Sermon Summary: In her powerful message, Pastor Shelly Foley delves into the critical topics of forgiveness and unity within the church community. Drawing inspiration from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and personal anecdotes, she highlights the importance of actively practicing forgiveness as a means of fostering unity. Pastor Shelly emphasizes that forgiveness is not merely about letting go of past hurts but also about actively pursuing restoration and reconciliation. She warns against the divisive tactics of Satan and encourages believers to remain vigilant and committed to love, forgive, and restore, thereby strengthening the bonds of unity within the body of Christ.

Re-watch the full service below!

Pastor Shelly Foley – Spiritual Warfare – Unity

Full Transcript…

I want to add my, add my happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms in this room. Spiritual and physical. But I firstly want to honor my mother.

Try to get situated here to all the stuff I carry with me. Right. You have to have your water. you know, Mother’s Day, I was. I told her I’m like, I’m so sorry. I was a terrible daughter this morning. I didn’t call her for anything yet. Like, but I promise. Oh. Thank you. It is been an honor being raised by a woman of God who raised me not just to be a a strong woman and a strong mother, but a strong follower of Christ.

And so I’m grateful to be in a heritage of strong women. like Deborah alluded to, that, my grandmother founded our church in the 1960s when women didn’t do any of that. And, she forged a path. And because God told her to and made it very clear. And it’s an honor to live in a legacy of women who have stood in the face of everything, going against them at times, and yet said that I will serve Christ no matter the cost, whatever it takes.

That is what is the most important thing. That is what this house has been founded on, and I’m just honored to be serving alongside my mom, and a legacy and a heritage of service to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Not about position, not about prestige, not about numbers or any of the things, but to serve in a house who wants to honor God?

Who wants to worship God, who wants the presence of God above anything else, who’s willing to fight for the things that God has said is yours? This is the legacy of this house. This is the legacy of the women in this House. This is your legacy, a people who are willing to fight for whatever God has said to believe God, even when things seemed impossible, even when things were going bad, if things were going great, anything in between that God is who he says he is and His Word is true.

And I’m going to stand on the Word of God, and I will not be moved. I may struggle on a day. I may have a hard day. I may not do really well at capturing those thoughts every day, but the I am going to do better tomorrow because I believe who he is and I believe who he made me to be.

And we are strong. We are warriors. We are ones that will go to the front lines and battle for our homes and our families and our children and our churches and our community and our state, in our nation, even in the face of everything else telling us that we should not do it, that it won’t matter because we know who we serve and we know who we belong to, and we know who we are.

Daughters and sons of the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. Amen, Amen. I, Really felt that we. I had a few more things I wanted to talk about with spiritual warfare that I got through this week, and I was like, It’s Mother’s Day Sunday, okay, should I should I change gears and preach on moms and preach on women or I don’t know, I’m like, is this an appropriate message for Mother’s Day?

Yes, I believe it is. For all the reasons I just stated and all the reasons that Pastor Jonathan, thank you stated that we have a responsibility as men and women of God to stand and fight. It’s right. So we’re going to continue in spiritual warfare this week, even though it’s Mother’s Day, because I think some of the fiercest warriors I know have been mothers.

So I think it’s totally appropriate. I also wore my stomping shoes. Right. You know, have to get the get the heels in.

Because we are strong, you know, we have a society that tells women that we’re one of two things. We’re either weaker than and not good enough or on the other side of things, we don’t need men. We are stronger, strong enough. Both of those are lies. Can I just say straight from the pit of hell? We were formed in the image of God, male and female.

He created them to partner together, to walk out the purposes of God together, men and women together, forging through what God has intended for the church. For the church. It’s not about either or. It’s not about weak. Because you are not weak. You are strong in him. And it’s not about being better than or not needed because we need each other, everybody needs each other, and we live in a society that wants to put us on polar opposites.

We’re either feminists or we’re weaklings. I’m sorry, I’m neither. I’m a daughter of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. And I am strong, and I am powerful, and I am humble, and I am meek. Sometimes when I really think about it and praying a lot.

And I know how to submit to my husband most of the time. Except for on weeks that you’re speaking about spiritual warfare. Man, the battle’s real. Okay. This is who we are. It’s who we are. We’re made for this. Don’t let anybody tell you you are not made for this. Don’t let anybody tell you that you are not capable.

Don’t let anybody convince you that you’re not strong enough, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. It doesn’t matter what I did this morning.

