ALL THINGS NEW
WEEK 4 DISCUSSION GUIDE "FORGIVENESS"
This week we continued in our “All Things New” series reflecting on how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus makes things new. We talked about forgiveness, that forgiveness is not the final result, it is the first step.
If we have relationships, forgiveness will be part of our daily lives. Relationships are messy, not only will we need to ask for forgiveness we will also need to extend forgiveness to others. But this is not the final step. We sometimes have an old view of forgiveness, we think of forgiveness as the end result. In this series we are talking about all things new, something that Jesus made new is forgiveness.
Isaiah 53:4-6 gives a glimpse of God’s plan for something new. “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The old way to ask for forgiveness was to offer a sacrificed animal to God. But the animal that was sacrificed remained dead. For God to restore humanity the sacrifice would have to be different. With Jesus death on the cross came a new way to receive forgiveness. With his resurrection came restoration. Through Jesus death and resurrection God extends forgiveness and restoration. Once again, we can be in right relationship with God.
Forgiveness is not the last step, it is the first step towards restoration. Not only is God restoring us to Him, He’s giving us the opportunity to be restored to one another.
There are some cases where restoration may not be possible. Forgiveness is the first step towards restoration; however, restoration is for those relationships that bring health. If you have been in a relationship that causes harm, your response should be to offerforgiveness,tofreeyourselffromthepainyouhaveexperienced. Youarenot required to restore the relationship, to bring them back into your life. Instead restoration is with God, in releasing your pain and hurt to him to receive restoration and healing.
What do you think the differences are between forgiveness and restoration?
Share about a time when you extended forgiveness to someone. Was there also restoration in this relationship? What did that look like?
Does reflecting on the forgiveness God has freely offered you impact your desire to forgive others and move towards restoration?
What would forgiveness and restoration look like in your life? Who do you need to be restored to today?
What is one step that you can take this week to move towards restoration in this relationship?
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray for God to bring to mind those relationships where we need to extend forgiveness and move towards reconciliation. Pray that we would take action this week to move towards restoration in a broken relationship.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray that we would seek to forgive others as Christ freely forgave us, that we would not stop with forgiveness, instead we would move towards restoration in our relationships.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Please pray for more hearts to be opened to the gospel in Southern Chile with the Mapuche people group. This indigenous group has suffered persecution and an annihilation of their heritage and culture by the Chilean government. They have had their land stolen, which has forced them to move to cities to survive. Pray that this new church plant by our global partners, Ibero American ministries, will grow strong as more Mapuche hear about God’s love for them. Pray that God will nudge hearts at FCCHB to join the team as we join the Mapuche in October to begin building the church.