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FORGIVENESS

by / Wednesday, 08 May 2019 / Published in

May 5, 2019 ()

Bible Text: Ephesians 4:31 - 5:2 |

INTRO:  When the Lord tells us to do something, we say, “Yes, Sir!”  God says we have to forgive, not if we feel like it.  If we do not forgive others, God cannot forgive our sins.  Forgiveness is not about our feelings; it is a choice that we make.

I.    God Forgives

> In our eyes, there are some people who don’t deserve forgiveness.

- You may think you are one of them, but Jesus paid for everyone’s sins.

- We also need to forgive ourselves.

- It is prideful to believe we can’t be forgiven.

- The devil will remind us of our past continually.

- But he has no business in our lives.

- Remember what Jesus has done for us.

- Because of Jesus, we are forgiven.

- God knows every sin we’ve committed, but He forgives us.

- Only Jesus could have taken our punishment.

- Our old, sinful self passed away; our past is in the past.

- We are righteous in Christ Jesus – not on our own.

- That revelation doesn’t come instantly; it is a matter of growing in our faith.

 II.   We Forgive

> When we forgive, we change people’s lives.

- Forgiveness allows us to minister to people.

- People are hurting and need forgiveness.

- One of the oldest standards in the Bible is that we will reap what we sow.

- When we sow forgiveness, that is what we reap.

> Be kind to one another.

- Be kind to everyone; it is another part of love.

- God didn’t say it would be easy, but it is a command from God.

- There are those who will be angry because they are not ready to receive God.

- We are just to love them; it is God’s job to draw them.

- Forgive and be tenderhearted as God is tenderhearted toward you.

- When we are in fellowship with God, we are like a sweet fragrance to Him (2 Corinthians 2:14).

- He is training us to be like Him.

- Be imitators of God as dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1-2).

- Some of us rebel against that training.

- We shouldn’t argue or rebel; we should follow what God teaches us.

> It can be hard to forgive someone who has hurt us.

- Hopefully they will be changed by our forgiveness.

- Even if they are not changed, we are to forgive.

- We may believe they don’t deserve forgiveness, but we don’t deserve forgiveness either.

- God forgave us even when we were sinners (Romans 5:8).

- Forgiveness doesn’t establish a relationship, but it is a good start.

- It won’t necessarily be easy.

- When we forgive, our attitude must change; we cannot harbor ill feelings.

- Forgiveness means we release our right and desire for vengeance.

- We may think we should give them payback.

- We will be hurt ourselves if we choose to do so.

> Bear with one another in love to keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:2-3).

- Bear with one another – put up with others’ quirks.

- It doesn’t mean we agree on everything, but we accept one another with love.

- Live a life worthy of the calling you have received; be completely humble and gentle; be patient (Ephesians 4:1, 2).

- It will give us peace and guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).

III.  Unforgiveness

> Unforgiveness is like a cancer within our bodies.

- Many illnesses are caused by unforgiveness.

- Unforgiveness turns to bitterness.

- We need to release it to the Lord.

- If we don’t, it will eat us up from the inside out.

- Things are not always as they appear.

- Ephesians 4:31:  “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

- Why would we allow unforgiveness to take up space in our life when we can give it to God and HE will fill up that space with His presence?

- It takes God’s involvement to change things.

- God turns the light on in our minds and reveals things in Scripture so that we understand.

- God will blow us out of the water with revelations we’ve never seen before.

CONCLUSION:  We can’t make others forgive.  However, God expects us to forgive just as we are forgiven by Him.  When we choose to forgive others and release the hurt, we are pleasing to God and He fills up the space within us that would have held unforgiveness with His presence.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

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