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Forgiveness [Sermon]

Liberty, Missouri, USA

October 2010

Ephesians 4.32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

A. What Forgiveness is NOT

1. Ignoring

If one was really not to blame, then there is nothing to forgive. In that sense forgiveness and excusing are almost opposite. C. S. Lewis, Fernseeds and Elephants

2. Trusting

John 21

3. Reconciliation

Matthew 5.23-24

Luke 23.34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

4. Resolution

Genesis 14

5. Forgetting

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 10:17

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

What is Forgiveness?

It is the unconditional, unilateral, immediate letting go of an offence without ever bringing it up to yourself, the offender or God.

B. Consequences of Not Forgiving

1. Damaged Relationships

Ephesians 4.31,32

2. Agony

Matthew 18.35

Matthew 8.6 - great pain

Luke 16.23-24 - in agony

2 Peter 2.8 - torment

3. Unforgiveness

Lord’s prayer: Matthew 6.9-15

There, right in the middle of it, I find “forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.” There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


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