God’s Plan for Man


What happens when you die, playing harps? reincarnation? nothing?

If you will stay with me today, we will go through and reveal God’s plan for mankind

How was Man Created

Genesis 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind“; and it was so.
Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then notice what follows on here after all this talk of “kind after kind”

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

We are created after the God-kind. We are made similar in many respects, though a shadow of what He is … but notice in chapter 5

Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image [same words], and named him Seth.

When we put this all together, we can draw a comparison and see God’s incredible plan for mankind. In the same way that Seth was begotten of Adam and in his image, mankind was made in the image of Godkind.

Both God and Adam were “reproducing” themselves!

They were doing so in their own likeness and after their image.

What has been revealed to us here in the very beginning of the Bible is that God is reproducing Himself and populating His Family, the God Family through man!

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

God Made Man of Matter Not Spirit for a Reason

God created man from the physical matter that He previously created and in a temporary, limited, and incomplete fashion…unlike Lucifer

LUCIFER was the epitome of God’s creative power. God gave Lucifer the option of being able to choose the way that he would go, free moral agency, and he chose poorly, His mind became corrupt and he became SATAN. SATAN is an eternal Spirit being, permanent and everlasting and from what we know, will exist eternally in his current state.

That is why we have been created in the manner that we have, from the dust of the ground so that we can be tried and tested before being transformed into a permanent state of being in the God Family. God created us in an easily contained realm, where mistakes and rebellions could be dealt with more readily.

Notice that there is an order of being:

1 Corinthians 15:44 It [the body] is sown a natural body [as in Adam or all those begotten through him], it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam [Christ] became a life-giving spirit. [once again after His resurrection]
1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust [he was made of matter and not spirit and was thus temporal]; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. [who we are become like]

There is an order to becoming spiritual and a member of the God Family

Now here is an interesting concept:

God is a Family Now

Matthew 3:17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

What kind of relationship is being described here? FAMILY

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God is Family now and He is working towards growing that Family

God has a Plan for Mankind!

David asked: What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? Psalm 8:4

Answers the question here:

Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. [who then?]
Hebrews 2:6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “WHAT IS MAN [this is the subject matter: WHY MAN?] THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM, OR THE SON OF MAN THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM? [The author knows there is a vast chasm that exists between God and Man and is asking why do You care so much about us?]
Hebrews  2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. [Genesis 1-2 Given dominion over everything; Psalm 82 you are gods in this sense] But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one [what? FAMILY], for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, [brothers] [because we are in the SAME Family]

Analogy – makes it simple to understand
Why He gave marriage and family institutions
Why there is an attack on it today
Satan knows what is coming

Bridging the Gap Between Man and God

The issue at hand that we may readily recognize is the incredible gulf between the spiritual and physical.

How was God going to bring us from a physical being to spiritual

God is spirit

John 4:24 and we are a by-product of dust

We have to realize that:

Man was Made Incomplete

the natural state of man was lacking:

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

There was a critical component missing – one necessary to…

Bridge the Gap Between Man and God

How is it then that this chasm between mortal physical carnal MAN and immortal spiritual righteous God be bridged?

1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For “WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?” But we have the mind of Christ.

It is through the power of God, His spirit. It is who and what He is, a part of Him, it is through His holy spirit that we can begin to bridge the gap.

Receiving God’s Holy Spirit

Calling, Repentance, Faith and Belief , Baptism and the laying on of hands

This is what God has outlined as necessities for receiving the holy spirit

There are crucial steps in the overall process of becoming a part of the God Family.

What Does it Mean to Have the Holy Spirit Within us?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

“ if anyone is in Christ” or has “received Him” they are “a new creation” NOW with “the right to become children of God”

Upon receiving the holy spirit:

We Become Children of God

This is when we become a Christian, we are of Christ when He dwells in us.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. [must have the holy spirit to be a child of God and to have the holy spirit we must go through the baptismal requirements]
Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The intimation here is that this is being done continually.

This further defines: Who is a true Christian – those currently being led

This is not a one-time event, where you accept the Lord and then that is it. We must continually act in the manner that we were describing in the previous verse. If we do then we can be considered a Christian and a Son of God because we have that earnest of the spirit working in us.

We see this further in:

1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

The previous chapters shows how to do this by removing sin and keeping the commandments

We are Children of God in Gestational Form

We are not yet fully born-again

Nicodemus: John 3 must born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Pick up the next verse where we left off in 1 Corinthians 15 where we were talking about the natural first and afterward the spiritual.

1 Corinthians 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear [be born in] the image of the heavenly Man.[Christ]

At this point in time we are simply begotten

Just as we say that the being in the womb of the wife is our child, our son or daughter, we too are in that gestational period where we are growing (church=wife which is a significant part of the growth)

The initial receiving of the holy spirit is analogous to conception.

