Sermon About Forgiveness: The Power of Forgiveness

Sermon About Forgiveness: The Power of Forgiveness

Psalm 130 is a beautiful expression of the power of forgiveness. The psalmist cries out to God from the depths of despair, acknowledging his own sinfulness and pleading for forgiveness. In verse 4, he writes, "But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared." 

This verse captures the essence of the power of forgiveness: it is the means by which we can approach God, and it inspires reverence and awe for Him.

Learn how forgiveness works and why it's so important!

Why Is Forgiving  Important?

Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do…” (Luke 23:34)

God’s forgiveness is our pattern for forgiving others, Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13.

Our forgiveness of others is the measure of forgiveness we will receive, Matt. 6:14-15.

Forgiving yourself for past mistakes is an essential part of healing. It helps us move on and live in the present.

  • 1. Jesus taught forgiveness –Mt 6:12, 14-15, 18:21-35
  • 2. Jesus demonstrated forgiveness –Mk 2:1-12, Jn 8:10-11, Lk 23:34
  • 3. Jesus expects us to forgive others as He forgave us –Co 3:13

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I. The Example of Divine Forgiveness: Ephesians 4:32

Ephesians 4:32 sets the stage by presenting the divine model of forgiveness. God's forgiveness, marked by compassion and grace, serves as our guide. As recipients of this unmerited forgiveness, we are called to extend the same grace to others. Understanding the depth of God's forgiveness becomes the foundation for our journey into the transformative power of forgiving others.

II. The Freedom of Forgiveness: Colossians 3:13

Colossians 3:13 emphasizes the freedom that forgiveness brings. In forgiving one another, we release the burden of resentment and anger, experiencing the liberating power of grace. This freedom is not merely a release from external chains but a profound internal liberation, allowing love to triumph over bitterness. Unforgiveness is not good for us

III. The Call to Forgiveness: Matthew 6:14-15

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus issues a clear call to forgive in Matthew 6:14-15. As forgiven individuals, we are challenged to extend that forgiveness to those who have wronged us. This call is not conditional but imperative, reminding us that our forgiveness is intrinsically linked to our willingness to forgive others.

IV. Forgiving as Christ Forgave: Luke 23:34

The crucifixion scene in Luke 23:34 provides the profound image of Jesus forgiving those who crucified Him. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." This act of divine forgiveness becomes the touchstone for our own forgiveness journey, inspiring us to forgive even when it seems impossible.

V. Forgiveness that Restores Relationships: Proverbs 17:9 

Proverbs 17:9 highlights the restoring power of forgiveness in relationships. Choosing to overlook an offense fosters love and rebuilds what may be broken. In a world marred by strife and discord, the choice to forgive becomes a potent instrument for building bridges and fostering reconciliation.

VI. The Impact of Forgiveness on Mental Health: Philippians 4:7

Philippians 4:7 unveils the connection between forgiveness and mental health. The peace that surpasses understanding guards our hearts and minds when we choose forgiveness. The act of releasing grudges and extending grace has a transformative impact on our overall well-being.

VII. Forgiveness as a Daily Attitude: Matthew 18:21-22 

Jesus, in Matthew 18:21-22, teaches the importance of forgiveness as a daily attitude. The call to forgive seventy times seven challenges us to embrace forgiveness not as a sporadic action but as a constant disposition of the heart. It is a continual practice, reflecting the boundless mercy of our Heavenly Father.

VIII. Forgiveness and Inner Healing: Psalms 103:2-3 

Psalm 103:2-3 underscores the connection between forgiveness and inner healing. God forgives our iniquities and heals our diseases. This divine linkage between forgiveness and healing inspires us to understand that the act of forgiveness is a powerful agent for restoring not just relationships but also our wounded souls.

IX. Forgiving Yourself: 1 John 1:9 

1 John 1:9 assures us that God is faithful and just to forgive us when we confess our sins. This extends to forgiving ourselves—a crucial aspect often overlooked. Embracing divine forgiveness allows us to release guilt and shame, experiencing the transformative power of self-forgiveness.

X. The Reward of Forgiveness: Matthew 5:7

Jesus promises a unique blessing to the merciful in Matthew 5:7. The reward of being blessed as "sons of God" beckons us to recognize that in forgiving others, we align ourselves with the character of our Heavenly Father. The reward is not merely a future promise but a present reality—a profound sense of divine sonship.

XI. Only God Can Forgive Sin

In the Bible, we see that sin is ultimately an offense against God (Psalm 51:4) and that only God has the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:7).

In the Old Testament, we see that God forgave sins through the sacrificial system, where the sins of the people were symbolically transferred to an animal that was sacrificed on their behalf (Leviticus 16:21-22). 

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, has the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). He demonstrated this authority through his healing miracles and his ultimate sacrifice on the cross, where he bore the penalty of our sins and made a way for us to be reconciled to God (Colossians 1:19-20).

Must be honest about our sin, Isa. 59:1-2, 12-13. Always seek God’s forgiveness first; Sin is always against Him, Psa. 51:4.

God’s forgiveness heals the soul. The Power to Restore the Mind from the Guilt & Pain of Sin, Psa. 32:1-5, 7, 11; 51:8, 10-12.

For forgiveness someone had to pay the penalty.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

No Limits to Forgiveness, Mat 18:21-22.

As God Forgives, Mat 18:23-27 (completely, immediately, with finality, Psa. 103:3, 8-14).

With Humility, 18:28-30. With Mercy & Compassion, 18:31-34. From the Heart, 18:35 (genuine).

He has declared all under sin Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”


As we conclude this exploration of the transformative power of forgiveness, may our hearts be stirred by the divine example, the freedom offered, and the profound impact forgiveness has on our relationships and well-being. Let us, as recipients of God's mercy, become agents of grace, extending forgiveness generously. May the transformative power of forgiveness be evident in our lives, bringing glory to our forgiving God.

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John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NVI)