SHARPENING IS AIDING IN THE PURIFYING
When we try to have 'iron sharpen iron', our goal is to be to help others in their walk with Jesus. That is a good, Biblical, righteous goal. Yet, some see 'iron sharpening iron' as a way to berate, mock, and humiliate. Those are not ones we want to be. We stand for righteousness, but the enemy is not the person, it is the sin. We do preach righteousness, we stand against false doctrine, but we are not against sinners, we are for showing them how to overcome in their battles.
1 John 2:6 (KJV)
He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
Purification of our person is a process we enter upon salvation. Until then, all the goodness, kind deeds, smiles, etc mean nothing. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, we are destitute of goodness. After salvation, we are forgiven, and justified, but still have the carnal nature that wants to do and to think contrary to God and His ways.
Before purification of the carnal person can truly begin, the ‘forgiveness’ of the sinner must occur. Then the continued forgiveness given by the one forgiven, continues, in this purification process.
We are to ‘PROGRESS’ in forgiveness, as we are purified. We are to 'sharpen' or buff the shine of purification on others.
Paul emphasized forgiveness and love, as being a major part of this purification process. Can Christians forgive? Can we call it love, if forgiveness is not part of it? Too many Christians try to claim ‘love’ without the element of ‘forgiveness’ being present.
"Forgiveness" is from the Hebrew word ‘shalach’, meaning ‘to have a weight lifted.’
Forgiveness lifts the burdens of hurts from the past. You are not burdening yourself, when you forgive, but you are giving up a burden. The burden of unforgiveness torments many, causes sickness, and grief beyond measure.
Remember, how freely Jesus forgave us. If Jesus forgave us so much, how can we deny forgiveness to those who did to us, so much less?
Matthew 18:32-35 tells us a servant forgiven a great, enormous debt. Then he finds someone who owed him a pittance, and has him thrown in jail for it. The one owed the first debt, then cancelled the forgiveness, and demanded payment or jail. The story concludes with: "So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother, his trespasses."
Joseph is an example, for he could have sought revenge against Potiphar’s wife, or against the butler, or against his own brothers. Yet, according to the history book called ‘Jasher’, Joseph married the daughter of Potiphar. The butler was forgiven, and the brothers were forgiven.
The Lord’s prayer says ‘forgive us as we forgive’ (Matthew 6:12). This is prayer that is meant to be a model for all our prayers. God desires greatly for us to be forgiving. We cannot claim to be pure before God, if we are not forgiving.
"And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any, that your Father also Who is in heaven may forgive you, your trespasses."
Anger, wrath, grudges, resentment and unforgiveness are destroyers of one’s soul. If we do not purify ourselves from such, they will damn our souls.
I John 1:7
"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."
"Put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another... put on the new man that is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him."
"...overcome evil with good..."
"...vengeance is Mine..."
Knowing that we are to be called to the judgment seat of Christ, very soon, we should seek to purify ourselves to the purity expected of Jesus. Since we expect Him to arrive for us soon, this purification is urgent.
So, we come to God in repentance, He forgives, and we then enter a time of ‘purification’ that will not end until we are presented to Him in the clouds on the day of the rapture. We PROGRESS daily, I hope, in this purification process. In dealing with others, we are to 'sharpen' and shine their walk, buffing and making their walk in the Lord to be better.
False doctrines may inspire a bit of anger at the lies of the devil, but the ones bearing false doctrine are needing help, not a beating. We stand for truth, be battle for truth, but we do not despise the ones preaching untruth, we want to sharpen, not beat. Purification is the goal.