First Sunday after Trinity
Sermon for Trinity One -- Living For Eternity
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
Grace be to you from the One True Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Proverbs 10:12 & 17:9
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.
In the Name of Jesus Christ,
Whose love we are to reflect,
Dear Fellow Redeemed by His Blood,
“Mom, Isaac took a cookie without asking.
Mom, Jacob is picking all of the flowers in your garden.
Mom, the boys are outside doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
Mom, Brandon took a toy away from Allison.”
Sometimes little children find it necessary to run and tell their mother about every wrong that anyone else might commit.
We call just such a child a ‘Tattletale.’ A Tattletale almost looks for an opportunity to run and ‘tell.’ It is important children tell their parents when a dangerous situation arises; but not every situation is a dangerous one.
What should concern parents is the attitude of the Tattletale. In many cases a tattletale rejoices in ‘telling’ even when it means not giving the guilty an opportunity to confess their misdeed. If the motivation for telling is self-righteous pride; telling because it makes the tattletale look better, then it’s a problem. Sometimes a tattletale’s motive is not love for the guilty, but pride and self-righteousness.
Children aren’t the only ones who can exhibit an unloving attitude. “Guess what I saw last night. I saw John Smith coming out of a Bar Uptown last night at 1am! I heard Jim Smith cursing right along with his friend.” When we see another’s faults and weaknesses, how do we react? Do we run and ‘tell’ someone else?’
Do you quietly remember an event, store it away so that you can regurgitate it later and throw it back in someone’s face? Is that healthy or God-pleasing?
As we Live for Eternity while still Living in this World, what is our attitude when we see another’s mistakes? Are we quick to – unnecessarily point out the mistakes and shortcomings of others but remain blind to our own? Are we living in love or hate?
This morning our Heavenly Father speaks to us about our attitude toward the daily misdeeds and faults of our neighbors, and especially our fellow Christians. Our Father warns us about living in this world with hateful attitudes because He would have us live in love toward one another.
May God the Holy Spirit bless our study and fill us with the Love of Christ, a living fruit of what Jesus has done. Amen.
Hatred stirs up strife…and he who repeats a matter separates friends.
Some time ago, I was flipping through the educational channels one evening, when I came across a nature program entitled “O’Shea’s Big Adventure. However, what I saw Mr. O’Shea doing was not what I would call an Adventure. He had chased a very, very large Anaconda (Snake) into a muddy hole, and he was trying to pull it out by the tail. Now digging around in a snake’s hole is an ‘Adventure’ that I don’t care to share in. Nor would I care to stir up a hornet’s nest or wake a sleeping bear.
When the Proverb says, ‘Hatred stirs up strife’ the word translated ‘stir up’ paints the picture of shaking someone to wake them up, or stirring up a snake’s den. When we set out to cause contention, strife, hard feelings then we express a hateful attitude. This hatred isn’t merely an emotion, something we feel inside, but an attitude that expresses itself in hateful words and actions.
Now if you are thinking to yourselves,
“Well, I’ve never done a hateful thing in my life,” then let me ask you:
Well, have you ever looked for an opportunity to get even with someone for a previous misdeed?
Have you ever tried to dig up dirt on someone to use to tear down a reputation?
Have you ever forgiven someone for something they did to you and then told it to someone else or later recounted it to make them feel bad?
Now we can see the danger in stirring up a hornet’s nest or playing with snakes, but when we are angry with a spouse or a loved one, we seem to justify saying something nasty.
What is the result of a hateful attitude? Hate divides. When faults and failings are unnecessarily repeated and not forgiven, then friendships and families are torn into pieces.
Let’s call a spade a spade – these are expressions of hate, not of love. Let’s not try and justify hurtful words and actions by saying, “Well, he/she started it.” Hateful words and actions are also serious sins. The 5th Commandment isn’t hard to understand, is it: “You shall not murder!”
Now, Pastor hateful words and actions are hardly murder!” Lest we think that hateful words and actions aren’t as bad, the Apostle John writes in his first letter, warning us about hatred, saying (1 John 3:15):
“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
That’s right, “We should so fear and love God that we do not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need.”
