Forgiving Grace – Gospel in Life

Forgiving Grace

Tim Keller |  January 20, 2002

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  • Fruit of the Spirit
  • Forgiveness
Matthew 18:21-35; 1 Corinthians 13:4,6
RS 145-02

Matthew 18:21–35; 1 Corinthians 13:4–5

When we talk about character and goodness, it’s important to know that just behaving correctly doesn’t mean our hearts are right. Sometimes, old-fashioned moral lessons use fear to make us behave, but that doesn’t really change who we are inside. We need to look closely at qualities like patience, which come from a heart changed by God, to understand how they can grow in us through Jesus.

1. Why do we need patience?

There’s a story that talks about patience and shows how big a debt we owe and the important part servants play. It uses a Greek word, “makrothymeo,” which means the strength to deal with tough times without losing our joy or cool. It shows the difference between just suffering and long-suffering. It’s vital to understand and deal with hidden anger, and how forgiving frees us to live a patient life, free from bitterness and pain.

2. What is patience?

Forgiveness is a big part of patience. It means letting go of past hurts and not seeking payback, which can lead to healing and strength. We need to remember that we all make mistakes, and it’s important to forgive before seeking fairness to prevent revenge. Facing problems with a forgiving heart, without wanting to get even, is a major part of this.

3. How are we going to do this?

We can show patience and forgiveness to others in the way a man looked after his sick wife, even when it was hard. What this man did was a picture of what Jesus, the ultimate King, did for us. He showed mercy and paid our debt when He died on the cross. When we understand how big Jesus’ sacrifice was, we can forgive others with the same kind of love and kindness, and this understanding changes us deeply.



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