The Joshua Victor Theory

God’s Mercy Received is Mercy Lived

September 12, 2011

Sermon on Matthew 18:21-35, for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, on Peter's question of how often we are to forgive, and the parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

Sermon Talking Points Read past sermons at: Listen to audio at:

1. What did Peter think was a “generous” amount of forgiveness? How far was he off the mark, according to Jesus? What did Jesus intend to teach Peter when He said to forgive seventy times seven? Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:5

2. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, how great was his debt to the master? What does this unpayable debt represent for us? How did the master respond to his plea for mercy?

3. How much smaller was the debt his fellow servant owed him? What does that debt represent for us? How did he respond to his fellow servant’s plea for mercy? What was naturally expected from the master, as to how he should have responded instead? (vs. 32-33) How are we to respond to the pleas of forgiveness from those who “owe” debts of forgiveness to us?

4. What is the challenge and difficulty about living mercifully? What works against this high, holy calling? Why does mercy necessarily translate into merciful action?

5. What is the danger of abusing the mercy and forgiveness that God has shown us, by displaying an utterly opposite attitude of unforgiveness or selfishness? 1 John 4:7-21 (esp. v. 19-21).

6. How do we receive the mercy needed to forgive others? Who paid our unpayable debt to God? How did He pay it? 1 Pet. 1:18-19.

7. In contrast to the unforgiving servant’s attitude, what ought the life of a forgiven Christian look like? How will he or she respond to the mercy they received from God? How will they respond to the sins committed against them?

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