by Claude Thomas

Cluade Thomas
Matthew 6:12,14,15

Introduction: "Forgive me? How could He? I've let Him down so desparately!" So cries the broken-hearted believer. "Forgive him? Are you kidding? After what he's done to me I'll never forgive him!" So swears the bitter man.

The tragedy is this, forgiveness is available and able. Yet, too many lives are in bondage of unforgiveness that stifles them and cripples their life. But the good news is forgiveness can be experienced and extended.

Forgiveness of sin is the most basic and universal need of man. Such forgiveness is possible only because of the atonement of Christ on the cross. Let's look more closely at forgiveness. Jesus taught the disciples of their need of continuing forgiveness.

Definition of forgiveness: act of setting someone free from obligation to you as a result of wrong done against you. The word actually means "to dismiss, or send away."

Elements of forgiveness: injury, debt resulting from injury; cancellation of debt.

Clarification of confusions: Understanding does not equal forgiveness. It may help to understand, but it does not guarantee forgiveness.. It may help to understand, but it does not guarantee forgiveness.
Time does not heal all wounds.
Pretending you are not hurt does not equal forgiveness.

Illustration: Tough kid with rolled up sleeves in zero weather saying he isn't cold.

Confrontation is not necessarily necessary for forgiveness. Sometimes it just compounds the problem.

I.ecessities for Forgiveness

Explanation: "Forgive us our debts" (our sins) --
Addressed to Father = saved
Addressed debt ...

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