Doesn’t matter how upset I got at 912. And I’m still not dressed. It doesn’t matter. You are enough because he is in you. So we’re going to continue in spiritual warfare. Last week we talked about Second Corinthians ten, about thoughts in verse three of Second Corinthians ten it says, we are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.

Think God, can I just say that thank God that we do not wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of man’s reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish anyone who remains disobedient. We’re talking about spiritual warfare here, not flesh and blood powers and principalities. We talked about not copying the behaviors and customs of the world in Romans 12, but let God transform you into a new person by changing what the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and perfect, pleasing and perfect.

We talked about this a little bit last week. If we’re curious about what God’s will is for our life, this is a really good instruction manual for us to stop copying the behaviors of this world, to stop copying the customs. Oh, customs. Maybe there’s not everything wrong with every custom, but maybe it’s not God. Think about that. Not copying the customs of this world, but letting God transform us.

It’s where this is, where it happens. It’s in our mind. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind is what that Scripture says in the new King James. Some of you may have memorized it. This is God’s invitation to transformation. He wants to bring something beautiful out of something not beautiful. Pastor Liz spoke about it this morning in his her exhortation to us.

It’s that exchanging, it’s the transforming. We bring him something and he makes something beautiful out of it. He makes something beautiful out of it. And he created he created us. In the beginning. He took dust. And he formed it. It made something beautiful out of nothing. Out of nothingness, out of emptiness. It’s who he is.

We can bring our emptiness and our nothingness and our rubble and our heaps of ashes. Because we burned down everything down. And he’s like, that’s okay. Because I’m a transforming God, and I’m in the business of transforming ashes into beauty. I’m in the business of turning bones into armies like we we sing. This morning. I’m in the business of taking things that are not supposed to do something and making them do that. Something that is dead and bringing it to life. That’s the God we serve. That’s the transforming power of Christ. And he does it in our thoughts. We talked about strongholds and taking our thoughts captive, and how taking thoughts captive is the beginning of the transformation of our mind. It’s the beginning of understanding, clarity and spiritual clarity of walking in true revelation of Christ. We talked about what a stronghold is, and I love that definition. It’s a castle or a prison. It’s a belief system that we build our life around. Man will build his life based on his thoughts. So what are our thoughts?

We need to be able to expose the thoughts that are creating strongholds that keep us captive. We need to be able to identify God’s thoughts for you, because those are the thoughts in which we are supposed to focus our lives on. You know, not every thought is from Satan. Some of them are just ours. Right? Okay, so spiritual warfare here, this is here. We’re fighting against an enemy of our soul who’s gonna feed us lies. And then sometimes we just have really grand ideas of our own that we still have to take captive and submit them to Christ. Because this is how we begin to walk in a transformed life. Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my good in exchange for his great. I want his great in exchange for my good. Now, I’m a pretty smart person, maybe most of the time, and I feel like I’ve got good ideas a lot, and they’re probably pretty successful. But I do not ever want to miss the greatness of God because of my I. Good idea. Because sometimes his thoughts are so far from mine they do not make any sense. So in my logical reasoning it does not make any sense. Let me give you a really quick this is not part what I was planning to do, but I felt like we need to just tackle this just a little bit more. Today I want to give a testimony for my husband. He was 20 years old, junior and finished just finished his junior year of college, and the Lord told him he had had surgery over the summer on his knee. The first of three. and the Lord had told him to quit school. Finished his junior year of college. This makes zero sense. God, I’ve got one more year. On top of that, he had a full scholarship for that year. His senior year of college. Now, let me tell you right now, this was a very difficult decision for Jonathan. But God told him, no, you need to walk away from it right now. Lord, I don’t need to walk away from it. I’m so close to being done. You need to walk away from it. He went ahead with this path to go to school. He went to get an apartment, couldn’t find an apartment. First time ever went find any other housing? Couldn’t find any housing. Well, it’s only Turlock. I’ll commute. But he was a senior year and his classes were all over, so it wasn’t going to work. It’s like, okay, Lord, you’re making it clear. I’m going to walk away. Well, six weeks later, his mom passed away. A car accident. God’s thoughts are higher than ours. We don’t always understand the pathway that God has us on. But fast forward six years. We’d gotten married. We had two small children, really close in age, very little. And Jonathan was working here at the church. And this prophet, Tom Davis came in. First time he’d ever been here. We’d never met him. Kind of a crazy story how we met him to begin with. He calls Jonathan and I out of the crowd, and one of the first things out of his mouth, to Jonathan and I to Jonathan, was you had a desire to go to a certain level of education and for every reason that stopped. But God wants to tell you what was put in suspension is going to begin to come to completion. What nobody else knew is that I had had conversations with Jonathan like, okay, well, to me it seemed really obvious why the Lord asked you to walk away from school. So would you go back? God told me to stop. I won’t go back until he tells me to. So he did. So then. Okay. You got a prophetic word. What does that mean? What does that even look like? We prayed about it. Put a fleece out before the Lord, and he’s like, okay, I’ll know it’s God. It’s timing. If I get the scholarship that I forfeited. I’m like, well, I guess you’re not coming back to school. He has so much more faith than I do. Cause the next day, the economics professor remembers him. Six years later. Hey, when the scholarships do. Oh, they were due last week. Okay. Never mind. It’s like. But if you can get it to me tomorrow, I’ll get it in the stack and he writes a paper on I do do I do Fafsa forms all night. Lorain drives it to Turlock, gives it to the professor for us, and a couple months later we get a call that he gets a scholarship chip. We go down to find out that it was the exact full ride scholarship that he had given up when he quit school. And then he’s going to be going to school, so he’s not really going to be working. Mind you, we have two littles. They’re like two ish. Both of them. And I’m not working much. I’m like, okay, Lord, you said it was time. So you’re going to provide. And he provided Jonathan a side job. He did a deck. He made more money working for that semester on one side job than he would have working full time. I got some more clients. Second semester he was going to be working part time. We end up getting this deposit for a Cal Grant that we didn’t even know we were going to get. We put more money in our savings account the year he was in school than we had the previous five years we’d been married. I say all this to say we don’t understand our thoughts can be good. There was done nothing wrong with Jonathan finishing the school when he would have finished school, but we also would have missed something great. We would have missed the greatness of God because when we are stuck with our good thoughts, we miss great because God sees different than us our perspective. Like Liz said we have to change our perspective. God is not trying to take something away from you when God asks something other. Sometimes our first response is, why would you take that away from me? God? When he was like, whoa, I want to give you time with your mom. I wanted to give you time with your family. I wanted to bless you exceedingly abundantly. Bless you.