There is a period of gestation or growth that follows

The embryo starts a maturation PROCESS that eventuates in birth.

In much the same way we have begun a Conversion from a begotten children of God towards being a fully born-again son of God

As we continue to walk in a path of righteousness we will continue to grow as His spiritual children.

We are his Children in the Spiritual Sense


Those who have God’s spirit and come out of the world are truly His children.

We do this by:

Becoming the Image of Christ

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

This is what we would expect as a now begotten child of God, that when we come to full term and are born-again that we would be like our elder brother and God who Fathered us.

The New Testament confirms that we were made similar to God:

James 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.

But Christ was and is the Image of God:

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person….

The word for express image comes from the Greek word CHARAKTER means to exactly represent another image. Christ has the exact image or character of God the one that we are to be emulating. We want to Engrave or stamp into us who and what God is. We want it to be and need it to be precise reproduction in every respect, exactly as God the Son is of the Father … he is His express image.

The word character comes from the Greek word CHARAKTER means to exactly represent another image.

When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…” this was His ultimate goal!

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

[omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternal, etc. All that God is]

As Paul goes on to say in chapter 3, we are to do the same:

Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him [man],

We are to be the image, the character of Christ who is the Character of God.

Is the picture becoming clearer. We are to become the image of God. We are to become a family member of the God-kind. We are to become part of the Family of God.

Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

As we put this all together we see that we are to become holy as God is Holy

2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What is that divine Nature? It is everything that God is. What is God? That is what we have the opportunity to partake of. By doing this we “escape the corruption that is in the world” – in other words, our personal actions must reflect the charakter of God

This is the image that Adam failed to put on when he chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the choosing the holy spirit from the Tree of Life.

The image of God the Father and the Son is the one that we are to continue to strive for and put on.

IF we do, then this is what we can expect:


As part of our continuing transformation

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body [physical one that is subject to the ravages of time and sickness] that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Because we will be immortal

Jesus Christ’s Glorified Body

John 17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
John 17:2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

What was that Glory that He had before coming to this Earth, before there ever was an Earth?

He was a Divine Spiritual Being, like the Father.

Christ is the same as the Father. He is of the God-kind.

That is what we are promised to be like!

Raised Incorruptible

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [must be a change] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”

In Ephesian 3 we see another step in being brought into the God family, one that stands to reason

Named with the Same Name of God

Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom the whole family [by now we see that this family is more than some ethereal concept, it is more than symbolism, it is due to the fact that God is reproducing Himself through this process we have been talking about today] in heaven and earth is named, [like we do with our children, they take on our name when they are born, we will take on the Name of God when we are born.] [and we will take on ALL that goes with it]

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
Ephesians 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18 may be able to comprehend [are we getting this?] with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height
Ephesians 3:19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. [the ultimate goal]

As a member of the family and because a Father wants give good gifts

Luke 12:31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
Luke 12:32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

It is His Kingdom to give and we see that Christ has already qualified to inherit it

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
Hebrews 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 1:4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name [name of the God family] than they.
Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”? And again: “I WILL BE TO HIM A FATHER, AND HE SHALL BE TO ME A SON”? [It was not there lot]

But Christ will not be an only Son!

Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren [our elder brother].

We are to be a part of the same exact family and have a part in the SAME EXACT inheritance

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption [sonship] by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

We are placed into the Family with Abba, Father – very affectionate term of endearment that was used by Jesus Christ

But rather it is a Spirit that leads to “sonship”

G5206 υἱοθεσία uihothesia hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah

G5207 υἱός uihos hwee-os’ Apparently a primary word; a “son”

G5087 τίθημι tithēmi tith’-ay-mee A prolonged form of a primary word θέω theō

the placing as a son with all the rights and privileges that go with it

We too can have this same type of very close relationship that our Elder Brother had…we will be sons of the same family of God

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ [who will inherit what? All things Heb 1:2], if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

this verse testifies to the following facts:

  • that we are children of God,

  • heirs of God (we are to inherit what God has) and

  • we are to do it with Jesus Christ our elder brother of the same family.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:20 For the creation [physical universe and all that is in it] was subjected to futility [It is temporary; new heavens and earth later], not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

like a woman in labor, but still has hope in a marvelous and wonderful birth and in the life of a new child

by resurrection to immortality, as a child of God.

Romans 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit [us today], even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the [sonship], the redemption of our body.

What a wonderful plan to be looking forward to…

When the Kingdom of God, which is the government of God is established we will be given:


Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Knowing what MAN’S ULTIMATE POTENTIAL AND DESTINY is how can we choose anything but the life that has been revealed to us. We shall never grow old, tired and weary. Always alive – full of joy and vitality, strength and power!

