THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13
INTRO: There are two aspects of forgiveness:
Divine and Human:
Divine – God toward man.
Human – Man toward man.
The need of forgiveness from God toward man: Without forgiveness, God’s wrath would consume man.
The need of forgiveness from man toward man: Without forgiveness, man’s wrath would consume man.
- THE EXPLANATION OF FORGIVENESS Psalm 103:3
(Psa 103:3 KJV) “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;"
- The Matter Of Forgiveness Is Complete.
- The issue is settled. “…all thine iniquities…” This means “all and forever more”. The sins you have not committed yet have already been forgiven.
- No grudges.
- No investigations.
(Micah 7:19 KJV) “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
- Forgiveness Presents The Matter As Though It Never Happened.
- No more action.
- Forgive and forget.
(Psa 103:12 KJV) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
When forgiveness is given, the matter is settled permanently – there need be no repetition or doubt – the situation is over – no other action is required.
Following forgiveness, obedience to God’s Word only need be the issue.
Understand this: When you sin you come before God in confession of your sin, and God will forgive you of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- THE EXTENT OF FORGIVENESS Luke 17:4.
- The Responsibility Of Forgiveness.
(Luke 17:3 KJV) “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him."
(Luke 17:4 KJV) “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
There should never be a time or a reason when Christians would NOT forgive a trespasser.
- The Reoccurrence Of Forgiveness.
If a trespassing person comes to a child of God asking for forgiveness, our forgiveness toward that person is to be ever repeating.
- The Realm Of Forgiveness. This means that all offenses have been removed. Every person has been forgiven through the grace of God and because of the redemption on Calvary.
Suppose that in every prison in America an announcement was made that every person was forgiven and then all of the doors were opened. What would the prisoners do? They would immediately walk through the opened doors.
That’s exactly what has been handed to you. All your iniquities have been forgiven. You have been given an open door from the prison of sin that you are now abiding in – thus you can walk through the door to freedom and liberty.
III. THE EXAMPLE OF FORGIVENESS Colossians 3:13.
(Col 3:13 KJV) “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
“Forbearing” means – “put up with: --bear with endure, forbear, suffer.”
“Quarrel” means – “blame – fault – complaint against.” This would cover any reason for you to have ill feelings towards someone.
We are each to be forbearing of one another – and if you have a quarrel against a fellow man, you are commanded by the Word of God to forgive him.
- “…. even as Christ forgave you...”
It is Christlike to forgive. “even as Christ...” How did Christ forgive?
- Freely---he did not hesitate or delay when we asked him.
- Entirely--he pardoned all our offences. He required no satisfaction.
What we should have paid – He paid.
What we deserved – He received.
- For ever---he did it so as to remember our sins no more, and to treat us ever onward as if we had not sinned. So we should forgive an offending brother.
- “Forgave You.”
He required no retribution for our forgiveness. He offered Himself a sacrifice for our sins and then forgave every person.
(Acts 13:38 KJV) “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:"
(Psa 86:5 KJV) “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee."
He is our example of forgiveness.
- THE EXPECTATION OF FORGIVENESS Colossians 3:13. “….so also do ye.”
Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
We are expected to forgive. For a Christian not to forgive is foreign to the Bible.
(Mark 11:25 KJV) “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
(Mat 11:26 KJV) “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
(Luke 6:37 KJV) “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"
These scriptures are written in the action tense. There is to be no consideration, except to act. We are to forgive.
- THE EXPRESSION OF FORGIVENESS Eph. 4:32.
(Eph 4:32 KJV) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Christian forgiveness should be a “tip of the tongue” matter. We are to be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” We should look at every offense as another opportunity to forgive the offender.
“Tenderhearted” means – “well compassioned, sympathetic:--pitiful,”
When we consider the forgiveness that was rendered to us from God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the compassion that was granted us should cause us to look for opportunities to forgive others.
Failure to forgive will destroy you and cause you to harbor hatred and malice toward others. That’s sin. A spiritual cancer will be conceived inside you that will grow and grow, and someday you will discover that your heart has been turned away from God. Then you will become bitter and full of hatred.
- THE EXCLUSION OF FORGIVENESS Matt. 6:15.
If you exclude forgiveness, then bad things happen.
(Mat 6:15 KJV) “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
- Prevents Christian Happiness. An unforgiving spirit will supersede and cancel your joy. The reason most people who are not happy in their Christian life can be traced to a failure to forgive.
- Prohibits Answered Prayers. Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
- Predicts Christian Direction. I have seen Christians refuse to forgive, and they have left God and have become the most miserable people alive. Even after years of misery, failure, spiritual defeat, they still will not forgive.
- Precedes Death. If your rejection of forgiving the other person gets severe enough, it could and probably will bring death. (1 John 5:16 KJV) “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."
(Mat 6:14 KJV) "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"
(Mat 6:15 KJV) "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."