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The Foundation of Forgiveness

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Forgiveness has no limits when repentance is real.

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The Foundation of Forgiveness

Please turn with me to:
Please turn with me to:
Please turn with me to:

21 Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?”

22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.

23 “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed ten thousand talents was brought before him. 25 Since he did not have the money to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt.

26 “At this, the servant fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 Then the master of that servant had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan.

28 “That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.,o He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’

29 “At this, his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he wasn’t willing. Instead, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31 When the other servants saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. 32 Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?”
The question raised here comes from the teaching Jesus just gave on how to handle Church discipline. I encourage you to go back and read it on your own time to see how the question fits with the teaching that Jesus had just given.
22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.
What is interesting here is that Peter asked if 7 times was enough times to forgive someone. At the time of Christ it was normal practice for a Jewish teacher to only forgive offences 3 times. so Peter asking if 7 was generous enough was met with a startling response from Christ.
Not 7 times 490 times...
How many times do you forgive others when they come to you saying they are sorry?
How many times does Jesus say to forgive someone?
Jesus than moves into a teaching moment to clear up the matter. He wants Peter and the others to be sure that they don't take his response too literally and only forgive someone a staggering 490 times…
23 “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed ten thousand talents (around $7 billion) was brought before him.
Just imagine being called into a court room and being told that you owe a crazy amount of money. that is stressful!
25 Since he did not have the money to pay it back, (Clearly!) his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt.
at this point this guy knew that he was up the creek… not just him but everything he owns and loves will have to suffer the pain of his own errors. This must have been so stressful.
26 “At this, the servant fell face down before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything.’
Lets face it, this guy could not have paid this back. But in the face of the impossible he still tried to reason with the king. He said that he would pay it back so long as the king had patience with him. That amount would have taken multiple life times to pay off. But in his heart he was truly sorry and wanted to make it right.
27 Then the master of that servant had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan.
Just think about that for a moment, that would have been such a huge relief to find out that you are no longer up the creek and all that impossible debt has been paid off!!!
28 “That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii., He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’
here is a strange turn of events, the servant leaves the kings court and right away spots a guy who owns him about a half a years wages.
29 “At this, his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
Notice how the servant has the same plea. He is truly sorry for not paying back and is wanting to make it right.
But here is where it gets bad for the servant of the story.
30 But he wasn’t willing. Instead, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31 When the other servants saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. 32 Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed.
Jesus ends his short teaching with a hard truth.
35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”
Transition - the point of today's message teaches us that “Forgiveness has no limits when repentance is real.”
Have you ever put limitations on forgiveness?

Forgiveness starts at the Cross.

Unfortunately we humans have placed limitations on forgiveness, ever since the fall of mankind we have this idea that every time someone offends us we have to take actions against the offender. We have this natural reaction to seek revenge in some form or fashion and most of the time we call it JUSTICE.
, ever since the fall of mankind we have this idea that every time someone offends us we have to take actions against the offender.
We have this natural reaction to seek revenge in some form or fashion and most of the time we call it JUSTICE.
Unfortunately we humans have placed limitations on forgiveness
We have this natural reaction to seek revenge in some form or fashion and most of the time we call it JUSTICE.
that mentality “you hurt me, so I will look for a way to get back at you.”
What is your first reaction when someone offends, insults, or hurts you?
But that is not the true natural way things should be done. since the fall of man until Jesus was born it has been like that. But when Jesus came his teaching says we are not to confuse justice with personal revenge such as insults, we are not to take justice in our own hands.
Jesus teaches us that we are to ignore personal insults, give our time, money, and resources even if its unjust, loan to others who want to borrow, love our enemies, pray for anyone who offends you.
BUT! Jesus teaches us that we are to ignore personal insults, give our time, money, and resources even if its unjust, loan to others who want to borrow, love our enemies, pray for anyone who offends you.
all of this is on the foundation of forgiveness that has no limits.
Jesus takes it one step further as well by demonstrating this at the cross. He was unjustly accused and sentenced to death on a Roman torture device. He was executed outside of the city next to thieves.
During this time he was insulted by the crowds and even by one of the men on the cross. While he was hanging the Roman guards even gambled for his robes.
At this point he could have demanded justice for the insults but he goes against human nature and says “Father, FORGIVE THEM. They do no know what they are doing.”
Why do you think Jesus said “Father Forgive Them”?
As Jesus takes his last breath he goes even further, he fulfills God’s Justice by dying on the Cross. Three days later Jesus defeats death and comes back to life.

