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Summary: This sermon deals with being forgiven and forgiving others. The premise is that unforgiveness toward others leads to bitterness. We need to experience forgiveness in order to get out from behind the bars of bitterness

Breaking out from Behind the Bars of Bitterness

The Unforgiving Servant

Matthew 18:21-35

Something the people of God deal with everyday is unforgiveness and unforgiveness leads to a life of bitterness. The bible is very clear; if you want forgiveness, then you need to forgive. As we look at this parable, today we are going to look at the message and then some ways to know if we have been forgiven.

I. The Parable and its Message.

A. The occasion of the parable.

1. Peter’s question, how many times should I forgive.

NOTE: Jewish thought said that you should forgive three times. When Peter said, seven times he was being generous.

2. Jesus’ response not seven times but seventy times seven. 490.

NOTE: This does not mean that at 491 you stop forgiving. Seven is the number of completion. That means you always forgive.

"The Believer’s Bible Says "Jesus confronts Peter with the truth that the spirit of forgiveness really knows no boundaries."

B. The Parable Given.

1. A King is settling accounts.

2. The servant that was not able to pay his account.

NOTE: Bible Scholars say that this man owed a lot of money. If this man owed this amount of money, today the amount would be equal to three billion dollars.

3. The King was going to sell his servant and his

family in order to collect some of the debt which was due him.

4. The servant begged for mercy, and promised to pay all back.

5. The compassion of the King.

a. The king released him.

b. The king forgave his debt.

6. The reaction of the servant.

a. He went out.

b. He found someone that owed him money.

NOTE: It was about a $500.00 debt.

7. The plea of the servant was to have mercy.

8. The first servants reaction. He gave no mercy he had the man thrown in jail.

9. The reaction by the other servants. This upset

them so they told the king.

10. The king’s response. I showed you compassion just because you asked, you should have shown compassion.

II. The Meaning of the parable.

If you are forgiven, then you need to forgive. If you do not forgive then you will not be forgiven.

The Lord’s Prayer says, "Forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

James 2:13 "For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

When a person has been forgiven it is a personal thing, you cannot be forgiven nor forgive by proxy. It is a personal. Before we can break out from behind the bars of bitterness that unforgiveness brings that it must be a personal thing.

III. We must personally experience the process of Divine compassion.

A. The was a great demand. The king called for his life. Friends, we are sinners and the only way to pay for sin is death. God has always and will always demand a payment for sin. That payment can only be death. (Jesus paid the price for us.)

B. The was a great disaster escaped. When I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I escaped the disaster of hell.

C. The was a great debt erased. It was such a great debt that it cost God is Son. Salvation is free but it was not cheap.

VI. The proof that we have personally experience this divine compassion is that we do not retaliate to those that owe us.

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