Pastor Marvin's sermon this morning was on 1 Thess 5:19-21, entitled Don't Resist the Spirit.
He gave a revision of his previous sermons in the Holy Spirit series on what the Holy Spirit's work is, being one who:
1. Is our advocate
2. Convicts and converts sinners
3. Inspires and illuminates Scripture
4. Produces fruitful lives
5. Gives gifts to build up the Church
He then lays out how the Spirit can be quenched by us in line with canceling what the Spirit does as listed above. We quench Him by:
1. Not trusting the Gospel
2. Relying on ourselves to convert sinners
3. Neglecting the bible
4. Resisting His leading
5. Not using the gifts we are given for the local church
But one thing he said about not trusting the Gospel (#1) which struck me was this:
If we are unforgiving towards others, we are holding the person ourselves as accountable for what he has done wrong to us. It is an unwillingness to trust the Gospel. It is our wanting to hold him accountable and us wanting to punish him in our unforgiveness. But ultimately, we are holding on to that Jesus's death on the cross is still not enough to satisfy us!
Wow...that is really serious, I thought. I admit I do have in me a degree of an unforgiving spirit. And if I hold on to the saving grace of Christ on the cross, which I do, I must forgive and move on.
But I have one question, what if that person do not even know that he had wronged me?
What do I do?
Part of my anger is that he does not even know it. The thing is however, I am unwilling to talk to him about it because it has never worked before and I have stopped talking to him about it. And maybe that is the problem?
If I were to see it from God's perspective, a sinner who is told that he has sinned against God who confesses before God will be forgiven and will be saved. But on the converse, if he rejects that he has sinned against God, he will not be forgiven and not be saved.
So, does that mean that on our level, it is the same way? So if I were to speak to this person, and he refuses to acknowledge that he had wronged me and thus, I can't forgive him because he does not see that he is wrong and as such do not need to be forgiven? And worse than that, the relationship goes even more sour. How then what Pastor Marvin said that I am still holding him accountable and that Jesus's death is not sufficient for me?
Or am I to still forgive him for what he has done, and continue as if nothing happened, only to have him repeat it and the cycle goes on?
For what it's worth, I am doing exactly that. Gritting my teeth and letting it be. I forgive, and I forgive and I forgive.
With that, it is exactly what my relationship is like with God. He has forgiven me and yet I keep sinning against Him and He forgives, and He forgives and He forgives.