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Forgiveness is Limitless

Life of Peter   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Fogivness Beyond our ability

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Forgiveness is Limitless

Matthew 18:21 KJV 1900
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Forgiveness is hard!
It’s not fair
They don't have to deal with what I have felt
Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, "What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me." 
John Stott in The Contemporary Christian.
Peter had just heard the discourse on being offended and hurt!
If you are offended go tell you brother what he/she has done! vs 15
If that doesn't work take someone with you to hear the matter vs 16
Finally bring it in front of the church
Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary (a) Magnanimity in Forgiveness beyond the Normal (18:21)

Peter had been impressed by the Lord’s teaching on reconciliation. He realized that if he were the injured party, he would have to exercise a forgiving spirit. But how often would one be called on to forgive? The rabbis had decided that three times would be forbearance and forgiveness enough. Peter, with a great show of magnanimity, suggested that he forgive seven times. He was reducing love to logic, mercy to mathematics, a matter of spirituality to a matter of arithmetic

Peter had been impressed by the Lord’s teaching on reconciliation.
He realized that if he were the injured party, he would have to exercise a forgiving spirit. But how often would one be called on to forgive?
The rabbis had decided that three times would be forbearance and forgiveness enough.
Peter suggested that he forgive seven times. He was reducing love to logic, mercy to mathematics, a matter of spirituality to a matter of arithmetic
Notice Peter was always willing to make a public statement about his spirituality!
Look at me!
I will never leave
I will forgive 7 times ; law only required three.....
He again spoke up and let all know how Spiritual he was!
This parable put him in his place.
Forgiveness can only come from an act of God!
On our own we are unable to forgive!
Illustration -
Mathematics - how much can I memorize to be proficient?
Math facts, postulates, theorems equations ????
No the entire approach is wrong!
You must see the why and the logic as to why you do what you do!
Memorizing will always fall short !
Some commentators thought that Peter was under constant ridicule and that's why he asked the question ?

I The Compassion-

Matthew 18:23–27 KJV 1900
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 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. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Let me show you -----
The Lord answered Peter’s proposal with a parable.
The down-to-earth story tells of a man who owed an oriental ruler an incalculable debt, stated to be “ten thousand talents” (18:24).
It is hard to translate Bible money into present-day equivalents because of fluctuating values.
It is best to draw parallels, and to point out that a talent was the heaviest unit of weight used by the Hebrews and the number “ten thousand” was the highest round number.[10] By all standards, the man’s debt was beyond computation.
A denarius was a days pay
A Talent was 6,000 denarii
Thus owed was 60,000 days of work or 164 years
vs 25
The day of accounting came; the man was brought before the king and found to be bankrupt. The king commanded that such assets as the man had be liquidated.
He was to be sold, along with his wife and family. Even so, his indebtedness to the throne would not be totally satisfied.
The man’s condition illustrates our state before God. We are all ten-thousand-talent debtors.
We are in debt to a loving God
We can’t possibly get our of this
Example - Colleen goes into pool on vacation .....
does not want any help and then falls into the deep end....
She is not going to get out of this
It will not end well
Then with gentleness and love I reach my hand down and pull her back to saftey.
God has lavished on us life, skills, and opportunities.
In return, we have misappropriated His investment, abused His gifts, wasted our substance, despised His laws, ignored His claims, sinned constantly and with a high hand. We have accumulated an incalculable debt.
vs 26-27
The man’s only hope, as is ours, was to cast himself on the mercy of the king, who was willing to forgive the debt. The debtor, however, had no grasp of the principle of grace; he only understood law. He appealed not for grace, but for more time. “Lord, have patience with me,” he said, “and I will pay thee all” (18:26).
vs 26 - He asked for patience; he received pardon.
The lord was “moved with compassion” and loosed him from his debt (18:27).
Illustration - God has given us skills and opportunities - we have wasted them and now have to give an account.

