This page streams the audio-only sermon, when available, in downloadable SWF flash format. 

It begins playing shortly after opening this page



       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


Want a download or CD copy?  Read this.

The sermon outline is below, when available.


          Yesterday, I officiated at the wedding of one of my former volunteers from the Half-Way House. He was released from the House one day and gets married the next. We teased him about getting free from prison, but getting a new definition of freedom through his love for a young lady.  Weddings are always a joyous affair and I love blessing young people.
          Seven years into my marriage to Lois we were eating at the table of my in-laws. I was venting my hostility at my two employers. I just finished exclaiming, "One good thing about it: I'm younger than they are. One day I'll stand on their grave and laugh!"
          My mother-in-law put down her fork and said, "Phil, you don't even sound Christian when you talk like that!"  Of course she was right. I always hated it when she was right, which was most of the time. Afterwards, I was convicted about my un-Christian attitude. My two employers were bullies who threatened me all the time. My hatred toward them grew into bitterness. I loathed to see their vehicles pull into the office parking lot. My rage became so severe I would dry heave every time I reached for my car keys to go to work.
          Looking back on what happened to the job I once loved, I reminded myself I had become a chronic pain sufferer. I suffered two ruptured discs in L3 and L4. When I moved, muscle spasms akin to a charlie horse would hold my back muscles rigid for up to 20 seconds. Afterwards, I'd gasp from the pain and ask God why I was born. I hated myself as well as my bosses. I wanted to die.
          That's when my mother-in-law's challenge sent me on a journey seeking Biblical answers to God's Command to Forgive. My search led me to what scriptures have to say about forgiveness. In my past I was shamed for my unwillingness to forgive, but no one taught me HOW to forgive. My sermon today involves the process of forgiveness.

          My son, Larry asked me one Saturday when he was 13, what I was preaching about the next day at church. I said, "Forgiveness."  "Again? How many more sermons are you going to preach about forgiveness?" I told him, "I'm going to preach it until they start doing it!"
          This morning I'm sharing some of the things I discovered on my personal journey of forgiveness. I found the Love of God is real. . .It is the power of forgiveness.
Pastor Phil  <><<











October 06,2018 - Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland  <><<

MATTHEW 18:21-35

"Many of God's children are opening the door to the enemy's torments because of their own unwillingness to obey and forgive. Un-forgiveness grants the enemy permission to move in and torment them. The seed of un-forgiveness will always yield the nasty Root Of Bitterness." Pastor Phil<><< 

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."     Luke 6:37

Finding God's Power to releasing our anger, hurt and feelings of injury is the Key to Releasing Bitterness from our lives

Biblical definition of Forgiveness, Matthew 18:26-27:
27 The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

Koine Greek definition of forgiveness:
afesis = "A - PHA - SIS"
RELEASE FROM CAPTIVITY - Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 26:28
1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Greek Military Sense:
          "To hurl off, as a missile, or to release something held captive"

A Biblical Hebrew definition of Forgiveness:
IUi = "YU - BALL"  -  Study Leviticus Chapters 25/26 - Jubilee, 50-Year
To Let Go - To set aside:  Mark 11:6; 14:6; Matt. 3:15
To Remit / Forgive: Matt. 18:27-32 (Today's Text)

          A. A Denarius was a common laborer's daily wage
                    1. An hourly labor in the U.S. at $10 hourly or $80 daily
                    2. A Biblical Denarius in our time would be $80
          B. Ten Thousand Denarii or One Talent would be $800,000 today
                    1. Ten-Thousand Talents would be of Eight Billion Dollars                             2. That's a whopping 8,000,000,000


          C. Forgiven and Free the forgiven servant oppressed a fellow servant                     1. He owed him $8,000
                    2.That's One Millionth of what the first servant was forgiven
          D. The King showed his 1st servant HOW to Forgive by forgiving him

          A. The Master heard the Debtor’s plea and had compassion - v.27
               27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion,                         released him, and forgave him the debt.

