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  2. 2. FORGIVENESS<br />- is one of the most vital word concepts for us as Christians <br />- is a unique concept not found in other faiths, beliefs and value systems <br />- distinguishes us as Christians from all others <br />- offers the one true path to redemption of sin and salvation: divine Forgiveness<br />. <br />
  3. 3. Christians and Forgiveness <br />
  4. 4. Forgiveness is Divine “To err is human; to forgive is divine” is an eternal truth familiar to all; but, sadly, understood – and practiced – by few. Jesus placed special emphasis on forgiveness in His teachings. So much so that our entire Christian faith in salvation hinges on the key concept of forgiveness. . <br />
  5. 5. What is Forgiveness? <br />
  6. 6. Forgiveness is divine. God-like, a wonderful gift worth embracing and emulating. Forgiveness is an aspect of the Love– the soul of Christianity – enjoined upon us throughout Jesus’ ministry: the active expression of that aspect of Love which “keeps no record of wrongs” <br />
  7. 7. Forgiveness is …<br />As such, forgiveness partakes of all other aspects – assuming and infusing life into all characteristics – of Love, rendering it Patient – Kind – Truthful – Protective – Trusting – Hopeful – Persevering – Never-failing. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8). <br />
  8. 8. Conversely, forgiveness extinguishes all the negative, embittering influences of a grudge-burdened heart: which wreak as much evil on one’s self as upon others. There is no room in a heart filled with Love for resentment, anger or the desire to revenge wrongs (real or imagined) committed against us – all of which are swept away and replaced by forgiveness. <br />
  9. 9. Forgiveness is liberating; revenge is not.<br />A heart that keeps a record of wrongs is bound as by burning bands ... <br />But in jesusthere is rest for the heavy-burdened ...<br />
  10. 10. Christians and Forgiveness <br />
  11. 11. For Christians, forgiveness is an essential requirement; it is an indispensable prerequisite for redemption. Jesus emphasized the importance of forgiveness repeatedly, stressing its pivotal role in our salvation. <br />
  12. 12. Let’s look at this important element of Christian faith and explore its significance further. <br />The Lord’s Prayer <br />
  13. 13. The Lords prayer<br />We all say the Lord’s Prayer taught us by Jesus; the single most oftenly recited prayer, known ‘by heart’ to all Christians – but not always taken to heart ... <br />Matthew 6 <br />12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.[a]&apos; <br />14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.<br />Again in <br />Luke 11:4Forgive us our sins, for we also Forgive everyone who sins against us.<br />And again in <br />Mark 11:25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.&quot;<br />
  14. 14. Prayer, Precept, Practice<br />Of course we recite the Lord’s Prayer every day … But are we following the key requirement – practicing the prayer’s precept – of forgiveness? <br />
  15. 15. Our one and only claim <br />“… as we also have forgiven our debtors”. This short phrase, amidst those of praise and petition, encompasses the only undertaking contracted on our part in our covenant with God, as embodied in this prayer: the only claim we can make to His grace. We believe, according to Jesus’ teaching, that we can receive forgiveness for our sins – a concept unique to our faith – and have been shown the path and given the key to receiving it: our forgiveness of others. <br />
  16. 16. Give, to get<br />Matthew 6: 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. <br />
  17. 17. We are clearly told …To receive Forgiveness….we are REQUIRED to FORGIVEwe have to Give, to getforgiveness<br />
  18. 18. Sin and Gods Kingdom<br />We cannot reach God’s Kingdom carrying a bundle full of sin. <br />God’s infinite purity is inviolable; we cannot enter into His presence with any sin within us. <br />As Christians we have a core belief that provides us with the unique possibility of redemption for all our sins … to be able to stand sinless and stainless before God. <br />
  19. 19. To receive this cleansing from our Sins we have to cleanse our selves of anger, vengeance and learn to Forgive others who have sinned against us…so that we may be able to stand before our god and heavenly father. <br />
  20. 20. Jesus places More emphasis on the importance of forgiveness…<br />
  21. 21. Mathew 18<br /> 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, &quot;Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?&quot;  22Jesus answered, &quot;I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]<br />Jesus further emphasized this through the Parable of the unmerciful servant found in Matthew 18 Verse 23<br />
  22. 22. Parable of the unmerciful servant<br />Although the king forgave the servant, the servant did not reciprocally forgive the man in his debt. When the king found this out, he punished the servant. <br />We need to think … <br />… and realize: Failure to forgive is unforgiveable. <br />
  23. 23. We need to think…<br />Can I expect God to forgive me when I am not abiding by His Word, that clearly requires me to forgive those who have wronged me to receive my redemption? <br />
  24. 24. To God…<br />Your heart is an open book We have to be mindful that, unlike the king in the parable who was human, God knows even our deepest thoughts and secrets … and will know if we habour sin – the refusal to forgive – in our hearts. <br />
  25. 25. A hardened heart cannot be hidden from God; it is an open book under His scrutiny. We cannot keep an unforgiving– and unpardonable – thought within us …and still expect redemption of our sins and salvation for our souls.<br />
  26. 26. Further insight on forgiveness..<br />LUKE 6:37 &quot;Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.<br />
  27. 27. Consider the example Jesus set for us when He made the supreme sacrifice – that of His life … After being insulted, humiliated, spat upon, whipped and crucified, despite being in excruciating agony, He yet forgave and besought His Father’s FORGIVENESSfor His tormentors ... <br />Luke 23;24Jesus said, &quot;Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.&quot;<br />
  28. 28. We are the Message and medium As Christians, we have been clearly shown the path to salvation – redemption of all our sins through our forgiveness to others’ who trespasses against us – as so vividly demonstrated by our Savior, Jesus Christ Himself on the cross. <br />
  29. 29. Love is the message; forgiveness is the medium. <br />
  30. 30. Be inspired! Jesus did not merely instruct us on the paramount importance of forgiveness by giving us directions; He actually personified the ideal of forgiveness: showing us the way through personal example…due to His love even After being insulted, humiliated, spat upon, whipped and crucified, despite being in excruciating agony, He yet forgave and besought His Father’s FORGIVENESS for His tormentors ... <br />
  31. 31. No statement on the importance of forgiveness can be clearer than Jesus&apos; final plea on our behalf; His words, addressed to God, still reverberate as inspiration for our benefit. <br />
  32. 32. Luke 23: 24 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. <br />
  33. 33. By adopting a nature of forgiveness…Christians can be a light on to others…<br />
  34. 34. We have to be a shining light in this dark world filled with venom…It is up to you and me as Christians to abide by Jesus’ teaching and be a living example unto others…To be a light unto this dark world set an example to others by forgiving those who trespass against us … So that we ourselves can be forgiven our own sins. <br />WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!<br />
  35. 35. Forgiven thus, cleansed of impurity, we may stand before God: bathed in the full light of His boundless Love. <br />
  36. 36. God Bless us<br />