FORGIVENESS “in Christ”
The SOURCE of FORGIVENESS
There are three biblical terms for forgiveness in the New Testament. God makes it clear that forgiveness is both a decision and an action of giving, releasing, and setting free. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love and the basis of Christ’s life could be summed up in this phrase:
- Love is FOR GIVING.
The WAY of FORGIVENESS
If you have lived long enough, you have felt some kind of rejection, betrayal, abuse, and unmet expectations. These issues have hurt you emotionally and spiritually. How can you work through the pain?
- Face it … you’re hurt [Ephesians 4:26-27]
- Get rid of the internal acid [Ephesians 4:31]
- Speak uplifting truth [Ephesians 4:25 & 29-30]
- Stand in God’s kindness [Ephesians 4:32]
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I know that I need to forgive: __________________________ for doing/saying this to me: __________________________________.
1. How do you forgive someone when they’re not sorry for what they’ve done? How do you forgive someone when they continue to offend you over and over? How do you keep your heart tender by forgiving them and yet keep your skin tough so that they cannot hurt you anymore?
2. In Matthew 5:43-48, we’re told to pray for our enemies. It also tells us to bless those who curse us. How does God give us His supernatural strength to pray a blessing over people we view as our enemy? Is this what Jesus had in mind?
3. What happens if we don’t forgive? We give Satan a chance to work on us (Eph. 4:27). We cut ourselves off from God’s forgiveness (Matt. 6:14-15). It hinders our prayers (Mark 11:25). It hinders our worship (Matt. 5:23-24).
4. Read 2 Corinthians 2:10-11. Has Satan ever outwitted you by placing thoughts of bitterness into your ear? Are you aware of his schemes to destroy your relationships? Did you know that when you forgive other people, it makes Satan powerless, but when you hold onto a grudge, it give the Devil fuel to work?
Applying the Bible
5. Are you stuck when it comes to forgiving someone? Do you feel the emotional acid inside of you, but you don’t know how to get rid of it? Is there a trusted friend who can help you get out of this stage so that you can eventually find freedom?
6. Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Can you get to the point where you genuinely wish that person well? What can you do to show him or her forgiveness?