Rev. John T. James

Rev. John T. James

Did you ever say or do anything and then later wish you could take it back Have you been hurt by something said or done to you? "Did I do or say the wrong thing?" you might ask.

If we examine the scriptures, we discover "all have sinned and fallen short of the Kingdom of God" (Romans 3:23). It should not surprise us when we realize how many times Jesus speaks of forgiveness to his own disciples. In Luke 17:4, he tells his followers: "Even if someone sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive them."

Sometimes we try to ignore what we have said or done, or what others have said or done to us. But this eats away at us; the guilt and resentment consumes us.

We have to learn to face wrong-doing and forgive those wrongs done to us. How can we do this? The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" It is by faith we are saved.

We must repent and ask God for forgiveness. He will wash away our guilt and carry it away "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12). As our faith increases, He helps us to forgive others and releases us from the consequences of our own sin.


In the Old Testament, a blood sacrifice was given to receive forgiveness. Then God sent his own Son, Jesus, as the sacrificial lamb. One man's blood was shed for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus gives us instructions for how to forgive. But forgiveness can be difficult. He tells us in Luke 17:3: "If a brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them." When it comes to forgiveness, there is no keeping score. There is no limit to the number of times you can forgive others. And there is no limit to God's mercy.

If we are struggling with sin and finding it hard to forgive ourselves or someone else, through the Holy Spirit and with God's help we can find healing and harmony in our lives. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32.

Rev. John T. James is a former pastor at Tatum Ridge Baptist Church, Sarasota. He is now retired and living in Port Charlotte, and can be reached at peaceriver59@gmail.com. To submit a Sermon of the Week, email newstips@yoursun.com.

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