THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS

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Versi Bahasa Malaysia  |  中文版本

THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS
By Associate Pastor David Seah
2021/03/26 

Unforgiveness and bitterness has a way of affecting us in more ways than we can imagine, regardless of the cause, offender or however long ago the offense may have taken place. The Bible speaks of unforgiveness and unresolved conflict as hindrances to our prayer and our relationship with God. The Bible says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25, NIV).

Have you ever wondered why our faith and prayer does not produce the fruit we expect? Unforgiveness could be the reason. This is because our relationship with God is intimately tied to the condition of our relationships with people. 

Matthew 18:21-35 records the conversation between Peter and Jesus, on the issue of unforgiveness. In the preceding paragraph (Matthew 18:15-20), Jesus had just taught the disciples concerning dealing with sin within the Kingdom community. Therefore, Peter is asking a relevant question on unforgiveness because sin committed against others is never a matter of intellect alone, but personal as we are morally relational beings. When someone has done us wrong, not only does our mind identify the act as wrong but, in our hearts, we may feel angry to want to see justice done.
 
Anger is energy aroused in defense of something good and released against something which is evil or bad. The Bible said, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26, NIV). The Bible did not say, “do not get angry” or “anger is sin”. It teaches that anger has a place, but warns of the possibility that the anger may lead to sin, and in many cases, may lead to bitterness and unforgiveness. 

Very often we cannot distinguish between anger and bitterness. Bitterness is ill-will, resentment, and being revengeful. There is active and passive bitterness or unforgiveness – Active unforgiveness is when we want to retaliate, do harm or lash out, whereas, passive unforgiveness has to do with choosing not to do good when there is opportunity to do so. Both forms of unforgiveness are not options for the believer.

Let us return to Peter’s conversation with Jesus. The Bible says, “Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). Seventy times seven represents the unlimitedness of unforgiveness. 

Jesus proceeded to show Peter that the matter of unforgiveness ought to be put in proper perspective because our vertical relationship with God is intimately tied with the condition of our horizontal relationship with people. 

Here is the story Jesus told Peter:

 

1. The servant was hopeless. 

The Bible says, “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 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. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” (Matthew 18:23-26). One talent was about 40-50kg of gold, which is 20 years’ worth of labour for a common servant. The servant had a debt that was impossible to pay. To sum it all, he was as good as a dead man. He was hopeless. In the same way, weren’t we all as dead and hopeless before we knew Christ? The Bible said, “for all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23) and “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Therefore, we can all identify with the hopeless condition of the servant. 

 

2. The servant was forgiven. 

The Bible says, “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt” (Matthew 18:27). The Master used His prerogative, canceled the debt with no strings attached, and let the servant go. For the servant, he was forgiven of his debt amounting to 200,000 years of labour, his slate was wiped clean, and he was given a second chance at life. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2). Like the servant, we too were given a second opportunity, not only were our sins forgiven, not only were we shown mercy, but we have received God’s lavish grace and the abundant life for our days on earth and eternally in heaven.

 

3. The servant remained unmerciful.

The Bible says, “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!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 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. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him” (Matthew 18:28-34). The servant chose not to serve his Master in gratitude for the debt he was forgiven. Instead, he did the very opposite, as though he had not been forgiven. This is why Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). Jesus’ tone is very serious, yet was without condemnation but with mercy. Just like the tone and volume a father would use in warning his young son who is about to run across the road, oblivious of an oncoming car. We often cannot see the full extent of what unforgiveness does to us, but the Father sees it all. In fact, He sees that unforgiveness binds, imprisons and causes untold barrenness for the one who is unforgiving. 
 
In the parable, the King made and pronounced the judgements. In reality, for you and me, the King of Kings, offered Himself to be the object of judgement, as the ransom, so that all our debts can be paid. The Bible said, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He looked down and saw the Roman soldiers gambling for His clothing; the criminals on the crosses were reviling Him; the religious leaders were mocking Him; and the crowd was blaspheming Him. In that moment, where Jesus could have called ten thousand angels, and struck all dead, and it would be right, because he was innocent, yet, he uttered a prayer of forgiveness and mercy when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus accomplished God’s forgiveness for us on the cross, making it possible for us to forgive our fellow men.
There is freedom in forgiveness. When we forgive someone, we are saying, “I know what you did was not okay, but I recognize that you are more than that. I don’t want to hold us captive to this thing anymore. I can find healing in God and I don’t need any explanation from you.” 

