North Augusta, South Carolina
From the Pastor’s Desk …..July 2016
As we embrace the month of July, the word Independence comes to mind. The word independence means many things. But, for the sake of this documentary, we will define it as freedom from outside control or support.
I believe when Independence Day was established on July 4th 1776 by the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress that the 13 colonies, which regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer apart of the British Empire, it was this concept of freedom they had in mind.
Now! During the month of July, God, the Father of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, is allowing us the opportunity to re-examine the definition of independence, by and through exploring the theme, “Freedom in Forgiveness.”
We will start this sermon series by speaking from the sermon topic entitled, “Forgiveness Will Bring Freedom.”
I often wonder if people really give much consideration to the thought that no real freedom is manifested until forgiveness is given.
In order for one to have the freedom from control or to feel that they can and will survive without the influence, direct support or approval of someone else, they must have a since of independence.
Hear me when I say true independence or freedom comes through forgiveness. Therefore, we must say there is freedom in forgiveness and forgiveness will bring the freedom we are seeking.
In our text as recorded in Matthew 18:21 and 22, we find that "Peter came and said to Jesus, 'Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times."
The question may be asked, “What is so significant about forgiveness that Jesus would answer Peter by saying, “No! Not seven times but seventy times seven?”
First of all, we must understand that the spirit of forgiveness brings trust. Where there is no forgiveness, there is no trust.
Jesus tells Peter, that we must forgive our offenders in order to build trust. Where there is no trust, there is no freedom. Lack of trust causes us to keep our guard up. We cannot be free at heart and ready to fight at the same time.
Secondly, we must forgive because forgiveness builds healthy relationships. Healthy relationships in the home, church, workplace or wherever, eliminate the need to constantly watch our back. If we refuse to build healthy relationships, we will find ourselves accusing others. We are a product of our environment. If we are crooks, we will think others are crooks.
Thirdly, we must forgive because forgiveness produces healing. If you want wellness over sickness, then you want to forgive. Mark 8:36 tells us that forgiveness precedes healing.
We may have a sense of freedom as we celebrate Independence Day, as we know it. But, I am here to tell you that freedom from control and dominance by others does not come until you establish trust, build healthy relationships and manifest healing powers.
Hear me when I say, we must forgive because there is freedom in forgiveness and forgiveness will bring the freedom you are seeking.
You want to be trusted – forgive and trust others.
You want healthy relationships – forgive others and they will forgive you.
You want healing – forgiveness precedes healing.
Forgive, not seven times but seventy times seven will bring the freedom you are seeking.
Yes! We have Independence Day, but we yet lack trust, healthy relationships and healing in our land.
Why? Because we refuse to forgive. There is freedom in forgiveness and forgiveness will bring freedom.
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for July 2016
Freedom in Forgiveness
Faith is knowledge beyond the reach of proof
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666