Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 18th September 2016
Quarter Theme: Standing On God’s Promises
Topic: I will forgive you
Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-40
Memory Verse: For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah. 31: 34b)
Many of us find it very hard to forgive. When we say we have forgiven someone, we often do not really mean it despite our conviction that we have truly forgiven the other person. This is usually tested the next time we are offended by the same individual; we quickly remember the long list of wrongs and bring these back in an argument. However, God has promised us that, unlike man, he would truly forgive and forget our sins. This is a profound promise.
Take a pause and think for a minute; if there is no forgiveness, what then? Forgiveness remains one of the core principles of our Christian belief. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Without God’s forgiveness, we would have no hope and are lost; lost for eternity. The bible says in I John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is the promise of God to all of mankind as God loves all; and it is not his desire that man should perish (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:32).
When Adam and Eve fell to temptation in the Garden of Eden, God made a promise to send Jesus who died on the cross of Calvary for all. He died for all our sins. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, all of our sins are forgiven. This includes every sin committed before, now, and in the future, whether big or small. Jesus died on the cross and paid the ultimate price for all of our sins (Colossians 1:14; Acts 10:43).
However, there are some important parts for us to play: 1) Like the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32), we must ‘return’ and seek God’s forgiveness 2) Unlike the ungrateful servant, we must forgive others, remembering how Jesus taught us to pray saying ‘…forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us…’ and 3) And like the advice Jesus gave to the woman taken in adultery in John 8 after asking her if there was any of her accusers left saying… “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- Does God’s promise to forgive cover all sins; ‘big’ (– murder, adultery etc.) and ‘small’ (– cheating, lying etc.)? Is there a difference between the so called ‘big’ and ‘small’ sins?
- Forgiveness is a characteristics of God that the Bible teaches us to pursue with others. Is this easy to do? Why? Share a personal example.
- Read 1 John 1:9. How can we seek God’s forgiveness? How can we avoid taking His forgiveness for granted?
- Read Matthew 18:21-22; How often should we forgive others? Would God forgive us if we do not forgive others?