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TITLE: Power of Forgiveness
TEXT: Matthew 18:21-35
PROPOSITION: Forgiveness is difficult to master.
KEY WORD: Solutions
SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 18:18-22


  • 1. Forgiveness is a very difficult virtue to master.

    2. Why?

    3. Both forgiveness of others and of self are problematic.

    4. We need to come up with some effective solutions.

    5. Then we can come to better appreciate the power of forgiveness.

  • I. Why It Is Difficult To Forgive Others (Luke 17:3-5)

  • A. Pride and self-righteousness (Luke 18:9-14).

    1. If we use the faults of others to build ourselves up,
    the sins committed against us are particularly useful to us.

    2. If we want to shift attention from our on shortcomings,
    we will point to what others have done against us (Genesis 3:12-13).

    3. If we forgive, we forfeit the advantage we sinfully think we possess.

    B. Pay back is perversely sweet (II Samuel 13:20-29).

    1. If we want to hurt those who have hurt us,
    holding a grudge seems like the perfect way to really make someone pay.

    2. "Do unto others what they have done unto us" becomes our rule of conduct.

    3. If we forgive we cannot get back.

    C. We only hurt ourselves with such unchristlike behavior (Matthew 6:14-15).

  • II. Why It Is Difficult To Forgive Ourselves

  • A. When we want to have a pity party, failing to forgive ourselves will insure success.

    1. Misery has its own strange attraction (John 5:6).

    2. It is easier to feel sorry than to do something about our condition,
    even when we have truly done terrible things (Acts 22:16).

    B. When we don’t think that we have value, we cannot accept forgiveness.

    1. How could God forgive me?

    2. How could God love me?

    C. Sadly, failure to forgive ourselves only makes matters worse
    we feel more worthless because we moan rather than serve (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

  • III. The Cure

  • A. Self-denial (Luke 9:23-24).

    B. Return good for evil (Romans 12:17-21).

    C. Get a life (Romans 12:1-2).

    D. Do what God says (I John 4:20-21).

  • IV. The Power Of Forgiveness (Luke 7:36- 50)

  • A. It frees us from the burden of playing games
    trying to prove our own worthiness (Romans 3:9, 23).

    B. It allows brotherhood to flourish (Ephesians 4:31-32).

    C. It brings constructive patterns to our lives (I Timothy 1:15-16).

    D. It brings the full scope of life into view
    We do not live in our own small self-serving world (Isaiah 6:1-8).

    E. It removes the awful weight of guilt (Matthew 11:28-30).

    F. It allows us to see that we are important to God and that He loves us greatly (John 3:16).

  • Conclusion

  • 1. If we do not forgive others, we will be lost through our own hatefulness.

    2. If we do not forgive ourselves, we will be lost through our own self-pity.

    3. We must take the cure and experience the power of forgiveness.

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