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Summary: Nineteenth in a series on the attributes of God focusing on forgiveness faithfulness of God.

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Knowing God Series #17

“Forgiven and Forgiving”

Review

I. The nature of God

II. The Attributes of God

A. God is infinitely GREAT in His ability / capacity

B. God is infinitely and perfectly PURE in His morality and judgments

C. God is infinitely GOOD in His relationships

1. God’s infinite LOVE

2. God’s infinite GRACE

3. God’s infinite MERCY

4. God’s Longsuffering, forbearing God

5. God’s Gentleness

6. God’s Forgiveness

I. REALIZE FORGIVENESS

A. Sin puts distance between us and God.

Your iniquities have made a separation between you and Your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, so that He does not hear." Isa 59:2

Guilt puts distance between everyone. God sent His only Son to bridge that gap. Through forgiveness we are reconciled to God.

B. Portraits of Forgiveness

C. Principles of God’s Forgiveness

In Him we HAVE redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. Eph 1:7

1. His Forgiveness is Communicative

2. His Forgiveness is Character Based

3. His Forgiveness is Costly

4. His Forgiveness is Complete

5. His Forgiveness is Continual

Not until we realize the great debt paid on our behalf and our continual need for and granting of God’s daily forgiveness, will we experience the freedom and the motivation to release those who have sinned against us.

II. RECEIVE FORGIVENESS

A. Refusing Forgiveness brings consequences and bitterness

B. Receiving God's Forgiveness brings freedom from guilt

"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account." Rom 4:7-8

When God forgives, there remains no obligation or right to demand repayment from ourselves or anyone else. God has been offended. He has chosen to provide payment for us through His Beloved Son. Come to Him with confidence.

We have confidence to enter the holy place and draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Until we properly perceive and receive God's forgiveness of our sins through applying the truth, we will not be able to effectively forgive others.

III. RECIPROCATE GOD’S FORGIVENESS

1. Forgiving others is Commanded

God clearly instructs EVERY follower of Jesus to forgive others AS the Lord has forgiven us.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as god in Christ also has forgiven you. Eph 4:32

2. Forgiving others seeks to Communicate when possible and directed by God

I must be certain about the motive for communicating my feelings of hurt.

Demand or expect repayment as a condition of relationship vs. restore the relationship

Self-centered vs. others-centered

My satisfaction vs. their sanctification or salvation

Vent rather than reconcile

Sometimes God tells us to only share them with Him. Other times God tells us to only pray. Sometimes God says if your brother sins against you -- go to him. Matt 18 If you think you have offended someone, God tells you to go immediately and reconcile. Matt 5

Sometimes communication may not be possible. We can’t forgive and forget. We remember but chose to refuse to demand repayment.

3. Forgiving others is Character produced

Put on love, for love covers a multitude of sins.

4. Forgiving others is Costly

We must be willing to bear the hurt that comes with relational storms with the infinite resources made available through Jesus Christ and the realization of the cost of our own forgiveness. God’s love floods our hearts. He provides all we need to bear the cost of forgiving others.

Forgiveness does NOT require us to deny the offense and the hurt but chooses to forgive the debt out of genuine love.

5. Forgiving others must be complete

Genuine forgiveness forgives all the debt. There are no demands that the past be recalled, recycled, rewritten or revised. These are fantasy demands.

Repayment is impossible

Revenge is impotent

Resentment is impractical.

We must never demand payment.

Cover the past with the love of Christ.

Restore the present with the faith and grace of Christ.

Reach to the future with the hope of Christ.

6. Forgiving others must be is continual

Forgive 70 X 7 (490) times in the strength of the Lord.

7. Forgiving others is critical

The cost of refusal to forgive others is far greater than the emotional cost of forgiving. God does not give grace (power) to rise above the cost of proud selfish bitterness and unforgiveness.He extends abundant grace on the humble and empowers them to absorb the cost of forgiveness.

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