Reading through John MacArthur's commentary on Philemon has been such a sanctifying grace. Forgiveness is not one of my strong points at all. I struggle with truly forgiving people so when I decided to do a study through Philemon I guess I was not fully anticipating what all the Lord wanted to teach me. Last week I posted one of MacArthur's eight foundational elements of a biblical doctrine of forgiveness and I thought I would do another today.
"Whoever offends us gives greater offense to God. All sin is ultimately against God...Whatever his offense against men, he gave a greater offense to God. God has forgiven those who wrong us of the greater offense of sinning against him. Can we not forgive them of the lesser one of offending us? We are not more just, holy, or deserving than God, nor are we a higher court with a higher law. No one could ever offend us the way we have offended God. Yet he graciously, mercifully forgives us." (MacArthur, Colossians & Philemon, pp. 218-219)
How arrogant of us, as followers of Christ, to hold anothers sin against them when we have been forgiven everything in Christ. We need a heavy dose of the gospel. We need to beg God for his grace to forgive. May we not be like the unforgiving slave in Matthew 18 who had his debt forgiven by his master yet did not forgive his fellow slave of a lesser debt.
Grace upon grace,