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Forgiveness

This is a Bible study on Forgiveness.     Click here for a printable Bible Study Guide.

 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christís sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

 

 


What is Forgiveness?

 

Forgiveness is the act of forgiving. Forgiving is to give up resentment of or claim to requital for. Forgive is to pardon, by which one is treated as not guilty.

We receive forgiveness from God when we are saved and after we are saved.

 

There are two major types of forgiveness from God:

  1. The moment we are saved
  2. After we are saved

In order to receive the gift of salvation from God, we must pray and confess to God that we are a sinner, repent of our sins (turn from sin) AND ask Jesus to forgive us of all of our sins.  All our sins are forgiven the instant, the moment we are truly saved.

"Stand in awe, and sin not ..." - Psalm 4:4; "Awake to righteousness, and sin not ..." - 1 Corinthians 15:34.

After we are saved, we are NOT to sin.   If we sin inadvertently, after we are saved, we must pray and confess our sins, repent of our sins and ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins.

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." - 1 John 2:1.

In both prayers of forgiveness, in order to be forgiven we must confess our sins AND repent from the sin we ask to be forgiven of - we must stop sinning and turn away from that sin.  Without turning away from our sin - repenting of our sin - we are not forgiven.

Repentance is NOT confessing sin.  True repentance is turning away from sin AND turning to God.  Turning to God from sin is repentance.

True repentance is always change.  True repentance is turning your back to sin, NOT committing sin again. Repentance is choosing to change.  Repentance is action.  Repentance is change and action, from walking down one path (sin) and turning completely around, and to walk up a different path to God (righteousness).

Change always follows true repentance.   It is impossible to receive the gift of God, His eternal salvation, and not be changed inside and out.  Change is promised by God to all through His salvation.

 

Repentance and Forgiveness are a team, they are blended together and are NOT separated.

Repentance is the partner of forgiveness.  God does not forgive an unrepentant heart.  What is there to forgive, if we haven't repented? Nothing.  Forgiveness comes when we let go of sin, not when we hold onto it. 

In order to take hold of God, in order to receive the forgiveness and salvation of God we must let go of sin and everything of this world.  If we hold onto anything of this world we cannot take hold of God.  God requires all of us, complete surrender to Him - body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit.

We must forsake all our sin, to be with God.  Only godly sorrow, which comes when we turn from sin, truly repent of sin, when we are sorry for sinning against our Lord God with our whole heart, works repentance to salvation.

We must pray and ask God for forgiveness of sin with godly sorrow and whole heartedness. 

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow is the type of sorrow that pains your heart for sinning against the one true Lord God Almighty.  The type of sorrow that breaks your heart, tears at your soul, knee bending humility and remorse, to your Father God.

God knows what is in each of our hearts.  God knows all things, and He knows if we are sincere.  God knows if we are committed to repent of sin in our life

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  Galatians 6:7-8

God is not mocked - no one can fool God.  God sees and knows everything there is to know about each and every one of us. 

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13

So we see that forgiveness of sin is available to ALL people, who pray, confess, repent and ask Jesus to forgive their sins, with a sincere heart that has godly sorrow.

 

Forgive one another.

God takes forgiveness one step further.  God tells us in His word that WE are also to forgive others.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  Matthew 6:14-15

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

We are to forgive all people for all things.

 

Why?  Because Christ forgave us.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  Colossians 3:13

 

Why?  We will be forgiven, if we forgive others.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  Matthew 6:14-15

 

Why are we to forgive others?  Because we love God.

If he love me, keep my commandments.  John 14:15

And he answered and said unto the, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.  Luke 8:21

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.  Luke 11:28

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:11

The love we have in our hearts toward God surpasses any thing that any man can do to us here on this earth.  Because God loves us and because we love God we can forgive all men for all things.   The love of God always wins against unforgiveness, because nothing else really matters, but God.  

Jesus is bigger than any hurt feelings that we could possible have toward anyone.  Jesus is greater than any problem we may think we have with anyone.  Keep your eye on the prize.  Nothing is worth losing one day, one second, apart from God, especially unforgiveness.

 


Why does GOD want us to forgive?

God wants us to forgive all people for all things, so that we can be with Him forever. 

God wants us to forgive others, so that we can be forgiven by Him.

God wants us to forgive so that we can experience His fullness. 

God wants us to forgive so that we can have great peace and an abundant life in Him.