In essence, to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. When we are unwilling to forgive, we are actually holding the people around us to a standard of perfection that we ourselves cannot meet. In wisdom, we learn to forgive because we know that we too have sinned – often in the same way that others have sinned against us. 

In many cases, reconciliation may not be possible, but forgiveness is. Therefore, forgive. Wait no longer, today, you can experience the freedom of forgiveness, made possible by the forgiveness you have received through Jesus Christ our Lord!
 

All Scripture reference taken from the New King James Version (NKJV), unless otherwise stated. 

 

1.    STRONG FAITH IS NOT SHAKEN

He said, We sent Timothy, who is our brother and minister of God and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish and comfort you with regard to your faith, so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you know that we are appointed to this. Indeed, we told you before we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it came to pass, as you well know” (1 Thessalonians 3:2-4). Strong faith does not succumb to lies, false perceptions or physical afflictions. Job’s faith was not shaken by his ill health. The Bible said, “His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die.” He said to her, “You talk like one of the foolish women talks. Will we indeed accept the good from God but not accept the adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:9-10). On the other hand, Paul’s faith remained strong despite suffering from the thorn in his flesh. God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore, he proclaimed, “I will boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Strong faith is not shaken by external circumstances but believes and acts based on the Word of God. 

 

2.    STRONG FAITH PRODUCES EXCELLENT TESTIMONIES

Paul said to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, to which you are called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 1:19). The Gospel of John also records the testimony of the Samaritan woman which led many to salvation. The Bible said, “The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to remain with them. And He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this Man is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:28-29, 39-42). We will have powerful testimonies of our faith to share when we allow our faith to be tested. 

 

3.    STRONG FAITH IS A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT AND STIRS GREAT JOY

Paul said, “Therefore, brothers, during all our afflictions and distress, we have been encouraged about you through your faith. For now we live, if you stand strong in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sakes before our God” (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9). 

The Covid-19 pandemic is a testing of our faith. May we have faith in Jesus Christ, believing that God will give us the victory over our physical challenges as we walk in simple obedience to Him. This will certainly produce encouraging testimonies that will lead others to experience the saving power of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. 

All Scripture references are taken from the Modern English Version (MEV), unless otherwise stated. 

 


KEBEBASAN UNTUK MENGAMPUNI
Oleh Pendita Bersekutu David Seah

 

Ketidakampunan dan kepahitan mempunyai cara untuk mempengaruhi kita lebih daripada yang mampu kita bayangkan, tanpa mengira penyebab, pesalah atau sudah berapa lama kesalahan itu berlaku. Alkitab berbicara tentang ketidakampunan dan konflik yang tidak dapat diselesaikan sebagai penghalang kepada doa dan perhubungan kita dengan Tuhan. Alkitab berkata, “Dan jika kamu berdiri untuk berdoa, ampunilah dahulu sekiranya ada barang sesuatu dalam hatimu terhadap seseorang, supaya juga Bapamu yang di sorga mengampuni kesalahan-kesalahanmu" (Markus 11:25).

Pernahkah kamu tertanya-tanya mengapakah iman dan doa kita tidak menghasilkan buah yang kita harapkan? Ketidakampunan mungkin adalah penyebabnya. Hal ini kerana perhubungan bersama Tuhan amatlah bersangkut-paut kepada keadaan perhubungan kita dengan orang lain.

Matius 18:21-35 mencatatkan perbualaan antara Petrus dan Yesus mengenai isu ketidakampunan. Di dalam perenggan sebelumnya (Matius 18:15-20), Yesus baru sahaja mengajar murid-muridnya bagaimana menangani dosa di dalam komunitas Kerajaan Tuhan. Oleh itu, Petrus mengajukan pertanyaan yang relevan mengenai ketidakampunan kerana dosa yang dilakukan terhadap orang lain bukan hanya masalah akal semata-mata, tetapi lebih kepada peribadi kerana kita adalah mahluk yang berlandaskan moral. Apabila seseorang melakukan kesalahan terhadap kita, bukan sahaja pemikiran kita mengenal pasti perbuatan itu salah, tetapi di dalam hati kita, kita mungkin merasa marah kerana keinginan melihat keadilan dilakukan.

