Forgive Each Other – Learn How to Forgive with Love

Learn to FORGIVE EACH OTHER! Please enjoy this four-part Bible study.

Revised: Thursday, July 13, 2017


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“But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:15 (CEB)

We must forgive each other, shouldn’t we? Jesus said, “if you forgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” [Matthew 6:14].

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up trouble. But love forgives all wrongs. (ICB) ♦ 1 Peter 4:8 And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number: (BBE)

This four-part Bible study will give answers to this question using scriptures. Each part gives Scriptures to show that God says we are to forgive each other.

  • Study #1 – “To be forgiven, forgive”. If you do not forgive others, God will NOT forgive you.
  • Study #2 – “Forgive”. The sermon on the mount.
  • Study #3 – “The Lord forgave ‘you’, you must love and forgive each other”.
  • Study #4 – “Times when people are not willing to forgive or love”.


Exodus 34:5-7 The Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him and called out his name “the Lord.” 6 “The Lord, the Lord, a compassionate and merciful God, patient, always faithful and ready to forgive.

7 He continues to show his love to thousands of generations, forgiving wrongdoing, disobedience, and sin. He never lets the guilty go unpunished, punishing children and grandchildren for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation.” (GW)

graphic for forgive each other cev

“You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong.”
Proverbs 17:9 (CEV)

graphic for forgive each other nirv

“Those who erase a sin by forgiving it show love. But those who talk about it come between close friends. “
Proverbs 17:9 (NIRV)


We must understand one key element that makes forgiveness possible, love. “God continues to show His love by forgiving”. Have you heard the saying “love is blind”? Is it possible to love so much that you allow for the mistakes of the one you love—excusing their faults even if you are suffering?

God has that type of love. Good/loving parents show that love to their children. In fact, people in love have it and God’s children must learn to do so as well.

Jesus paid the price to redeem us and make forgiveness possible.

Ephesians 1:4-7 “Even before the world was made, God chose us for Himself because of His love. He planned that we should be holy and without blame as He sees us. 5 God already planned to have us as His own children. This was done by Jesus Christ. In His plan God wanted this done.

The blood of Jesus

6 We thank God for His loving-favor to us. He gave this loving-favor to us through His much-loved Son.

7 Because of the blood of Christ, we are bought and made free from the punishment of sin. And because of His blood, our sins are forgiven. His loving-favor to us is so rich.” (NLV)

Endless forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-22 and 34-35 Then Peter came to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? up to seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Up to seven times, but, Up to seventy times seven.

34 And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the torturers, until he should pay all that was due him. 35 So shall my heavenly Father also do to each one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. (RKJNT)

Skip to the end.

To Be Forgiven, Forgive

picture aerial shot of Anahola Bay, Kapaa, Kauai, HI for the forgive each other bs Luke 11:4

And forgive us of our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who has wronged us. – Forgive each other – Luke 11:4

Study #1. Key point: If we do not forgive others, God will NOT forgive us.

The model prayer

Part of the model prayer tells us to forgive each other—forgive the people who wronged or sinned against us. NOTE: The prayer in Luke 11:1–4 is different from the prayer in Matthew 6:9–15. In Luke, the prayer is a response to a disciples request for Jesus to teach them how to pray. However, in Matthew the prayer is part of a sermon (the sermon on the mount).

Matthew 6:9-15 So when you pray, you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy. 10 May your kingdom come and what you want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us the food we need for each day.

12 Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us. 13 And do not cause us to be tempted, but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]*

14 Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins. (NCV)

* Some translations/revisions/versions do not include (omit) the bracketed part of Matthew 6:13.

Luke 11:4

Those familiar with the KJV, will recall that Luke 11:4 reads And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. The Greek word for forgive is ἀφίημι aphiēmi ä-fē’-ā-mē, when translated via Greek Word Study Tool the English word is ‘discharge‘; Thayer’s Greek Lexicon definition: ‘to forgive one.

What about the phrase ‘that is indebted’, we must take a close look at this phrase to understand the wording change. Many translations e.g., Expanded Bible (give an explanation) use Forgive us for our sins, because [as] we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us [sins against us; is indebted to us; sin is pictured as a debt owed].

