Summary: We must forgive others because we have been forgiven.
August 12, 2012 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must forgive others because we have been forgiven.
Focus Passage: Matthew 18:21-35
Supplemental Passage: "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15 NASB)
Definition: Merriam-Webster defines forgiveness as “giving up resentment of or claim to retaliation; to cease to feel resentment against someone.
Introduction: Sen. Mark Hatfield recounts the following history: James Garfield was a lay preacher and principal of his denominational college. They say he was ambidextrous and could simultaneously write Greek, with one hand and Latin with the other.
In l880, he was elected president of the United States, but after only six months in office, he was shot in the back with a revolver. He never lost consciousness. At the hospital, the doctor probed the wound with his little finger to seek the bullet. He couldn't find it, so he tried a silver-tipped probe. Still he couldn't locate the bullet.
They took Garfield back to Washington, D.C. Despite the summer heat, they tried to keep him comfortable. He was growing very weak. Teams of doctors tried to locate the bullet, probing the wound over and over. In desperation they asked Alexander Graham Bell, who was working on a little device called the telephone, to see if he could locate the metal inside the president's body. He came, he sought, and he too failed. The president hung on through July, through August, but in September he finally died-not from the wound, but from infection. The repeated probing, which the physicians thought would help the man, eventually, killed him. So it is with people who dwell too long on their sin and refuse to release it to God. Roger Thompson http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/f/forgiveness_accepting.htm
I. The Forgiveness from God
a. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:12 NASB)
b. Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, "What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me." John Stott in The Contemporary Christian.
II. The Forgiveness for others
a. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (Colossians 3:12-13 NASB)
b. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. "Don't you remember it?" her friend asked. "No," came Barton's reply, "I distinctly remember forgetting it." Luis Palau, Experiencing God's Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985
c. There's a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father. On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers. Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 13.
III. The Forgiveness from others
a. "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23-24 NASB)
b. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NASB)
Invitation: Do you need to accept the forgiveness of God? There is but one way; to confess Jesus as Lord! Do you need to forgive others, but feel that the sin against you was too great? You have been forgiven much; you ARE able to forgive. Do you need to seek the forgiveness of others? Do so in haste!