II The Crime -

Matthew 18:28–30 KJV 1900
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. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Key word found ! Hunting down went looking !
Mad and out for revenge!
Pump station - threw pliers at me and was going to crush my car with crane
Auburn - hit by fist through my window
How many of you are bitter and unforgiving and hunting down those that hurt you .....
Illustration - looking for and hunting down those that have offended us
Illustration - looking for and hunting down those that have offended us
Family
Work
Parents
Children
vs 28 - owned three months wages vs 164 years
Look at the anger - take by the throat !
Illustration - out of control
When you think of that person what comes t mind?
¨ Do you desire to have fellowship with them or do you try to avoid them?
Do you still make up speeches of what you are going to say to them, or what you should have said to them?
¨ Do you say or feel in your heart: “I forgive them, but I don’t have to like them”?
¨ Do you still make up speeches of what you are going to say to them, or what you should have said to them?
¨ Do you still think that they should hurt or should pay for what they have done to you?
¨ Do you still think of ways to get even with them?
¨ Do you sometimes think hard thoughts and have to repent, only to think those hard thoughts again and have to repent, over and over?
¨ Do you have strong emotional reactions when you think of or see the person who hurt you?
¨ Can you sincerely pray for this person and bless them, sincerely desiring to see them blessed?
¨ Can you, and do you honestly rejoice when good things happen for the person who wounded you?
vs 29 - he begged but would not listen.
Do you not understand all you have been forgiven?
he put the man debtors prison - wow
Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary (b) The Man and His Deed (18:28–30)

He cast his fellow servant into the debtors’ prison. The poor man’s pleas made no impression whatsoever on the creditor’s hard heart.

III The Consequences

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
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: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Matthew 18:31–35 KJV 1900
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 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: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Notice vs 34 - delivered to tormentors
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die!
Forgiveness - freedom and joy
Unforgiveness - resentment, hostility and anger
https://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/103-you-can-let-go
https://www.values.com/forgiveness
When the evil man’s wickedness was brought to the attention of his lord, the king had him arrested at once. “O thou wicked servant,” he said, “I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?” (18:32–33)
The word translated “wicked” here is ponēros. Ponēros and its synonyms are used in the New Testament to refer to human depravity and the wicked working of our evil nature. The wicked behavior of the unforgiving man revealed his unregenerate heart.
He was forced to face the consequences of his wickedness.
The man had no plea, for he knew his case to be hopeless.
The new sentence was far worse than the one that had been rescinded. Before he was to have been sold; now “his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him” (18:34).
In human courts of law, previous conviction increases the penalty for a further transgression
The man in the parable was arrested, arraigned, tried, and sentenced not because of his ten-thousand-talent debt, but because of his wicked behavior toward his fellow servant; however, his punishment was made commensurate with what he had once owed. Because of his new sin, he would not be eligible for parole until he paid the equivalent of his former debt.
Mercy had been replaced with wrath.
Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary (c) The Man and His Doom (18:31–35)

When the evil man’s wickedness was brought to the attention of his lord, the king had him arrested at once. “O thou wicked servant,” he said, “I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?” (18:32–33) The word translated “wicked” here is ponēros. Ponēros and its synonyms are used in the New Testament to refer to human depravity and the wicked working of our evil nature. The wicked behavior of the unforgiving man revealed his unregenerate heart.

He was forced to face the consequences of his wickedness. The man had no plea, for he knew his case to be hopeless. The new sentence was far worse than the one that had been rescinded. Before he was to have been sold; now “his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him” (18:34).

In human courts of law, previous conviction increases the penalty for a further transgression

In applying the parable, the Lord showed the seriousness of an unforgiving spirit. “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,” Jesus said, “if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (18:35).
Peter had asked how often he must forgive, and Jesus in effect said to him and us, “You must go on forgiving and forgiving because that is how the heavenly Father forgives.” After all, the transgressions we are called on to forgive are relatively petty whenmpared with the enormous transgressions we have asked God to forgive.
Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary (c) The Man and His Doom (18:31–35)

The man in the parable was arrested, arraigned, tried, and sentenced not because of his ten-thousand-talent debt, but because of his wicked behavior toward his fellow servant; however, his punishment was made commensurate with what he had once owed. Because of his new sin, he would not be eligible for parole until he paid the equivalent of his former debt. Mercy had been replaced with wrath.

In applying the parable, the Lord showed the seriousness of an unforgiving spirit. “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,” Jesus said, “if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (18:35). Peter had asked how often he must forgive, and Jesus in effect said to him and us, “You must go on forgiving and forgiving because that is how the heavenly Father forgives.” After all, the transgressions we are called on to forgive are relatively petty when

Why would the Lord tell such a parable to His disciples?
One of them had an unregenerate heart; he was a mere pretender and he ended up in perdition. His name was Judas. And why should the parable be told in the local church? The ranks of church members often include some who have never been truly regenerated.
Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary (c) The Man and His Doom (18:31–35)

compared with the enormous transgressions we have asked God to forgive.

The parable shows that an unforgiving spirit reveals an unregenerate heart, and an unregenerate heart eventually lands a person in the place of torment. Why would the Lord tell such a parable to His disciples? One of them had an unregenerate heart; he was a mere pretender and he ended up in perdition. His name was Judas. And why should the parable be told in the local church? The ranks of church members often include some who have never been truly regenerated.

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