I. THE NEED OF BEING FORGIVEN.
A. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
1. The word sin has it's root meaning, missing the mark.
2. When I tell you that the mark is perfection, I think you will be ready to admit with me, that we are guilty.
3. Some come closer than others to hitting the mark, but it still stands that we have missed the mark.
B. The Bible says that there is none righteous, no not one.
1. In Isaiah 64:6
the prophet said, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and our righteousness are as filthy rags."
2. All your good works cannot undo the evil that you have done.
a. We often hear of men who are guilty of committing horrible crimes, that they have confessed and expressed sorrow for what they have done, however if they spend the rest of their lives doing good works, their good works can never erase their guilt, nor say bring back the ones that they murdered.
b. If they will repent and ask God for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive, and they can be justified before God.
C. In the study of human behavior, they have discovered that most neurotic behavior stems from a guilt complex.
1. Subconsciously we desire punishment for our sin, I know I am guilty, and I need to be freed from the feeling of guilt, and this can only happen when I feel that I have been punished.
2. This subconscious desire for punishment is often manifested in neurotic behavior subconsciously designed to bring rebuke, or the disfavor of my peers.
a. When they ask, "What has happened to you? Why would you do such a dumb thing, you're plain stupid." They are getting the response they desired, they are being punished.
b. Do you remember when you were a child, and you had flagrantly disobeyed your parents and had been caught? After dinner, you are going to have to face the music. Remember how hard it was to eat? You felt like an alien from the family, but after you had be talked to and punished, you again felt like a full member of the family once again.
D. One of the greatest needs we have is that of being forgiven. We need so desperately to hear those words, "I forgive you."
II. GOD OFFERS TO MAN FORGIVENESS.
A. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1. Earlier in Mark's gospel we studied the story of the man with the palsy, who was carried to Jesus by his friends, who tore up the tiles on the roof of the house to let the man down before Jesus, and Jesus said to him, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
2. They had brought the man to Jesus for the healing of his body but Jesus took care of the greater need of the man, and that was the healing of his soul. His conscience tormenting him because of his sin, which had probably caused the physical infirmity.
B. Under the law those who had sinned or transgressed the law of God did not have to live forever with the guilt, God had provided a way of forgiveness. They could bring a ram or a goat to the priest, they would place their hands on the head of the animal, and confess their sins, the guilt of the sin was thus passed on to the animal, and then the animal was slain, and the blood sprinkled on the altar and atonement was made for their sin.
And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
C. In the new covenant that God has made with man through Jesus Christ, again provision has been made whereby man can be relieved from the tormenting sense of guilt by receiving forgiveness of sins.
1. Isaiah declared, "All we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one of us to our own way, and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
2. As the sacrificial lamb, Jesus has become our substitute, He took upon Himself the guilt of our sins, and He died in our place, that we might be forgiven our transgressions.
3. Peter said, "For we have been redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver or gold, from our empty lives, but with the precious blood of Jesus who was slain as a lamb without spot or blemish."
III. THE NEED OF FORGIVING.
A. As great as our need for forgiveness is our need of forgiving.
1. If we are holding anger and bitterness against a person for the wrongs they have done to us, that anger and bitterness can be as harmful to us as not being forgiving, even more so.
2. Our body is a marvelous chemical laboratory, our glands are creating exotic drugs that they release into our body that can be of great benefit to us.
a. We have all heard of the adrenaline that is created in the adrenal glands, that is released into the body when we have been frightened, or angered.
b. This will help you to run faster, jump higher, hit harder.
c. This adrenaline is worked out of the system as you are running. If it just remains in your system, it can be damaging.
3. Emotions create different chemical reactions in your body.
a. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Nothing aids your digestion more than laughing. If you have an after dinner speaker, it is good to have a comedian rather than one that points out the dire problems of the world.
b. Bitterness, anger, wrath, strife, release harmful chemicals into your body.
4. Many people are in psychiatric hospitals today simply because they hold bitterness, and an unforgiving spirit towards wrongs that have been done unto them.
B. The Bible commands us to be forgiving. EPH 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
1. Note the standard of forgiveness, "Even as God for Christ sake has forgiven you.
C. Here in Mark's gospel Jesus speaks of the necessity of forgiving if we are to be forgiven.
1. Matthew tells us of another occasion where Jesus again placed a great emphasis on forgiving, that was in the Sermon on the Mount, again it conjunction with prayer, for in what is commonly termed the Lord's prayer Jesus said, "Forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive those who trespass against us. Then at the end of the prayer He commented, "For if you do not forgive men their trespasses against you, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses."
2. In both cases here in Mark and in the sermon of the mount, associated forgiveness with prayer, and with our being forgiven.
D. Jesus gave a parable in which He illustrated this very point.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
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.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
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.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
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:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
E. Peter asked the Lord one day how often he should forgive a man his trespasses against him, seven times? Jesus responded, "No, till seventy times seven." It is not a matter of math, it is a matter of a forgiving heart.