What is Forgiveness?
· Giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me.
· To wipe the slate clean, to pardon or to cancel a debt.
· Forgiveness is an action, not an emotional state
· When we strive against all thoughts of revenge; when we will not do our enemies mischief, but wish well to them, grieve at their calamities, pray for them, seek reconciliation with them, and show ourselves ready on all occasions to relieve them. (Thomas Watson, Body of Divinity, p. 581)
The Parable of the Wicked Servant (Matthew 18:21 – 35)
· Immediate Preceding Context
o The Parable of the Lost Sheep (vs 12 – 14)
o Correcting Another Believer (vs 15 – 20)
· The parable was in response to a question “How many times should I forgive?”
· Seventy-seven times signify boundlessness
· Our sins are very great and many, yet God abundantly forgives them all
· The sins of other people against us are few The Master expects us to forgive
Why Should I Forgive?
· Natural response to what God has already done for us (Eph 4:32- 5:2)
· We forgive so that God will also forgive us (Matt 6:14-15/Mark 11:25/Luke 6:37)
· Our ability to love is dependent on how much we appreciate God’s Forgiveness (Luke 7:37 – 43)
How Do I Know That I Have Forgiven?
Resist thoughts of revenge. Romans 12:19
Don't seek to do them mischief. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Wish well to them. Luke 6:28
Grieve at their calamities. Proverbs 24:17
Pray for them. Matthew 5:44
Seek reconciliation with them. Romans 12:18
Be always willing to come to their relief. Exodus 23:4
· Explanation of the preceding parables
· The Story of the Porcupines
o Together, they keep warm but hurt each other
o Apart, they are safe but cold