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Megachurch Pastor Matt Chandler: Forgiveness Is a Mark of Believers' Authenticity

Megachurch Pastor Matt Chandler: Forgiveness Is a Mark of Believers' Authenticity

Sin, in its basic meaning, is to miss the mark. It's failing to do something that you know is right. Iniquity and transgression could sit under the umbrella of sin, he explained.

God forgives this, too, Chandler added. There's no sin in your life that God cannot forgive or does not desire to forgive. "You haven't gone too far; He already sees and knows; it's paid for. Take the offer of forgiveness because God is serious about sin."

He added: "God hates sin with a kind of wrath that's hard to get our heads around." Because God loves us so much, He hates sin so much, because sin harms us so much, he explained.

Though our children do not have to give account for our sins, they are affected by our sins, the pastor warned. "Sin carries with it collateral damage. When you sin against God, you also sin against others."

Forgiveness of sins is equally about community, not just about you and the Lord, Chandler stressed. There are communal ramifications of sin. "People of God are never so authentic as when they confess their sins to one another, and they forgive one another. It's a stage on which God's forgiveness is seen and marveled at."

He went on to state, "The real church forgives. The people of God forgive because they've been forgiven."

Forgiving others is a command, and not forgiving amounts to an attempt to play a just God, which we are not, he said.

Some wounds can be so deep that forgiveness could seem impossible, Pastor Chandler admitted, and said that God would eventually strengthen those who are experiencing that, and free them from that state.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer called forgives "a breakthrough to community," Chandler told the congregation, and quoted him, "In a very real way, forgiveness is not just about absolving guilt, but is also a reminder of what communion with God and with one another can and should be."

The megachurch pastor concluded the sermon by saying that God is like the God in the parable of the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament.

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