Summary: What forgiveness is and what it isn’t

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This Series is based upon a series by Nelson Searcy and the Journey Church. This sermon is my own however.

The Challenge of Forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15

Genesis 45:1-15

Forgiving doesn’t mean we Forget People’s Sins

Forgiving does mean we Remember God’s Sovereignty

Forgiving doesn’t mean Justice Denied

Forgiving does mean we leave Justice to God

Forgiving doesn’t mean we Return to the Past

Forgiving does mean we are Open to the Future

Forgiveness Video

(FORGIVENESS, by, available at WorshipHouse Media)

Slide after video

Forgiveness is everything.

Do we believe that?

Do we think forgiveness is that important?

I think when we need forgiveness and recognize it, we understand the importance of it.

But I wonder if we understand how important it is to forgive others.

We are continuing on in the New Testament Challenge this morning and we are going to be looking at the Challenge of Forgiveness.


I want us to examine the closing verse that was shown in the video we just saw and the verse after it.

It is Matthew 6:14-15 and it is up on the screen.


It reads

Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

“Wait a minute!

Are you telling me that if I don’t forgive others, that I won’t go to heaven?

I thought that my salvation was not dependant on me or what I do, but only upon receiving Jesus Christ as my Savior, truly believing in Him from my heart.”

That is true. The only thing that your salvation depends upon is you truly receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, by repenting and believing in Him as the Christ, that He died for your sins and rose 3 days later.

Those are the essential beliefs that bring salvation.

Then what are these verses talking about?

These verses are talking about the restoration of relationship. It is the same thing that is being talked about in

1 John 1:9


9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

That verse is written to those who have received Jesus as Savior already.

That forgiveness that is being talked about is a cleansing and a restoration of relationship with the Lord.

We need to recognize that when we are unforgiving, we are sinning.

Sin breaks our relationship with the Lord.

We don’t lose our salvation, but we lose our

effectiveness, peace, joy, assurance, etc.

We are out of fellowship with the Lord when we don’t forgive.

We need to confess it and forgive so that we can receive the Lord’s forgiveness and be restored into fellowship.

This being out of fellowship is what Jesus communicates to Peter when he was about to wash his feet.


John 13:8-10

8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."

Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean…

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