Notes for Setting the Stage for Forgiveness
Presented by Sarah Colyn
This session considers Christian forgiveness and how we participate in it by faith. These notes outline the basic flow of the teaching and contain the full text and reference for scriptures and quotations. At the bottom of the notes are resources for further exploration of this topic.
The necessity of forgiving
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:24, 25.
“Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (Luke 11:3)
“The way to one’s neighbor leads only through Christ” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 93).
What is forgiveness?
“The exclusive prerogative of Christianity, not natural to the human heart, but rather an exotic, which Christ brought with Him from Heaven” (Meyer, Our Daily Bread, May 7).
“A miracle of God that is to be participated in by faith” (Coutts, A Shared Mercy, 118).
Forgiveness is one aspect of biblical reconciliation
This is an ongoing, non-linear ministry of the Body of Christ;
Forgiveness is not:
“Because of Jesus’ cross and emptied tomb, and because of His ascension and sending of the Spirit,there is a fellowship made on earth wherein we people look to ‘continually receive afresh’ our freedom from sin and allow ourselves ‘to be set forward on the road ahead” (Coutts, 172-173).
Resources on this topic:
John Coutts’ A Shared Mercy
Part II of Leanne Payne’s Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer, “The Forgiveness of Sin”
Leslie Vernick’s How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong
“Removing Barriers to Wholeness: Forgiving Others” lecture and prayer live audio recording from an MPC school held in Wheaton, IL in 2019.