Teacher: Rusty Kennedy
What is forgiveness?
- Do biblical writers, like many Christians writing today, ever equate “apologizing” with seeking forgiveness?
- Apologizing is not only unscriptural, it is the world’s unsatisfactory substitute for forgiveness.
- Tony - Releasing an individual from any blame or harm they have caused due to their action, inaction, or words.
- Dave – Releasing another from an offense
- Tony - Extending grace regardless of the weight and depth of the offense or offender.
- Steve - Letting go of a wrong done when you don't deserve it.
- Joel - No longer considering someone guilty that has wronged you? Restoring them to good standing in relation to you in spite of their actions.
- Lucas – From God's standpoint it's the impartation of righteousness towards those who believe, despite our behavior. From man's viewpoint it's the ability to release one another from the prison of guilt and shame so that we can experience life.
- Randy - The acknowledgement and response to my hopefully humble admission of a wrong.
- Jerry - Forgiveness is multifaceted. It involves refusing to hate or harbor a grudge against those who have wronged you. It involves refusing to let the pain of past wrongs debilitate you--being able to live well with the pain. My prof at SWBTS, Jack McGorman, used to say, Forgiveness is most difficult because it always involves a broken heart.
- Rick - to erase a debt and release the memory of it. You can’t be forgiven and be in a deficit relationship.
- Steve - The releasing of a debt.
- Lynn - Rare and Everything. At the heart of love. Forgiving is really just one of the many things that serves to empty me of my self-importance. Then, on a good day, when God uses me and shapes me in His will...then, I get a glimpse of God through as I witness Love through me to use me. Brings us back to the 'oneness'. I personally become spiritually weakened by resentment. It's like turning against yourself to resent... It's resentment that eats away the intimacy, the trust and love in many relationships.
- LeAnna - Releasing the anger, hurt, bad feelings you have toward a person. No longer holding that against them. Letting God have it
- Rio - Forgiveness is letting go of the wrong doing that was against you by someone else and accepting them as someone you can fellowship with.
- Larissa - Giving up your pride and control to preserve relationship.
- Eric – A persons resolve to shift their perspective of another. A choice to see another, not through lens of wrongs committed, but rather by the lens of their intrinsic value as a a human. In that shift is the erasure of all bitterness held due to wrongs of the other.
- Heidi – Forgiveness is acknowledging that someone hurt me and letting it go, not reliving it, not bringing it back up and trying to forget it. I realized that if God’s grace is meant for me it is also meant for anyone who hurts me and I pray they will know His grace too.
- Jordan - Forgiveness is something given to someone who has committed an act of wrong doing either intentionally or unintentionally against another. It is the moment when the offended person makes a conscious choice to extend grace to the offender. In this act of extending grace the recipient receives something they do not deserve and cannot earn. This is because the act of forgiveness is entirely dependent upon the individual's heart and mindset toward their offender. The offensive act is not forgotten, it is simply understood that the offended individual will extend a gracious attitude in regards to the offensive act. Due to our unredeemed earth suits true forgiveness is a difficult if not an impossible act to accomplish. Only God can offer forgiveness and never bring the offense back to mind without an attitude of grace. Forgiveness is an act of love.
- Keith - It is the ability to trust the wrong imposed on me was the spiritual forces disturbing the peace in heavenly places.
- Luke - A release from responsibility.
- Devin - To relationally move back to a previous position.
- Chad - the improbable action of no longer holding a grudge against another for a wrong committed against you. Understanding that love exceeds the committed wrong.
- Wes - it's recognizing the spiritual reality of an offense.
- Jonathan - There is absolutely nothing hindering our friendship. You and I can walk with the utmost confidence in our relationship.
- Erik - His Gift to us for His Glory!
- Kiersten - Well the first words that came to mind are acceptance, forgetting, gift, fully loved. Forgiveness is a gift through the holy, glorious sacrificing love of God in which through His Son's death and resurrection He fully accepts us loves us and forgets all that we have done and will do. Forgiveness is freeing!!
- Billy - Not counting our sins against us and choosing not to remember them no more.
Forgiveness is not a feeling;
Forgiveness is a promise!
- When our God forgives us, He promises that He will not remember our sins against us anymore.
- God can’t forget (like you and I can).
- God can choose not to remember.
- To “not remember” is simply a graphic way of saying, “I will not bring up these matters to you or others in the future. I will bury them and not exhume the bones to beat you over the head with them. I will never use these sins against you.”
Luke 17:1-10 – 1 He said to His disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
- Kidney stones vs pregnancy
- Put your finger in a vice and squeeze it until it hurts. Now turn it 4 more times… those are kidney stones.
- “Rebuke” – Go to them when there is an issue. (pregnancy)
- Forgiveness (kidney stones) seems much easier than rebuking.
4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
- If you get popped in the nose by your friend because they get angry you are to forgive them when they repent.
- 15 minutes later they pop you in the nose again.
- They repeat this seven times. (kidney stones)
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
- This is not a faith issue.
- You can have the smallest ounce of faith.
- This is an obedience issue.
- Not enough faith excuse is removed.
- Jesus uses the mulberry tree for a reason.
- “I see no repentance.”
- The mulberry tree didn’t grow in a day… What stage of repentance are they? Beginning?
7 “Which one of you having a slave tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that slave because he did what was commanded? 10 In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’ ” 
- The third excuse Jesus quickly removes from the table is “I don’t feel like it.”
- Who are we to let our feelings dictate our obedience?
Forgiveness is a promise that God will not remember any of that which I have done against Him. It is a continual process to never bring it up again so our relationship can remain perfected.
 Adams, J. E. (1989). From forgiven to forgiving (p. 10). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 Adams, J. E. (1989). From forgiven to forgiving (p. 12). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Lk 17:1–10). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.