Kemarahan adalah tenaga yang diransangkan dalam mempertahankan sesuatu yang baik dan dilepaskan terhadap sesuatu yang jahat atau buruk. Alkitab berkata, “Apabila kamu menjadi marah, janganlah kamu berbuat dosa: janganlah matahari terbenam, sebelum padam amarahmu” (Efesus 4:26). Alkitab tidak menyatakan bahawa “jangan menjadi marah” atau “kemarahan adalah satu dosa”. Ia mengajar bahawa kemarahan memiliki tempatnya, tetapi juga memperingatkan kemungkinan kemarahan itu boleh membawa kepada dosa, dan dalam banyak kes, membawa kepada kepahitan dan ketidakampunan.  
Seringkali kita tidak dapat membezakan di antara kemarahan dan kepahitan. Kepahitan adalah niat jahat, kebencian dan dendam. Terdapat kepahitan atau ketidakampunan yang aktif dan pasif – Ketidakampunan yang aktif menyebabkan kita ingin membalas, melakukan kemudaratan atau menyerang, manakala, ketidakampunan pasif adalah memilih untuk tidak berbuat baik ketika ada kesempatan untuk melakukannya. Kedua-dua bentuk ketidakampunan bukanlah pilihan bagi orang yang percaya.

Kembali kepada perbualan antara Petrus dan Yesus. Alkitab berkata, “Kemudian datanglah Petrus dan berkata kepada Yesus: "Tuhan, sampai berapa kali aku harus mengampuni saudaraku jika ia berbuat dosa terhadap aku? Sampai tujuh kali?" Yesus berkata kepadanya: "Bukan! Aku berkata kepadamu: Bukan sampai tujuh kali, melainkan sampai tujuh puluh kali tujuh kali” (Matius 18:21-22). Tujuh puluh kali tujuh melambangkan keampunan tanpa had.

Yesus teruskan dengan menunjukkan kepada Petrus bahawa masalah ketidakampunan harus diletakkan dalam perspektif yang tepat kerana perhubungan kita dengan Tuhan bersangkut-paut dengan keadaan hubungan kita dengan orang lain.
  
Di sini, Yesus menceritakan kepada Petrus:

1.    Hamba itu tiada harapan.

Alkitab berkata, “Sebab hal Kerajaan Syurga seumpama seorang raja yang hendak mengadakan perhitungan dengan hamba-hambanya. Setelah ia mulai mengadakan perhitungan itu, dihadapkanlah kepadanya seorang yang berhutang sepuluh ribu talenta. Tetapi kerana orang itu tidak mampu melunaskan hutangnya, raja itu memerintahkan supaya ia dijual beserta anak isterinya dan segala miliknya untuk pembayar hutangnya. Maka sujudlah hamba itu menyembah dia, katanya: Sabarlah dahulu, segala hutangku akan ku lunaskan. Lalu tergeraklah hati raja itu oleh belas kasihan akan hamba itu, sehingga ia membebaskannya dan menghapuskan hutangnya.” (Matius 18:23-27). Satu talenta ialah sekitar 40-50kg emas, bersamaan dengan 20 tahun penghambaan untuk seorang hamba biasa. Hamba itu mempunyai hutang yang mustahil untuk dibayar. Seumpamaannya, dia lebih baik menjadi orang mati. Dia tiada harapan. Dalam cara yang sama, bukankah kita juga mati dan tiada harapan sebelum mengenali Kristus? Alkitab berkata, “Kerana semua orang telah berbuat dosa dan telah kehilangan kemuliaan Tuhan” (Roma 3:23) dan “Sebab upah dosa ialah maut; tetapi karunia Tuhan ialah hidup yang kekal dalam Kristus Yesus, Tuhan kita” (Roma 6:23). Oleh itu, kita semua dapat mengenalpasti dengan keadaan hamba yang tiada harapan itu. 

