In this episode, Chad and Keith discuss the redemption that believers have in Christ and how his forgiveness should motivate us to forgive those who have hurt us deeply.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:14): Well welcome back into the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, Keith Chancey and Chad Hampsch. We are in a series on the book of Ephesians. Keith, we’ve been talking about, kind of, the structure of the book of Ephesians. Last time if you were with us, we went back to Acts chapter 19, and kind of gave the framework of what was happening in this city when Paul showed up, and showed that there were some pretty unique things happening and also some chaotic things happening. And so, this week we’re actually going to start working through the text, and just so you know if you’re following along with us, we’re going to just take some select texts, some select themes from the book of Ephesians, and focus in on those. So, if you were with us when we did the overview, you’ll remember that chapter 1 really focuses on the idea of redemption. We’re going to talk about redemption and how it’s tied to the blood of Christ in forgiveness, we’re going to talk about the riches of God’s grace that he lavished upon us. So Keith, we’re going to start with the idea of redemption, and focusing, really, our time on the blood and forgiveness of Christ. Walk us through that a little bit and help us understand that.
Keith (01:23): Wow, when you look at the word redemption through his blood, this term here, it relates to paying a ransom. And so the ransom to God for the release of a person from bondage. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, it paid the price that every believer that was enslaved by their sin that they would be freed. Unvelievable! And I think about that a lot because growing up as I’ve told you, when my dad abused my mom, my brother, sister and myself, I was so angry and hated my dad so much, I could not forgive him. And the reason I couldn’t forgive him is that I couldn’t understand God’s forgiveness for me. And so as a result, when I couldn’t forgive my dad, I really wasn’t experiencing freedom, because my dad’s sin was holding me hostage, because I was unable to free myself because I was so hatred of my dad. It’s a very confounding place to be. Well, what I found myself doing was finally, when I understood who Christ was and what he had done, that he had died for the sins of the whole world, that he was the Passover lamb, the one that would die the substitutionary atonement for all the sins of the world that he would die, paying our price on the cross, that we who believe would be freed from that sin and that guilt and that ransom that he just paid for. And when I understood what God did for me, how could I not do that for others? I forgave my dad, and I’m going to tell you something, I know a lot of you out there today have somebody that you’ve really struggled forgiving, because you go, “I am so angry, and Chancey, my anger and my unforgiveness is justified. You have no idea how they’ve hurt me.” You’re right, I don’t. But I do know that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and that is his blood, and the blood is meant to free you. And his blood is not meant to keep you in bondage. Forgiveness is forgiving others as you have been forgiven. Up to how many times? Jesus says 70 times 7, which is an infinite number. And so, I thank God for this passage right here. That God didn’t just give this to me, but he lavished it upon me.
Chad (03:56): Yeah, there’s some really practical things that come out of that, right Keith? In every conflict, we have someone who’s been offended and the offender. And Keith, I don’t know about percentage-wise if we can put a percentage on it, but it seems like, 90 percent plus of the time, it is the offended person that actually carries it. And they hold it in, and sometimes the offender doesn’t even know that they’ve hurt that individual. But the offended carries it and it actually impacts their life. A perfect story for me, you know my mom, similar background as you, my mom was raised by a dad who was an alcoholic. He died in his mid-forties, abusive. And later in life, you know my Mom telling me how my grandfather had treated her. And I became really, really angry about that. And, at this point in my life, my grandpa had been in the grave for 10 years. And I remember my mom just teaching me a life lesson. She said, “Chad, what your grandfather did was wrong. But,” she said, “Are you going to let him run your life from the grave?” And it immediately connected that if I don’t forgive him as the offended, I’m going to carry it. I’m going to hold on to it, and I’m going to be the one in bondage, not the person that did it to me. And I don’t know if that resonates to our audience, but so often we as the offended don’t take action on the way we’ve been offended. We don’t offer forgiveness, whether that be in person, in writing, a phone call, burning something as a representation of that old way of life as we looked at in Acts 19.
Keith (05:39): Which is what we all did at the cross talks at camp. We burned those deals that were “the trespasses” this forgiveness and we’ve got to get rid of it right?
Chad (05:48): Yeah, it’s like symbols of our old life, like we looked at in Acts chapter 19. So, what advice Keith would you have for somebody, maybe, that has been in that situation? Maybe they’ve been offended deeply for years and years and been holding on to it. What practical steps could they take?
Keith (06:05): Well I look at this and I think, you know Matthew 18 just talks about the ministry of reconciliation, and, you know, we are to go to that person. And I think it’s so important for us. You know for me, I had to go to my dad, and I had to say, “You hurt me.” Now, I need you to… need all the audience to understand, I didn’t see my dad again for almost 35-40 years. And so when he came back, I had forgiven him, you know, 30 years before he ever came back. So when he called, most people thought, “Well would you receive him back?” No, I had already forgiven him, he didn’t hold me in hostage anymore. So when he called and his first question was, “Hey Keith, did you ever play football.” I’d always dreamed my dad saw me play. I always dreamed somewhere out in the world he’d come and see me play football or run track. And then he asked me another question, “What did you run the hundred-meter dash in?” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, he never saw anything in my life.” Well, I realized something: that my dad and I’s relationship was very unique. He didn’t know me at all. And so when we sat down, I was able to share with him the gospel. I was able to ask him, “You know, Dad, tell me about your life.” And I was even able to say, “You know, Dad, tell me about your pain, your hurts.” And through that, hearing about his pains and his hurts, it was unbelievable how tears began to come down in his eyes. He heard me tell him, “Dad, I want you to know something. I forgave you a long time ago. I don’t know if you ever wanted to talk to me about this, but I need you to know that I forgave you. So the practical step is one of forgiveness. Number 2, it’s making sure that you let them know what it is that you’re forgiving them of. I told my dad, “You know, Dad, I need you to know specifically what I’m forgiving you of. You hurt mom, and you hurt me and my brother and my sister. And when you left, being abandoned? And being abused? That hurt.” My dad never really addressed that. My desire wasn’t even… I didn’t need him to address it. I just needed him to hear it. Forgiveness was not for my dad, it was for me. To tell him what had gone on in my life an how he’d hurt me. Now, he had a responsibility within his own self to be able to share with me and to talk to God. And you know what I watched? I watched him soon after that say, “Keith, thank you for this.” And I want to know, because of the way you’ve lived, I want to know about Jesus. And I led my dad to Christ. It was overwhelming. Forgiveness led my daddy to Christ. And I think sometimes, we want to hold that from somebody because we think we’re entitled to that. Maybe they’ve looked at porn or they’ve thought thoughts, they’ve done deeds that were so horrendous, so abusive, so painful, and we go “You have every right.” And yet, the rights were settled on the cross. Jesus forgave us. So, I think those are the two things I would do. The first thing I would do is go to them and let them know I am forgiving them. And secondly, I would go to them and let them know specifically what I am forgiving them of.
Chad (09:02): Yeah, and that does something inside your soul, right? It’s like the gates are just opened up and the key has been unlocked, and now you no longer carry those things that you’ve been carrying for so long. So what a, just, good, practical way for us to end this time together talking about the forgiveness of Christ, and then how do we practically live that out with our friends and neighbors. So, I hope this was an encouragement to you, a blessing to you. This is Ephesians chapter 1, we’re in the section called “Redemption.” We’ll circle back on a later passage here in a future podcast. Thanks for joining us here on the Kanakuk Institute Podcast.