 

To have everlasting life

God desires us to be where He created us to be - which is with Him - right now, today and for all eternity.

God's will is for us to be with Him for eternity.  God loves us so much and He does NOT want anyone to perish without Him.  God desires everyone to be with Him in His peace, in His love and in His eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3

 

God desires us to be where He created us to be, which is with Him, now, today, tomorrow, and forever.

The word of God is the revelation of God - of Himself - to mankind.  God gave us all His word to teach us how to have knowledge of Him and how to receive everlasting life. 

We must diligently seek the Kingdom of God.  We must do what God asks of us in His word, we must forgive those who trespass against us.  We must forgive others who mistreat us, abuse us, lie about us, humiliate us, forsake us, deny us, hate us, pain us, disrespect us, curse us, and hurt us in any way.

No pain we might have is too big for God to take from us.  God asks us to cast all our cares on Him, give Him all our pain, all our hurt, and He will heal our pain, He will heal our heart, all our cares.  God can heal our hurt because He is God and He alone holds all power to do all things.  Nothing is bigger than God.  There is no power greater than the power of God - Romans 13:1; 1 John 4:4.

 

We forgive because God forgave us through Christ

No one knows forgiveness or hurt like God does.  No one has been hurt more deeply and by more people, more than God has been. 

No one has seen more pain, abuse, cruelty, horror, and hurt than God has seen and experienced firsthand.

God has more right than anyone not to forgive us, but He chose to forgive all people for all against Him, for Christ's sake God forgives us.  For the sake of Christ God forgives us.  Because of Christ Jesus we can receive forgiveness from God the Father.

Because of Christ Jesus, God the Father chose to forgive all mankind for all sin, if we confess our sin, repent of our sins, and ask Him to forgive us.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christís sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

 

We must forgive to be forgiven

Christians follow the ways of Christ Jesus.  Jesus forgave all people for all things.  Even on His cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

Would we be so gracious, if we were crucified on a cross for crimes we did not commit?  Would we be so forgiving of those who humiliated us, spit on us, beat us, tore our flesh, and left us to die in such an unspeakable horrible way? 

The gift of the salvation of God gives us the righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself, and by Him and through Him - because of Jesus - we have access to the righteousness of God, which empowers us and enables us - just as Christ on His cross - to forgive all people for all things done to us.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37

It is not by our own power that we can forgive others their trespasses against us, but by the power gifted to us through salvation, that enables the children of God to forgive all people for all crimes against us.

 

 

We must forgive so God will forgive us

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Matthew 6:14

As believers, we must let go of what is gone.  Sin is gone in the life of the believer, we have been forgiven of sin, it has been erased by the blood of Jesus.  What has died is gone, we should not hold onto what is in the past.

Donít hold on to the past, it is not of God.

Whatever "it" is, whoever "it" is, that "thing" or "person" you just cannot forgive, that you have been holding onto for years, you must get rid of it, before you can have peace and walk close with the Lord.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14.

We must "forget those things which are behind" - forget what is past - in order to go forward, walking out our faith toward our goal, move forward, "press toward the mark for the prize", our eternal salvation - Philippians 3:13-14.

 

Forgive everyone for all things that you are holding on to.

Donít nurse it and rehearse it -- release it and let it go!

Unforgiveness is NOT of God; forgiveness is of God.  Do not be deceived by satan, don't hold onto unforgiveness in your life.  Only the devil wants you to live with unforgiveness in your heart.  Who are you going to listen to?

The "reason" for your unforgiveness does not matter.  There is no reason, no excuse, acceptable to God for your unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness is not an option with God, in order to be right with God you must forgive.

Forgiveness is a commandment from God.  The Scripture tells us all that if we love God then we will forgive all people for all things - John 14:15.

 

Forgiveness is the will of God.  God wants us all to forgive - as He has forgiven us.  It is God's plan that we forgive, just like He forgives us.

God does not want anyone to hold onto unforgiveness, because unforgiveness is sin, and sin leads to death.  The wages of sin is death - Romans 6:23.

Unforgiveness does NOT hurt the person you cannot forgive, unforgiveness only hurts you.  

Unforgiveness keeps you away from God, not the person you are angry with. 

Unforgiveness is a reliable tool the devil uses to separate us from God.  When the devil can get us to live a life of unforgiveness towards anyone then he wins - satan wins when he separates us from God, which is satan's main goal.

