July 7, 2019
Passage: Matthew 6 : 14 - 15 ; 18 : 21 - 35
Service Type:

Forgiveness is a Commandment and not a Choice. As Christians, we are to forgive because we have been forgiven by God. We are to forgive without limits. We are to forgive and be blessed.
We are a people that have been completely forgiven of all our sins. We are to offer the gift of forgiveness to others.

The Bible refers to Jesus as the Gift of God to us. Through him, we have been given the greatest gift ever given - the Gift of Forgiveness. To forgive biblically, we do not have to return evil when evil is done against us, we are to bless instead. We are to forgive completely and forgive repeatedly. To biblically forgive, we have to get to a place where we are willing to pay the price of forgiving someone.

Forgiveness is not a suggestion, but rather, a command. Forgiveness should not be based on feelings. You must forgive, in the same way that the Lord has forgiven you.

Two things about an unforgiving person;

a. You do not understand the depth you have been forgiven by God.
b.You are walking in open sin and rebellion against God.

The book of Hebrew state that discipline is coming the way of all who walk in open rebellion against God. Forgiveness is a matter of obedience to God; a matter of repentance of your sins. You will never be able to forgive if you do not believe in the sovereignty of God. If you trust in the Lord, then even in the worst moments of your life, you will be able to forgive.

How then do you forgive when someone wrongs you? You have to do what Jesus did. You follow in His footsteps, living according to His example. Believe in the Gospel - it has to be the primary motivation of your forgiveness. From the passage, forgiveness is expected from us, because we are first forgiven. We owe God a staggering amount we could not pay but we are "Forgiven, in Christ's Name.

The debt was wiped away completely. We are free from that heavy burden. Completely freed! No matter how bad it may appear to us, no matter how hurt we are by what someone has done to us, in comparison to what God has given us. Our experience of forgiveness should change us into forgiving people. By the grace of God, we have the capability of forgiving also.

There is a direct connection between forgiving others and being forgiven. The Lord's prayer, we pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God's forgiveness for us enables us to forgive. If you cannot forgive, then you are yet to fully comprehend and experience the forgiveness of God.

We must first receive from God, His forgiveness, His grace, and then we will find the ability to forgive others and love them. To receive God's forgiveness, we must forgive those who harm or wrong us. When God's grace comes into our lives it changes us. And one of the first changes that it makes is to give us the power to forgive. By forgiving others, we are proving that we have accepted God's forgiveness, and are living in it.

If we refuse to forgive those who harm us, we are showing that we have not really accepted God's grace, and thus it is removed from us. We are able to forgive because God is in charge. When we refuse to forgive, the bitterness grows within us.

Is there someone who you need to forgive?
Is there someone who you have not talked to in a long time because of what they did?
Is there someone who you refuse to trust because of what they did?
Is there someone who you avoid like the plaque, you would not want to sit beside, someone for whom you just feel like spitting?
Is there someone whom you are waiting for a confession from, before you offer forgiveness?

You must forgive them all. Your own forgiveness relies on it. Jesus says, we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give. If you say, "l can never forgive that person," then l hope you never sin.
Even if you do not feel like doing it, do it anyway, because it is the right thing to do.
God has been gracious to you, therefore you need to forgive others, so you do not grow bitter.
Forgive, because you have been forgiven.

AMEN!

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