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Sermon highlights from Relationship Reset Week 5. Sermon by Pastor Mike Adkins; notes compiled by Dan O’Toole.

Big Idea:

  • Whoever Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much.

Week 5 Main Scripture:

  • Colossians 3:12-14
  • Luke 7:36-50

Our Identity as God’s Chosen People – Holy and Dearly Loved

Our old, sinful nature no longer defines us in Christ. Through Christ, we have Justification, in which God gives us Salvation. Sanctification follows, in which our part is to receive God’s gift of Salvation and participate with God in our spiritual growth – becoming who God created us to be.

Since we have taken off the old self, we are now free to clothe ourselves in godly character like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Displaying godly character will not be entirely possible until we understand we are chosen by God.

God initiates and sustains your spiritual life.

God chose you. The Holy Spirit develops a “spiritual curiosity” within you, leading you toward learning and becoming a follower of Jesus. This is how God draws you into a relationship with him. Even amid rebellion, wickedness, sin, and poor decisions, God still chose you.

1 John 4:10

The foundation of your relationship with God is not that you sought God out, as though God was hiding himself from you. God loved you first, and he’s always made himself present, ready, and available to be loved, in return, by you. God sent his son Jesus to sacrificially cover the distance, created by sin, between you and God.

Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Sometimes, we may know that the Bible tells us that God delights in us, loves us, and rejoices over us, but we don’t feel it or think it could be true of us. When harmful, broken voices and relationships from our past get internalized, we tend to project that brokenness onto God.

Conversely, when we begin to internalize God’s love for us, we get better at loving others.

Accountability vs. Spiritual Friendships

Accountability is often used as a poor substitute for love and only encourages people to hide and live in shame. There is no five-week plan to rid oneself of life-long patterns.

Spiritual friendships are not centered around trying to find out what’s wrong within each other. Instead, you are surrounded by people who love you and are speaking into your life.

In spiritual friendships, you need to be willing to listen to accountability from a brother or sister who loves you. While everyone needs to be accountable to someone in a spiritual way, no one is meant to be accountable to everyone. Relationship is the foundation for the right to speak accountability into someone’s life.

In spiritual friendships, you receive accountability, and the relationship continues to move forward.

In spiritual friendships, you need a person in your life who will tell you the truth.

Forgiving as the Lord Forgave You

One way we get stuck in unforgiveness is by using the wrong standards for when or if we should forgive someone.

God’s standard of forgiveness is never “when they ask for forgiveness.” In some cases, the person we must forgive is dead, making it impossible for them to ask for your forgiveness.

God’s standard of forgiveness is also not “when they get their act together” or “when they’ve made amends.”

Forgiveness is not a once and for all decision. The deeper the wound, forgiveness becomes a daily decision. Until you’ve forgiven a person, you are bonded with them. Unforgiveness drags you through rumination about that person and what they did, which keeps them around in your mind and heart.

By not identifying with the forgiveness given to you through Christ, you will be limited in the forgiveness you give to others.

We can forgive ourselves, knowing that the creator of the universe has forgiven us.

Recommended Resources on Forgiveness:

  • Forgive and Forget by Lewis Smedes
  • The Art of Forgiving by Lewis Smedes

Catch up or rewatch the full messages from our Relationship Reset series here.

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