Unforgiveness leads to many other sins, like the sin of anger, malice, gossip, wrath, blasphemy, envy, filthy communication, hate, disobedience, bitterness, worry and many more. 

All sin is bondage.  All sin is bondage, attachment to satanSin puts one in bondage to the devil.  Sin attaches you to satan.   People suffering in sin are not free but are in bondage, attached to satan.   Sin binds you to the devil; you are in bondage through your sin.

Only JESUS can break the chains of sin and its bondage.  Jesus sets anyone free from the bondage of sin, anyone who asks Him.  All we have to do is by faith ask Jesus to set us free from sin and He will.   Every person can be set free from the bondage of sin through salvation - faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Freedom from the bondage of sin is through the salvation of God.  The power of forgiveness is gifted to us through Christ Jesus through salvation.

Through the power of Jesus we can forgive anyone for anything.  And we can even forgive ourselves.   To forgive everyone for every wrong ever done to us is possible through salvation.  With men it is impossible, but not with God, because with God all things are possible - Mark 10:27.

We do not have to rely on our own strength, our own will, because through the salvation of God, we have the strength of God, we have strength through Jesus to do ALL things, including forgiving all people who have hurt us. 

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

By salvation through Christ Jesus we can forgive.

Praise the Lord!  Give God the praise and glory, for allowing you to forgive and allowing you to be forgiven!!

 

For more information see - Tools of the devil - unforgiveness.

 


Who are we to forgive?

We are to forgive everyone for everything.  We are to forgive ALL people for ALL things, including forgiving ourselves.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:35

All people everywhere must forgive.  We must forgive all people for all things.  No one is exempt from our forgiveness.  There are NO exceptions, NO excuses, NO reasons, NO justification why we are NOT to forgive anyone for anything. 

God says we are to forgive from our hearts everyone - everyone means everyone.   No one is allowed to pick and choose who to forgive, as God tells us to forgive everyone.

Do you want to be set free?  Then, forgive all who have hurt you, all who have caused you pain. 

You will never experience the fulness of God with unforgiveness in your heart.  Don't delay.  Do it today, forgive.

 


What is NOT forgiveness?

We have all heard people say, "Yes, I forgave that person, but I will NEVER forget what they did to me".  Do you think this is genuine forgiveness?  Of course it isn't.

At the beginning of this Bible study, we defined forgiveness as the act of forgiving which is to pardon by which one is treated as not guilty

Forgiveness is pardoning someone for their wrong AND treating them as not guilty.  If you are still holding onto what they did, reliving their wrong in your mind and thoughts, telling others what happened, then you have not truly forgiven that person.  You must treat that person as if they are not guilty.

Telling someone you have forgiven them but still using their crime against them, reminding them of their crime, remembering their crime, holding their guilt over their head, this is NOT forgiveness.

(I understand some tragic and horrific ordeal with a person you may think will be forever engraved on your brain, but this is not what God teaches in His Word.)

 

Forgive and Forget.  When we forgive someone, we must also forget about their sin against us.  If we say that we forgive, but hold onto the hurt, reliving it daily, we have not truly forgiven them.  We must let it go, release our hold of our hurt and give it all to God.  We must forgive and forget.

Forgiveness is forgetting, just as Christ forgives us our sins and forgets them; we must also forgive and forget others who have hurt us.

When we receive salvation - through faith in Christ Jesus by the grace of God - we receive forgiveness of our all our past sins and all sin that we repent from.  That sin is NOT remembered any more by God, our sins are erased from our permanent file.

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:17

When we ask God to forgive our sins, God remembers them no more - Hebrews 10:17.  God says that our sins are forgiven, forgotten and removed, as far as the east is from the west - Psalm 103:12. 

God desires to forgive and forget all our sins, and so should we desire to forgive and forget all people who sin against us, who hurt us and mistreat us.

Holding onto the memory of sin is sin.  Reliving sin over and over in your mind is sin.  By holding onto the memory of sin and or reliving sin again and again we give life to the sin again and again.  Unless we forgive and forget, the sin will never die.  If we cultivate and nurture sin by feeding it with our words, our thoughts and our feelings we keep the sin alive, and have not "forgetting those things which are behind" (Philippians 3:13), we have NOT forgiven.

