forgiveness

Bible Verses About Forgiveness

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One of the greatest themes in the Bible is forgiveness. The miracle of the gospel is that God has forgiven our sins because of the death of Jesus. Starting in Genesis there are a number of very important Bible verses about forgiveness. There are approximately 48 uses of the word forgive in the Old Testament and 47 in the New Testament. Some of those key verses are listed below.

Bible Verses About Forgiveness

Genesis 50:17 "So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him."

Numbers 14:18 "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."

Deuteronomy 21:8 "Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them."

Nehemiah 9:17 "And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not."

Psalm. 32:1 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."

Psalm 32:5 "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."

Psalm 51:1 "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions."

Psalm 86:5 "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee."

Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."

Psalm 130:4 "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared."

Isaiah 38:17 "Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back."

Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."

Jeremiah 18:23 "Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger."

Jeremiah 31:34 "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Daniel 9:9 "To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him."

Micah 7:19 "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

Matthew 6:12 "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

Matthew 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Matthew 18:21 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

Matthew 26:28 "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Mark 1:4 "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

Mark 2:7 "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?"

Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Mark 11:25 "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

Luke 1:77 "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins."

Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."

Luke 7:47 "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."

Luke 12:10 "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven."

Luke 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

John 20:23 "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Acts 5:31 "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Acts 10:43 "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

Acts 13:38 "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins."

Acts 17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."

Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."

2 Corinthians 2:7 "So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow."

2 Corinthians 12:13 "For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong."

Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."

Colossians 1:14 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

Colossians 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses."

Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

1 John 5:16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."

Talking About Forgiveness

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This morning I had the privilege of teaching at Calvary Chapel Living Hope in Robinsville, New Jersey. This is a new fellowship that my Dad planted last year. I shared about forgiveness. Here was my application.

First, We need to forgive people unconditionally, unilaterally in our hearts as fast as possible. This means that we are at least, sparing the offender our wrath, bearing with the offender and not giving up on them, covering over the sin so that it is not our focus when we think about them or talk about them, identify it as something left or something we are divorced from, seeking their favor and blessing,and lastly agree to cancel their moral debt to you.

This response is described in Romans 12:17-21

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Russ Moore “One of the reasons this is hard for us is because we too often assume forgiving a trespasser means allowing an injustice to stand. This attitude betrays a defective eschatology. At our Lord’s arrest (Matt. 26:47-54), Jesus told Peter to put his sword back into his sheath not because Jesus didn’t believe in punishing evildoers (think Armageddon). Jesus told Peter he could have an armada of angelic warriors at his side (and one day he will). But judgment was not yet, and Peter wasn’t judge.

That’s the point.

When we forgive, we are confessing that vengeance is God’s (Rom. 12:19). We don’t need to exact justice from a fellow believer because justice has already fallen at the cross. We don’t need to exact vengeance from an unbeliever because we know the sin against us will be judged in hell or, more hopefully, when the offender unites himself to the One who is “the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2).”

Second, we still address other believer’s sin because of our love for them and a desire for them to be sanctified. We also address issues of sin because we want to protect others from being injured. Confrontation/Conflict cannot be selfish. (Note: our confrontation of other’s sin is not based on vindication, a desire to inflict pain, or to get even.)

  • Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
  • Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Third, sometimes we allow natural consequences to transpire or impose social limits so that  a sinning person is motivated to repent. (Note: again, this is not done out of vindication, a desire to inflict pain or to get even. And they need to know that you are ready to restore favor once they have repented.)

  • 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
  • Matthew 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.