Aug 24, 2014 |Under the Cushions


08.24.14 | Under the Cushions


Joe Testa

Through the Gospel, you are freely forgiven and free to forgive.

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Forgiveness may be one of the hardest aspects of the Christian faith.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. (Matthew 18:23-27)

“Ten thousand talents would have been an enormous debt, on the borderline of what the ancient mind-set could have conceived. Estimates in modern currency range from several million to one trillion dollars. The “talent” was the highest known denomination of currency in the ancient Roman Empire, and ten thousand was the highest number for which the Greek language had a particular word (myrias; cf. our myriad).”

Craig Blomberg, New American Commentary

God showed you mercy because of Jesus.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. (Matthew 18:28-30)

6 Thoughts on Forgiveness:

1) Forgiveness isn’t a feeling.  We forgive out of obedience.

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

2) Forgiveness doesn’t mean you just forget what happened.

“[Forgiveness] is the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is a result of a wrong done against you.”

– Dr. Charles Stanley

3) Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you don’t involve our legal system.

4) Forgiveness is a decisive choice, with Jesus’ strength, to commit the one who sinned against you to God.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

5) As you forgive someone, you commit yourself to God as an instrument of good and love in their life.

6) You forgive yourself the same way.

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35)

Through the Gospel, you are freely forgiven and free to forgive.