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Scripture Reading: Luke 6:35-38
Why We Must Forgive
1. Forgive (aphiemi): primarily, “to send forth, send away” (apo, “from,” hiemi, “to send”).
a. Debts (Matt. 18:32).
b. Sins (Matt. 9:2).
2. Concerning sins, “firstly signifies the remission of the punishment due to sinful conduct, the deliverance of the sinner from the penalty divinely, and therefore righteously, imposed; secondly, it involves the complete removal of the cause of offense” (Vine).
3. God’s forgiveness is freely offered; obtained through faith that obeys (Acts 2:37-38; 8:22; 1 Jno 1:9).
4. Christians must forgive…
I. BECAUSE GOD COMMANDS US TO FORGIVE, Col. 3:12-13.
A. In Order to Forgive we must have an Abiding Faith in and Submission to God.
1. Willingness to forgive must first come from a submissive spirit toward God.
2. Without it, our heart hardens toward those who sin against us; is unyielding and unmerciful, tending toward malice and bitterness.
B. As God Forgives (completely, immediately and with finality), Eph. 4: 32.
1. Always (without limit), Matt. 18:21-22.
2. From the heart, Matt. 18:35; Col. 3:12-14.
a. Compassion, mercy, grace and love, Psa. 86:5.
b. Otherwise, we are not ready, eager and willing to forgive – Not like God, cf. Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:13.
II. BECAUSE FORGIVENESS IS THE CHARACTER OF GOD, Exo. 34:7; Dan. 9:19; Eph. 1:7; Lk. 23:34; Matt. 5:43-46; 18:21-22.
III. BECAUSE FORGIVENESS IS GOOD FOR US, Lk. 6:37-38.
A. Spiritual Blessings: Thinking and Acting Like God, cf. Acts 20:35.
1. Compassion, Matt. 18:32-35.
2. Cleansing of our heart toward others, Eph. 4:31-32.
3. Mercy, Jas. 2:13; Lk. 6:36-37.
IV. SO THAT WE ALSO MAY BE FORGIVEN, Matt. 6:12, 14-15; Mk. 11:25; Lk. 11:4; 6:35-37; 17:3-4.
1. Eph. 4:32: Yes, we must have hearts of mercy and compassion that are ready to forgive even when sinners do not repent (Lk. 23:34; cf. Rom. 10:21).
2. Lk. 17:3-4: No, we cannot actually forgive (grant or give) forgiveness to one who has not met God’s conditions for forgiveness.
3. Mk. 11:25-26: If God forgives one who we are not willing to forgive, then we will not be forgiven our sins…we will be lost!