Complete Forgiveness
Pastor Jerry Ghirardo
April 25th 2021
Genesis 50:15-21
Verse of the Week
19 “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'”
~ Genesis 50:19-20

1) Introduction!

  • We are going to explore what complete forgiveness looks like and also what it doesn't look like.
  • The short version is that complete forgiveness looks just like Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.
  • Another example of complete forgiveness in Scripture is the life of Joseph and his relationship with his brothers.

2) Forgiving others doesn't have anything to do with denial.  Forgiving others starts by recognizing the harm that has been done and then choosing to forgive anyway!

  • Genesis 50:19 – “But Joseph said to them, 'Don't be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’"

3) Forgiving doesn't involve keeping any record of wrongs!

  • I Corinthians 13:5 - "…Love keeps no record of wrongs."
  • Genesis 50:5 - "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you."

4) When you follow Christ's example you don't seek revenge or to punish the perpetrator in any way!

  • I Corinthians 13:5 - "Love is not self-seeking.  It is not easily angered…”
  • Deuteronomy 32:35 - "It is mine to avenge, I will repay."
  • Genesis 45:7 - "But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance." 

5) If you truly forgive someone you will go out of your way to protect them and their reputation!

  • I Corinthians 13:5 - "Love does not dishonor others…."
  • Genesis 45:1 - "Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!'  So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers."

6) Choosing to forgive involves extraordinary mercy and grace!

  • Luke 6:36 - "Be merciful, even as your father is merciful."
  • Matthew 5:7 – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

7) True forgiveness is only possible when there is not even a hint of bitterness or resentment!

  • Hebrews 12:15 - "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
  • Ephesians 4:31 – “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."

8) Forgiving others actually involves accepting God's plan for your life and forgiving God for the injuries that you endure!

  • Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

9) Extending forgiveness is consistent with loving your enemies and praying for those who harm you!

  • Matthew 5:44 - "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven."
  • Genesis 50:21 - "So then, don't be afraid.  I will provide for you and your children.  And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them."

10) Continuing to forgive is a lifelong commitment!

  • Matthew 18:21 - "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Up to seven times?  Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"
  • Genesis 50:15-17 - "When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, 'What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?  So they sent word to Joseph saying, ‘Your father left these instructions before he died… I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly."

Download the 04-25-21 Sermon Notes Here:
04.25.21 Sermon Outline.docx

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