Another Important Facet of True Forgiveness

1Co 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Most of you know that subjects like forgiveness, repentance, mercy, reconciliation and so on are regularly twisted and distorted into unbiblical caricatures of the real thing. And then they are used by the wicked to continue to oppress the righteous. So here in this article I need to be very clear that what I am about to say is not about accepting fakes and facades. It is not about demanding that we all must reconcile with the unrepentant or even with the repentant (a very rare creature) whose past evil was of such a nature that there cannot be reconciliation in this life.

No, what I want to talk about here is an aspect of real forgiveness that is extremely freeing. It has to do more with us being forgiven than with forgiving. And, like all truths, it is a subject that the wicked will distort and try to deny us.

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The True Church – Christ’s Remnant – Has Been Scattered

Rom 16:17-19 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (18) For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (19) For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

In the soon to be four decades in which I have been a pastor, I have seen the visible church become more like a den of robbers than the body of Christ. What would you experience if you checked into a robbers’ den? A thieves’ hideout? Oh it looked good on the outside – a nice place to stay you thought. But inside? Well, you were preyed upon. Not prayed upon. Preyed upon. Beaten. Robbed. Turns out the place was filled with the wicked.

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Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission
Sermon 19 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on December 5, 2010
Sermon Text:  1 Peter 2 – 3:7

This morning I intend to introduce you to an examination of the biblical doctrine of headship and submission in marriage. It will not do to simply dismiss these doctrines, as today’s “Christian” liberalism generally does, claiming they are merely the ravings of male chauvinists like the Apostle Paul. No. Anyone who believes that the Bible is what it says it is – the Word of God – knows that God sets out these doctrines for husbands and wives. Nor are these truths to be dismissed as something archaic, fitting for an ancient culture but not for ours. Our Lord Himself takes us right back to creation, to the first marriage, as does the Apostle Paul. God’ s order for marriage in Eden was then and remains today the same for all marriages in all places.

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Praying for God’s Justice

Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.  (13) Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”? (14) But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. (15) Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.

(16) The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. (17) O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear (18) to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. Psalm 10:12-18 ESV

Forgiveness.  Reconciliation.  Love.  Mercy.  Justice?  How does that last one fit into our Christian experience?  Jesus said we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.  Maybe the prayers of Psalm 10 are Old Testament stuff, not for us today? Maybe the same applies to all of those other Psalm-prayers that we call imprecatory?

Wrong!

Because God has never changed and never will change; His justice, wrath, and judgment against the wicked still stands.  In fact, it is increasing in its intensity as evil men oppress His people.

Let me prove it with a NEW Testament imprecatory prayer –

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Projection – A Typical Trait of a Toxic Person

Dale Ingraham shared an article from Shahida Arabi recently which included this characteristic of abusers. I am not familiar enough with Arabi to recommend her material, but she certainly nails it in this statement about “projection.”

She calls the abuser a “toxic” person and that is a very accurate term. Wicked people are toxic to others. Poison. As long as we are in some kind of relationship with them, they are poisoning us. I have written elsewhere that abuse is murder. It is a slow but sure toxic poisoning.

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A Common Claim – “Only God can Judge”

1Co 5:12-13 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

I was reading a commentary on Matthew this morning and came across the following statement by the author:

God is the one truly competent Judge, for he alone knows all things. Every human judgment is based on imperfect knowledge. We make every decision on insufficient evidence. Not so with God. He knows all that is, was, and shall be. [Matthew: Reformed Expository Commentary, Daniel Doriani]

Now, this statement is true, in part at least. God is indeed the only truly competent judge. He is the only one who knows all things. This cannot be said of any human. If perfection in judgment is the subject of discussion, yes – it is only to be found in God.

However…

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Abuse and the Jezebel – Women as Abusers – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

The Abuser as Jezebel – Women as Abusers
Sermon 18 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on November 21, 2010
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 21

NOTE: Eight years have passed now since I delivered this sermon series on domestic abusers hiding in the church. As is true with us all, I have learned much more about this subject since 2010 and so, as is the case with this sermon, I often need to “tweak” a sentence or two when we publish here. In this case I found that I used the phrase “we are all sinners” but neglected to make it clear that my meaning was “we are all sinners when we are born into this world.” It is a gross error to claim, as is so common today, that those who are genuinely in Christ are “all sinners.” Try to find that teaching in the Bible. You won’t.

Also, let me say that as I re-read this sermon I was uncomfortable in regard to this subject. Why? Because the vast majority of abuse victims I know and communicate with are women. Christian women. I don’t enjoy speaking about women as abusers because I do not want to give any ammunition to those who want to “blame the woman” for the abuse they receive – after all, they “pushed his buttons” you know. However, Jezebel was a real person. And her progeny still exist as enemies of Christ and Christ’s people. So deal with the subject we must.

This morning we want to at least begin a consideration of women as abusers.  All through this series we have reminded ourselves that though we use “he” as the pronoun for the abuser (since in the great majority of cases the abuser is the man in the marriage), nevertheless women are sinners as well and women can be abusers.  If you have lived on this earth very long at all, you have no doubt met some.  Jezebel was a woman, and Jezebel was clearly an abusive, power-hungry, control-seeking abuser who had a profound sense of entitlement and justification to use whatever means necessary to obtain the power and control she believed she was entitled to. Jezebel and her daughters are still with us today. We see that she turned up again in the New Testament church –

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