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Why Must I Forgive?
Forgiveness is one of the great principles of our Christian life. Jesus modeled this standard for us when He hung on the cross and prayed for the very people who had put Him there (Luke 23:34). His words, being extremely powerful and unexpected, brought about the transformation of one of the thieves hanging on a cross next to Him. Because Jesus COMPLETELY forgave us, He wants us to follow His example by our forgiving others.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. [5:1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; [KJV]
What the Bible tells us about forgiveness. Seventy Times Seven!!! . . . 70 X 7???
Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (KJV) . . . The rabbis taught that people should forgive those who offend them—but only three times. Peter, trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven (the "perfect" number) was enough times to forgive someone. But Jesus answered, "Seventy times seven," meaning that we shouldn’t keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly sorry for what they have done, no matter how many times they ask us, because the Father forgives us when we truly repent (1 John 1:8-9). How many times has God forgiven you??
Matthew 18:23-35 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (KJV) . . . Though we live completely on God’s mercy and forgiveness, we are so slow to forgive our brethren. This parable shows how much aggravation God has from His family on Earth, and how irritating His servants are.
Three things are clear in this parable:
#1. The master’s wonderful compassion. The debt ofour sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it.
#2. The servant’s unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, but his Lord’s clemency toward him.
#3. The master reproved his servant’s cruelty.
The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of God’s pardoning mercy. His pardoning mercy should do much to adjust our hearts to forgive our brethren. We must forgive our offending brother if we want God to forgive us. IF we do not forgive from the heart, completely, as God forgives us, God will refuse to forgive us. Many shall be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name (say they are Christians), persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! We must humble ourselves and rely on the free, abounding mercy of God, made available to us through the death of Christ. Let us forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from Him.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (KJV) . . . We must imitate Jesus.
Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (KJV)
Luke 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. (KJV)
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (KJV)
Ephes. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (KJV)
Col. 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (KJV)
Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (KJV)
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (KJV) . . . Do not look on another, check out YOURSELF! What you are doing may be worse than what you are condemning in that person.
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (KJV) . . . If you refuse to forgive someone, don't expect God to forgive you.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (KJV) . . . Only God in His mercy can forgive our sins. We cannot earn forgiveness by forgiving others. But IF we do not forgive others after receiving it ourselves (and expect it again), we simply do not understand or appreciate God’s gracious mercy toward us, and we are not showing mercy, compassion and love to others. We are disobeying God!
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