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Sermon Quotes

Forgiveness

Henry Ward Beecher

Every time your enemy fires a curse, you must fire a blessing, and so you are to bombard back and forth with this kind of artillery. The mother grace of all graces is Christian good-will.

Life Thoughts

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray; no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.”

Life Together

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?

The Brothers Karamazov

John Irving

The man who refuses to forgive destroys the bridge over which he himself must cross.

C.S. Lewis

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

C.S. Lewis

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.

Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

Richard Rohr

If you do not transform your pain, you will surely transmit it.

Lewis Smedes

God invented forgiveness as the only way to keep his romance with the fallen human family alive.

Philip Yancey

By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am.

C.S. Lewis

“Here is your brother”, he [Aslan] said, “and-there is no need to talk to him about what is past.”

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Andree Seu Peterson

I asked a few people if they’d ever forgiven anyone and what it felt like. They gave me answers so pious I knew they’d never done it…Forgiveness is a brutal mathematical transaction done with fully engaged faculties. It’s my pain instead of yours. I eat the debt. I absorb the misery I wanted to dish out on you, and you go scot-free.

Nicky Gumbel

A good apology has three parts:

1. I’m sorry

2. It’s my fault

3. What can I do to make it right?

 

But most people forget the third part

R.T. Kendall

 

The ultimate proof of total forgiveness takes place when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook-even if they have hurt not only us, but also those close to us.

Total Forgiveness, Charisma House Publishing

Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.

 

Glen Scrivener

The piling on of grace upon grace is incredible. God had given us his Son. We killed him. In response God says, “I want to forgive you and offer another ‘family member,’ so to speak.” It was a case of: You’ve killed my Son; here have my Spirit! It would be like a Judge telling a condemned criminal that not only was he forgiven for killing his boy, the murderer could have his daughter’s hand in marriage too. Astonishing!

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases, Christian Focus Publication.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

Emil Brunner

Forgiveness is the very opposite of anything which can be taken for granted. Nothing is less obvious than forgiveness.

Mediator

Carnegie Simpson

Forgiveness is to man the plainest of duties; to God it is the profoundest of problems.

 Fact of Christ

Glen Scrivener

The piling on of grace upon grace is incredible. God had given us his Son. We killed him. In response God says, “I want to forgive you and offer another ‘family member,’ so to speak.” It was a case of: You’ve killed my Son; here have my Spirit! It would be like a Judge telling a condemned criminal that not only was he forgiven for killing his boy, the murderer could have his daughter’s hand in marriage too. Astonishing!

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases, Christian Focus Publication.

 

Miroslav Volf

Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans and myself from the community of sinners.

Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, Abingdon Press.

Lewis Smedes

We forgive persons, not institutions.

We forgive persons for what not for what they are.

We forgive persons for what they do to seriously wound us.

We forgive persons for what they do to wrong us when they wound us.

The Art of Forgiving: When You Need to Forgive and You Don’t Know How, Ballantine Books.

Julian of Norwich

Our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously; for our falling does not hinder him in loving us.

Revelations of Divine Love, Penguin, 1966.

Anne Lamott

Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants.

Facebook status update, April 8, 2015.

William S. Stoddard

Forgiving the unforgivable is hard. So was the cross: hard words, hard wood, hard nails.

Quoted in Wisdom from a Pastor’s Heart

George Herbert

He who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself.

Oswald Chambers

We trample the blood of the Son of God if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation for the forgiveness of God and for the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the atonement which He has worked out for us.

It does not matter who or what we are; there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted. All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at a door other than the one that Jesus has opened. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy.

Oscar Wilde

Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.

Archibald Hart

Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.

Taken from Charles Swindoll’s A Tale of a Tardy Oxcart, p 216.

Emil Brunner

Forgiveness is the very opposite of anything which can be taken for granted. Nothing is less obvious than forgiveness.

The Mediator, 1927, p.448

Martin Luther King Jr.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.

N.T. Wright

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we don’t take evil seriously after all; it means that we do. In fact, it means we take it doubly seriously. To begin with, it means a settled determination to name evil and to shame it; without that there is, after all, nothing to forgive.

Taken from Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright Copyright (c) 2006, p.159, by N.T. Wright. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Susan Springer

When he said, “I am the bread of life,” he must have meant he was scattering bits of himself like a trail of crumbs leading us to speak and act and scatter forgiveness in his name to the ends of the earth.

A sermon for Ascension Day, 2014, preached at the closing Eucharist for the Preaching Excellence Program, Richmond, VA

Max Lucado

Forgiveness vacillates like this. It has fits and starts, good days and bad. Anger intermingled with love. Irregular mercy. We make progress only to make a wrong turn. Step forward and fall back. But this is okay. When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners. No one owns a secret formula. As long as you are trying to forgive, you are forgiving. It’s when you no longer try that bitterness sets in.

God Will Carry You Through, Thomas Nelson, 2013, p.156.

Desmond Tutu

Well, from the paradigm that Jesus provided, as he was being crucified, he said, “Father, forgive them.” It wasn’t as if he was talking about something that might happen. He was actually experiencing one of the most excruciating ways of being killed, and yet he had the capacity to live out a prayer that he taught Christians, that we can expect to be forgiven only insofar as we are ready to forgive. 

Source Unknown

Good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people do.

Charles Williams

Many promising reconciliations have broken down because, while both parties came prepared to forgive, neither party came prepared to be forgiven.

Dag Hammarskjöld

To forgive oneself”? No, that doesn’t work: we have to be forgiven. But we can only believe this is possible if we ourselves can forgive.

Catherine the Great

Dieu pardonerra;  c’est son métier;  God forgives you — it’s his thing.

*for contrast

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