Let’s not pretend that our Father overlooks hateful words and actions. He is not well pleased. But Our Father was well pleased with our LORD Jesus Christ, who loved even those who hated Him. When He was spit upon, punched, mocked, crowned with thorns and finally crucified by hateful men, He did not cry out against them, but instead cried out to the Father, saying: “Father, forgive them.”
He did not respond to hate with hate, but with love. This is not merely an example to follow. Jesus refused to sin because even then He was living as our substitute, so that through faith in Him, God should see us as His innocent children. On the Cross Jesus prayed that their hate, and ours, should be covered, atoned for, forgiven.
Then He laid down His life so that their sins and ours, their hateful words and actions and ours should be wiped away from the sight and knowledge of God forever.
As those who have been made God’s Children by faith in Christ, we should not look to purposely broadcast the mistakes and sins of others in order to hurt them.
Instead, in love we look to see that all sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Hatred refuses to forgive. Love forgives and forgets.
“Love covers all sins...He who covers a transgression seeks love.”
Now wait a second, doesn’t the Bible say that if we try to cover, to hide our sins from God, from one another and from ourselves, that we will not prosper? It is written (Proverbs 28:13):
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
Now, take a look. This Proverb isn’t encouraging us to cover our sins, is it? NO. It doesn’t say, “Love covers sins from God.” The only love that covers sins is the Love of Jesus.
This Proverb also isn’t encouraging a loveless attitude that says, “Well, it’s not really my business if I see someone else sin. That’s his problem.” For it is written (Galatians 6:1):
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
This Proverb isn’t encouraging us “be big enough to overlook it” when our brother sins against us. It doesn’t say: “Love ignores sin.” The LORD is clear about what should be done in such cases. Jesus said (Matthew 18:15):
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
This Proverb speaks of a Loving Attitude over toward sin rather than a Hateful Attitude. It speaks of the Loving Attitude our Heavenly Father would have us show toward others in thanksgiving because we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. It compares how the world acts when wronged with the way His children to act.
Our Father doesn’t want us to cover our sins from Him or to try and cover someone else’s sins from Him. Such an attitude would be an attitude of hate. Yes, Hate.
What else could we call it to see sin taking place and ruling the lives of loved ones, turning them way from GOD and His face from them – and then pretend it never happened.
Instead of rubbing people’s faces in their sins over and over again, in love, we want to see to it that their sins are covered, covered once and for all by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
This is the comparison that is made in these Proverbs:
Hatred makes no effort to see that sins are confessed and covered; Instead it stirs it up and revives it tearing apart friends.
True Love, the love that GOD has put into our hearts by faith in Jesus Christ, this Love makes every effort to see to it that all sins are covered by the blood of the Savior. Love isn’t pretending sin isn’t there. Love is seeing to it that sins are not covered up by men, but by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Only this kind of love concerns itself with the eternal future of others.
This is real love.
In Christ Jesus our Father has shown to us the love we should show to one another. The LORD has forgiven and forgotten our sins for Jesus’ sake. It is as Isaiah once wrote (Isaiah 38:17):
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
We show real love to one another when we make sure that all sins are covered and forgiven by God. Then, when those sins are covered, forgiven by God for Jesus’ sake – we forget them. True Love never desires to remember sins that have been covered. True Love has this simple phrase as a guide: Forgive then forget.
After all, when a sin is forgiven, covered by Jesus, who are we to uncover it or act like it hasn’t been forgiven or confessed. If a sin is forgiven by God, it is forgotten by God. If a sin is forgiven by God, that forgiveness is made known and then the sin forgotten by men.
Today thy mercy calls us to wash away our sin. However great our trespass, whatever we have been, However long from mercy our hearts have turned away, Thy precious blood can cleanse us and make us white today.
Today Thy gate is open, and all who enter in shall find a Father’s welcome and pardon for their sin. The past shall be forgotten, a present joy be given, A future grace be promised a glorious crown in heaven.