The Power of Forgiveness

Posted on 22 Oct 2014, Pastor: Tolu Makinde
Text: Matt. 18:23-35 – The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Mat 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
  • The parable is about a Lord who was reconciling the account of those that owed Him.
  • One of His servants owed Him 10,000 talents – 1 talent is equivalent to 20 years worth of wages. So this servant owed 200,000 years worth of wages.
  • Let’s say 1 year worth of wages is $20K, which is very low.  This servant owed $4,000,000,000 ($4B).
  • There is no way for the servant to repay what he owed.  The only thing he could do is beg to be forgiven.
  • The Master forgave him, and wrote off the debt.
  • This same servant, found another servant who owed him 100 pence (1 penny is 16 cents).  So, he was owed 1600 cents ($16.00)
  • The servant also pleaded with him, that he will repay, but he refused.  He casted him into prison until he gets his money.
  • So, the person that was forgiven on a $4B debt, could not forgive someone else with a $16 debt.
  • When the Master heard, He was angry with the first servant, and delivered him to tormentors until he paid the $4B.
  • Jesus said, the heavenly Father will do the same unto us, if we do not forgive those that owe you.
  • We are the first servant.  The Lord has forgiven us in so much than we can never repay.
  • However, we must not act like the first servant by not forgiving those that owe you or offended you.
  • This teaching is about what we stand to lose if we choose to not forgive and what we stand to gain if we choose to forgive.
Main Topic

  • Unforgiveness is a weapon of the enemy to put one in a bondage anger, sickness, and eventually, hell.
    • It is borne out of pride – God resists the proud
    • Never wait for an apology before you forgive.  The apology may never come.
  • Unforgiveness is a sin, therefore, it causes prayers to be hindered
    • Psa 66:18  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
  • Unforgiveness will not allow your own sins to be forgiven
    • The parable we just read….
    • Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  • Unforgiveness is a poisonous pill can lead to sickness in the body
    • It is documented that a poisonous fluid is secreted into the blood stream when one is angry.  Unforgiveness will make one to be angry at all times.
    • There was a woman who came to our church in CA with cancer.  As we prayed, the Lord revealed that there is something she is refusing to let go.  I asked her, and she said yes, that her brother offended her and she can never forgive him.  After much counseling, she forgave the brother, called their relatives that she forgave him, and she was able to beat the cancer.
    • There was a man who gave his only child away in marriage.  The husband abused her and even shot at her.  The man vowed never to forgive him.  After some time, he started to get big as if someone pumped air into his body.  All medical attempts failed.  He finally met a man of God who diagnosed the problem as unforgiveness.  The man went to meet the son in law.  The son in law wanted to ran away because he thought the man has come for his head. The man forgave the son in law, embraced him, and during the time, his ring fell off. He then noticed that he was back to his normal size.
  • Unforgiveness can lead to hell
    • Story of the pastor that refused to forgive his wife…
    • If one is not forgiven, that person will end up in hell.
  • We must not harbor unforgiveness in our heart.  It is a sin, it will keep one in bondage, kill the body, and send the soul to hell.
  • Forgiveness is a continuous need to let go of the wrongs committed against you, regardless of the magnitude, the length of time, or the person.
    • It is continuous because there is no limit to how many times you must forgive
      • Mat 18:21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Mat 18:22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
    • There is no magnitude – because it cannot be comparable to the magnitude of the forgiveness you received from the Lord when He died for your sins.
    • Regardless of the person – because at times when a loved one offends us, it hurts more than when a stranger offends.
  • Forgiveness was instituted by God Himself – and demonstrated in the Person of Jesus Christ
    • Leviticus 4-6 documented the shedding of blood for different types of sins in order to receive forgiveness
    • There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.
  • Jesus Christ shed His blood so that we can be forgiven once and for all.
    • Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
    • However, confession of sins is a requirement in order to receive the forgiveness of sins: 1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    • Jesus does not count how many sins you have committed
    • Jesus does not consider the magnitude of the sins you have committed
    • He simply forgives once you ask Him
  • Forgiveness does not imply weakness or stupidity
    • Forgiveness actually demonstrates strength and wisdom
    • You forgive because of you, not because of anyone else.
  • Forgiveness is a command, it is not an option for a child of God
    • Eph 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
    • Col 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
  • You must be determined to not allow anyone to hinder your prayers – because the enemy will use people to derail your prayers
  • When you forgive
    • Your peace is restored
    • A weight is lifted off your shoulders
    • Your health can be restored
    • You can pray
    • You have the assurance that you are living your life according to the dictate of the Scripture
  • When you are offended, you can choose to forgive or not forgive.
  • If one choose to not forgive,
    • Your own sins will not be forgiven
    • It is a sin that will keep one in the bondage of the devil
    • It will cause one’s health to deteriorate
    • One could end up in hell fire.
  • Remember, it is the power of forgiveness that gave you the salvation of your souls
  • The grace to always forgive, may the Lord grant it to you in Jesus name.