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Summary: Forgiveness is a command for Christians. God will not forgive us if we cannot or do not forgive others.

(based on a series by Darryl Dash)

SERIES: “DISCOVER FORGIVENESS: Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness”

TEXT: MATTHEW 18:21-35


OPEN: A. Old Joe was dying. For years he’d been at odds with Bill, formerly one of his best friends.

Wanting to straighten things out, he sent word for Bill to come and see him.

When Bill arrived, Joe told him that he was afraid to go into eternity with such bad feelings

between them. Then, very reluctantly and with great effort, Joe apologized for things he had said

and done. He also assured Bill that he forgave him for his offenses. Everything seemed fine until

Bill turned to go. As he walked out of the room, Joe called out after him, “Now, just remember, if I

get better, this doesn’t count.”

B. The preaching theme for this year centers around Discovery

--We did the series: Discover Jesus: The Other 3:16s. We just completed last week our study of

Jonah: Discover Obedience: Jonah – Not Just Another Big Fish Story.

1. I want us to begin today a series called “Discover Forgiveness: Finding Freedom Through


2. Forgiveness is an issue that hits home with everyone in this place

a. At some point in the past several weeks, it’s likely that someone has done something to offend

you and you have failed to forgive them

b. Some of us are carrying around resentment and bitterness against people and have been

carrying them like heavy weights for years

C. Why talk about forgiveness?

1. Reason #1: Because our spiritual health depends on it

a. We can never grow spiritually or enjoy God’s blessings in our lives as long as we carry

resentment and refuse to forgive other people

b. Heb. 12:15 – “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up

to cause trouble and defile many.”

1). Bitterness is like a small root that grows into a giant tree

2). Bitterness brings jealousy, dissension, and immorality

c. Scripture says that we are obligated to forgive others, and when we don’t, that the

consequences are severe

--Mt. 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will

also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive

your sins.”

2. Reason #2: Because we do not naturally know how to forgive

a. It’s more likely that we’ve learned more about the subject of forgiveness from negative role

models than from the Word of God

b. We’re familiar with road rage, disgruntled employee rampages, drive-by shootings, and even

school shootings

c. People all around us are wracked with guilt, anger, and depression

3. Reason #3: Because forgiveness is the clear command of Scripture

a. Eph. 4:31-32 – “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with

every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just

as in Christ God forgave you.”

b. Obedience to that command is not an option

--In fact, we have no option concerning this issue according to Scripture

4. Reason #4: Because forgiveness is tough

a. If we were all honest thins morning, we would admit it is easier to nurse a grudge and refuse

to forgive than to offer the gift of forgiveness

b. Lk. 17:3b-5 – [Jesus says] “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I

repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

--Simply put, the apostles are saying, “But Lord, that’s difficult to do!”

D. This morning we’re going to talk about the foundation of forgiveness

1. I wants us to look at three principles that Jesus gives us that form the basis of forgiveness

2. Mt. 18:21-35 – “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my

brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven

times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to

settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten

thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he

and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on

his knees before him. Be patient with me, he begged, and I will pay back everything. The

servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went

out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and

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Danny Brightwell

commented on Aug 24, 2015

This is an excellent lesson. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Michael Luke

commented on Sep 4, 2015

I appreciate your comment. . God's blessings on your ministry.

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