PIETAS

Matthew’s Spiritual Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness

The Unforgiving Servant

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Inspired by this morning’s service at Redeemer, I searched WordPress blogs for Miroslav Volf and came across a sermon (posted in September) by Dave Faulkner, a Methodist minister in the UK.

Mr. Faulkner’s sermon looks at Matthew 18:21-35 (The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant) to discuss what and why of forgiveness. Below are couple of quotes from his post.

What is forgiveness?

Miroslav Volf is a Croatian theologian who has written much on forgiveness and reconciliation, especially in the light of his experiences through the wars in the Balkans after the collapse of communism. One of his books, ‘Free Of Charge‘, was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book in 2006. In it, he says that forgiveness means we blame but do not punish. We do not pretend about the offence. It is real. But we choose not to punish, or press for punishment.

That is rather like God’s treatment of us with regard to our own sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin so that we might repent and follow Jesus. The Spirit of God never pretends that the sin was a fiction. Otherwise, we could never repent and walk in the ways of God’s kingdom. But having convicted us, there is no sentence and we are treated as if we had never sinned, even though we have. If this is how God treats us, then it is also the goal we seek in our journey of forgiveness.

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Written by Matthew

October 26, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Forgiveness Flounders Because…

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Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion—without tranposing the enemy from the sphere of monstrous inhumanity into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person’s humanity and imitate God’s love for him. And when one knows that God’s love is greater than all sin, one is free to see oneself…and so rediscover one’s own sinfulness.

By Miroslav Volf in Exclusion and Embrace, as quoted in the worship program (in pdf) at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on October 26

Written by Matthew

October 26, 2008 at 8:49 pm