5/7/23 A Note From Paster Ben

Friends and Family,

The call to forgive is something most of us learn early in childhood, but it rarely comes easy, no matter how old we get. Forgiveness is always hard. Yet, the Bible’s commands aren’t contingent on their level of difficulty.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” The last phrase in this verse, “as God in Christ forgave you,” sheds light on the fundamental reason why forgiveness is so important to Christians—it is a reflection of the gospel of Jesus. Jesus was sent on a mission for us to be forgiven. His life, death, and resurrection made forgiveness possible for us. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). According to Jesus, whoever has been forgiven much loves much (Luke 7:47). Peter asked Jesus at one time if forgiving a brother seven times is sufficient. Jesus responded, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy- seven times” (Matthew 18:22).

The healthiest of churches are filled with the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Therefore, churches must learn to forgive or they’ll never grow. I love you First Baptist, and I want us to increasingly reflect the character of Christ. Let us all remain in a posture of forgiveness as we strive arm in arm to advance the gospel of Jesus in our community and world.

-Pastor Ben

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