“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.
- The Oyster & Forgiveness.
- We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we will respond.
II. CHARACTERISTICS OF FORGIVENESS.
- Forgiveness is not Optional (Col. 3:13).
- Forgiveness is not Conditional (Eph. 4:32).
- Doesn’t have to be earned – no apology required!
- Forgiveness isn’t minimizing or excusing the offense or pretending it didn’t happen.
- Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion.
- Forgiveness isn’t letting the person off the hook but leaving vengeance up to God (Rom. 12:17, 19).
- 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.
- Forgiveness is generally a process more so than an event.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened.
- The memory of the pain remains, but the pain itself should diminish and eventually disappear.
- The wound eventually becomes a scar.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean relationship or trust is automatically restored.
- Forgiveness isn’t earned, but trust is.
- Restoration may or may not be possible or prudent.
- Pray sincere blessings on those you’re choosing to forgive (Matt. 5:44, 7).
- Fully accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself!
- Wasn’t Christ’s payment enough for you?
- 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?