Welcome to a new season of the Essential Bible Studies podcast. In this first episode of season six Steven Macfarlane and Tim Young talk about the vast subject of forgiveness in the Bible.

Why Forgive?

  • Part of who God is – Ex 34:6-7; Num 14:18 “God is forgiveness”
  • Part of the example of Jesus – 1 Pet 2:23
  • Ultimate Example – Forgive them, for they know not what they do – Lk 23:33-34
  • Condition of God’s forgiveness to us – Mt 6:14-15
  • Eph 4:30-32 – forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
  • We all sin – Jn 8:7
  • So others will forgive us – golden rule James 2:8
  • Only response to God’s forgiveness – Col 3:12-15

Principles of Forgiveness:

  1. Faith – Gal 3:6 (believe God forgives us) – Heb 11:6
    • Helps lift the burden of guilt/shame
  2. Repent – Acts 2:38 (change)
    • Recognize sin, confess sin, change
    • Repent is changing…but not our ways, our thinking. That’s the definition of the word ‘the think differently or afterwards’ – from ‘meta’ – to transfer (metamorphosis) + ‘noieo’ – the mind
    • Conviction & Conduct (Islip Collyer) – ‘every deliberate act is the outcome of deliberate thought, and it therefore follows that control of thought must lie at the root of all reform’
    • Back to the garden – forgiveness didn’t mean there was no consequences for sin (Gen 3:16-19); Forgiveness is based on repentance (3:21)
  3. Forgiving Attitude – Mk 11:26 (forgive others)

Why is Forgiveness so Difficult:

  • We’re hurt – solution: time, suffer ourselves to be defrauded (emotionally)
  • What we struggle with is harder to forgive in others – solution: God forgave our fault/struggle
  • Makes us vulnerable – solution…exactly. This is the solution!
  • “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover the prisoner was you.” Colin Attridge (Fruit of the Spirit)
  • Mt 12:34 – forgiveness we think is outward, we say it, we show it…but out of the heart, the mouth speaks – forgiveness if really inward focused. We can say things and not mean them…then not truly forgiving someone.

How do we Forgive?

  1. No discussion – unintentional offence, little consequence, minor
  2. Two-Way communication – danger of repeating offence, affects our faith, sin through ignorance (Mt 18:15)
  3. With witnesses – Mt 18:16 – if not responding to v15

Forgiveness is…

  1. Being aware of what was wrong, and choosing to forgive
    • Not keeping a record of it (story of Moms little black book)
    • Not punishing, but being merciful (Lk 6:36)
  2. Unlimited and immediate – Lk 17:3-4. Don’t demand anything back, don’t expect anything back, don’t hope for anything back (Lk 6:35) — Keep forgiving…forever. Pray for them.

Additional Verses:

  • Col 3:12-13 – so you also must forgive
  • Matt 6:9-15 – as we also have forgiven our debtors – Christ spoke often of forgiveness
  • Rom 12:17-19 – vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord
  • Psa 103:11-12 – as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us
  • 2 Cor 5:18-19 – Message of reconciliation…
  • 1 Cor 13:4-5 – Love is not resentful…keeps no record of wrongs