Summary: To forgive is to release someone from prison; including yourself.
Sermon Study 227 – FORGIVE FROM YOUR HEART
Key Scripture: Mat 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
(1) 10 years ago April 1992, there was a truck driver by the name Reginald Denny driving in LA as his routine would be… he came across a riot that changed his life forever… pulled and beating from his truck… a brick smashed against his skull… laid dying… in a court trial some years later… he was surprisingly forgiving of his perpetrators…
(2) Deweese Eunick (mother of a 6 year old girl, killed by a 12 year old boy who was wrestling with her) The boy, Lionel Tate was being sentenced for life in prison for this murder. The mother said to reporters on ABC, "It’s more that he’s a human being, you know?" she said. "And in spite of him murdering my daughter and taking my daughter’s life, the thing is back in the olden days, you did an eye for an eye, right? Jesus came, Jesus died for all our sins. When we do things wrong, we can go to him, we can ask for forgiveness, right? So who am I not to forgive him for what he did to my daughter and did to my — to my life?"
Key Passage: Mat 18:23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. Mat 18:24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Mat 18:25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. Mat 18:26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. ’Be patient with me,’ he begged, ’and I will pay back everything.’ Mat 18:27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. Mat 18:28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ’Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. Mat 18:29 "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ’Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ Mat 18:30 "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. Mat 18:31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Mat 18:32 "Then the master called the servant in. ’You wicked servant,’ he said, ’I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Mat 18:33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ Mat 18:34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. Mat 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
WHY SHOULD WE FORGIVE?
(1) WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN:
A) 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
B) Rom 4:7-8 (from Psalm 32) "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
(2) FORGIVING OTHERS PRECEDES FORGIVENESS FROM GOD:
A) Mat 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
B) Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
(3) FORGIVING OTHERS IS A PREREQUISITE TO WORSHIP:
A) Mat 5:23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, Mat 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
(4) FORGIVING OTHERS REPRESENTS CHRIST:
A) Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
(5) FORGIVENESS SHOULD BE UNLIMITED:
A) Mat 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Mat 18:22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (seven times seven).
B) Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. Luke 17:4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ’I repent,’ forgive him."