We must put to death all sin in our lives.  Unforgiveness is sin.  Forgiveness and practicing forgiveness everyday is obedience to God.  We love God and we obey God.  It is good to know God's word, but obedience to God is doing God's word.  Jesus said "my brethren are these which hear the word of God and do it" - Luke 8:21.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

We must trust in God that He knows what is best for us, we must trust God when He says forgive everyone and just do it.  Trust and faith in God is obedience to God, doing what He says, no matter how we may feel about it, knowing that He loves us and that He knows much more about our life than we ever will.

 

I am reminded of that beloved hymn - Trust and Obey:

"When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way! Let us do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.  Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.  Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, but our toil He doth richly repay; not a grief or a lost, not a frown or a cross, but is blessed if we trust and obey.  Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.  Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet or we'll walk by His side in the way.  What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; never fear, only trust and obey.  Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

Trust and obey - this hymn is so true because there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.  All the children of God are known by this, because all the children of God trust and obey God.

 


What happens if we do NOT forgive?

God says, if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us.

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:26

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not ever one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:35

 

These are very powerful words from God.

God says, if you want forgiveness of ALL your sins from Him, then you first must forgive everyone for everything.

No excuses, no exceptions, no option!

 


How can we forgive everyone for everything?

You may say that "You don't know my past, and you don't know the circumstances in my life, and if you did know, you would understand why I can never forgive so-and-so for what they did to me."

I may not know your reasons, but God knowsGod knows everything about you.  God knows your complete life history.  God knows even your thoughts.  You have no secrets, no hidden things from God.  God has seen everything which you have ever experienced in your life.

There is nothing about you that is ever hidden from God.  God is all knowing.

So, God knows your story and your reason for the unforgiveness you have in your heart, and God still says that YOU must forgive to be forgiven.

You may still say, "there is no way that any person in the world would forgive this person, if they knew what they did", but remember you are NOT any person in the world after you receive the salvation of God, you are a child of God and God says with Him all things are possible, even forgiving the unforgiveable.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Mark 10:27

Believers are with God and never alone.  You have God to help you forgive others and do everything.   With God you can forgive anyone of anything and truly mean it with your whole heart.

Forgiveness comes from the love of God.  The love of God is given to each and every one of His children.  When we are saved, we receive the Holy Ghost, who lives in us.  God dwells inside of all faithful believers.  We are given power by God to do things we could not do before we were saved. 

Everything that we couldn't do before we were saved, we can now do because God is with us.  We have God's help in everything we do.  We are not limited, because we have the power of God with us and in us through Christ Jesus.

Complete and total forgiveness toward everyone and for anything is possible with God.

Through salvation we are set free from the bondage of sin and death, and we are set free from the past and unforgiveness in our hearts.  We are able to forgive because we have been touched by Jesus through salvation.

 

The love of God enables us to forgive.  The love of God given to all of God's children has power, power that enables us to forgive.  There is no greater power than the power of God - Romans 13:1; 1 John 4:4.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.  1 John 4:4

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

 

We can forgive all people for all things because we are forgiven and because of the love of God.

God is love - 1 John 4:8, 16.   Those who love God and believe in God follow God and remain in His love.  We can love those who hate us and persecute us because of the power of God's love in us.  By the love of God given to us, living in us, we are able to love, to forgive, and to bless those who curse us. 

All of it - this life - is not about us, it is all about God, Jesus is the reason for life, Jesus is all that really matters.  There will always be haters in this world, until the end of it, but it doesn't matter because we have Jesus.  People will do what they do, what they want to do to believers, but they cannot take away our Savior, they cannot kill our Lord Jesus, they cannot take our life really, as we have eternal life, a life beyond this life, a life far greater than this life, in the Kingdom of God with God, with Jesus in Heaven forevermore.

 

 


How many times are we to forgive a person?

The disciple Peter asked the same question of Jesus, "How often should I forgive someone?  Seven times?".

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgiven him? Till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

Jesus replied, "Seventy times seven" - that is 144 times a day!  Jesus did not want anyone to count how many times they forgave someone, but that we are to continue to forgive - forgive continuously!

How many times has God forgiven you?  How many times do you want God to forgive you for sin against Him?  Forever.  We want God to always forgive us, and we should always forgive others.

