Overcoming Hurt and Bitterness with ForgivenessJanuary 27, 2021
God helps us forgive more as He helps us understand His forgiveness more.
I. The Basics of Biblical Forgiveness
A. Forgiveness is our greatest need in all relationships because is our greatest problem in all relationships. – Is 59:2
• Me forgiven by God • Me forgiven by others • Others forgiven by me
B. Forgiveness is the removal of guilt and culpability and it releases the offender from the debt and justice due. – Micah 7:18; Ps 32:5; Ps 103:12; Rom 3:24-26
C. We are commanded to forgive others just as in Christ forgives us – Eph. 4:32; Col 3:12-13
D. We are to be ready to forgive out of a humble, compassionate, forbearing, tenderhearted view toward others – Eph 4:31-32; 1 Pet 3:8
E. We are to forgive the repentant completely and regardless of personal – Col 3:13; 1 Jn 1:9; 1 Cor 6:7; Jn 3:16
F. We are to practice forgiveness by choosing to not the sin again – Heb 10:17
• To myself (1 Cor 13:5; Phil 4:8) • To you (Eph. 4:29) • To others (Js 4:11)
*Evidence that you are in biblical forgiveness = Their sin no longer keeps you from loving them, doing good to them or reconciling with them.
G. We should never this forgiveness toward those who confess and repent. – Luke 17:3; Prov 28:13
• It is not a feeling-based decision, but faith-based covenant.
• It is not really a lack of faith, but a lack of exercising your faith.
• It is not conditional on fruit of change but the of sin.
• To not forgive will bring torment and Fatherly discipline to your life.
• God withholds forgiveness if we do.
H. We are to seek to establish a relationship with the one forgiven. (Matt 5:24; Matt 18:15; 2 Cor 2:6-8)
II. A Focus Upon God’s Forgiveness Toward Us
A. God is a forgiving God – Ps 86:5
B. God is compassionate and – Ps 51:1-2
C. God cannot and will not grant forgiveness apart from the work of Jesus Christ. – Heb. 10:10, 16-19
D. God’s forgiveness costs the sinner , though it is very costly to God – Rom. 5:8
E. God forgives His children completely for any sin – Ps. 103:10-12; Rom. 8:1ff
F. God never withholds forgiveness when we confess sin – 1 Jn 1:9
G. God’s forgiveness is a response to our confession and repentance of sin – Prov 28:13
H. God makes covenant/promise to those He has forgiven – Heb. 8:12
I. God does not make such a promise to the unrepentant because the guilt has not been removed – to these there is a different “promise” made.
J. God’s forgiveness always leads to the establishing of a relationship with Him (i.e. “reconciliation”) – 2 Cor 5:17-20; 1 Pet 3:18
K. God’s forgiveness of us begins with God coming to us –Jn 17:30
III. Dealing with Heart-Resistance to Biblical Forgiveness
(i.e. “I Know I Need to Forgive, But I Just Can’t!”)
A. Renew Yourself In Biblical, Faith-
(Keep “Seeing” & Believing These Three Truths!)
1. Is God My Father? – Rom 8:28-29; Heb 12:7-10
I believe that no matter what has happened or will happen to me, God turns all into good for those in Christ, for He alone is sovereign, good, and wise (Rom 8:28). He can be trusted and must if I am going to be enabled to forgive (Heb 11:6). The best example of this reality is Jesus Christ on the
cross. His faith in His Sovereign Father helped him endure and forgive – Matt 26:53; 1 Pet 2:23; Heb 12:2; Lk 23:34; the Father used the worst event in history to accomplish the greatest good in history –1 Cor 2:7-8; Col 2:15
2. Am I a Sinner? – Mat 18:21-35; Luke 7:47-48
I believe that no matter what my offender did to me, my sin and sinfulness before God is infinitely worse (see Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:21-35). I have not received the damnation I deserve (Eph 2:1-5) and instead I have received what I do not – eternal adoption as a child of God (1 Jn 3:1; Eph 1:3ff). The more I am aware of how great the debt God has forgiven me of is, the more easily I can forgive men their sins against me (Luke 7:47-48).
3. Is God a Righteous Judge? – Rom 12:17-21; Ps 37; Matt 18:32-35
I believe that God will one day execute vengeance upon all sin (Ps 37; Rom 12:17-21). No one gets away with any sin against God and His law. My offender will be judged for his sin against me for it is against God; yet, I too will be judged by this same God, if I do not forgive him (Mk 6:14-15; Mk 11:25). If I have been forgiven so much by God, and yet choose not forgive those who sin against me, I am committing a greater sin than has my offender (Matt 18:31-35). God deals with all sin in one of two ways – He turns us from sin back to Himself, or he turns us over to sin leading to a future in Hell.
B. Continue to Choose Faith-Inspired Responses not Feeling-Inspired Reactions
(Keep Exercising These Four Commitments!)
1. Put to Death Self-Pity by actively to not remember the sin – Ps 103:12
I make a commitment before God not to bring up this offense to myself, to others, or (if the offender has asked for forgiveness) to the offender (Eph 4:32; Ps 19:14; Mk 11:25; James 4:11; Col 3:13; Heb 8:12; Ps 103:12) ever again. If they have not repented then I must seek biblical wisdom in how I am to be a spiritual influence through passages such as 2 Tim 2:24-26, Matt 18:15-17, and 1 Thes 5:18. There is no reason for self-pity when I ponder the truth about the good that all my present and future sufferings produce if responded to obediently (Rom 8:31; 2 Cor 4:17; Acts 8:56-60; Ps 73:17-28)
2. Put On the Sympathy of Christ by compassionately toward those who have hurt me – Heb 4:15; Eph 4:32; Col 3:12; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:59-60
I will learn to look at the “larger” truth about those who sin against me. I will learn to replace remembering their sin by humbly considering that they have experienced circumstances in their past (and even present) that has had an influence on their sin against me. I will remember the grace equation of 1 Cor 15:10: Me + Their Circumstances – God’s Grace = I would be worse than they. I also will realize that they have personal strengths and weaknesses that influence their sin. And finally, I will consider that they are the real victims of Satan (2 Tim 2:24-26) not me; they are the ones who are in imminent peril for they will suffer eternal Fatherly discipline (Rev 3:19) or eternal pain beyond comparison apart from repentance (Rom 12:19; Ps 50:16-23; 1 Pet 4:18-19).
3. Put on Self-Abasement & Examination when tempted to judge. – Luke 18:13; Matt 7:5; Rom 14:13
I will use this present suffering as a God-ordained opportunity to reveal things about me that need to change, like: how to better respond to being treated wrong; what selfishness and empty conceit still lives in me, instead of all humility and love for others; how to find greater delight in God alone instead of earthly blessings; (Matt 7:4-5; Gal 6:1; James 4:6-10; Rom 14:13; Phil 1:27-30;). This is easier to stay focused on when I realize the entire purpose of God for this trial is accomplished when I am doing these things – He is teaching me to strive to become more like Christ (Phil 2:1213, 5; Rom 8:28-29; 1 Pet 2:21ff;). It is also easier to respond this way when I realize that there is more potential for spiritually influencing my circumstances and those who hurt me when I suffer like Christ did (2 Cor 10:6; 1 Pet 3:16; Rom 12:21; Prov 16:7)
4. Put On Self-in place of apathy – Matt 5:43-47
I will do specific kind deeds for those who sin against me, appropriately (Eph 4:32; Rom 12:19-21; Luke 6:35; Matt 5:43-47; Matt 6:21)
*Taken from Tim Bryant and the Low Country Biblical Counseling Center