Forgiveness and Reconciliation
During our 2021 On The Mend series, we studied Biblical principles and practices that equip us to engage in the processes of forgiveness and reconciliation.
1 Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matt 26:28 For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Ps 25:6-11‘Remember, Lord , your compassion and your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, Lord . The Lord is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the Lord ’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep his covenant and decrees. Lord , for the sake of your name, forgive my iniquity, for it is immense.’
2 Cor 5:17 ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! ‘
Lk 7:47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Lk 7:48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
We are called to forgive because God forgives
Matthew 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
Mk 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”
Eph 4:32 be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Col 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.
Matt 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.
Holding a Grudge is the opposite of Loving Our Neighbor
Lev 19:18 ‘Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord . ‘
Holding a Grudge opens the door to the evil one
2 Cor 2:11. Anyone you forgive, I do too. For what I have forgiven — if I have forgiven anything — it is for your benefit in the presence of Christ, so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes. ‘
2 Cor 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.
Understanding our Terms
Sin – Believing or behaving in a way that doesn’t conform with God’s character or commands (See 1 John 5:7)
Conviction – Holy Spirit guided awareness of my sin (See John 16:8)
Repentance – Changing my mind / turning from my sin/behavior (See 2 Corinthians 7:10)
Confession – Admission that what I did was sin (See I John 1:9)
Forgiveness – Releasing my right to vengeance (See Romans 12:19)
Reconciliation – Restoring the relationship to health (See 2 Corinthians 5:19)
Asking for Forgiveness
Consider using these three steps when asking for forgiveness. For more details, check out this sermon
1. I was wrong for doing/saying _______.
This is better than simply saying ‘I’m sorry’ because it provides an admission and ownership.
2. Did I leave anything out?
This empowers the injured party to give insight and clarity.
3. What can I do to mend our relationship / make it right?
This shows a desire to reconcile and gives practical next steps.
BEFORE YOU ASK FOR FORGIVNESS
- Have I prayed about this?
- What is my motive in asking for forgiveness?
- Have I checked in with a confidant or counselor and do they believe I am in a healthy place?
- What boundaries are needed for this conversation to be healthy?
- Do I have any expectations on the person I am going to speak with?