 

Please note: Scripture never condones violence or abuse.  Scripture never says that we are to accept abuse and physical harm from anyone.  If you are in an abusive circumstance this verse does not acquit your abuser.   If someone has or is beating you or threatened your life, or your children, you must get out of that abusive situation.  There are shelters that take any one in any abusive relationship.  Seek help from professionals.   Yes, you still must forgive that person, but you do not have to live with that person.  God does not want anyone to remain in an unhealthy, sick relationship.  You, your children, and your batterer need help.  You are responsible for you and your children, you are not responsible for the abuser or the batterer.  Never quit praying for God's help - He will help you.  And remember you are never alone, God is always with you, and God will give you the strength you need to overcome.

 


When should we forgive?

The instant unforgiveness creeps into your heart, you should forgive that person.  Never wait to forgive anyone because you never know what might happen, as no one is promised a tomorrow on this earth.

The moment we feel offended by someone, we should forgive them. 

We shouldn't run and tell someone what they did, but trust in God to deal with them.  God says that we are NOT to avenge ourselves, because vengeance is His, and He will repay, not us. 

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.  Romans 12:19

You are not God, and you do not have permission, authority, nor right to avenge.  God alone has the right to vengeance, not man.  God will repay, not you, for the wrong doing.

Don't look at the other person as the one who sinned against God, but look to yourself, examine your own heart, examine your own faults, examine your own sin of becoming offended and angry and unforgiving.  Don't give into sin, don't give into unforgiveness, because forgiving is of God.

Scripture tells us all never go to bed with unforgiveness in our hearts.  Each day before we go to sleep, we are to examine our own hearts and made sure we are free of all sin, including unforgiveness.  We must make sure before we sleep that we have forgiven all people for all things

We are to be angry against sin, just like God is angry against sin, and purge it from our lives.  We are to obey God and sin notSin gives place to the devil, sin invites satan into our lives, which we should never do. 

As believers we can never be passive toward sin, we must be aggressive and bold, declaring the power of God and rebuking all sin out of our lives always.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:31-32

Each and every day, the believer must put sin away from them.  Each day the believer must practice kindness toward everyone, forgive one another, as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us.  

We can forgive all people for all things, when we look at that person through the eyes of Christ.  This is what it means to put on Christ, that is we see our would and other people through the eyes and heart of Christ Jesus - Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27.  Jesus forgives all people and through Him we can forgive all people.

 

Forgiveness is so important in the daily life of every believer, that Jesus Himself placed it in His model prayer that He gave the world.  The Lord's Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13.

The Scriptures detail forgiveness when we pray.  Forgiveness is in the Lordís Prayer, which is the model of how we should pray to God.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Luke 11:4

We are to ask God, when we pray, to forgive us of our sins, as we also forgive every one that sins against us.

In order to say that we have forgiven everyone, in our prayer, we must first forgive everyone.

God wants us to forgive each person for each offense

When we pray, we need to pray for each individual person by their name and name each offence and forgive them with all our heart.  God wants us to be specific.   If you cannot remember ask God to remind you and He will.

God knows what is in your heart when you pray.  You must be sincere and have a forgiving heart.  God knows you thoroughly and God knows when you are NOT sincere.

True forgiveness from your heart will heal your heart and make you right before the Lord.   We must forgive others as God has forgiven us, totally and completely.

Forgiveness is a gift from God which is given to all of His children.  Every child of God is given the ability to forgive.

 

Difficulty forgiving.  If you are having difficulty forgiving, pray and ask God to help you forgive and He promises that He will.  Here is a prayer from Psalms 51:10 - Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.   The Holy Spirit will renew a right spirit in you - a right spirit of forgiveness - when you pray and seek His guidance.  Praying Scripture is good when you are having difficulty knowing what to pray.  The book of Psalms is full of prayers to God.

 


What does unforgiveness lead to?

Unforgiveness will make you sick and tired.

Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and hatred.

Unforgiveness is sin and all sin is trouble.
Unforgiveness is sin and ALL sin leads to separation away from our LORD God.  Unforgiveness is sin and all sin binds you to the devil.
Unforgiveness is sin and the end of sin (unrepentant sin) ends in eternal death.
 

 

Unforgiveness leads to bitterness

Let ALL bitterness be put away from you, forgiving each other - Ephesians 4:31.

