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Application of forgiveness

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God’s forgiveness of believers’ sins leads them to pray for his forgiveness of others and to be forgiving in their dealings with other people.

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Exodus 32:30–32 (The Message).”

See also Ne 1:4–11; Da 9:4–19; Am 7:1–6

For other human beings

Genesis 18:20–33 (The Message)
God continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”
The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way.
Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”
Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?”
He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.”
Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?”
“Neither will I destroy it if for forty.”
He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?”
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For one’s persecutors

Luke 23:33–34 The Message
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them.
See also Mt 5:43–44; Ac 7:59–60

Prayers for forgiveness for oneself

Luke 11:4 The Message
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”
See also Ne 9:1–3; Ps 51:1–17

Examples of forgiveness given

Psalm 32:1–5 The Message
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky— God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him. When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up. Then I let it all out; I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.” Suddenly the pressure was gone— my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.
See also Is 6:1–7; Jn 8:3–11

The call to exercise forgiveness

As a principle of life

Luke 6:37 The Message
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.
See also Mt 5:38–48

Within the church

Forgiving enemies

Pr 24:17; Pr 25:21–22; Mt 5:44; Ro 12:20

Being forgiven is dependent on forgiving others

Mk 11:25–26 NIV footnote at verse 26.
See also Mt 6:12; Mt 6:14–15; Mt 18:21–35; Lk 6:37

Forgiveness is to be without limits

Luke 17:3–4 The Message
“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”
See also Mt 18:21–22

Examples of human forgiveness

Acts 7:59–60 The Message
As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, “Master Jesus, take my life.” Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Master, don’t blame them for this sin”—his last words. Then he died.
See also Ge 50:15–21; 2 Sa 16:5–11
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