You Don’t Have to Forgive Other People
Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:9-14
This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Lesson One: Forgiveness requires dependence on God.
• Pray—for God to change our hearts to be able to forgive
• We are unable to forgive apart from the transforming power of the Holy Spirit
Matthew 5:43-45, You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Lesson Two: Forgiveness is rooted in our identity as God’s children.
• Unforgiveness grieves the heart of God
• Unforgiveness damages and destroys our relationships with others and with God
Matthew 6:9, This then is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven…
Matthew 5:23-24, Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Lesson Three: Forgiveness is the essence of Christlikeness.
• We are recreated in Christ to live righteously
• Christ is our model of forgiveness—complete, genuine, undeserved
Matthew 6:12, Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Colossians 3:13, Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.