Summary: A sermon from the what every believer should know series
How to Forgive
What Every Believer Should Know
And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. Eph. 4:26-27 (NLT)
I. Consequences to holding on to unforgiveness:
When we hold on to unforgiveness :
1. It hinders our faith and our prayers.
Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:24-25 (NLT)
2. It keeps us from being forgiven by God.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matt. 6:14-15 (NLT)
“Stop judging others and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37 (NLT)
3. It brings “anguish” to our lives.
Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. Matt. 18:32-34 (NLT)
4. It causes us to hurt those around us.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:25-26 (NKJV)
II. How Can I Let Go? How Can I Forgive?
You can forgive because:
1. Of how much God has forgiven you.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NLT)
2. God has promised to be your defender.
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,”
says the Lord. Rom. 12:19 (NLT)
3. God never asks you to do something He hasn’t
empowered you to do.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13 (NKJV)
4. God promises He will work all things out for your good.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28 (NKJV)
5. God plans for your future are not to harm you but for good.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 (NKJV)
Is not waiting until you feel like forgiving.
Is not dependent on the other person saying they’re sorry.
Does not negate the validity of the pain you’ve been through.
Does not mean letting the other person off the hook so no justice is required.
Does not mean that you are necessarily reconciled to the person.
III. Steps To Forgiving:
1. Make a DECISION to forgive the person involved.
Heavenly Father, I choose today to forgive _______________ of any offense committed against me, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I release to You all of the memories and toxic emotions of unforgiveness that may be buried in my heart. I declare before You right now that this event, situation, or circumstance of offense against me is now dead forever. I ask You to heal me Father. Help me to move forward in the freedom and strength of forgiveness and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Realize you may not immediately FEEL like you’ve forgiven the person.
2. Begin to change what you SAY about the person who hurt you.
3. Quit looking back!