Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Choose Forgiveness as Your Life's Theme

This coming Sunday morning I'm going to continue our preaching series on The Christology of the Book of Acts. The verses are Acts 13:38-39, where Paul concludes his first, and longest recorded, message:

 38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

There are some really BIG words here.
  • sin
  • forgiveness
  • freedom
  • justification
  • law
Right now, from Tuesday's POV, I'll especially focus on forgiveness. Yes, I've preached on forgiveness many times. You can't preach through the four Gospels like we just did at Redeemer and not hit on forgiveness a lot.

Extrabiblically one of my main forgiveness-resources is the work of David Augsburger. Linda and I were blessed to have David as one of my seminary professors, and he graciously invited us to be in a weekly small group with his wife Nancy. Not only were we taught much by David and Nancy, but we "caught" a lot more. David had written Caring Enough to Forgive, which I still use in my life and our counseling of others. Could one preach and teach on forgiveness too much? I think not. For example...

Tonight I'm reading David's Helping People Forgive. In the Preface David writes:

"This, my third book on forgiveness, will not be my last. Forgiveness has been the inner theme of a dozen of my efforts on counseling, conflict, communication, and conciliation. [David, the truly great teacher, loves alliteration!] Perhaps every life has a theme, a discernible motif, connected unquestionably to its central weakness, injury, or inability, and the more deeply we pursue it, the closer we come to each other. The ancient philosophers suggested there are only seven truths and all else is elaboration. They did not name forgiveness as one of them. Perhaps that is because it embraces and enables justice, prudence, temperance, and above all charity." (p. x)