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Luke Chapter 17

The Duty to Forgive

Read Luke 17:-1-10

The duty to forgive

Verse 3 - Be on your guard - against what?   Unforgiveness

verses 1-2 - Unforgiveness is a stumbling block

- Notice it says, "if he repents" forgive him

Forgiveness does 2 things

  1. It releases our minds from the burden of thinking about the offense. We are to forgive, regardless of whether or not someone repents - we are to let go of it, give it to God, and forget about it. We do not necessarily need to let the offender know that we have forgiven them. This kind of forgiveness is for our own benefit, and really has nothing to do with the offender.

  2. It releases the offender from a feeling of guilt and shame. It lets them know that we have put the issue aside and will not remind them of the offense, or expect any kind of "payment" for it. This kind of forgiveness is for the benefit of the offender, as well as ourselves - but it is necessary to let the offender know you have forgiven him. If they have repented, they most likely will ask for your forgiveness.

In the context of this passage, when Jesus says "if he repents, forgive him" -He is talking about #2 above - we are not to be a stumbling block to someone else - if someone apologizes for an offense, we should let them know that we have forgiven him. If we don't, it destroys our witness. When we confess our sins to God, He forgives. We must do likewise.

Verse 5 - "increase our faith" - why would they say this?

Forgiving someone can be hard to do Jesus taught us to love our enemies - there are some evil people in this world. God said "Vengeance is mine" (Deut. 32:35).  Loving your enemies would include forgiving them, and in this context, that means that you give it to God and trust Him to bring about justice. Remember, evil people are controlled by evil spirits

Read Eph. 6: 12-17

- stand firm, take up the shield of faith (trust God)

- do not let unforgiveness poison you - don't create a stumbling block for yourself

The duty to obey God

Verse 6-you don't need an abundant measure of faith. God has given us each a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3)

As your faith is tested and tried, it grows and matures - like a mustard seed (Luke 13: 19).

The more mature your faith, the more power it will have in your life

Verse 9 - "he did the things which were commanded"

Jesus just commanded the disciples to forgive - it is expected that the command will be obeyed.

Verse 10 - "all the things" - to forgive, to love ...

We should not expect special recognition and praise for doing what is right

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