                    1. “He released him”- Released from outward obligation
                    2. “He forgave him”- Released from inward obligation
          B. Two Steps in Releasing Hurt and Bitterness
                    1. Release the Person from What They Owe You
                    2. Release the Person from your own Inner Judgments
                              a. Go beyond what is required - Matt. 5:40-41
                                                            40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let                                                him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to
                                       go one mile, go with him two.
                              b. Note: The Master was moved with compassion
                                   Some who compel us squander their own resources
                          If you feel anger instead of compassion, do not give/forgive

34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
          A. Failure to Forgive Releases the Torturers
                    1. The “torturers are Spirits of Oppression
                    2. They torment those who “hold onto their rights”
                    3. They torment whose who show no mercy
                    4. They torment whose who refuse to forgive
          B. Hold to the Hurt / Be Bound to the Past - Matt. 18:18
                    18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in
               heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
                    1. Bound to the Person who Hurt You
                    2.Become Like the Person you are Bound To By                                                   Un-forgiveness
          C. Your Forgiveness of Others Releases God’s Forgiveness for You
                    1. Forgive and become like God     
2. Retain and stay like your offenders
          D. The Root of Bitterness begins to grow in our heart - Heb. 12:15
                          15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any                            root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become         defiled;



1.  Make a list of past relationship that were bad
2.  Think through the reasons for why the relationship died
3.  Take responsibility for your own wrong-doing, no more
4.  Be objective
5.  Lift each relationship before God and pray the special Prayer of           Forgiveness over each one.  Pray it without ceasing.
6.  Make restitution if possible, but only after step 5
7.  Don't grant another your forgiveness if it distorts or denies your own           anger
8.  Don't forgive when your forgiveness makes you superior to another;           that's not forgiveness: it's pride and religious revenge.
9.  Don't pronounce forgiveness if it is "one way." One person cannot           absorb the pain of injustice without the mutual response of another


5 . . .the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.       Romans 5:5






Matthew 18:21-35 (NKJV)
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'
27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!'
29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'
30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 Should you not also have had compassion on your


fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'
34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."










26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV)

          A. God's Command is to not go to bed angry

          B. Agree with your adversaries quickly - Matthew 5:23-25
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

FORGIVENESS, Forgiven but Unforgiving, 2018-10-06.doc

HYPERBOLE = Exaggeration - Making the case in the extreme. . .



Finding God’s Love to forgive
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who helped Jews escape from the Nazis during World War II. Throughout her early life she helped hide people from the ugliness that is humanity at its worst. She was arrested and put into one concentration camp after another, one of which being a place named Ravensbruck. In 1947, after she had been teaching a class in Germany, one of the cruelest guards of the Ravensbruck camp came up to her and asked her for forgiveness. She was reluctant to forgive him at first, but she prayed that she might gain the strength to. She wrote, “For a long moment we grasped each others hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.”
Without forgiveness we tend to stack events of the past one on top of another.


It is similar to CO poisoning. Carbon Monoxide begins collecting at the floor level and you never notice it. But, as it continues to fill a room it stacks up until it is at the level that you begin to breathe it in. Then, you experience headaches and stomach problems. The CO continues to stack until the entire room is filled with the poison and you die because there is no fresh air left to breath. Stacking our sins and negative events eventually fill the room and we die.