2.    Hamba itu diampuni.

Alkitab berkata, “Lalu tergeraklah hati raja itu oleh belas kasihan akan hamba itu, sehingga ia membebaskannya dan menghapuskan hutangnya” (Matius 18:27). Raja itu menggunakan hak prerogatifnya, membatalkan hutang dan membebaskan hamba itu. Bagi hamba itu, dia telah diampuni bagi hutangnya yang bersamaan 200,000 tahun penghambaan, batu tulisannya dibersihkan, dan dia diberikan kesempatan kehidupan kedua. Rasul Paulus berkata, “Demikianlah sekarang tidak ada penghukuman bagi mereka yang ada di dalam Kristus Yesus. Roh, yang memberi hidup telah memerdekakan kamu dalam Kristus dari hukum dosa dan hukum maut” (Roma 8:1-2). Seperti hamba itu, kita juga telah diberikan kesempatan kedua, bukan sahaja dosa-dosa kita telah diampuni, bukan sahaja kita ditunjukkan belas kasihan, tetapi kita juga telah menerima kasih karunia Tuhan dan kehidupan yang melimpah untuk hari-hari kita di bumi dan selama-lamanya di syurga.

3.    Hamba itu tetap tidak bersikap belas kasihan.

Alkitab berkata, “Tetapi ketika hamba itu keluar, ia bertemu dengan seorang hamba lain yang berhutang seratus dinar kepadanya. Ia menangkap dan mencekik kawannya itu, katanya: Bayar hutangmu! Maka sujudlah kawannya itu dan memohon kepadanya: Sabarlah dahulu, hutangku itu akan kulunaskan.    Tetapi ia menolak dan menyerahkan kawannya itu ke dalam penjara sampai dilunaskannya hutangnya. Melihat itu kawan-kawannya yang lain sangat sedih lalu menyampaikan segala yang terjadi kepada tuan mereka. Raja itu menyuruh memanggil orang itu dan berkata kepadanya: Hai hamba yang jahat, seluruh hutangmu telah ku hapuskan kerana engkau memohonkannya kepadaku. Bukankah engkau pun harus mengasihani kawanmu seperti aku telah mengasihani engkau? Maka marahlah tuannya itu dan menyerahkannya kepada algojo-algojo, sampai ia melunaskan seluruh hutangnya” (Matius 18:28-34). Hamba itu memilih untuk tidak bersyukur kepada Tuannya atas hutang yang telah diampuni. Sebaliknya, dia melakukan sebaliknya, seolah-olah dia tidak diampuni. Oleh itu, Yesus berkata, “Maka Bapa-Ku yang di syurga akan berbuat demikian juga terhadap kamu, apabila kamu masing-masing tidak mengampuni saudaramu dengan segenap hatimu” (Matius 18:35). Nada Yesus amatlah serius, namun tanpa kutukan tetapi dengan belas kasihan. Sama seperti nada dan suara seorang ayah apabila mengingatkan puteranya yang baru hendak berlari menyeberangi jalan, yang tidak menyedari kereta yang akan datang. Seringkali kita tidak dapat melihat dengan penuh akan apa yang ketidakampunan boleh lakukan kepada kita, tetapi Bapa telah melihat keseluruhannya. Dan sebenarnya, Dia melihat bahawa ketidakampunan telah mengikat, memenjarakan dan menyebabkan kemandulan bagi orang yang tidak mengampuni.   

Dalam perumpaan itu, Raja telah membuat dan mengumumkan penghakimannya. Dalam realiti, bagi kamu dan saya, Raja segala Raja telah menawarkan diri-Nya sebagai objek penghakiman, sebagai tebusan, supaya segala hutang-hutang kita akan dibayar. Alkitab berkata, “Akan tetapi Tuhan menunjukkan kasih-Nya kepada kita, oleh kerana Kristus telah mati untuk kita, ketika kita masih berdosa” (Roma 5:8). Ketika Yesus digantung di kayu salib, Dia tunduk dan melihat prajurit-prajurit Roma sedang membuang undi bagi pakaian-Nya; penjenayah yang disalib mencerca Dia, para pemimpin agama mengejek Dia, dan khayalak ramai menghujat Dia. Pada saat itu, Yesus boleh memanggil sepuluh ribu malaikat, dan memukul semua orang mati, dan itu adalah betul, kerana dia tidak bersalah, namun, Dia mengucapkan doa pengampunan dan belas kasihan apabila Dia berkata, “Ya Bapa, ampunilah mereka, sebab mereka tidak tahu apa yang mereka perbuat” (Lukas 23:34). Yesus menyempurnakan pengampunan Tuhan bagi kita di kayu salib, menjadikan kita mampu untuk mengampuni sesama manusia.