God forgives our offences

God forgives our offences
Main Point: Forgiveness has no limits when repentance is real.
You
I want you for a moment to put yourself in this servants shoes. you are the servant of this story. the King is God and the money that is owed is sin that has been commuted against God since a young age.
Forgiveness has no limitations when repentance is real.
Know that your sin debt is huge.
Know that your sin debt is huge.
Know that your sin debt is huge.
every time you lied to yourself, your parents, loved ones, friends, coworkers, or boss.
every time someone had done something wrong and you either verbally got angry with them and said bad things or didn't say a word but in your mind you are screening your head off.
every time you curse using God’s name or even watching movies/shows that slander your Lord’s name
every little thing you stole bit it that pencil from school or money from your parents.
every time you talked back to your mother and father and showed them disrespect.
Every time you passed by a homeless person and gave them a dirty look or smiled but deep in side you say “what a bum” or “get a job”.
think of all that sin that has been committed against God. Most of us don’t really don't think about it and say “well as long as I’m a good person I should be fine.”
think of all that sin that has been committed against God. that mountain of garbage that has been done. all those thoughts, all those hurtful words, all that garbage.
Think of all that sin that has been committed against God… And on day you will hear that God wants you to pay back all the wrong you did...
think of all that sin that has been committed against God. that mountain of garbage that has been done. all those thoughts, all those hurtful words, all that garbage that has been built up over all the years. You really don't think about it. This whole time you think, as long as I’m a good person I should be fine.
but one day you hear that God wants you to pay back all that wrong. In that moment you realize that you cant pay it back, you start to think how you can pay it back how can you get out of this one. But you realize that you cant, nothing you can do will ever fix all the wrong you did.
Its now pay back time. God demands payback for all the sin, he wants you to clear the account. You and Him both know that you can never repay all that bad.
So you get on your knees, tear filled eyes, saying “What must we do to be saved?”
So you get on your knees, tear filled eyes, saying “What must we do to be saved?”
But you still get on your knees, tear filled eyes, begging God to give you a chance to work off all that debt. You beg Him to give you a chance. He
You then hear : “Turn away from your damaging lifestyle and believe in Jesus Christ”
Turn away from your damaging lifestyle and believe in Jesus Christ!
Do you only need to ask God to forgive you once?

Forgiveness leads to freedom

Forgiveness leads to freedom

Then, as you hear about how God has sent his only son you start to see the sin in your own life, you start to feel the guilt and shame of all that you have done.
You start to feel the guilt and shame of all that you have done.
David said it best in
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. - Psalm 22:14-15
Stress and worry over take you, that feeling of being caught for doing wrong. always looking behind your back. Hardly able to sleep as the guilt overtakes you. You have done all that you can to look normal but the stress lines start to show. the things that use to make you happy no longer do.
Stress and worry over take you, that feeling of being caught for doing wrong.
It is at this time that you confess that you have done wrong and you ask Jesus to forgive you for all the wrongs you have ever done. You tell Jesus that you really want to change and turn away from that sinful lifestyle and live for Him. You then say that you want him to be Lord over your life and surrender everything to Him.
So you tell Jesus that you really want to change and turn away from that sinful lifestyle and live for Him
Just like the story of the king and the servant, God shows compassion on you and says that you are forgiven.
Then God shows compassion on you and says that you are forgiven and all that guilt is lifted away and you become free!
That is when all that guilt is lifted away and you become free. You no longer feel like you are a fugitive on the run. The stress goes away, the guilt is gone, you are free and it feels good!
This reminds me of a story from Martin Luther:
Luther says that when the devil came to him, he brought him a long sheet containing a list of his sins, or of a great number of them, and Luther said to him, “Is that all?”
you are free from a debt you could never pay. It was like going into the bank knowing that you had $400,000.00 debt and you check with the bank teller and she tells you that the account balance is sitting at $0.00 and you have no outstanding debts.
You run out of the bank stress free and jumping for joy.

Forgiving others

Freedom from sin removes the guilt
Forgiving others when they offend you
“No,” said the devil.
“Well, go and fetch some more then.” Away went Satan to bring him another long list, as long as your arm.
Said Luther, “Is that all?”
“Oh, no!” said the devil, “I have more yet.”
“Well, go and bring them all,” said Luther. “Fetch them all out, the whole list of them.” Then it was a very long black list. I think that I have heard that it would have gone round the world twice. I know that mine would.
Well, what did Luther say when he saw them all? He said, “Write at the bottom of them, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin!’ ” It does not matter how long the list is when you write those blessed words at the end of it. The sins are all gone then.
Spurgeon, C. (2017). 300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon. (E. Ritzema & L. Smoyer, Eds.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
How awesome it is when you know that you have been set free from sin because Christ set you free.

