The Freedom of Forgiveness


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Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32 • sermon notes below
 
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1. Anger, bitterness, and malice
– Anger is a natural response to a sense that someone has crossed a line
– Bitterness is allowing the anger to fester, not letting it go
– Malice is acting out of anger or bitterness to even the score

2. Why forgive?
– Matthew 18:21-35
– Because God forgave you
– So you can be free

3. Forgiveness is not…
– Minimizing the seriousness of the offense
– Forgetting (Isaiah 43:25)
– Ignoring unhealthy behavior (Luke 16:10)
– Inconsistent with justice (Romans 13:3-4, Romans 12:19)

4. Forgiveness is…
– Releasing a person from a debt they owe (1 Corinthians 13:5, Psalms 103:11-12)
– An act of faith in God to make all wrongs right (Romans 12:19-21)
– An act of the will
– A choice to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21)
– A key that sets you free from the past and allows you to heal
– An expression of Christ in you (Ephesians 4:32)

Our Response: The Bible commands you to forgive as God forgave you; this will free and heal your soul.

Steps to take to forgive from your heart
– In prayer, declare your decision to forgive, then ask God to bless the person
– Live out your forgiveness in word and deed
– When possible, seek reconciliation

Searching questions
– What important truths about forgiveness has God taught you from his Word today?
– Is there a place where you feel bound by hurt and bitterness in your past?
– Who has God placed on your heart to forgive? What is it, specifically, that you need to forgive? How has this impacted you?
– What step can you take today to begin the process of forgiveness?

Today’s Songs
Build Your Kingdom Here
Grace Alone
How Marvelous
Jesus Paid It All

From the Inside Out