Summary: God forgives us our sins, and He commands us to always forgive those that offend us in any way of the other. When we do, we have a lot of blessings to enjoy.


Study Text: Matthew 6:12 - 15


- It is impossible as human beings to avoid offending others and being offended by others, when we are still alive. And, while we do not have the ability to control how others feel or act when offended, we do have free will over our own lives to decide how we will react when we are offended by others.

- Forgiving others wholeheartedly is the secret of a happy and prolonged relationship in all facets of life: in the family, at work, at school, in Church, community, etc.

- It’s not easy to forgive others, but it is what Jesus commands us to do. Even if the other person is not really sorry, we still have to forgive sincerely in order to fulfil the will of God.

- We shall look at the topic under three sub-headings:

1. The Picture of Forgiveness

2. The Pattern of Forgiveness

3. The Profit of Forgiveness

1. The Picture of Forgiveness

In order to fully understand what forgiveness means, we need to look at what forgiveness is not and then to consider what it is.

1. Forgiveness does not Justify the Offender

- Forgiveness does not make the person being forgiven innocent. Forgiveness is not approving the wrong that was done, but overlooking it out of love, and with expectation that the offender will benefit with a profitable change of action and attitude.

2. Forgiveness does not Prevent Correction or Rebuke

- Forgiveness does not require us to submit or be silent to injustice, bad actions and wrong behaviours. We can correct, rebuke or discipline the offenders while still loving them. This does not only produce a profitable change in the offenders, but will clearly reveal what is right to other people with a positive impact. Luke 17:3.

3. Forgiveness does not Harbour Bitterness

- The offences may produce pains or hurts, but there is no true forgiveness if any bitterness is harboured against the offender. He must be seen and related with as if he had never committed the offence.

4. Forgiveness is an Opportunity for Self-Examination

- Forgiveness is an opportunity to review our own lives. Whenever we find it difficult to forgive others, we should consider the wrongs that require that God should forgive us.

Similarly, we should examine our hearts to see if there are people we are not willing to forgive, or we have not truly forgiven, whenever we need to ask God for forgiveness.

- Forgiveness of others in our life is not something that needs to wait for them to come to us and ask. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can forgive those who never ask.

5. Forgiveness is a Way of Handing Over to God.

- Forgiveness is an act of our will in which we give up the right to hold another person accountable for the wrongs they have done to us, and handing it over to God. It means releasing that person from any obligation to ever make things right to us, but to God.

- Everyone should be careful what he/she does to others. The fact that we receive forgiveness from men does not mean that God will not judge us for our actions.

2. The Pattern of Forgiveness

- God’s forgiveness is our pattern for forgiving others, Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12. God has given us this grace in the one he dearly loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of his grace Ephesians 1:6.

- This forgiveness is at the heart of our relationship with God. God has erased our sins, removed his wrath from us, and raised us from death to life. He has been incredibly kind and compassionate to us. And we now face a secure and glorious future through Christ.

- Because God has forgiven us, we have a reason and the strength to forgive others. As God has erased our sins and sees us as holy and blameless through Christ, so we can and should seek to do the same to others: to erase the sins of others from our ledger of wrongs.

- Our forgiveness of others is the measure of forgiveness we will receive from God. We can forgive because we have been forgiven. The key to forgiveness is to focus on what God has done for you. As God forgave us freely, we are to forgive those who have hurt us.

- God forgives us without limit, as long as there is genuine repentance. We are also expected to forgive others without limit. Matthew 18:21-22.

- God forgives us completely, immediately, and with sincerity. We are expected to show these qualities in our forgiveness to others. Matthew 18:35

3. The Profit of Forgiveness

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Vivian Nnadozie

commented on Sep 20, 2023

I love it and it has help me understand the word forgiveness

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