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Summary: Deals with How God has forgiven us and how we should forgive others in light of that forgiveness

Forgiveness as a Way of Life

Matthew 18:21-35


Today we are going to be talking about a topic that I think is so needed

in our society and

in every relationship that we have.


Forgiveness is so easy to receive while other times it is so hard to give.

I think most of us believe we are forgiving people, but there are times that it is still hard.


We have been in a series called Fireproof, based upon some of the topics that were hit upon in the movie Fireproof.

If you haven’t seen that movie yet, I encourage you to go and see it.

Well “Fireproof” is about a couple, Caleb, who is a Fireman, and Catherine, who works in a hospital, who have been married for 7 years.

They have really grown apart over these 7 years, mostly as a result of Caleb’s selfishness.

He views pornography,

he has hampered the couple financially by taking a significant portion of his income to save for a boat,

refuses to help Catherine’s parents since her mom had a stroke and

he is verbally abusive and she has pretty much had enough.

Caleb has had enough too because he has felt totally disrespected by Catherine as well and he thinks the problem is mostly her.

He wouldn’t do the things he does if she would treat him better.

She would treat him better if he didn’t do the things he did.

Well, Caleb’s dad asks him to take a dare, a Love Dare that challenges Caleb over 40 days to love his wife in different ways. Well his heart is not in it at all until he experiences the love of Christ about half way through the movie and God begins to open his eyes and God begins to give him a love that he had never experienced before and opens his eyes to his own mistreatment of Catherine.

Finally, Caleb recognizes his need to seek the forgiveness of Catherine.

Watch this clip

Show movie clip – Forgiveness – Lights off

After clip back to first slide – Lights Scene 1

I think this movie clip is so powerful because it shows both sides of forgiveness.

It shows a person who needs forgiveness and a person who needs to forgive.

As we live this life, we are going to find ourselves in both of those spots at one point or another.

I am certain that watching this video, each of you were relating more to one person than the other.

Some of you thought, “look how genuine Caleb is in seeking forgiveness.” Oh, she should just forgive him.

But I can see someone else saying, I can totally relate to Catherine because there is just too much to forgive so easily.

Caleb was right in his apology, he had trampled her in so many ways.

Does he think by just asking for her forgiveness, that she should give it after

the countless times he has made her feel worthless by viewing pornography,

loving his money more than loving her,

expecting her to be his maid and cook and toy to do with whatever he wants.

Does he think that he can just seek forgiveness and make it all better?

I know that some out here are thinking exactly that, though the person they are thinking of has a different name and face than Caleb.

Maybe it is your husband or wife

Perhaps it is a boss or

Maybe even a son or daughter that has put you through so much.

The question becomes,

just how much do I have to forgive.

how many times do I need to forgive someone when they sin over and over again?

Well that is a good question.

Thankfully someone else asked that question of Jesus.

Turn with me if you would to Matthew 18:21-35 (p. 695)


We are going to study what He said this morning so we might see how we should respond.

We are going to take a look at this text and discuss it as we go along.

In the first part of this text we see Peter ask just the question we asked a moment ago.

Matthew 18:21

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?"

Peter wants to know, Lord

What is the Limit of Forgiveness?


Surely there must be some such limit.

The teaching of the Jewish Rabbis of that time was that 3 times was all that you needed to forgive someone.

Peter is thinking he is generous in more than doubling it.

Peter has seen Jesus confront and challenge and rebuke the Pharisees many times over their human teaching and wisdom.

Peter has heard the sermon on the mount where Jesus expanded the views on what murder and adultery are.

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