Inilah kebebasan untuk mengampuni. Apabila kita mengampuni seseorang, kita menyatakan bahawa, “saya tahu apa yang kamu lakukan itu adalah tidak baik, tetapi saya menyedari bahawa kamu lebih daripada itu. Saya tidak mahu mengikat kita atas perkara ini lagi. Saya mencari kesembuhan di dalam Tuhan dan saya tidak memerlukan sebarang penjelasan daripada kamu.”

Pada hakikatnya, mengampuni adalah membebaskan tahanan dan mengetahui bahawa tahanan itu adalah kamu. Ketika kita tidak mahu mengampuni, kita benar-benar menahan orang di sekeliling kita dengan tahap kesempurnaan yang tidak dapat kita temui sendiri. Secara bijaksana, kita belajar untuk mengampuni kerana kita tahu bahawa kita juga telah berdosa - seringkali dengan cara yang sama seperti orang lain yang berdosa terhadap kita.

Dalam banyak kes, pendamaian mungkin mustahil, tetapi tidak bagi pengampunan. Oleh itu, ampunilah. Jangan tunggu lagi, hari ini juga, kamu dapat merasakan kebebasan dalam pengampunan, yang dimungkinkan oleh pengampunan yang kamu terima melalui Yesus Kristus, Tuhan kita!

Semua rujukan Alkitab adalah dari Alkitab Bahasa Indonesia, melainkan dinyatakan.
 

 


饶恕的自由
文:David Seah牧师

无论出于什么原因,是谁得罪了我们,抑或事情发生了多久,不饶恕和苦毒会在多个方面对我们造成无法想象的不良影响。圣经说不饶恕和未解决的冲突将阻碍我们祷告,也阻拦我们与神的关系。圣经上说:“你们站着祷告的时候,如果有谁得罪了你们,就该饶恕他,好使你们的天父也饶恕你们的过犯。”(马可福音11:25)

你曾否想过,为什么我们有信心祷告祈求却无法得着?原因可能是因为我们不饶恕。我们与人的关系紧紧地与神的关系相连。
马太福音18:21-35记载耶稣和彼得论及饶恕的对话。前一段经文(马太福音18:15-20),耶稣教导门徒天国的群体是如何看待罪恶的,接着,彼得提出关于不饶恕的问题。人是有良知的,对别人行恶时,亏的不只是理,还有情,可谓道义皆损。
当有人得罪我们,我们不只理智上知道那是错误的行为,内心也会感到愤怒,期待看到正义得以伸张。

生气是抵挡邪恶并捍卫美好事物而激发出来的能量。圣经上说:“生气却不要犯罪;含怒不可到日落。”(以弗所书4:26)圣经上没有说“不要生气”或“生气是罪”。圣经教导我们生气有时,也提醒我们生气会导致我们犯罪,很多情况下,它还会让我们产生苦毒和不饶恕。我们往往不能分辨生气和苦毒。苦毒是心存恶意、怨恨和报复。苦毒或不饶恕有主动和被动之分——主动的不饶恕是我们想采取报复、伤害或攻击的举动;被动的不饶恕则是即使我们有机会做好事却选择不做。这两种形式的不饶恕都不是基督徒的选择。

让我们回顾彼得与耶稣的对话。圣经上说:那时,彼得前来问耶稣:“主啊,如果我的弟兄得罪我,我要饶恕他多少次?七次吗?”耶稣对他说:“我告诉你,不是七次,而是七十个七次”(马太福音18::21-22)七十个七次表示无限多次饶恕。

耶稣接着告诉彼得要以正确的视角看待不饶恕带来的影响,因为我们与人横向的关系直接影响我们和神纵向的关系。

耶稣跟彼得说的比喻:

 

