Summary: There are three dimensions of forgiveness.

MATT. 6:12; 14-15 “FORGIVENESS IN 3–D”

A) There are some subjects I could preach on tonight that might not apply to everyone!

* For instance: I could preach on “How To Spend Your Money,” and many of you would say,

“What money?”

* Or “How To Make Your Wife Happy,” and some would say, “That doesn’t apply to me, because

I don’t have a wife.”

* If the subject was, “Why Tithe,” some of you could say, “I’m already a tither.”

B) But this subject of forgiveness is one that will apply to all of us .......

* For at some time or another we have all been guilty of sin – Rom. 3:23 “For all have ...”

* Wherever there is sin, there needs to be forgiveness.

* There are three dimensions of forgiveness that I want us to see tonight .......

(1) DOWNWARD! * By this we mean God’s forgiveness to us!

A) The theme of the Bible is God’s forgiveness! * Listen to Ex. 34:6-7 .......

* “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no

means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the

children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

B) When David sinned against the Lord, here is his conversation with Nathan – 2 Sam. 12:13 ...

* “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The

Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.”

* Isa. 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

C) Think about God’s forgiveness for a moment .......

* First: It’s greatness ... It comes from the God of heaven ... Only God can forgive sin!

* Second: It’s completeness ... Sins are GONE ... Heb. 8:12 “For I will be merciful to .......”

D) Third: It’s freeness ... We don’t earn it or deserve it ... It comes freely from God!

* Eph. 1:7-8 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according

to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;”

* “Forgiveness:” The Greek word means: “Pardon ... Deliverance ... Liberty.”

(2) INWARD! * By this we mean we have to forgive ourselves!

A) The hardest thing one will ever have to do is forgive himself or herself!

* People are suffering from guilt ... People today have a guilt complex.

* Things they’ve done in the past are haunting them both day and night.

* Let me give you a true illustration to show you what I’m talking about .......

B) A young lady had an abortion a few years ago .......

* She says that she still wakes up in the middle of the night thinking she is hearing her baby cry.

* Every time she sees a mother with a sweet little baby in her arms, she bursts out in tears.

* Every time she drives by an abortion clinic, she relives the awful crime she had committed, even

though she has given her heart to Jesus and has been forgiven.

C) A prison chaplain said many of the people in prison, to whom he ministers to, were dying a

thousand deaths over for their past crimes!

* They’re there before them all the time ... They won’t go away!

D) Someone may say, “If God has forgiven us, aren’t we suppose to forget our sins?

* Yes! But it’s not easy to forget, and many times we never forget what happened.

* I said that to say this ... One may forgive himself / herself and still remember the sins!

* God forgets them, but we don’t ... Let me give you a couple of stories in the Bible .......

E) Remember David who committed adultery and murder? ... He couldn’t forget!

* Psa. 51:3 “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

F) Paul couldn’t forget ... He shared his testimony time and time again!

* He told it to kings and governors and whoever would listen to him tell it. (Acts 22-26)

* Gal. 1:13 “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that

beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:”

G) Many times not only will your own mind not let you forget ... But your spouse may not let

you forget ... And other people may not let you forget!

* But whether or not you can forget, do forgive yourself and then ask God to help you with the

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