Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness,
wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all
malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)
characteristic of our sinful human nature is the tendency to hold a
grudge. We are tempted to hate our enemies, and speak evil of
those who mistreat us, but Jesus says to love them.
Matthew 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, 'You
shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you,
love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate
you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that
you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on
the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the
unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have
you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you
greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?
Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be
perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (NKJV)
2. Vengeance can be a strong temptation, and some succumb to
its allure, but God says that vengeance belongs to Him.
Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have
regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is
possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to
wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says
the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is
thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire
on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
3. There are specific biblical principles that must govern the
way we forgive others. Although they are not always easy to
employ, they are not optional!
I. Why we must forgive.
A. We must forgive in order to be forgiven.
Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our debts, As we
forgive our debtors. (NKJV)
6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive
men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your
Mark 11:25-26 And whenever
you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him,
that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive
your trespasses. (NKJV)
B. All have sinned and, therefore, need forgiveness.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God, (NKJV)
1 John 1:7-10 But if we
walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all
sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a
liar, and His word is not in us. (NKJV)
C. We must all face judgment.
Acts 17:30-31 Truly, these times of ignorance God
overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He
has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness
by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this
to all by raising Him from the dead. (NKJV)
II. How we are to forgive others.
A. The heart is involved.
Matthew 18:35 So My heavenly Father also will do
to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his
1. There are some things that must be removed from the
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger,
clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
2. The heart must be kept tender.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave
[This outline on this timely subject, Forgiving One Another, by
Brother Randy Tidmore, came to us via the brotherhood Internet Web
This is an excerpt from a lengthier study. For the full
outline, see Brother Tidmore's home page.