May 6, 2018
Grace, Not Sin
Once again we are confronted with the question, “What was Jesus’ real purpose?” It would be easy to think that Jesus came to identify sin and judge the sinner, but scripture consistently shows us that God’s main purpose for becoming one of us was to provide forgiveness and reconciliation. The example Jesus set was not to be used as a template by which we judge others, it was meant to be a reminder of our own brokenness and a motivator by which we are empowered to forgive, show compassion and demonstrate mercy. “God so loved the world” that He gave His life to deliver us from the guilt and depression that judgment offers.
Questions to ponder:
What do you think was the main point of Matt’s sermon?
Why do you think we are so prone to judge others?
What does Jesus’ dealings with “sinners” (e.g. John 8) tell us about forgiveness?
How does knowing this affect your relationship with God and those around you?
1. What does this say about God?
2. What does this say about me?
3. What does this say about how God wants me to be?
Do something about it:
There is an incredible release in receiving and giving forgiveness. Seeing Jesus more clearly enables us to take a step toward that kind of release. His gracious offer of forgiveness demands two responses: 1) It demands that we acknowledge our own sin and our need for forgiveness, then to turn away from that sin and accept the forgiveness he provides. 2) It demands that we extend that same grace and forgiveness to the people around us, even the ones who have hurt us most.
John 1:29, 46,47; 8:1-11; 10:10; Matthew 6:12; 7:1-3; 18:21-35; James 2:13