When we give in to unforgiveness, we are giving place in ourselves to the devil, which is giving room to sin in our lives.  When we sin, we make a place for the devil, we build the devil a nice comfy room to live in and invite him to stay in our lives.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:26-32

 

The word of God reads:

  • Don't sin by getting angry at others, but be angry at sin and don't sin anymore.  
  • Forgive daily; don't go to bed with unforgiveness in your heart  
  • Never give any place in your life to the devil, don't give any portion of your life to unforgiveness  
  • If you were a thief, don't steal any more; earning a living with your own hands is good; that you may have something of your own to give to the needy  
  • Everything you say and communicate should be good and NOT corrupt; your words should lift up each other, that your words might show the grace of God to others.  
  • Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, because the Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption  
  • Put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking.  
  • Be kind on to another, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God for Christ's sake forgave us.

God loves us so much that He sees our true selves, that we are only in the flesh as man and have many faults and failures - but for the sake of Christ He forgave us.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14

We cannot have peace with all men without forgiveness.  If you have an unforgiving spirit, then you are NOT at peace with yourself or with anyone else.

The Lord God goes on to say that without peace and holiness NO person will see the Lord.  This is serious business and NOT to be taken lightly. 

People living their lives WITHOUT PEACE and HOLINESS will NOT enter Heaven, will NOT see God, are NOT saved from Hell.

All sin brings us trouble.  When one does not get rid of unforgiveness through forgiving another, then unforgiveness plants itself deep within their souls.  The root of bitterness springing up, brings us trouble - Hebrews 12:15. 

If we diligently and earnestly seek God, keep ourselves in the will of God, follow and serve Christ, we will NOT fail of the grace of God.  We will receive the salvation of our souls, at the end of our lives (1 Peter 1:9).

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15

Scripture tell us, if we love God then we keep His commandments (John 14:15), we obey Him, we follow His will for our lives.  Through faith to obedience, we will follow peace with all men and follow after holiness, by the power of God we are made able to do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

 

Unforgiveness leads to hatred

 

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not god; for God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  1 John 4:16

Hatred is NOT of God.  If you live in hate, hatred for others, you are NOT of God.

Anyone who hates is NOT of God.  God says those that have hatred shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

ALL WORKS OF THE FLESH must be abandoned in order to inherit the kingdom of God. 

 

All PEOPLE living in:

  • Adultery
  • Fornication
  • Uncleanness
  • Lasciviousness
  • Idolatry
  • Witchcraft
  • Hatred
  • Variance
  • Emulations
  • Wrath
  • Strife
  • Seditions
  • Heresies
  • Envyings
  • Murders
  • Drunkenness
  • Revellings
  • And such like

 

All People doing any of these things, will NOT inherit the kingdom of God, will NOT see God, will NOT be saved from hell, unless they repent from their sins and ask God to forgive them.

Even those people who say that they are saved, but are doing any of these things, God says that they will NOT inherit the kingdom of God, will NOT see heaven, will NOT see God, but will perish for eternity in hell and be separated from God and everything and everyone for eternity.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

The scriptures tell us over and over again, ONLY PEOPLE who DO THE WILL OF GOD, our Father in Heaven will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

DO NOT LET THE DEVIL DECEIVE YOU!  To enter the Kingdom of Heaven you CANNOT LIVE IN SIN, you MUST DO THE WILL OF GOD. 

You cannot actively pursue the ways of the devil and expect to receive the reward of Christ Jesus, because the Word of God states that we will reap what we sow.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

God is NOT a respecter of persons.  God is NOT mocked.  DO NOT BE DECEIVED by satan.  Our Lord God Almighty knows exactly what is in your heart, and it doesn't matter who you say that you are, it doesn't matter if you say that you are saved, if you are NOT living in the Spirit of God and living away from sin, you will NOT enter the Kingdom of God.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.   Galatians 6:7-8

Those who live in sin, who follow sin, who serve sin, will in the end reap corruption, will be cast into hell.

Those who live in the Spirit of God, who follow Christ, who serve Christ, who DO the will of God will in the end reap life everlasting, will receive eternal life in heaven in the kingdom of God.

 

Unforgiveness leads to separation from God

God says if you cannot forgive, if you do NOT forgive everyone for all things, that you will NOT receive forgiveness from Him.

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

If you do NOT have forgiveness from God, you will NOT see His kingdom.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Forgiveness is necessary to have communication with God.  If you are NOT communicating with God, you are separated from God.

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. John 9:31

The word of God tells us that we must DO THE WILL OF GOD and sin NOT and be a worshipper of God in order for God to hear us.