The Jews often did not believe Christ about many things – have we ever caught ourselves saying that we would not have done that in the same situation? What about now? Do we believe Christ that our destiny is to become God like God?

The Contingencies of Forgiveness

Heard on TV:
I forgive…
When can we forgive?
When should we forgive?

Contingent on Repentance

Can we forgive before the act – no, by definition
Can we forgive in the middle of an act – again, no, by definition
Surely we can forgive as soon as the act is over – possibly, but it is contingent on them and what they do next

IF they are repentant then this means that they are not going to do the wrong thing again.

Luke 17:1 Then He said to the disciples, It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
Luke 17:2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
Luke 17:4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Luke 17:5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

If man must repent before God forgives, how can we be any different?

Can we forgive what God doesn’t?

How to Handle the situation when someone does not repent

We forgive if someone repents but what if they don’t? Does God forgive us before we repent?  If he does not then how is it that we can say that we should? Are we bigger than God? Do we understand this process better than God?

Look at Luke 15 and evaluate the father in terms of it being analogous to God the Father.

Luke 15:11 Then He said: A certain man had two sons.
Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.‘ So he divided to them his livelihood.
Luke 15:13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
Luke 15:14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
Luke 15:15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luke 15:16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
Luke 15:17 But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
Luke 15:19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘
Luke 15:20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Luke 15:21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Luke 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
Luke 15:23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
Luke 15:24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:25 Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
Luke 15:26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
Luke 15:27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
Luke 15:28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
Luke 15:29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.
Luke 15:30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
Luke 15:32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ “

Spirit of Forgiveness

Jesus Christ on the cross was ready to forgive

Luke 23:32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
Luke 23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Problems linked to not forgiving:

Mayo clinic:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Improved mental health
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Improved self-esteem

Johns Hopkins

“There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.

WebMD etc; well documented

All Sin is Ultimately Against God

2 Samuel 12:9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.

2 Samuel 12:13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

Why then are some so willing to forgive at the drop of a hat?

They are mislead into believing it is Godly

So that they don’t have to do Matthew 18?

I suspect that a big part of the reason is this.


It is a way that we relate to another whether God or man, of course there are rules that govern this

Forgiveness is for the healing and reconciliation of a relationship (with God or man)

Isaiah 59:2

Matthew 18 is for the healing and reconciliation of a relationship

Can a relationship be reconciled if one person is still at odds – by definition, no

So can a person be forgiven (in other words a relationship healed) when they have not changed what is causing the problem or division in the relationship to begin with.

It takes two to repair a relationship – otherwise we cannot relate – or fellowship to the degree that we can and should

Contingent on Obedience

This is similar to the first point in that it is a continuation of it

The first point is more at stopping the wrong act, this is more doing the right thing

Following God’s ways

1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Not saying that we are forgiven because of our acting righteously, godly or obediently.

But if we are not obeying, then we are still committing the infraction

We are still sinning in other words and we cannot be forgiven until we change our ways and start doing what is right.

1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
1 John 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

Contingent on Asking for It

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Admission of and asking for forgiveness

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

It is not once forgiven, always forgiven

Not really a saying, but closely ties into salvation, ‘once saved, always saved’

Forgiveness is required for salvation

Contingent on Forgiving Others

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

This obviously meant to convey as many times as the offender truly repents

Matthew 18:23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
Matthew 18:24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. [ $14,254,517,925.00 gold]
Matthew 18:25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
Matthew 18:26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
Matthew 18:27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 18:28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
Matthew 18:29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
Matthew 18:30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
Matthew 18:31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
Matthew 18:32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
Matthew 18:33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
Matthew 18:34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
Matthew 18:35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

God forgave first and He forgave the most
He is the King in this parable
We are the servants
What do we have to do by comparison?
We are to be this living sacrifice
We are to keep perspective
God has forgiven the greater amount
We are to follow His example

Lord’s prayer – how we pray

Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

When we come before God, it is necessary that it be done

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

What do we forgive? Is it the damaging of a relationship? Can a damaged relationship be repaired by only one party involved in the offense?

1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

In context of previous points

Our relationships must be fixed that we can have right and good relationships

What we are owed is nothing compared to what we owe

God the Father had to give His Son

The Son divested Himself of His God-hood

Contingent on a Price Being Paid

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

God is asking us to do something similar
Lay down our life
Become a living sacrifice
To sacrifice something / Give up something

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

God asks us to do what He has already done.

So when these conditions are met, then it is incumbent upon us to grant forgiveness.
And in that moment:

We Get to Act Like God

This is not a Lord it over them act. But we get to exhibit a portion of the grace and compassion and mercy that God has shown to us. We get to be God-like and show the power of God in us.

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

To err is human, to forgive is divine – Because it reflects God’s character in us