Something you wouldn’t have experienced if you’d just done something good. You wouldn’t miss the greatness. Little, little, tiny bit. But God has something great in store for each and every one of us. You know, one time sometimes when he’s when he’s asking those things of us, he’s dealing with our affections. Yes. It’s not that this particular thing. There’s something wrong with that.

That’s how we build religion. Okay, okay. Just be really clear. God asks me to do this something because he’s dealing with an affection of mine that is not correctly aligned. Then we build a religion around that thing. Okay, so now we’re talking about. But God deals with the affections of our heart. He says, set your affections on those things that are above, not on the things below.

This is what he’s doing. He’s like, if you just focus on me and you raise your eyes and you stop allowing your to be influenced by culture, and you stop allowing yourself to be influenced by the thoughts that you think and the lies that the enemy brings to you, telling you who you’re not. If you would raise your view and you would set your affections on me, I can do exceedingly, abundantly above everything you could ask or think, because my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

And I’m not trying to take anything from you. I’m trying to give you everything. And if we can get ourselves out of this mindset that God is a God that takes us into a mindset of truth, that God is a God that gives and loves exceedingly and everything he does. It’s for our benefit, not our detriment. He is good.

He is good.

The weapons that he has given us are more than capable to demolish every place that we have built for our own safety. The weapons are more than capable to destroy and demolish every thought, logic or ideal, real or imagined, that are being held above the Word of God, who God is and who God says I am. The weapons that he’s given us are more than capable.

So today. I want to talk about spiritual warfare and unity.

Because it’s about the unity of the church.

You see, God is transforming us individually, and he’s transforming us corporately so that we become the Church of God, that he has designed, that we become the Church of God, that the gates of hell will not prevail against. That is who he’s called us to be. And the church is how the gates of hell are going to be defeated.

It’s not us individually. We have responsibility individually, but it’s corporately in unity in which he has called us to move forward, to defeat the enemy. And there is some more power in numbers. Anybody everywhere knows that there is more power in numbers. It is a fact. That’s why one of Satan’s biggest ploy against us is to isolate us from the body of Christ, because it’s in the body of Christ coming together that we will find victory at a much greater level.

We’re. So I want to start with this verse in first Corinthians 211. It’s the second half of the verse, and it’s a verse that we are very familiar with and use a lot for. We are not ignorant of his devices. Okay, this scripture is used. I quote it all the time. I probably have said it, you know, ten times in the last year.

