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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we start a new series titled “Personal portraits of Peter”.

These messages will contain lessons that can help each of us daily.

Today we are talking about Peter’s Lesson on Forgiveness.


Matthew 18:21-22 (AMP)


21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” 

22 Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.

Scripture Reading.

Matthew 18:15-35


Matthew 18:21 (AMP)


21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?”

Peter’s question was important, for Jesus placed greta emphasis on right relations with others.

The first priority for any person is to be right with God.

Second only to that in importance is to be right with other people.

In this message, we assume that you are right with God.

What is your obligation to be right with others?

  1. What to do when you have wronged others.
  1. Ask God’s forgiveness.

Matthew 6:12 (AMP)

12 ‘And forgive us our [a]debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].

Our Lord’s comment on this petition in the model prayer is in Matthew 6:14-15 (AMP)

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 

15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.

Debts are sins of omission.

They include unfulfilled obligations.

Trespasses are sins of commission, in which one walks where God says not to walk.

Sin is any lack of conformity to God’s will.

If we have sinned against a brother or sister, we first ask God’s forgiveness, because all sin is fundamentally against God.

B. Then go to the person you have wronged, make an honest confession, and in so far as possible, make restitution for any wrong you have caused.

The Lord’s instructions are clear, Matthew 5:23-24 (AMP)

23 So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, 

24 leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering.

More important than worship is the reconciliation with a brother or sister against who you have sinned.

Be reconciled if that person is willing to forgive.

If not, you have done what you can.

Romans 12:18 (AMP)

18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Paul realised that it takes two people to reconcile differences.

2. What to do when someone has wronged you.

  1. Go to that person personally and privately.

Human nature that since another person has wronged you, that person should come to you and ask forgiveness.

Jesus turns the tables, however, Luke 17:3 (AMP)

3 Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.

If the other person is a Christian, you will find mostly that the differences between you both have been because of a misunderstanding.

Misunderstandings can come because words are misunderstood, because of an ambiguous meaning, or because either of you didn’t get all the facts and jumped to a conclusion too quickly.

If you can reconcile, you have gained a brother.

If not you have done all you can.

B. More specific and detailed are the instructions when the person is a member of your church.

The first step id the same, Matthew 18:15 (AMP)

Discipline and Prayer

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother.

The second step is in Matthew 18:16 (AMP)

16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

If the person will not hear you or the witnesses, Jesus commands that the disagreement be brought before the church.

If this person will not hear the church, it is evidence that they are not a Christian.

In that case, the person is to be treated as a sinner in need of your prayers and witness.

He or she should not be treated as one to be kept on the church roll in good and regular standing.

Lets read how Jesus said it and the importance of it in Matthew 18:17-18 (AMP)

17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector. 

18 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven.

Even God cannot forgive a person who will not repent.

Ephesians 4:32  (AMP)

32 Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.

3. Jesus answers Peter’s question.

  1. Peter no doubt thought that his offer to forgive a brother who sinned against him as many as seven times was huge.

Matthew 18:22 (AMP)

22 Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.

Whether Jesus’ answer is seventy times seven or seventy seven matter little, for Jesus is saying that forgiveness is unlimited.

His own spirit was manifested by His prayer from the cross for His enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”

Jesus attitude is further revealed in Matthew 5:43-48.

One forgiven by God will have a forgiving spirit.

B. This truth is enforced by the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35.

This parable is not a story with a hidden meaning.

It deals with principles and relationships rather than people.

If, for example, one wrongly says the king represents God, there are many contradictions.

  1. God never forgives unless the sinner repents.

God is never fooled. The king in the parable is fooled.

2. God never makes mistakes, so He never revokes a pardon.

The king did make a mistake and did revoke the pardon.

3. God never forgives without regeneration.

The king did forgive the servant without any renewal taking place within him.

The kingdom of heaven, that is, the reign of God or the way God rules, will in some way be illustrated by the story.

C. Exposition of the parable.

  1. The magnitude of the debt in Matthew 18:23-25.

Jesus showed humour in making the debt so huge.

One talent was six thousand denarii. 

A denarius was the amount of a days wage.

Ten thousand talents would have been sixty million denarii.

Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote that the imperial taxes for Judea, Idumea, and Samaria were only six hundred talents.

Ten thousand talents! That was an impossible sum of money!

The servant was utterly bankrupt, yet in his pride and desperation he cried out in verse 29, “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all”

The application seems valid that our sin debt to God is more than we can pay.

Ephesians 2:1 tells us that the sinner is “Dead in trespasses and sins”

A dead man cannot save himself.

Human pride says “I can atone for my sins with good deeds.”

God’s Word says, Romans 6:23 (AMP)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2. The forgiveness of the debt.

O the basis of the debtors pitiful plea, the king forgave him his debt and freed his family from bandage.

This suggests the greatness of God’s mercy in forgiving the sin debts of all those who call on Him in sincerity.

God’s forgiveness is offered to all.

His offer is free but costly, read John 3:16, Romans 8:1, and Titus 2:14.

3. The terms of forgiveness.

The king was fooled concerning the nature of the servant he forgave.

He had expected that on the forgiveness of his debt, the forgiven man would be forgiving.

Instead, he found a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii.

This was only 1/600,000 of what he had been forgiven.

The man begged him to delay payment.

His servant had used the same words he had himself used towards the king.

But he would not forgive his servant and instead threw him into prison.

When the king learned what he had done, he called him and said, Matthew 18:32-34 (AMP)

32 Then his master called him and said to him, ‘You wicked and contemptible slave, I forgave all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me. 

33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave [who owed you little by comparison], as I had mercy on you?’ 

34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (jailers) until he paid all that he owed.

Happily, God never makes a mistake, but God also never forgives until there is genuine repentance.

If you are unsure of this read Matthew 21:32, Luke 24:47, and Acts 20:21.

God desires to forgive.

He has made provision for forgiveness, but He cannot bestow forgiveness without repentance.

Romans 3:23-26 (AMP)

23 since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, 

24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, 

25 whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion]. 

26 It was to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus [and rely confidently on Him as Savior].

Who God forgives He also regenerates.

Those who have been forgiven by God desire to forgive others.


Matthew 6:15 (AMP)

15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:35 (AMP)

35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to [every one of] you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Un forgiveness in the heart is evidence that someone is not saved.

When we have been forgiven ten thousand talents, one hundred denarii is nothing!

Never does a Christian pray, “Father, damn them.”

Instead, we pray, as did Jesus, “Father, forgive them.”

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia