Summary: In this message we look at why God forgives, why man needs forgiveness, what God’s forgiveness is, and how one can experience God’s forgiveness.
What is forgiveness? It is, quite literally, the setting aside of a debt by the one to which
the debt is owed. When we talk about forgiveness in this light, are we to understand that
it is possible for us to “pay” God for our forgiveness? Of course not. But it should cause
us to realize, if we never have before, just how incredible and awesome God’s forgiveness
toward us actually is. When I thought of it recently, it made me ask some questions...
1. WHY WOULD GOD FORGIVE?
*His desire to forgive is rooted in His UNBELIEVABLE LOVE
a. In his book “Experiencing God”, Henry Blackaby states that God pursues a
continuing love relationship with us that is real and personal
b. 1 John 4:8 states that God IS love! It is His very essence. Love, properly
defined, needs an object upon which to lavish itself.
*you can be an object of God’s love or an object of His wrath (Eph. 2)
c. God’s desire is fellowship with us.....John 17:20-21
*while God desires fellowship with us, that prospect is spiritually
impossible! What makes it impossible is His utter holiness and
righteousness in opposition to our utter sinfulness and depravity!
d. But thankfully God didn’t let the story end there!
*His desire / fellowship
*His dilemma / our frailty
*His decision / final, “It is finished”...what was finished? The way was
paved for God to have the fellowship with the crown of His
creation that He desires to have! We can have fellowship with God
now because of Calvary!
WHAT IS GOD’S FORGIVENESS? IT IS MOST CLEARLY SEEN IN HIS
UNBELIEVABLE LOVE ON THE CROSS!
2. WHO NEEDS GOD’S FORGIVENESS?
*Those who are under the curse of UNIVERSAL SIN
a. What does the Bible say about man’s need of God’s forgiveness?
b. The Bible indicates that our righteousness is as filthy rags before Holy
God. If our righteousness is filthy, what must our sin be to Him?
WHO NEEDS GOD’S FORGIVENESS? ANYONE WHO MEETS THE
BIBLICAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR BEING A SINNER (THOSE UNDER THE
CURSE OF UNIVERSAL SIN)....EVERYONE!
3. WHAT IS GOD’S FORGIVENESS?
*God’s forgiveness is His UNMERITED FAVOR. (Ephesians 2:8-10, the “grace” and the
“faith” are both not of ourselves)
a. See Matthew 18:23....Not only did the first servant mentioned have his
debt set aside (forgiven) but the Scripture indicates that he was
*What a beautiful portrait of what God does for us when He forgives!
b. What does God do with sins that He’s forgiven?
*Psalm 103 - He completely separates the sins from those who committed
*Isaiah 43:25 - He forgets them! Critics charge that an omniscient God
could never forget something. But they fail to recognize that an
omnipotent God can do anything! Wayne Watson sings, “It’s not
so much that You don’t remember, but more that you choose to
c. How many of you here today could appreciate by experience God’s
promise of a clean slate and a fresh start? (For all you golfers, a
WHAT IS GOD’S FORGIVENESS? IT IS EXPERIENCING HIS
UNMERITED FAVOR... YOU CAN’T EARN IT!