1. 那仆人无还清债务的力量

圣经上说:“因此,天国好象一个王,要和他的仆人算帐,刚算的时候,有人带了一个欠下六千万银币(即一万他连得)的人来。他没有钱偿还,主人就下令叫人把他和他的妻子儿女,以及一切所有的都卖掉,用来偿还。那仆人就跪下拜他,说:‘请宽容我,我会把一切还给你的。’”(马太福音 18:23-26)一个他连得(用以衡量金子或银子的重量单位)大约是40-50公斤黄金,相当于一个仆人20年的劳动价值。那个仆人背负了根本无法偿还的债务。所以,他已经和死人一样失去价值,没有希望。同样的,我们在认识基督之前,也像死了一样,毫无希望。圣经上说:“因为人人都犯了罪,亏缺了 神的荣耀,”(罗马书 3:23)“因为罪的工价就是死,但 神的恩赏,在我们的主基督耶稣里,却是永生。”(罗马书 6:23)因此,我们就像那个仆人一样无药可救。

 

2. 仆人得免了他的债

圣经上说:“主人动了慈心,把那仆人放了,并且免了他的债。”(马太福音 18:27)主人使用他的特权,无条件免了仆人的债,让他离开。仆人获免长达200,000年的劳动债务,旧债一笔勾销,他重获新生了。使徒保罗说:“所以现在,那些在耶稣基督里的人就不被定罪了;因为生命之灵的律在基督耶稣里使我自由,脱离了罪和死的律。”(罗马书 8:1-2)我们跟那个仆人一样重获新生,不仅得到神的怜悯,罪过得赦,并且在世的日子亦得着神所赐的丰盛恩典和生命,直到我们回天家。

 

3. 仆人不怜悯同伴

圣经上说:“那仆人出来,遇见一个欠了他一百个银币的仆人,就抓住他,扼着他的喉咙,说:‘把你欠我的钱还给我。’那和他一同作仆人的就跪下求他,说:‘请宽容我,我会还给你的。他却不肯,反而把他带走,关在监里,等他把所欠的还清。其他的仆人看见这事,非常难过,就去向主人报告这一切事情。于是主人叫他来,对他说:‘你这个恶仆,你求我,我就免了你欠我的一切。难道你不应该怜悯你的同伴,好象我怜悯你一样吗?’于是主人大怒,把他送去服刑,等他把所欠的一切还清。”(马太福音 18:28-34)仆人不为主人赦免他而心存感恩怜悯人,相反的,他的所作所为就像他没有被赦免一样。因此耶稣说:“如果你们各人不从心里饶恕你的弟兄,我的天父也必这样待你们。”(马太福音18:35)耶稣语气严肃,可是他不是谴责反而充满怜悯,那语气和音量就像父亲警告忽视路上的汽车,莽撞过马路的小儿子一样。我们常常看不到不饶恕会对我们产生的影响,但天父他知道。 他知道不饶恕会产生束缚和捆绑,不饶恕人的结不出圣灵的果子。

在比喻里,国王做出决定并宣布判词。现实中,万王之王为了你和我,献上自己接受审判,成为偿还我们债务的赎罪金。圣经上说:“唯有基督在我们还作罪人的时候为我们死, 神对我们的爱就在此显明了。”(罗马书 5:8)耶稣被钉十字架时,他低头看见罗马士兵抽签分了他的衣服。悬挂着的犯人辱骂他;宗教领袖嘲笑他;众人亵渎他。这一刻,耶稣原本可以召集一万名天使把所有人都处死,这样才合乎情理,因为他本是无辜的,可是他口中却发出了饶恕和怜悯的祷告。耶稣说:“父啊,赦免他们!因为他们不知道自己所作的是甚么。”士兵抽签,分了他的衣服。(路加福音 23:34)耶稣被钉十字架,完成了神对我们的饶恕,我们也因此可以饶恕他人。

饶恕可以得自由。当我们饶恕他人时,我们在说:“我知道你所做的不对,可是我看你比这件事情珍贵。我不想这件事继续捆绑我们。我不需要你的解释,因为我可以在神里面得着医治。”

饶恕是,当你释放了一个囚犯,然后惊觉你就是那名被囚的犯人。当我们不愿意饶恕,其实我们是把自己无法达到的完美标准加在别人身上。我们学习饶恕,因为知道自己也犯了罪——就像别人对我们犯下的罪一样。

很多时候,与人和好可能很难,可是我们可以选择饶恕。请选择饶恕,别迟疑了。今天,你也能经历饶恕的自由,因为我们的主耶稣基督已经饶恕了我们。

圣经经文摘自新译本圣经。