Monday, June 09, 2008

"SuperMAN" or "SuperMATT"?

Yes, it’s true. This past Sunday as we kicked off the 4-week Super Men part of our Super Heroes series, I preached dressed in full Man of Steel wardrobe, red cape and all (see for yourself by watching the message video later this week at I also showed you pictures provided to me by an accomplice of our Worship Arts Director also donning his “SuperMatt” outfit (seen in photo). Cute, huh? I can get away with this since Matt is away on vacation.

As we introduced the book of Philemon we saw many traits of Biblical Super Men:

Biblical Super Men have put their faith in Jesus Christ – Paul had led Philemon to faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus!

Biblical Super Men are committed to the local church – The church at Colossae met in Philemon’s home!

Biblical Super Men are actively involved in serving the Lord – Paul calls Philemon a “fellow worker”!

Biblical Super Men share their faith – Paul shared his faith with Onesimus while in a Roman prison resulting in the conversion of this runaway thief!

Biblical Super Men are willing to own up to their mistakes – Paul and Onesimus both realized that Onesimus had to go back and make things right with Philemon after stealing money from him and running away to Rome!

But the biggest characteristic of a Biblical Super Man that we will be looking at over the course of the next three weeks is seen in the fact that Biblical Super Men choose to forgive those who have caused them hurt. That is what the little postcard of Philemon is all about. It is the great Apostle Paul writing a personal plea to his friend and child in the faith, Philemon, encouraging him to extend forgiveness to Onesimus for his offenses.

Now remember what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not forgetting as we have been taught so often inside and outside the church. Not only can you not find that principle in Scripture but it is impossible. I can remember every time someone has wronged me. Then what is forgiveness? Forgiveness is choosing not to bring the offense up to use it as a weapon. That is Biblical forgiveness. Folks, listen, God remembers our sins but because He forgave us when we put our faith and trust in Christ, He will not bring our sins back up to use against us as a weapon. We are forgiven.

So who do you need to ask God to give you a heart of forgiveness for during this series? A mate? An Ex? A boss? A friend? Just like kryptonite draining away the supernatural strength of Superman, when we allow the seed of bitterness to take root in our hearts it paralyzes us spiritually as well. Isn’t it time that we all become spiritual Super Men (and women) and choose to forgive? My prayer is that God would use this series to lead us in that very direction.

No comments: