Are We There Yet? – Part 3: Forgiveness

Are We There Yet? – Part 3: Forgiveness

Are We There Yet? – Part 3
August 13 – 14, 2022
Matthew 18:21-22

“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’”
Matthew 18:21–22 (p.749)

  • Aim High To Forgive.
  1. Embrace God’s forgiveness.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (p.811)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”                   Romans 10:9-10 (p.864)

  1.  Ask God for the power to forgive others.

“But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:15 (p.772)

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:12-13 (p.904)

Series Memory Verse: “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13b-14 (p.901)

My Next Step This Week:
_____ I will embrace God’s forgiveness and pray for His power as I release the bitterness I hold towards ____________, as many times as necessary.

Discussion/Groups Guide: Are We There Yet? – Part 3 “Forgiveness”

Life Groups use this guide in their discussion and study of the Weekend Talk. Use this also as a discussion guide with your family and friends.

Conversation Starters

  • We’ve all seen kids say they are sorry when they don’t really mean it! When have you apologized to someone, even though you really didn’t want to?
  • When have you forgiven someone, even when they didn’t ask for it?
  • What is harder: saying you’re sorry or being forgiven? Please unpack your answer.

Quick Review

Looking back at your Weekend Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out to you, challenged you, or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

Refer to the Talk Notes and Bible verses from the Talk Notes.

Our One Thing: Aim High to Forgive.

  • The idea of “aim high” comes from advice given by a driver’s ed teacher many years ago. She told her students to, “aim high in steering.” Her point was to teach her students to not just focus on the front hood of the car, but when they aim high, they are much more aware of their surroundings and in much better control of the vehicle. Aiming high is also a terrific metaphor for “taking the high road” in how we live our lives. This week we are aiming high in our spiritual journey to let Jesus transform us so we can live in His character. Forgiveness is one of those areas.

Series Memory Verse: Philippians 4:13b-14 (p.901)

One Voice Bible Story Background: Matthew 18:21-22 (p.749), Seventy times seven!

  • Setting the stage for HOW we can Aim High to Forgive, we first established some foundational truths about our relationship with Jesus and forgiveness.
    • God loves me. Romans 5:8 (p.860).
    • I need forgiveness. Romans 3:22-23 (p.859).
    • God offers forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 (p.941).
    • Since I’m forgiven, I must aim high to forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (p.904).
  • Based on these passages:
    • Do I earn my salvation by being good enough for God?
    • Do really need forgiveness? Aren’t there some people who are good enough without a relationship with Jesus?
    • What needs to happen for me to receive God’s forgiveness?
    • When I have been forgiven, what should I do now? (See also Hebrews 12:15 (p.928) and Galatians 6:1-2 (p.893).

As we walk through these studies of reflecting the character of Jesus but realizing we are not “there” yet, we need to keep looking up to Jesus as our example and the Holy Spirit as our motivating power to help us Aim High.

  1. Embrace God’s forgiveness. John 3:16 (p.811); Romans 10:9-10 (p.864).
    • Why do you think God wants us to confess and ask? Why not just grant salvation to everyone?
  2. Ask God for the power to Forgive others. Matthew 6:15 (p.772); Colossians 3:10, 12-13 (p.904).
    • Respond/react to this quote: “The unforgiving person has never met God!”
    • Does it mean that if you don’t forgive you are not saved? Not necessarily. What it DOES mean is that when you are living in unforgiveness you are living more like a non-believer than a believer.
    • What is Paul talking about when says you “must clothe yourselves…”?
      • How does one clothe themselves with these things? What role does the Holy Spirit play in our ability and desire to do this? Is this optional?

Digging Deeper

We talked about remaining in Jesus in John 15:4-5 (p824). Now read Hebrews 11 (p.926-7). This is a great passage about faith that works its way through Jewish history up to present day.

Here are two things for your consideration/mediation:

  1. Of the list of people from this “Hall of Fame” of faith, who would you want to meet and talk to if you had the opportunity? What would you want to talk about?
  2. Look at 11:39-40 (p.927). What comfort can you/do you take from these verses, especially in light of verses 35b-38?

For Followers of Jesus is there really an option for us not to remain in Jesus? We have been forgiven everything so that we may spend eternity with our God and our savior, therefore we need to practice forgiveness in all aspects of our lives – not just at church and Life Groups but in the home, workplace, and the checkout line!   

But sometimes we need to be reminded of this, to encourage, support, and uplift each other in prayer so we can all finish the race and hear Well done good and faithful servant.

My Next Step This Week:

____ I will embrace God’s forgiveness and pray for His power as I release the bitterness I hold towards ____________ as many times as necessary.

This Week’s Life Transformation Bible Daily Reading: Forgiveness (p.A74-75)

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