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Forgive – Forgiveness, the lost art….

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

forgive return


Some years ago, I taught a 26 lesson course on the Lord’s prayer I entitled, ‘Foundations’. We talked about Spiritual Warfare, and knowing thy enemy.Yet remember the Lords prayer:

“‘Our Father who art in heaven in heaven, hallowed be your name,

 Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.


Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and glory, forever and ever.

We spent many weeks learning who our heavenly Father is. We spent several weeks discovering Redemptive Realities, and what your daily bread is, as a child of God.

Understanding forgiveness is something so fundamental, and important to your success in this life, that all of eternity is hinged upon it.

Our topic today is forgiveness. Without forgiveness, none of us can approach our holy God.

We understand that Jesus died to provide for us access to the throne of God, it is because we are forgiven, that we must forgive. Read with me if you will, this passage of Scripture.

(Mat 18:21 NIV)  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

(Mat 18:22 NIV)  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

forgive 70 x 7

(Mat 18:23 NIV)  “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

Who is this king?

Why king Jesus of course.

(Mat 18:24 NIV)  As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.

Like this man, all of us owe a debt to God, we can never repay. No, all the good works in the world will not cover up even one sin, for God can tolerate no evil in His presence. Yet, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from the deepest evil we can imagine.

(Mat 18:25 NIV)  Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

(Mat 18:26 NIV)  “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’

Each of us have found ourselves in this place. On our knees before the judge of all judges, the king of all kings, pleading for our very life. Asking for mercy, simply because we suspect He is a good God, that He might forgive us.

forgive from Jesus

(Mat 18:27 NIV)  The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

Sure enough, we see the heart of our loving savior and merciful lord here. Each of us have found mercy in the sight of our God, and had our sins forgiven, and have been released from every debt.

Whom God has justified, what man shall condemn?

(Mat 18:28 NIV)  “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

Yet, look at the behaviour of this wicked servant. He did not understand the magnitude of what had been done for him. His lord had forgiven him, as an act of benevolence unparalleled in all of history. This man had been forgiven, yet had not forgiven himself yet. He did not grasp the purpose of his being forgiven. Having received mercy, we are to show mercy for it is written:

(Mat 5:7 NIV)  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Yet, how many of us are like this man, having obtained mercy from God, yet unable to let go those who owe us something. Especially if there is money involved. We cannot serve God and money. Let’s continue reading this story.

(Mat 18:29 NIV)  “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

(Mat 18:30 NIV)  “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

(Mat 18:31 NIV)  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

Notice here who told on this wicked servant. Other servants. When a Christian chooses to sin, other Christians are well within their rights to take their case before God, our heavenly king.

(Mat 18:32 NIV)  “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.

(Mat 18:33 NIV)  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’

(Mat 18:34 NIV)  In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

I want you to see this. Unforgiveness will produce torment in your life. When you choose not to forgive, you go into bondage. You get turned over to the tormenters.

(Mat 18:35 NIV)  “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

You must see this, not only did this wicked servant get delivered over to the torturers because of his unwillingness to forgive another, but it looks like the man who owed him also went with him. Your unforgiveness not only will put you in bondage, but puts the one you hate into bondage with you.

If they get right with God, they will go free, but you will stay in torment. Why,? Because your unforgiveness is a sin against God, and God will hold you accountable for it.

In fact, you can eventually end up in hell over it.

forgive commanded

Let reread this passage from Matt 6, where Jesus gives us the Lord’s prayer.

9  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

We are commanded to forgive others. If we will not, God will not forgive us. Forgiveness is an act of our will. Not matter what they did to you, you must obey God and forgive them. God will deal with them on your behalf, only after you forgive.

Just to Show you how important forgiveness is to God, I’ve listed some verses on it below.


(Mat 26:28 NIV)  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

To forgive you cost Jesus His very blood.

(Luke 1:77 NIV)  to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,

(Luke 24:47 NIV)  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

(Acts 2:38 NIV)  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is only after you are forgiven, that you can receive the Holy Spirit.

(Acts 5:31 NIV)  God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

(Acts 10:43 NIV)  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

(Acts 13:38 NIV)  “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

(Acts 26:18 NIV)  to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
(Eph 1:7 NIV)  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

(Col 1:14 NIV)  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

(Heb 9:22 NIV)  In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Luke 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

forgive them for they know not

There is no other religion on the face of the planet that can give the guarantee Jesus gives. If we accept His sacrifice on the cross on our behalf, we are forgiven of our sins, before a Holy God.

