A forgiven person should always have a forgiving spirit. Jesus commands that we forgive others because of what He has forgiven us. God won’t if we don’t.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing about this message that you found particularly beneficial, insightful, or difficult?
- What does it mean to truly forgive?
- Read and discuss Matthew 18:21-35. What does this passage tell you about the gravity of sin and the importance of forgiveness? What does it reveal about the character of God?
- Read through the list of “Practical Principles to Unlock Forgiveness” below. Do any of these surprise you? Are there any that are especially encouraging or challenging to you?
- Is there someone in your life toward whom you are harboring bitterness or unforgiveness? Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to help you see the magnitude of the payment offered for your sin and to help you choose to forgive.
PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES TO UNLOCKING FORGIVENESS
- We are all God’s debtors. (Romans 6:23)
- God is willing to forgive us all our debt no matter how large. (Matthew 18:27, Colossians 2:13-14)
- Therefore, we are obligated to forgive those who sin against us. (Matthew 18:21-35)
- Our sins against God are far greater than our neighbor’s sins against us. (Matthew 18:32-33)
- Do not take into your hand that which God says belongs to him. Vengeance is God’s. (Romans 12:19)
- God will not forgive us if we refuse to forgive our offenders. (Matthew 18:32-35, Matthew 6:14-15)
- Failing to forgive an offender doesn’t jeopardize the salvation of a believer in Christ. (John 10:38)
- Forgiveness is a choice we make, not a feeling. We choose to absorb the emotional pain and loss someone caused us, just as Christ did for us.
- When we forgive, we don’t forget but the poison is gone.
- Forgiveness allows trust to be built and relationships to be restored.
- Forgive others just as Christ has forgiven us: freely, fully, and forever. (Ephesians 4:32)