It's A Matter of Forgiveness

October 13, 2019 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: Stories with a Purpose

Topic: Forgiveness, Purpose Passage: Matthew 18:21–35

Stories With A Purpose

It’s A Matter of Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35

“Forgiveness is a beautiful word, until you have something to forgive.”  C. S. Lewis

Understanding This Parable

The Context (21-22):

The Three Stages of the Main Character:

  • He was a Debtor (23-27)
  • He was a Creditor (28-30)
  • He was a Prisoner (31-34)

Two Aspects of God’s Forgiveness:

  • Judicial Forgiveness
  • Parental Forgiveness

What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is not… 

  • Denying the seriousness or the pain of the offense
  • The same as Reconciliation
  • The same as rebuilding Trust
  • Forgetting

Forgiveness is…

Choosing to release our offender from the obligation for repayment that was created by their offense and to cover the loss ourselves, entrusting ourselves to God

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)


Why Must I Learn To Forgive?

  1. Because God Has Forgiven Me (27)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

When we fail to realize the awesomeness of God’s forgiveness toward us, we tend to be Unforgiving

  1. Because Resentment Makes Me Miserable (33-34)

Resentment always hurts you more than the other person!

Forgiveness is not a feeling – Forgiveness is a Choice

“To forgive someone means to let him off the hook, or to cancel a debt he owes you. When you refuse to forgive someone, you still want something from that person, and even if it is revenge you want, it keeps you tied to him forever.” Henry Cloud

Forgiveness sets a prisoner free only to discover that the prisoner was me

  1. Because I’m Going To Need Forgiveness Again (35)

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Is There Someone I Need To Forgive?

  • The Blame Test
  • The Bitterness Test
  • The Behavior Test


Two Options for Dealing with Our Hurts

  • Rehearse It
  • Release It


Forgiveness sets a prisoner free only to discover that the prisoner was me


Making It Personal:

  • Have you personally experienced the forgiveness and reconciliation with God only made possible through Jesus Christ? Are you genuinely a child of God through responding to His grace through repentance and faith? 
  • What adjustments in your understanding of or practice of forgiveness may need to take place in light of this parable?
  • What specific relational steps do you need to take in order to live in the freedom of forgiveness?
  • Who can you share these truths with?

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