A Sermon on forgiveness
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
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
Luke 23.34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
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
Matthew 8.6 - great pain
Luke 16.23-24 - in agony
2 Peter 2.8 - torment
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