Now, last Sunday night we talked a little bit about forgiveness. This is a big subject, but it's a subject that we need to get our arms around in a practical way. Forgiveness is very, very important to us. Forgiveness is essential to life as a Christian. And I'm giving you a list of principles that demonstrate the importance of forgiveness.
Last week we looked at the first one which really leads the parade. Forgiveness is the most godlike act a person can do. You're never more like God than when you forgive. Obviously we celebrate the forgiveness of God. We understand the forgiveness of God. It is God overlooking our sin. It is God overlooking our guilt. It is God giving us a promise that we are forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future. We enter into an undeserved, unearned condition of complete and total forgiveness by the sheer grace of God. That is the model for our forgiveness. We forgive out of grace, not because somebody earned it.
We offer forgiveness freely, unconditionally, without restraint, without restriction. And with that offer of forgiveness, we abandon all animosity, all anger, all hatred, all desire for retaliation, all desire for vengeance, all bitterness. And this will guarantee for us a life free from the root of bitterness that it talks about in the book of Hebrews, free from carking anger and hostility that eats away at the joy of the soul. Forgiveness is the most godlike thing you can do. And He is the model. You forgive and you forgive again, and you forgive again, and you forgive again. As we learn from our Lord's words to Peter, "You forgive seventy times seven, seventy times a day." As often as you're offended, that's how often you forgive....