This morning we saw that as God forgives us through His glorious grace we must forgive others. It’s an imperative, not an option, one we seem to overlook although the importance and centrality of forgiving others is set out clearly in probably the best know scripture in the gospels – the Lords Prayer:
Matthew 6:12–15 (NIV84)
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
We then looked at Matthew 18:21-35 where we see that our forgiveness from God and us applying forgiveness to other is interlinked. A servant forgiven an unpayable debt (us) must then forgive others who owe us comparatively small debts. It is part of and evidence of us being a new creation in Christ.
As part of this we saw that our forgiving must reflect the forgiveness we receive and not limited by number or circumstance. Genesis 4:24.
If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”
Lamech, as an unbeliever, was boasting that he would practice unlimited revenge. If the extreme of the world is unlimited revenge then the expectation of Christ is unlimited forgiveness!
As well as our relationship with God UN-forgiveness hurts Us