Notice that these verses above deal mainly with our forgiveness before God. Yet, He commands us to forgive.

Col 3:13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

forgive Col 3

Matt 6,

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

  • But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11

22  “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.

23  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

  • And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

We believe the faith message on purpose. Yet, faith worketh by love. Forgiveness is part of our love walk. This verse is standard faith food. Notice that our unforgiveness will hinder God from answering our prayers.

Luke 6

37  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

  • Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 17:1  Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.

2  It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

3  So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

4  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

5  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

  • He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

Bitter-Root Judgements and Expectancies

What you believe determines what you have, and who you are. If you, deep within yourself, know God loves you, then you believe that something good is going to happen to you, and you are an optimist. These people are great to be around because no matter what happens, they are always looking for a solution, and finding it. Yet, the negative is also true, if you, deep down, believe you are a nothing, a nobody, and that bad things are always happening to you, well, except for the grace of God, that’s all you will ever experience in life. Yet  “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12. The good news is that God does heart surgery on us to change the way we view ourselves, and the way we think.

Let’s look for a minute on how these negative thought patterns can control us. Let’s say you had a rough childhood, and no matter how hard you tried, people bigger than you beat you up, or mistreated you. If you don’t know God, you don’t know enough to forgive them, and to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, as Jesus teaches us in Matt 5:44. So, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, this pattern develops in your life. People hurt you. You judge them, and the very thing you judge them for begins to come back upon you for it is written, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:1. This is not some theological premise, but rather, spiritual law. When you judge another, the judgement you give them comes back on you. The problem is, if the process of them hurting you goes on long enough, you become bitter, and deep within yourself you develop what is called a bitter-root expectancy. Rage. That is why the Scripture says: “ See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” Heb 12:15. This root within you expects the worst to happen to you, often subconsciously. Well, these are easy to discover in your life, because you simply have to look at the patterns of negative behavior that seem to continue. The way of escape is the same. Forgive all those that have hurt you, and decide to kill this negative cycle in your life. How? By putting it to death on the cross with Jesus. When He died, it died, and you get to go free. Heart surgery. Free on the inside.

Ex 15:23  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. (Marah means ‘bitter’ in Hebrew)

forgive Marah

24  And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

25  And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

26  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

See this in the Old Testament. They came to a place of bitter waters. Moses cried out to God for help. God showed him a tree ( a shadow and type of the cross), that made bitter waters sweet, and God revealed Himself here as Jehovah Rapha, the Great Physician, the Lord that healeth us. God cares about the pain people inflicted on you, but you have only one choice as a Christian, and that is to get healed.

shark rent free

Hebrews 12:15

looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

forgive prisoner

If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

10  If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake

in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices
One of the tricks, traps, and snares of satan is to get a person to hold a grudge, that he might have God Himself deliver that person over to his tormentors!
shark un

Jesus did it, as a man operating in the authority of a man under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, in his earthly ministry.

You can too. Why? Priests in the Old Testament offered up sacrifices for sins.

(1 Pet 2:9 NIV)  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

It is part of the high priestly ministry of Jesus, and you are part of his body, an ambassador, acting on his behalf in the earth. You act like he would act if He were here in the flesh. Would He forgive? So should you, for He has given you legal authority to act on His behalf. As He was, so are we in the earth.

Luke 5

17  One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.

18  Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.

19  When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21  The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22  Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?

23  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?

24  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

25  Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

  • Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

There will be times in our lives that we will ask God to forgive people their sins, and He will hear, and will forgive them on our account.

Today, I give you a homework assignment (5 Questions)

  1. Come clean with God. Ask Him to show you all the things you’ve done that offend him, and ask Him to forgive you.
forgive scarlet2.         Come clean with others. Ask God to show you all the people who have hurt you, and forgive them. I had to make a 21 page list, forgive them, then burn the list
3.          Come clean with yourself. Ask God to show you all the areas of your life where you are beating yourself up, and forgive yourself
4.      Ask God to show you any bitter-root judgements and expectancies you have made, and that are still operating in your life. By faith, kill them, by placing them on the cross where Jesus died for you. If they seek to operate again in your life, recognize them, and stand against them. Determine to be the best person you can possibly be.
  1. Ask God to show you other people that are caught in this trap, and pray for them. There will be healing in it for you. (Job 42:10 NIV) After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

forgive others self

  • But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

In the KJV this verse says the Holy Spirit will bring all things to you remembrance that I have taught you.

God will help you with this.