“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32 NIV
What is forgiveness?
Bible view: Release of sinners from God’s penalty
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
No one deserves to be forgiven
A deliberate act of love, mercy & grace
A decision not to hold against another person
Why do we forgive?
Because God forgave us (Romans 5:8)
What does God say about forgiveness
1. Because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32)
2. In obedience to God (Matthew 6:13-14)
3. So we won’t become bitter & define those around us (Hebrews 12:14-15)
Forgiveness is an integral part of salvation
“It’s your blood that cleanses me”
“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:12 NIV
Why do we need forgiveness?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 NIV
Need to continually ask God for forgiveness
What does it mean to forgive others?
Bearing with one another (Collosians 3:13)
There is no limit to the time we should forgive others
Holding a grudge demonstrates resentment & anger
When we come to Him, He freely grants forgiveness
What does the Bible say about forgiving yourself?
Christ releases us from the bondage of sin
But we may choose to wallow in it (not moving beyond their past) – even Christians!
A need to break this cycle
Unforgiving will bring self-destruction
Christian forgiveness will bring one peace
An unforgiving attitude does not mean it nullifies a believers salvation
In the eternal scope of things, Christ forgives all our sins
But an attitude of not forgiving self & others robs a Christian of his or her joy & usefulness serving in church