Text: Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)
Forgiveness is a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. We are called to forgive others just as Christ has forgiven us. However, forgiveness can be difficult, especially when we have been deeply hurt or wronged. Today, we will explore what forgiveness is, why it is important, and how we can extend forgiveness to others.
I. Forgiveness is a Commandment (Matthew 18:21-22)
- As Christians, we are commanded to forgive others.
- Forgiveness is not optional or a suggestion.
- Forgiveness is necessary for our own spiritual growth and well-being.
Illustration: A prisoner who chooses to forgive his jailer and experiences a newfound sense of peace and freedom in his heart.
II. Forgiveness is a Choice (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Forgiveness is a choice we make, not a feeling.
- We can choose to forgive even when we don’t feel like it.
- Forgiveness is a process that takes time and effort.
Illustration: A husband who chooses to forgive his wife for a deep betrayal and works to rebuild their relationship one step at a time.
III. Forgiveness is a Gift (Ephesians 4:32)
- Forgiveness is a gift we give to others, just as Christ has given us the gift of forgiveness.
- We do not forgive because others deserve it, but because it is the right thing to do.
- Forgiveness sets us free from bitterness, anger, and resentment.
Illustration: A woman who chooses to forgive her father for years of neglect and abuse, and experiences healing and peace in her heart.
Forgiveness is a commandment, a choice, and a gift. As we forgive others, we are following Christ’s example and living out the gospel in our lives. May we extend forgiveness to others as freely and generously as Christ has extended it to us.