Study 12: Forgiveness
There are two forms of forgiveness:
1. God’s Forgiveness.
2. Human Forgiveness.
They cannot be separated as we have to receive God’s forgiveness and we have to give human forgiveness but each depends on the other, Matthew 6:14-15; Psalm 66:18.
God’s Forgiveness to us
1. Forgiveness comes from confession and repentance (turning around). Psalm 51:1-19.
2. God consistently and completely forgives us each time we ask in repentance because His judgement on sin was satisfied by Christ’s death on the Cross, John 13:31-38; John 20:19-23.
God’s forgiveness is so easy to receive as it is so forthcoming. God would never hold forgiveness back if we come with a genuine desire to repent and change our behaviour and bring it into line with His word. His forgiveness is not based on what we deserve, but on His own amazing love for us. We judge sin by the degree of wrong but all sin is sin to God. His Son has already paid for all sin to be washed away, provided we receive that forgiveness.
This is often our hardest problem: to receive and believe God that has forgiven us and so forgive ourselves. So often, we are riddled with guilt as we think according to the world and our unchanged minds. We must renew our minds to the word of God (Romans 12:2). Thus, when God has forgiven us, we are forgiven. If we do not forgive ourselves, we are saying that what Jesus did on the Cross was not enough to forgive our sin!
Human forgiveness from us to others
Forgiveness is a way of life.
Meaning of forgiveness
Real forgiveness does not keep track of offences. We should always forgive any who come to us, even if we are not sure of their motives. After all, Jesus forgives us, even when we keep repeating offences. So, realising how much God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32) should give us a free and generous attitude of forgiveness towards others. When we don’t forgive, we are setting ourselves outside and above Christ’s law of love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
- Jesus Christ forgives me. 1 John 2:2; Romans 4:7-8; Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 4:32; Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 3:10.
- To be an effective witness. 1 Peter 3:15-16.
- Unforgiveness torments me. 1 John 5:16. Psalm 32:1-5; Matthew 18:23; Matthew 18:35.
- Unforgiveness stirs up strife. Proverbs 10:12; Romans 12:14; Matthew 5:43-44; Romans 12:20-21; 1 Peter 3:9.
- Unforgiveness hinders health and prosperity. Matthew 5:23-24; Proverbs 28:13; Proverbs 17:22; Proverbs 15:30.
- Unforgiveness limits prayer. Matthew 6:15; Psalm 66:18.
- Unforgiveness binds me and the offender. Matthew 18:18.
- God will not forgive me. Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:18.
- Gives promise of restoration of children to parents. Malachi 4:6
When to forgive?
- Every time. Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25-26.
- Whenever we pray. Mark 11:25-26; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 6:14-15.
- When sick. James 5:15-16.
How to forgive
- Matthew 18:15.
- By faith. Luke 17:5; Matthew 18:15-22; Mark 11:23-25.
- According to the Word. Ephesians 4:32; Luke 17:3-4; Colossians 3:13.
- By the power of the Holy Spirit. John 20:22.
- By an act of the will. Galatians 6:1.
- By changing your thinking. Romans 12:2-3 John 8:1-11.
- By reaffirming your love. 2 Corinthians 2:7; Romans 12:9-21.
- Leave it with God to deal with the offender. Romans 8:33; Romans 12:19; Proverbs 19:11.
Prayer (Fill in the blanks with the name of person you have to forgive.)
“Dear Father, I come to you in the Name of Jesus and by faith I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me of all my sins, please clean my mind and heart as well. I receive the power of the Holy Spirit to obey your Word so I choose to forgive…………… with the forgiveness of Jesus. I love…………with the love of Jesus, and now by God’s power, I forget the offence. I release ………… to receive all the blessings of Your love. Thank You, Father, for setting me free in Jesus’ Name.” John 8:36.
- Joseph – His brothers Genesis 45:5; Genesis 50:20.
– Potiphar’s wife. Genesis 39:21.
– Cup bearer. Genesis 40:23.
- God – Talking to Moses. Exodus 32:14.
- Prodigal son’s father – Luke 15:21-24.
- Jesus – All men at the Cross. Luke 23:34.
- Stephen – People who stoned him Acts 7:60.
- Rachel – Leah had children, Genesis 30:22-23.
- David – Saul tried to kill him, 1 Samuel 23:9-13 and 1 Samuel 24:3-10.
12: Living with Jesus – Challenge Questions
1. What did you enjoy most about the last study?
2. Are you having a great problem getting the challenge questions done? Why?
3. Would you like to share what a difference a regular study of the Word has made to your life?
Read the section on God’s Forgiveness.
4. How does God show His love through forgiveness?
5. Do you receive God’s forgiveness on a daily basis? Do you have any problem with guilt?
Read the section on Human Forgiveness.
6. Say in your own words why you think you need to forgive others.
7. Do you have any situation in your life where lack of forgiveness on your part has kept you bound? Do you need to obey the Word of God now? (Colossians 3:13) Pray the prayer from the notes ‘Forgiveness’.
8. Do you have a story in your life where God restored a relationship after forgiveness had taken place?
9. Choose two people from the list of examples, read the references, and say why they are such a good example to you.
10. Review the whole study and write one short sentence to sum up the subject of forgiveness.
Answer the following question with True or False. If you have a scripture from the study please add this.