Summary: Forgiveness is a wonderful life changing and empowering experience given to mankind by a loving God.
“Forgiving Others in an Unforgiving World”
Forgiveness is a wonderful life changing and empowering experience given to mankind by a loving God.
To be a Christian we must have the spirit of Christ abiding in our hearts; and to have the spirit of Christ means that we will forgive people, even as He forgave them.
God’s forgiveness cannot be effectively received except by those who are ready to forgive others. Jesus emphasized the importance of the forgiving mood and the danger of holding an unforgiving attitude.
When asked how many times one should forgive a person who has trespassed against him, Jesus said, “Seventy times seven.” He meant that a real Christian will forgive everybody everything all the time, no matter what they have said or done.
Jesus’ teaching is addressed to a community based on the giving and receiving of forgiveness, from which those who refuse to forgive their enemies exclude themselves.
Right after Jesus had taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer that he said,
“If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14–15).
How can we understand forgiveness if we haven’t recognized the depth of our sin?
Luke 7:36-50 NIV
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner." 40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. 41 "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." 48 Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
God sent a savior to make unholy man holy.”
a. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator.
b. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
c. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
d. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.
Forgiveness is an act of faith.
a. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am.
b. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out.
c. I leave in God’s hands the scales that must balance justice and mercy.
This prayer was found in the clothing of a dead child at Ravensbruck concentration camp. O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us: Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering, our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
If you don’t forgive your enemies, you’re going to run out of friends