June 15, Barriers to Forgivness

2nd Corinthians 3:15-4:1, 3:6

Brothers and sisters:
To this day, whenever Moses is read,
a veil lies over the hearts of the children of Israel,
but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
as from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
And even though our Gospel is veiled,
it is veiled for those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this age
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
so that they may not see the light of the Gospel
of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God
on the face of Jesus Christ.

There’s a verse in Romans, I think it’s Chapter one where Paul says something to the effect of, sin darkens the intellect.  In other words sin makes you stupid.  The veil that Paul speaks about today is that of a barrier created by sin and our own pride.  As with any veil, we can see what’s under it, but not clearly.  We can see well enough to know what it is, but not well enough to make out the detail.  It is hidden, but yet known in lesser detail.  We need to realize when we have this barrier between God and ourselves.  We need to help those who have this barrier between themselves and God by showing them what’s on the other side of that barrier.  We need to be that light that shines in the darkness so we can be a beacon and lead people to Christ.


Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was that they knew and followed the 300+ laws of the Old Covenant–to a fault at times.  As we heard the other day, Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish that law but to fulfill it.  Today we see the beginnings of that as he takes the Law that God gave Moses, and demands more of us.  It’s not bad enough to kill, Jesus tells us we shouldn’t be angry with others.  He is telling us that we can’t ask for forgiveness from God until we have been reconciled with those we offended.

Thought for the day:   What am I doing to unveil the Gospel to others?  What am I doing to help bring the light of Christ to a dark world?  Am I being that light to others and my family?  Am I forgiving those who have offended me?  Am I withholding forgiveness to those and placing a veil between them and I?

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