Maybe not. I say it all the time, but we use this in this very broad context to attach Satan’s plans and schemes. Right?

And although that’s not wrong, that’s not all. Okay. Let’s go to the full verse back it up a little bit, lest Satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices. Now. English was not my favorite subject in school, but I did pretty, pretty okay in it. But that doesn’t feel like a full thought to me.

Does anybody else feel like that is a full thought? No. Okay, so to me, it’s clear that just reading that one scripture is just like the end of a thought, right? We’re missing something, lest Satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices. Okay, not grammatically correct, not a fool thought all of those things.

This is not a full sentence, people, right? But we’re actually really good about taking these partial sentences up. So it’s really is for me. Sure. And although it doesn’t change, that is still useful. We want we don’t want to be ignorant of his devices. There is something that he is saying here that is attached to this statement. So let’s go back to chapter, chapter two, verse four.

I want to read it in the Passion Translation. And this is Paul speaking to the Corinthian church says, I wrote you previously sobbing with a broken heart. I was filled with anguish and deep distress. I had no intention of causing you pain, but to convey the overwhelming measure of my love for you, for the one who has caused me.

Grief has only not only grieved me, but to some extent has caused you grief as well. I believe that your united rebuke has been punishment enough for him. So instead of punishing more what you what he needs most is your encouragement. Through your gracious display of forgiveness, I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. You see, I wrote previously in order that your hearts would pass the test.

If you are willing to follow my counsel, if you freely forgive anyone for anything, then I also forgive him. And if I’ve forgiven anything, I do so for you before the face of Christ, so that we would not be exploited by the adversary. Satan. For we know his clever schemes.

You see.

The context makes this a little bit of a different conversation, at least for me. Back up a minute. I don’t know if you guys remember about a year ago I spoke about the church of Corinth, just to remind you a few things about the Corinth church. So we can kind of put into perspective what Paul is talking about here.

The people of Corinth had this reputation as this unruly, hard drinking, sexually permissive, promiscuous people. It was a large, wealthy, multicultural trade city with all sorts of diversity and religion and culture, full of immorality and perversion and humanistic wisdom rooted in centuries of culture. Okay, so this is the city, okay? The Jewish population was resistant to Christ, and the Gentile city was steeped in religious darkness and groves with spiritual powers and principalities that had a hold on the society and society based on lust and greed and self-centredness.

So when Paul arrives with the message, many of them became believers in Jesus and brought their reputations with them into the church. Paul spent a year and a half with them, going over the good news and showing them how to live out this new

life of salvation and holiness as a community. Later, when Paul had left, he received reports that Corinthian families had the Corinthian church had kind of fallen apart and received letters asking for help.

There were divisions and factions that had formed. Morals were disappearing, worship had degenerated into a self-grabbing for the supernatural. So this is the context Paul would deal with trouble, get something straightened out and a couple more things would appear. This was the context of the church. Eugene Peterson, in his introduction to Corinthians of From the Message Bible, says it in this way.

He said, when people become Christians, they don’t at the same moment become nice. I love that this always comes as something of a surprise. Conversion to Christ and His ways doesn’t automatically furnish a person with impeccable manners and suitable morals.

Going on, when he introduces Second Corinthians, he says, for anyone operating under the naive presumption that joining a Christian church is a good way to meet all the best people and cultivate smooth and social relations, a reading of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence as a prescribed cure.

There were problems, okay? There were problems in the church. He goes on to say, the provocation for Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians was an attack on his own leadership. And his first letter, though he wrote mostly kind and sympathetically, he didn’t mince words. He wrote with confident authority of a pastor who understands the ways of God, salvation, and the kind of community that comes into being.

As a result, at least some of what he wrote to them was hard to hear and hard to take. But they bucked his authority. They accused him of inconsistencies. They impugned his motives, questioned his credentials. They didn’t argue with what he wrote. They simply denied that he had the right to tell them to do so. And so Paul was forced to defend his leadership and after mopping up a few details left over in the first letter, he confronts the challenge and in the process probed the very nature of leadership in a community of believers.

So this is the stage for Second Corinthians to divisions in the church, fractures of trust in leadership, divisive spirits that did not stop causing offense between people with the goal of destroying the church. Paul, even in the midst of this strained relationship with the Church of Corinth and personal attack to him, still was pushing and leading them into unity and forgiveness.