 

Special Note:  Regarding forgiveness, it doesn't matter if you are right and someone else is wrong.  It doesn't matter if they have not forgiven you.  It doesn't matter who said what or who did whatever.  What matters is that we trust in God and follow His word on this matter.   God says to forgive and so we do it, because we love God and we know God loves us and that He is God and God knows what is best for us.  The more we practice forgiveness, the more we forgive others, the more we build and strengthen our forgiveness muscles, the more we forgive the easier it is to forgive.  We will have hurt and pain in this life until we die or meet Jesus in the air (whichever comes first), and we must get over ourselves and practice what we learn in the Word of God - we must forgive.

 


How can I pray to forgive someone?

Please Note:  This prayer of forgiveness is a model, an example for you to use.  Pray to God in your own words and from your whole heart

Forgive every person by their name and say what their offense was and that you have with all your heart forgiven them with godly sorrow.

Prayer of forgiveness:

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your sweet gift of salvation.  I praise Your holy name.  Thank You for Your everlasting mercy and forgiveness.  Thank You for forgiving my sins and my faults. Dear Lord God, I ask You to give me the strength of Your Holy Spirit to forgive everyone in my life who has wronged me, as You have forgiven me.  I forgive everyone who has hurt me with all my heart.  I do not want anything to ever come between You and me, my dear Lord God. Thank You blessed Father God for Your gift of forgiveness.  Blessed be Your holy name forever. I pray this in Jesus Christ's name, Amen.

The Holy Ghost inside of you will convict you of those you need to forgive.

For more information about unforgiveness see - Tools of the devil - unforgiveness

The sin against God is NOT what some person did to you.  The sin against God is your unforgiving heart.

We are NOT to speculate on how God will punish the one who sinned against us. 

We need to be concerned that we have sinned against God by having an unforgiving heart.

If we hold onto unforgiveness we are the sinner, NOT the person who hurt us, NO MATTER what the circumstances are, we are the sinner.

You do NOT know what is in the heart of anyone.  Only God knows what is in the hearts of ALL men.

Your unforgiveness is NOT hurting the person you are mad at, your unforgiveness is only hurting you AND your relationship with your Lord God.

We are NOT to let anything or anyone come in between our relationship with our Lord God.

God said it does NOT matter what any person can do to you, vengeance is the property of God.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21

 


Why can't I forgive myself?

Many people forgive everyone, but themselves.  Many people just cannot forgive themselves.

Guilt plagues these people year after year, and no matter how hard they try, they are unable to forgive themselves.

Many times this guilt is not from God, but from the devil himself.  The devil will do anything to separate you from God, to interrupt your relationship with God, to damage your walk with God, especially using false guilt.

 

You can discern true condemnation and guilt of sin from God, from the false guilt given to you by the devil.

How do you know if your guilt is real or false?  First, what is it that you feel guilty about.  Second, have you repented from that sin and asked God for His forgiveness.  Third, have you received forgiveness from God.

If you have not repented from your sin, and if you have not asked God for His forgiveness, then the guilt you are feeling is from the Holy Spirit, whose job is to convict you of all sin against God, and to bring you to repentance to receive God's forgiveness.

If you have repented from your sin and if you have asked God for His forgiveness and if received His forgiveness, then the guilt you are feeling is false guilt.  Why is this false guilt?  Because God promises to forgive all our sins when we ask Him through genuine repentance.  The sins that God forgives are forgiven forever, and He will never bring them up to you again.  Since your sins were forgiven by God, you can know that the guilt you feel from forgiven sin is not from God, but from satan.

 

What do we do with false guilt from satan?  First, we must recognize that it is false guilt from the devil.  Second, we must refuse the temptation presented by the devil to us to dwell on past sin, we must refuse to go there.  Third, we must resist the devil, we must resist falling into false guilt.  God promises us that if we resist the devil, that the devil must flee from us (James 4:7).

 


Is there anything that GOD will NOT forgive?

There is only one thing that God says in His word that He will NOT forgive.

God says He will NOT forgive blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Matthew 12:31

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven unto men: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matthew 12:32

But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Mark 3:29

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. Luke 12:10

So what does blasphemy against the Holy Ghost mean?  Can I commit this sin and not know it?  So if I commit blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, even if I am saved, God will not forgive me?  If I am not forgiven by God can I still be saved from hell?

For more information see - Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost

 


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