Matthew 18:21

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Matthew 18:21

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is forgiveness; He forgives us of our own sins, and He empowers us to forgive others who sin against us.

Forgiveness is costly; the forgiveness of our sins cost the precious blood of Jesus. And sometimes, it costs something of us to forgive others. Yet, Scripture provides endless reasons to forgive, no matter the cost.

First, we must forgive one another because God has so willingly forgiven us.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Second, if we do not forgive, we shut out the forgiveness of God.

Matthew 18:35 says: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Adrian Rogers says, “As long as you have an unforgiving spirit in your heart, you cannot get the forgiveness of God.”

Third, if we don’t forgive, our unforgiving spirit will do us great emotional damage, namely, bitterness.

We don’t just forgive an individual for their sake, but also for our own sake. So long as we keep our brother “on the hook” for something he’s done against us, we will also remain on the same hook.

Adrian Rogers says, “When you forgive, you set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Finally, forgiveness restores a broken fellowship.

Matthew 18:15 says, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”

We must forgive freely and quickly, taking the initiative and approaching offenders with a heart ready to receive them. We must forgive fully, not half-heartedly, and it must be final. Once we forgive, we must bury the offense in the grave of God’s forgetfulness and not bring it up again.

As a result, we set ourselves free from the prison of bitterness, and set our brother free from his guilt. Once free, there can be reconciliation, which can lead to revival.

Apply it to your life

Is there anyone that you’re harboring hate for or holding a grudge against? Is there bitterness in your heart? In the name of Jesus, deal with it; ask God for His strength to forgive. Don’t let an unforgiving spirit keep you from having genuine spiritual revival in your life.