So that’s the stage. First Corinthian. Sorry. Second Corinthians two.

If you freely forgive anyone, I forgive him.

And if I’ve forgiven it, I do so before the face of Christ, so that we we. He didn’t say you said we would not be exploited by the adversary Satan. For we know his clever schemes.

Paul is pointing out something very specific. We see clearly that in the absence of love and forgiveness, bitterness and division spread quickly and viciously. You see, Satan is always ready to destroy the church, always ready to destroy the church.

Now that this man is, Paul is talking about his turn from his evil ways. It’s important that he and the group support him and be reckoned child through forgiveness with the body of the congregation.

You see, the most effective way that we can wage spiritual warfare today is to be more quick and free, to forgive.

The Greek word, most often translated as forgive in the New Testament, is I’m going to practice is so much I’m still going to probably say it wrong. FEMA. Which means to cancel or pardon, to give up, leave alone, tolerate. And in an overall sense it means to let go. Pastor preaches a fantastic message about letting go forgiveness. But this word in Corinthians two here is not FEMA. The word. Us going to just butcher it?

Theresa may Harrison may think is more of the proper translation. And that means to grant us favor, to graciously or kindly pardon or rescue. The Lexan Theological Workbook defines it as to give forgiveness. There’s a giving referring to giving something to someone, often in a manner that is no reciprocation in view.

The Thayer’s Dictionary Bible Dictionary defines it as to do something pleasant or agreeable, to do a favor to gratify, to grant forgiveness, to pardon, give freely, graciously restore one to another.

This is forgiveness. To maintain relationship.

The root word for this is Harris or Caris. We would say most of us would say KRS, and that’s the word for grace. The root word for this word that Paul is telling us to forgive is grace. To graciously restore to.

You see, courage to be used far less frequently has more muscle to it. It’s talking about building and restoring, restoring brokenness. The difference is that a may affects damage control. Charisma affects reconciliation. There’s a rebuilding that Paul is talking about in this context of forgiveness.

Andy Overton, a writer, says to forgive is the form of charism, is to apply love in humility, which is the greatest effect of paving the way to reconciliation. You see, this use of forgiveness is specifically for the unity of the church, although for forgiveness is and it still is a part of letting go, it goes beyond letting go.

It’s like it’s that first step let go. It goes beyond the freeing of ourselves in forgiving forgiveness. You see, when issues arise, they can cause breaches that go beyond even that situation at hand. And if we are not willing to not just let it go, but to go beyond that, to bring restoration to those places in my heart that have been breached, then we can have no unity.

This forgiveness always requires restoration. Not always specifically to the individual, but always restoration for the body of Christ. You see unforgiveness anywhere in our life will prevent unity in the church. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had places in my life and damage done to my life where it’s been hard to forgive. Yes, and there’s been times where I have, I have I’ve let go of the offense of to that person. But I’ve still built up a wall in that general vicinity in my life. Okay, well, I’m not angry at that person, but I’m also not going to let that person get here. Because although I let go of the issue, I didn’t forgive in restoration in my heart.

This can be one of the most difficult things. But you see, Satan is seeking division, period. Almost every stronghold, every thought from him, every blatant assault on us is for one purpose to divide us from Christ and to divide us from the body of Christ. He wants us to remove ourselves and put up a divider between the church and us.

He wants us to put up a divider between God and us, between families, between loved ones. But God is a God of restoration and love and unity. He gives us instructions how to walk this out. We talked about it yesterday. We can. We need to capture the thought to stop the replay, stop the replay and put that thought into the obedience of Christ, into love and restoration.

This is what he’s talking about. We don’t want to be want to be ignorant of his devices. Satan is going to take every situation and try to divide. And our job, our biggest weapon that we have in our arsenal is to forgive and restore, because that is how we are going to find victory over the enemy. It is not a secret.

It’s an open. It’s here. He’s like, here, let me make it really, really, really clear. Even though this really terrible thing happened and Paul was hurt and the church was hurt, and he clearly had to do something about it. We don’t know all the details, but it was clearly a big deal. And it grieved Paul so much that he was weeping when he was writing in the verses before that it says he didn’t even come because he thought he would just be too hard.

It was so devastating personally into the church. And yet Paul says, don’t be ignorant of the devices of the enemy that wants to use this situation to bring division and destruction to the Church of God. Because the Church of God is intended to defeat the gates of hell, do not let the gates of hell defeat you by dividing.