“One of my favorite stories concerns a man who was bitten by a dog, which was later discovered to be rabid. The man was rushed to the hospital where tests revealed that he had, in fact, contracted rabies. At he time, medical science had no solution for this problem, and his doctor faced the difficult task of informing him that his condition was incurable and terminal. ‘Sir, we will do all we can to make you comfortable. But I cannot give you false hope. There is nothing we can really do. My best advice is that you put your affairs in order as soon as possible.’ The dying man sank back on his bed in shock, but finally rallied enough strength to ask for a pen and some paper. He then set to work with great energy. An hour later, when the doctor returned, the man was stilling writing vigorously. ’I’m glad to see that you’re working on your will.’ ‘This ain’t no will, Doc. This is a list of the people I’m going to bite before I die. Many of us live and die with that kind of list, written in our minds, if not on paper.” [Gary Inrig. The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant. (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1991) p. 63]

Ray Stedman tells a powerful illustration of the effect of prison of bitterness. He says, “I had a striking illustration of that occur a number of years ago. A woman in her eighties told me that, fifty years before, her aunt had said something insulting to her, and this woman had never forgiven her. Fifty years later she could recount the event to the precise detail, and she felt all the same bitterness, anger, and resentment welling up within her as when it originally occurred. It was no wonder to me that, by this time, she had become a bitter, crotchety, quarrelsome, unhappy woman who could find no happiness in life whatsoever. She was still in the hands of the torturers fifty years later.” [Ray Stedman. “Breaking the Resentment Barrier.” Matt 18:21-35. pbc.org/dp/stedman/parables/0381.htm]

It is easy to proclaim the virtue of forgiveness. But the reality is another matter. C.S. Lewis put it so well, “Forgiveness is a beautiful word until, you have some -thing to forgive.” But why is forgiveness so hard? First, forgiveness is difficult because it is not natural. The natural human impulse is to get even, to exact revenge. Forgiveness goes against the grain of human existence. Secondly, forgiveness is hard because it is not fair. To forgive without just repayment offends our sense of justice. We want to be vindicated








               Forgiveness releases God's forgiveness for YOU.  See Matt. 6:14-15:
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."   See Mark 11:23-26:
  "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.    And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Forgiveness also releases God's forgiveness for others.  See Matt. 18:18
            "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in               heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Forgiveness of others makes miracles and healing a substantial reality.  See Matt. 18:19:   "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven."
1.  Make a list of past relationship that were bad.
2.  Think through the reasons for why the relationship died.
3.  Take responsibility for your own wrong-doing, no more.
4.  Be objective.
5.  Lift each relationship  before   God  and  pray  the  special  Prayer  of Forgiveness over each one.  Pray it without ceasing.
6.  Make restitution if possible, but only after step 5.
7.  Don't grant another your forgiveness  if  it  distorts  or  denies your own          anger.
8.  Don't   forgive when   your   forgiveness   makes   you   superior   to     another; that's  not  forgiveness:  it's  pride  and religious  revenge.
9.  Don't pronounce forgiveness if it is "one way."  One person cannot absorb the pain of injustice without the mutual response of another.

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland, MA  724-981-5683
The Prayer of Forgiveness
A  Prayerful  way  to  tame  your  anger

1.  Forgiveness is the prayerful act that releases your anger and makes way for God's love to convert your rage into His peace.
2. Forgiving an injustice is an ACT OF THE WILL, not an act of the emotions.
3. We, who follow Jesus, take up our cross by forgiving others as an act of obedience to His Directive Will.
4. Forgiveness is not a divine suggestion, it is a divine command.
5. Forgiveness is a process that begins with a single obedient act of the will.
6. You may need to forgive yourself.
7. You may need to forgive another an injustice.
8. You may need to forgive God.
9. You will probably need to repeat the prayer over and over again, as often as you rehearse your pain or injustice in your mind.
I  confess  (I John 1:9)   anger / bitterness / resentment  toward
(Name the person){It could be others, self or God}

You commanded us in Your Word not to go to bed angry.
In this I have disobeyed Your Word. (Eph. 4:26)
I ask you to forgive me.

I CHOOSE to forgive                                                        .
                                                                           (Matt. 5:44)

I RELEASE                                                             . (Matt. 18:18)
Send Your Holy Spirit into my life to release me from my anger, bitterness and resentment and set me free.                           (Romans 5:5b)

I  ask  You  to  release   heaven  in  their  life. 
Bless spiritually, socially, financially   In Jesus' Name,