.13. Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, & Writers. Baker (1996).
         Freedom From Rules:
          Colossians 2:6—23
• 6 And now, just as you accepted Christ
  Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to
  follow him.
• 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and
  let your lives be built on him. Then your
  faith will grow strong in the truth you were
  taught, and you will overflow with
• 8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty
  philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that
  come from human thinking and from the spiritual
  powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
  9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a
  human body. 10 So you also are complete
  through your union with Christ, who is the head
  over every ruler and authority. 11 When you
  came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by
  a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual
  circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful
• 12 For you were buried with Christ when you
  were baptized. And with him you were raised to
  new life because you trusted the mighty power of
  God, who raised Christ from the dead.
• 13 You were dead because of your sins and
  because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.
  Then God made you alive with Christ, for he
  forgave all our sins.
• 14 He canceled the record of the charges against
  us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15
  In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and
  authorities. He shamed them publicly by his
  victory over them on the cross.
• 16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you
  eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy
  days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.
• 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality
  yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
• 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on
  pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying
  they have had visions about these things. Their
  sinful minds have made them proud,
• 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head
  of the body. For he holds the whole body together
  with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God
  nourishes it.
• 20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you
  free from the spiritual powers of this world. So
  why do you keep on following the rules of the
  world, such as,
• 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?
• 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about
  things that deteriorate as we use them.
• 23 These rules may seem wise because they
  require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and
  severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help
  in conquering a person’s evil desires.
• Gnosticism in the early church was no
  harmless alternative to faith. It challenged
  the very core of living faith by attempting to
  set Jesus aside, and make Him something
  less than the center of our lives.
• Gnosticism also attempted to set the body
  of Christ aside, by raising many objections
  to oneness. Love and caring became less
  important than fulfilling rituals. Unity was
  displaced in favor of hierarchy, not only in
  the spirit world but also in the church.
• Those with "special hidden knowledge"—
  the Gnostics—were at the top. Next were
  those whose rigid adherence to rituals made
  them "more spiritual" than the herd.
• The call to "consider others better than
  ourselves" (Philippians 2:3) was cast aside in
  favor of a system of rank reminiscent of the
  Roman army.
• Harmony and peace were set aside as
  unimportant, replaced by the pride of
  legalism and superior intellect.
Source: Larry O. Richards. Bible Teacher’s Commentary (2002), 944.
          A Contemporary Example of
             “Hollow Philosophy”
•   Source:\religion\ecology.html

• We believe that theology, ecology,
  social justice, and Christian
  stewardship of creation and
  redemption are interdependent.
• A wise and responsible people will
  recognize the increasing
  interdependence of all humankind
  in an emerging planetary society.
• In our time we must
  opportunities for all
  to grow and thrive.

• The fortunate who
  tolerate misery,
  strife and terrorism
  elsewhere, can stay
  safe themselves no
  longer.                 Holy Diversions,
• In a quest for survival,
  justice, and peace, we
  are “members one of
  another” (Romans. 12:5)

• The neighbor whom we
  are commanded to love
  is everyone (Luke
          Look Who is Involved
• American Baptist Church • National Conference of
• Christian Reformed         Catholic Bishops
  Church of America        • Orthodox Churches
• Episcopal Church USA     • Presbyterian Church (USA)
• Evangelical Lutheran     • Reformed Church of
  Church                     America
• Evangelical Presbyterian • Roman Catholic Church
  Church                   • Seventh Day Adventist
• Greek Orthodox           • Society of Friends
• Lutheran: Missouri Synod • Southern Baptist National
• Mennonite                • United Methodist Church
                           • Wesleyan Methodist Church
   Spotlight on the Persecuted
Pre-War Iraq:
“Night Visions
 in Iraq”
Source: Voice of the Martyrs magazine October
        2003 pp. 6—7.
Before The Iraqi War in 2003

               The Hanoi Bible School
• Iraqi evangelist Mathias Hassan (not his real
  name) was confident his eternal reward would
  eventually include a mansion of: heavenly
  splendor beyond his wildest dreams. What he did
  not expect was that God would first prepare a
  place for him on earth in one of Saddam
  Hussein's most infamous prisons.
• Most Iraqis called the Baghdad security prison
  the "White Ship" because its boxy shape remind
  them of a freighter. Those who endured torture
  inside its white exterior call the prison the "red
  house." They said Saddam's sadistic attempt to
  drive prison inmates mad included painting the
  walls blood red.
After US Troops Went Into Iraq
• Although they still suffer austere social and
  economic disadvantages for their faith,
  today Iraqi Christians enjoy at least official

• VOM reports a growing evangelical church
  in several regions of Iraq as people realize
  they can listen to the Gospel and safely
  consider Jesus for the first time.
Closing Thought
Source: “Adoption,” p.13. Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, & Writers. Baker (1996).
                Sources Cited:
Frank Gaebelein, ed. The Expositor’s Bible
Commentary Volume 11, 161—166.

J. Vernon Mc Gee. Thru the Bible Radio
Commentary. Vol. 5 331-332.

Larry Richards. The Teacher’s Commentary (2002).
Victor Press, 944.

New Living Translation (NLT) Tyndale
Publishers, 2007

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