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To Forgive or not to forgive2

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Matthew 18:22-35


1.      Forgiveness is commanded, it is the duty of every forgiven one!  (Matt. 6:12; 18:22;            Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13)

Why do we forgive? _________________________________

2.      Forgiveness always involves a moral, financial, emotional, social, or spiritual debt.   (Matt. 6:12)

     Give some examples of spiritual and emotional debts.


3.      For forgiveness to take place the offended must often approach the offender to account for the debt.  (Matt. 18:15, 23, 24; Luke 17:3)

What does it mean to “account” for the debt? ___________________________________________________


4.   The basis of all true forgiveness is the work of Christ on the cross.  (Matt. 18:32;     Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13)

Can we pay our spiritual debts? __________________

Who did? _______________

 “As Christians we forgive because we have been forgiven.”

5.      Forgiveness must be specifically requested of the one we have wronged, with a spirit of repentance.  (Luke 17:3; I John 1:9) (ILLUS. God forgives the sinner when he asks!):


It is not enough for the offender to have a repentant spirit.  However a truly repentant spirit will always result in a real desire to be forgiven.

It is not enough to simply ask God to forgive us when we have specifically wronged another person.  We need to ask them to, “Please forgive me” (and be sure that the offense is clearly identified).  IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO SIMPLY SAY, “I’m sorry.”  Again true sorrow will lead to repentance and repentance to a request for forgiveness!  (II Cor. 7:9,10)

Place the following terms in their proper order:  (repentance, forgiveness, sorrow)


6.     Forgiveness is the result of the richness of the gracious character of the person doing          the forgiving and NOT a result of the one being forgiven deserving it.  If we operated according to justice of getting what we deserve, forgiveness would never take place.     (Matt. 18:27)

a.       None of us “deserve” to be forgiven

b.      The debt is owed and absolute justice would demand that it be paid.

c.       When we refuse to forgive we are revealing our TRUE character!

7.       There is no limit to true forgiveness.  (Matt. 18:35)  There is no debt too large for the grace of God!!

For what has God forgiven you ?  ___________________

Can you name 2 or 3 things that God has forgiven you in the last week? __________________________________________


8.   Forgiveness involves the consciously putting the debt behind us.  (Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 38:17; Jeremiah 31:34)  An omniscient God cannot forget but he chooses not to remember it against us.  This is an active choice which is more powerful in releasing the debt.  The Devil will tempt us to remember and hold it against them, we must consciously  resist. (James 4:7;    II Corinthians 10:4-5)

Forgiveness always involves _____  _________________

Is this easy?  ____________________________________

This is the opposite of bitterness which means to continue to dwell negatively upon a bitter experience. (Eph. 4:29-32)

9.      Our forgiving others is a condition of :

a.       God forgiving us.  (Mark 6:14,15)

b.      God hearing and answering our prayers.  (Mark 11:25-27)

10.  Forgiveness does not negate the legal, physical, or moral consequences of the debt.            (Josh. 7:20; II Samuel 12:13)

What were the consequences of Achan’s sin? ______________

Was he forgiven? ________________________________

What were the consequences of David’s sin? __________

Was David forgiven? (Psalm 51) ___________________

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