So love and forgive and restore. Love. Love, love, forgive. Restore. God has a restoration that he wants us to go through. He wants his people to be restored to perfect relationship with him and with each other. And to do that, we have to love and forgive and let God restore every place that has been broken, every place that we’ve built up a wall.

Let him restore it. Amen.

Introduction: In a world often marked by division and discord, the church stands as a beacon of hope, offering the promise of unity and reconciliation. But achieving unity within a diverse community of believers is no easy task. Fortunately, Pastor Shelly Foley’s recent sermon sheds light on the transformative power of forgiveness and its pivotal role in cultivating unity within the body of Christ.

“Unity is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of deep, authentic connection among believers.”

Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 05.12.2024

Body: Understanding Forgiveness and Unity: Pastor Shelly Foley begins by defining forgiveness as more than just letting go of past hurts; it’s about actively pursuing restoration and reconciliation. Likewise, unity is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of deep, authentic connection among believers.

“Forgiveness is not just letting go of past hurts; it’s actively pursuing restoration and reconciliation.”

Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 05.12.2024

The Importance of Forgiveness: Drawing from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Pastor Shelly highlights the dangers of unforgiveness and the divisive tactics of Satan. She emphasizes that forgiveness is not only a personal act but also a communal responsibility, essential for preserving the unity of the church.

“By embracing forgiveness and pursuing restoration, believers can overcome division and embody the love of Christ in their communities.”

Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 05.12.2024

Overcoming Division: Through personal anecdotes and biblical insights, Pastor Shelly illustrates how forgiveness can overcome division and restore broken relationships. She challenges believers to embrace humility and love as they navigate conflicts and seek reconciliation within their communities.

Practical Applications: Practical examples and discussion questions encourage readers to reflect on their own experiences with forgiveness and unity. From letting go of past hurts to actively pursuing reconciliation, Pastor Shelly offers practical steps for fostering unity within churches and communities.

Conclusion: As Pastor Shelly Foley’s sermon reminds us, forgiveness is not just a virtue but a powerful tool for building unity within the church. By embracing forgiveness and pursuing restoration, believers can overcome division and embody the love of Christ in their communities. Let us heed Pastor Shelly’s call to cultivate unity through forgiveness, drawing closer to one another and to God in the process.

Study Guide


  1. Share a time when you experienced the power of forgiveness in a challenging situation.
  2. Reflect on a time when you witnessed unity within a community or group. What made that experience impactful for you?
  3. If you could describe forgiveness and unity in one word each, what would those words be and why?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Pastor Shelly Foley emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and restoration for unity within the church. How do you personally define forgiveness and unity?
  2. In the transcript, Pastor Shelly mentions that Satan seeks division. How do you think unforgiveness contributes to division, both within the church and in broader contexts?
  3. Share your thoughts on the concept of forgiveness as a form of restoration, as Pastor Shelly describes. Do you agree that forgiveness should lead to restoration? Why or why not?
  4. Reflect on the statement, “Love and forgive and restore.” How can this principle be applied practically in your personal life and within your community or church?
  5. Pastor Shelly talks about the danger of holding onto past hurts and building walls even after forgiving someone. Have you ever experienced this personally? How did you overcome it?
  6. Consider Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and the challenges they faced within their church community. How do their struggles relate to modern-day issues of forgiveness and unity within churches?
  7. Discuss the role of humility in the process of forgiveness and restoration. Why is humility important, and how can it facilitate unity within relationships and communities?
  8. Pastor Shelly emphasizes the idea of not being ignorant of Satan’s devices. How can increased awareness of these devices help us combat division and promote unity within our churches and communities?

Sermon Summary: In her powerful message, Pastor Shelly Foley delves into the critical topics of forgiveness and unity within the church community. Drawing inspiration from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and personal anecdotes, she highlights the importance of actively practicing forgiveness as a means of fostering unity. Pastor Shelly emphasizes that forgiveness is not merely about letting go of past hurts but also about actively pursuing restoration and reconciliation. She warns against the divisive tactics of Satan and encourages believers to remain vigilant and committed to love, forgive, and restore, thereby strengthening the bonds of unity within the body of Christ.

Short Prayer: Dear God, we come before you with grateful hearts, thanking you for the gift of forgiveness and the call to unity within our church community. Help us to embody the spirit of forgiveness in our interactions with one another, seeking restoration and reconciliation where there is brokenness. Guard our hearts against division and the schemes of the enemy, empowering us to walk in humility and love. May your presence continually guide us as we strive to build a community rooted in forgiveness, unity, and grace. Amen.