Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Forgive As I Forgive

Date: AM
Text: Matthew 18; Lord's Day 51
Psalters: 51, 331, 349, 277
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2016-18)
  1. Forgiveness.
    1. Because every sin and all sinfulness is committed against God it is He Who forgives.
      1. Forgiveness is God not imputing our sins and sinfulness to our account, i.e., not holding us responsible to pay for them.
      2. The holy Judge declares that the sin and sinfulness is so covered that it is as if it has never been committed.
      3. More He declares us to be perfectly righteous, as if we did everything right and are worthy of eternal life.
    2. Forgiveness is great in quantity: “all sin” (I John 1:7) and quality: though they be as scarlet (Isa. 1:18).
    3. Why and how is it that God forgives.
      1. The ground of forgiveness is NOT found in us in any way, as if we paid our debt to God.
      2. The only ground for forgiveness is “for Christ’s sake” (Eph. 4:32) - His work and righteousness (Col. 1:14; Acts 13:38).
  2. The way forgiveness is known and experienced is through godly sorrow and a forsaking of the sin.
    1. Godly sorrow is sincere admission of guilt for offending God.
      1. Sincere confession freely admits the sins we know and also admits those which are unknown, hidden and secret.
    2. And the way to experience forgiveness includes the forsaking (Proverbs 28:13) of the wrong.
  3. Three marks of experiencing forgiveness.
    1. Forgiven souls love God and Jesus. They render grateful returns of ardent love to Him.
    2. Forgiven souls are humble (Eph. 3:8; I Tim. 1:15).
    3. And those who know they are forgiven are of a forgiving spirit (Matt. 18:23ff).
      1. Forgiving one another is a “firm resolution from the heart” - a decision, not a feeling.
      2. If we refuse to forgive, and instead dwell on the sins against us, and retain hatred, then we are sinning.
      3. Our focus is to be on how God for Christ’s sake forgave us (Matthew 18:10,000 talents), and then we strive to reflect God.