Free Indeed – Part 5 (Forgiveness)

“FREE INDEED” [ Part 5 – Forgiveness]

INTRO: God wants us all to be truly free (John 8:32), and only Jesus offers us true freedom (John 8:36)! To be free indeed requires that we forgive those who hurt us.

I. FORGIVENESS ILLUSTRATED.

  1. The Oyster & Forgiveness.
  2. We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we will respond.

II. CHARACTERISTICS OF FORGIVENESS.

  1. Forgiveness is not Optional (Col. 3:13).
  2. Forgiveness is not Conditional (Eph. 4:32).
    1. Doesn’t have to be earned – no apology required!
  3. Forgiveness isn’t minimizing or excusing the offense or pretending it didn’t happen.
  4. Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion.
  5. Forgiveness isn’t letting the person off the hook but leaving vengeance up to God (Rom. 12:17, 19).
  6. Forgiveness is more for your healing and freedom than the other person’s benefit (Mt. 6:14-15; Heb. 12:15).

III. HOW FORGIVENESS WORKS.

  1. Forgiveness is generally a process more so than an event.
  2. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened.
    1. The memory of the pain remains, but the pain itself should diminish and eventually disappear.
    2. The wound eventually becomes a scar.
  3.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean relationship or trust is automatically restored.
    1. Forgiveness isn’t earned, but trust is.
    2. Restoration may or may not be possible or prudent.
  4. Pray sincere blessings on those you’re choosing to forgive (Matt. 5:44, 7).
  5. Fully accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself!
    1. Wasn’t Christ’s payment enough for you?
    2. Not forgiving yourself is unbelief and pride!

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matt. 18:21-35).

Conclusion: Is there anyone you still need to forgive? Will you?