Forgiveness

Recordings, notes and application questions

Each week, we produce notes, discussion points and application questions for the Sunday talks — helping you go deeper into everything we’re looking at together and resourcing our Small Groups during the week. Use the embedded player to listen to the talk, or click here to visit Soundcloud and download it on a PC. You can also find the accompanying Powerpoint presentation here.

Key Passages

  • Matthew 6:9–13
  • Ephesians 1: 7
  • Matthew 18:21–35
  • Hebrews 10:11–14

Notes

Knowing forgiveness = showing forgiveness

Showing forgiveness = knowing forgiveness

Knowing — God Forgives fully! In Christ, we have complete forgiveness such that God removes our sin from us as far as east from west (Psalm 103:12). Jesus is enough!

Showing — We can forgive ourselves and others! It is possible to place ourselves as a higher authority than God by refusing to forgive ourselves, despite His Word of forgiveness over us in Christ.

In this way, through shame, we can tend to

  1. Hide (self away)
  2. build walls (keep other out)
  3. Distance ourselves

Knowing such forgiveness sets us free to be able to forgive others — the blessing always passes on. Choosing unforgiveness imprisons us in bitterness.

In God’s kingdom there is room for can’t but not for won’t.

Forgiveness is often very painful and costly. Sometimes we want to forgive but just can’t at a given moment in time. So, the invitation is to journey towards forgiving from the heart, calling out wrongs in order to forgive. But to simply refuse to ever forgive calls into question whether we have ever received forgiveness.

So how do we forgive?

  1. Recognise wrong
  2. Express hurt
  3. Decide to forgive
  4. Choose to live in forgiveness (which does not mean putting yourself back in harms way)
  5. Build a community of forgiveness

This prayer highlighted on Sunday might be a helpful one for people to use as a regular resource for receiving forgiveness, by Linda Schubert in her book, Miracle Hour:

“Loving Father, I choose to forgive everyone in my life, including myself, because You have forgiven me. Thank You, Lord, for this grace. I forgive myself for all my sins, faults and failings, especially ___________. I forgive myself for not being perfect, I accept myself and make a decision to stop picking on myself and being my own worst enemy. I release the things held against myself, free myself from bondage and make peace with myself today, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Application Questions

  1. What struck you from Sunday’s talk?
  2. Are you currently knowing forgiveness? How can you grow in grasping God’s all encompassing and all powerful word of forgiveness over you? How can we build in regular rhythms of living in the forgiveness Christ has won for us?
  3. Do you find it hard to forgive yourself? Why? Are you prone to hiding/building walls / isolating? How can this cycle change? What help might you need?
  4. Why is it hard to forgive others? Are there certain things / people that are particularly hard to forgive?
  5. Think about the ‘recognise/express/decide/choose’ pattern… why are each one of those steps important?
  6. Is there anything you need to do to live more fully a life of knowing and showing forgiveness?