Doug Cryer - Importance of Forgiveness

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Full sermon notes - The Importance of Forgiveness

Importance of Forgiveness

  • At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says:
    “For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins.” Matthew 6:14,15
  • Without forgiveness, we cannot receive the full benefit of the grace and love of God.
  • Forgiveness has two purposes:
    • Forgiveness helps us to live at peace within ourselves.
    • Forgiveness is part of God’s plan to reconcile the world to him.


  • Clarifying some misunderstandings regarding Forgiveness
  1. To forgive is not to forget.
  2. To forgive is not to excuse.
  3. To forgive is not to ignore.
  4. To forgive is not necessarily to extend unconditional trust.
  • So what is Forgiveness?
  • Forgiveness is remembering the wrongs committed against us without having malice so that we can live at peace within ourselves and so that we can keep in God’s plan of reconciling others to Him.

Matthew 18:10–35

Parable of the Lost Sheep

  1. “See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
  2. What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray?
  3. And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
  4. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.

Restoring Christian Relationships

  1. “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.
  2. But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.
  3. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.
  4. “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
  5. Again, I tell you the truth, if two of you on earth agree about whatever you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.
  6. For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them.”
  7. Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?”
  8. Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!

The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave

  1. “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.
  2. As he began settling his accounts, a man who owed ten thousand talents was brought to him.
  3. Because he was not able to repay it, the lord ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made.
  4. Then the slave threw himself to the ground before him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything.’
  5. The lord had compassion on that slave and released him, and forgave him the debt.
  6. After he went out, that same slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him one hundred silver coins. So he grabbed him by the throat and started to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’
  7. Then his fellow slave threw himself down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you.’
  8. But he refused. Instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he repaid the debt.
  9. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were very upset and went and told their lord everything that had taken place.
  10. Then his lord called the first slave and said to him, ‘Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me!
  11. Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’
  12. And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards to torture him until he repaid all he owed.
  13. So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Version: based on NET Bible

a.Matthew 18:10 – 14

  • Parable of the Lost Sheep

b.Matthew 18:15 – 22

  • Restoring Christian Relationships

c.Matthew 18:23 – 25

  • The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave


  • Forgiveness means to release anger.
  • The overriding emphasis forgiveness receives in Scripture makes it one of the most important concepts in Christianity.
  • Reminder of what Jesus has said:
    “For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins.” (Matthew 6:14,15)

True Forgiveness

  • Forgiveness is letting go of my malice and my right to retaliate and letting go of my right to hang on to the emotional consequences of the hurt.
  • Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)
  • So, in choosing mercy we give a gift of forgiveness. We set free the one who has wronged us. We give them a gift they do not deserve.

Updated on 2012-08-04 by Doug Cryer