FORGIVENess-What God’s Word says
God’s Word is just that, the Words of God. What does God teach about my forgiving another who has wronged me or another?
Many times we have heard the words, “I can’t forgive.” We can properly translate this statement as, “I won’t forgive.” Forgiveness is really a choice of the will, whether we feel like forgiving or not. God has commanded us to forgive.
Really forgiveness is one of man’s most basic needs, because he is born a sinner-breaking the laws of God. The ground is very level when it comes to the need of forgiveness.
Those who have been forgiven by God have not only the divine mandate to forgive, but the divine motivation stemming from their own forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not forgetting but rather choosing to releases one from the guilt who has wronged me! Forgiveness not only releases the offender but also the offended.

1. Jesus teaches us that we are to forgive:
Matthew 5:23-24: If I know that my brother has ought against me, I am to cease all activity for the Lord until I have properly dealt with the situation and sought for reconciliation. I cannot just proceed business as usual until I have dealt with those whom I have wronged or who have ought against me.

Matthew 6:14-15: My forgiveness to another person is required in order for forgiveness to be extended to me from God. If I forgive not others, I will not be forgiven by the Lord.

Matthew 12:31: My forgiveness for others is modeled in the forgiveness extended to me by God through Christ. If there be no sin which God will not forgive, is not my forgiveness to be of the same character and caliber? Psalm 103:3; Colossians 2:13; Matthew 5:48 When I forgive, this models the forgiveness of the Lord and this glorifies the Lord. It always glorifies the Lord when I am being like Christ-God.

Matthew 18:21-35: The passage following church discipline teaches about forgiveness:
A. Human nature errs on the side of forgiving a limited amount of times. It tends to draw an invisible line in the sand. God takes the focus off of the amount of forgiveness and places it on the availability of the forgiveness. Psalm 86:5
Forgiveness is never not available.
B. The debt which the Lord has forgiven us, enough for us to spend eternity in hell, and the amount of times He continues to extend forgiveness is so great compared with those who have wronged us!
C. The fellow servant is servant to the same master and stands in need of forgiveness just as the servant who was forgiven.
D. Pride hardens the mind when I won’t forgive after I have been forgiven. A wicked servant will not forgive. Lack of forgiveness is spiritual wickedness.
E. Many “servants” want to enact vengeance upon another and are found with a “would not” attitude. Really vengeance is the Lord’s and we ought to turn the person over to the Lord and forgive. The Lord will balance the books.
F. Un-forgiveness is a lack of compassion when we will not extend forgiveness to an asking party. Lack of compassion is from a hardened heart.
G. Forgiveness is from the heart else-wise it is not true forgiveness.
H. God will not forgive my trespasses but will hold me accountable if “I will not” forgive. Luke 6:37

2. To Forgive is to be Christ-like:
A. Forgiveness is Who Jesus Christ is. He came not to condemn but to forgive.
B. Luke 23:34 Christ forgave continuously throughout the cross experience. The language behind the sacred words, “Father, forgive them,” indicates continuous action. He continued to state this.
C. God’s Grace enables a believer to forgive in this fashion. Acts 7:60

3. New Testament Commands to Forgive:
A. Ephesians 4:32 Forgiving one another even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven us.
B. Luke 17:3-5 Forgiveness is offered to the repenting. This takes much faith.
C. II Corinthians 2:7-10 When a place of forgiveness is withheld it leaves a person in overmuch sorrow and gives a foothold for the devil.
D. Forgiveness is completed through the person of Christ living through the believer.