We Stand Forgiven at the Cross
The sermon in church today was on forgiveness and called Freed to Forgive. Pastor Jon Krick based it on the passage:
Matthew 18:21 – 35 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. 29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
This passage was written for believers and teaches us we are to forgive as God forgave us. He forgave us a debt that was so big we could never have paid it off ourselves. What we owe Him from this is our obedience. We prove ourselves to be believers by our obedience. And obeying Him means we are to forgive others. Because He told us to.
The part where we are to forgive as He forgives us is really important though. He chooses to forget our sins once we’ve repented and asked for forgiveness. This means we aren’t to bring up someone’s sin against us ever again. Even to ourselves.
Mostly this is for our own good. Failing to forgive someone causes us to become bitter. It eats away at us.
It’s not easy to forgive this way, but someone once said, “We are never more like God than when we forgive.”
I talked about this in a post almost two years ago here