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A Look at Forgiveness

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A Look at Forgiveness

Text: Matthew 6.14-15

Thesis: To prove that God is willing and able to forgive people who are willing to repent and

             who are willing to forgive others.


(1)    Have you ever had to day, “I’m sorry?”

(a)    We daily make mistakes; thus, we often have to apologize.

(b)    Sometimes, we may even have to apologize to keep the peace.

(2)    Obviously, we all stand in need of God’s forgiveness.

(a)    All people have sinned (Rom. 3.23).

(b)    Sin separates one from God (Isa. 59.1-2).

(c)    We needed reconciliation.

(3)    Thankfully, God says, “You’re forgiven.”


I.                   To whom will God say these words?

A.    He will say these words to those who will ask for forgiveness.

1.      We must, like David, acknowledge our sin to God and hide not our iniquity

(Ps. 32.5).

2.      The wise man told us that if we cover our sins, we will not prosper, but if we confess them, we will have mercy (Prov. 28.13).

3.      Sometimes, we want to hide our sins.

a.       Achan tried this when he buried the treasure he took under his tent

(Josh. 7.16-26).

b.      A woe is pronounced upon those who try to hide from the Lord (Isa. 29.15).

4.      Why do we struggle with this?

a.       It’s easier to blame others.

(1)    Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent (Gen. 3.12-13).

(2)    Saul blamed the people for failing to obey God (1 Sam. 15.15).

b.      It admits that we aren’t perfect.

(1)    Jesus told a story about a Pharisee who thought too highly of himself and of a publican who sought God’s mercy and concluded by saying, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18.9-14).

(2)    James tells us, “Humbles yourselves […] and He will exalt you” (4.10).

5.      We must be willing to say, “I have sinned” (2 Sam. 12.13).

B.     He will say these words to those who also forgive others.

1.      We are commanded to forgive others.

a.       “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4.32).

b.      “Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 1.13).

2.      How often are we to forgive?

a.       Jesus said seventy times seven.

b.      This was a common graphic Jewish way of saying “Never hold grudges.”

c.       True love does not keep an account of evil (1 Cor. 13.5).

3.      If we are not willing to forgive, then God will not forgive us.

a.       Jesus proceeded to tell the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matt. 18.21-35).

(1)    A king forgave a servant who owed $15,000,000 but that same servant would not forgive a man who owed $15.

(2)    Jesus concludes by saying that one will not be forgiven if he/she does not forgive others.

b.      The same principal is found regarding the subject of mercy (Matt. 5.7).

c.       Another teaching is that when we know that someone has done us wrong, then we go to him/her to attempt to resolve the matter (Matt. 18.15-17).

II.                How does He say these words?

A.    He says these words as one who is able (1 John 1.9).

B.     He says these words as one who will truly forgive.

1.      Our sins shall be as white as snow (Isa. 1.18).

2.      He will remember them (i.e., no longer lay them to our account) no more

(Heb. 10.17).

3.      Our sins will be removed as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103.12).

4.      He will cast them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7.18-19).

III.             Why will He say these words?

A.    He will not say them because of our greatness.

B.     He will say them only because He is love and has extended His grace to us.

C.     This is all based upon Christ’s death.

1.      “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1.14).

2.      “Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3.24).

3.      He alone grants forgiveness of sins (Acts 5.31).


(1)    God wants to forgive you.

(2)    Don’t let pride prevent Him from forgiving you.

(3)    Don’t let your unwillingness to forgive others prevent Him.

(4)    Will you let God forgive you this very morning?

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