Forgiving others

Now… what do we do when someone offends us?
What do we do when someone offends us?
What MUST we do as followers of Jesus and someone says they are sorry?
How about that
As a follower of Jesus Christ you MUST forgive others when the come to you saying they are sorry.
As a follower of Jesus Christ you MUST forgive others when the come to you saying they are sorry.
That is right! you MUST forgive others.
Now, you might thinking “Hold on here Barry… You have no idea the kind of things others have done to me.”
How can I forgive Dean for mentally and physically abusing someone I love?
How can I ever forgive Richard for sexually abusing my aunt?
How can I ever forgive that drunk driver who killed my brother?
How can I ever forgive that sleaze ball who conned us into giving him our entire life savings?
These are a few examples of the kinds of things people are faced with when it comes to forgiveness.
The truth is that a follower of Jesus Christ MUST forgive them when the come to you seeking forgiveness.
But your angry… your bitter toward them. How dare they hurt me like that, who gives them the rights to treat me like dirt?!
So when they come up to you that is the last person you want to see, all of a sudden they burst into tears and sobbing say to you “I know I hurt you, I know I did wrong. I deserve to be punished but I am truly sorry for what I have done. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”
That anger within you that bitterness triggers a response like “NEVER! You are right, you deserve what is coming to you. I will never forgive you! I never want to see you again!”
But you see, If you never forgive them for what they have done you too will not be forgiven.
When we come to Jesus Christ he does not have to forgive us, he can tell us no. the wrongs we did in life are too great to be forgiven and we would have to suffer the torments reserved for us in Hell.
But Jesus chose to forgive you of all sins, past present and future. That means we must also show others that Jesus has the power to forgive sins and gives you the same power to forgive others who wronged us.
We must remember that Jesus chose to forgive you of all sins, past present and future. That means we must also show others that Jesus has the power to forgive sins and gives you the same power to forgive others who wronged us.
And when we follow Christ we are given that option and we can choose to forgive or don't forgive. if we don't forgive then we too wont be forgiven.
But when we follow Christ we are given that option and we can choose to forgive or dont forgive. if we dont forgive then we too wont be forgiven.
Say for a moment you choose not to forgive someone who comes to you saying sorry.
First off you too wont be forgiven for your sins and that alone should make you reconsider.
But that's not all that happens when you don't forgive someone.
Remember that feeling of anger?
The root of bitterness
Outbursts of rage
Hatred toward the offender
Gossip to others about the offender
Hatred by others toward the offender
Congratulations, You have just successfully created division that can lead to factions.
And... pretty soon you will look for ways to get revenge.
That bitterness will soon turn to fits of rage. It will cause you to seek out other people so you can tell them all about how so-and-so has hurt you and that brothers and sisters is gossip. You start to develop hatred toward that person and others will soon see that person the same way. You have just successfully created division that can lead to factions.
pretty soon you will look for ways to get revenge.
How can I get back at that person who hurt me? How can I take justice in my own hands?
By the end all you feel is guilt, shame, stress, worry, anger, fear, hatred. Every time you open your mouth it will be nothing but poison. People around you will no longer find joy but will find bitterness and anger.
sounds a lot like the flesh to me.
OR you can think back to that moment when Jesus had forgiven you for all the bad things you had done in your life. You can recall that moment all the guilt, that shame and worry was lifted off your shoulders. You think about how much Jesus had forgiven you. Think of that list so long and black full of garbage it and you remember that the Blood of Christ has washed you clean. You are forgiven.
Know that all offences against you can be forgiven.
feel freedom from anger, bitterness, and hurt.
Know that your than the dispute between your brothers and sisters is minor.
Then you turn to the person who hurt you and from the heart tell them.
I FORGIVE YOU!
So When someone offends us or hurts us, we can turn to them and from the hear truly say. I FORGIVE YOU!
I FORGIVE YOU!
Transition - The truth is Forgiveness has no limits.

A Call to Forgiveness

We
In closing I have this challenge for you.
If this message today has struck a cord with you. And you need to feel that guilt and know that you have done wrong I encourage you to be free from the guilt and seek out the ones who you might have hurt.
But first Seek forgiveness from the Lord Jesus in prayer. Then go and make amends with your brothers and sisters.
Now, as Christians when we are wronged or someone offends us and we are angry and feel bitterness we need to give it over to the Lord in prayer. It will free us from the roots of bitterness and will prevent us from falling into sin.
As a Christian when we are wronged or someone offends us and we are angry and feel bitterness we need to give it over to the Lord in prayer. It will free us from the roots of bitterness and will prevent us from falling into sin.
And if you have done this and someone comes to you seeking forgiveness you must forgive them as Christ has forgiven you.
If you hear this message today and you are a follower of Christ Jesus find it in your heart to forgive anyone who has wronged you or offended if they apologize and seek forgiveness.
What we can do about it.
Seek Forgiveness
From the Lord
From your brothers and sisters.
Show Mercy
Forgive ALWAYS when someone is sorry
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