by Roby Ellis
A. Although we know that we must forgive others if we wish to be forgiven by God, the world encourages us to seek vengeance.
B. To help us better understand the proper spirit of forgiveness, we can consider the manner in which God forgives.
I. How does God forgive?
A. He is longsuffering first (Nahum 1:3; Nehemiah 9:17; 2 Peter 3:9).
B. On the other hand, He has promised to “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31; cf. Nahum 1:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10).
C. In the process of reconciliation, God made the first move (Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 4:19).
D. God forgives in spite of our inability to repay His generosity (Romans 4:1-8; Titus 3:4-5).
E. God forgives as often as we repent (2 Chronicles 7:12-15).
F. After we are forgiven, God no longer remembers our sins (Jeremiah 31:34; cf. Hebrews 8:12).
II. How should I forgive?
A. Like God, I must be longsuffering (Ephesians 2:1-3; James 1:18).
B. I must be willing to forgive all who trespass against me (Matthew 6:12-15; 18:35; Ephesians 4:32; Acts 7:60).
C. When I am wronged, I should always make the first move toward reconciliation (Matthew 18:15-17; 5:23-24).
D. I should be forgetful about what I have forgiven (2 Corinthians 2:7).
E. Like the Father, I must be willing to forgive as often as I am wronged (Matthew 18:22; Luke 17:4).
A. If I wish to be forgiven, I must always be ready to forgive.
B. If you stand in need of God’s forgiveness, what are you waiting for? God has made the first move, and now He is waiting for you!