‘That is indebted’ is from the Greek word ὀφείλω opheilō o-fā’-lō meaning ‘to be due’; to commit a sin against someone and thus to incur moral debt – ‘to sin against, to offend.’ a)fi/omen panti\ o)fei/lonti h(mi=n ‘we forgive everyone who sins against us’ Luke 11:4. (from Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain)

Forgive a debt

Have you ever told someone who owed you money, “do not pay me back“? Believe it or not this is one form of forgiveness—discharging a debt owed. The Bible is not telling us to always do this; review Deuteronomy 15:1-6; Luke 7:40-43; Romans 13:1-14 (6-8); 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (7-8) to get better understanding.

What is a trespass you might ask? It is another word for sin, wrong doing, offense, failure or fault.

Question for ‘Forgive Each Other – part one’: Can you name a few things that we are to forgive others for?

Skip to the end.


photo of pacific coast beach for the forgive each other bs Luke 6:37

Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. Don’t condemn others, and you will not be condemned. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (ERV)

Study #2 deals with what is know as ‘the sermon on the mount’. It also covers various words for forgive in Luke 6:37. Skip to Study #3.

Sermon on the Mount or Plain

The place is uncertain but many believe Jesus delivered the “Sermon on the Mount/Plain” at ‘Mount Nahum’ or ‘the Mount of Beatitudes’. Some believe Matthew and Luke relay this sermon in a long and short version. Refer to Matthew chapters 5 through 7 which represent the long version “Sermon on the Mount”. On the other hand, see Luke 6:17-49 for the short version “Sermon on the Plain”.

I will not attempt to discuss the differences here, but I refer you to the Wikipedia article as a courtesy. Skip the article.

This mountain, or hill, was somewhere in the vicinity of Capernaum, but where precisely is not mentioned. He ascended the hill, doubtless, because it was more convenient to address the multitude from an eminence than if he were on the same level with them. A hill or mountain is still shown a short distance to the northwest of the ancient site of Capernaum, which tradition reports to have been the place where this sermon was delivered, and which is called on the maps the Mount of Beatitudes. The hill commonly believed to be that on which the sermon was delivered is on the road from Nazareth to Tiberias, not far from the latter place. The hill is known by the name of Kuran Huttin, the Horns of Huttin. (from Barnes’ Notes)

Matthew’s version

Matthew uses the word ‘forgive’ which comes from the Greek word ἀφίημι aphiēmi ä-fē’-ā-mē (see details in ‘to be forgiven, forgive‘).

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (RKJNT)

Matthew 6:14-15 For, if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you also; 15 but, if you do not forgive others their offenses, not even your Father will forgive your offenses. (OEB)

Luke’s version

The word ‘forgive‘ and the phrase ‘you will be forgiven‘ in Luke 6:37 come from the Greek word ἀπολύω apolyō ä-po-lü’-ō; interpreted only once as ‘forgive‘ in the Bible. The translators had a field day with this word.

  • American Standard Version (ASV), The Disciple’s Bible (TDB), Living Oracles NT (LO), Revised Version, The Peschito Syriac New Testament (PSNT) and English Revised Version (ERV) use the word ‘release‘.
  • Amplified Bible (AMP)acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop)‘.
  • Darby (DAR)remit‘.
  • Lexham English Bible (LEB)pardon.
  • World English Bible (WEB)set free‘; Worldwide English NT (WE)let others go free‘; dismiss.
  • Bible in Basic English (BBE)make others free‘.
An Understandable Version (AUV) Release people [i.e., from guilt for offending you] and you will be released [i.e., by God?]

Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you shall not be judged: do not condemn, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven: (RKJNT)

Luke 6:37 And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released: (ASV)

Mark’s version

Mark’s version is not from the same dialogue as Matthew or Luke, but gives the same basic message, we must forgive each other if we want the Father to forgive us.

Mark 11:25-26* And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone: that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive your trespasses. 26 [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.] (RKJNT)

* Some translations/revisions/versions do not include (omit) Mark 11:26.

Question for ‘Forgive Each Other – part two: Have you searched your heart and forgiven those who have hurt you?

Skip to the end.

Forgiven and loved

picture of fountain for the forgive each other bs Colossians 3:13

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

Study #3. Key point: The Lord loves and forgave us, we must love and forgive each other.

To forgive is to get rid of bad or negative feelings toward others, especially other Christians. If you are struggling with this and are a child of God be careful that it does not become hatred. Remember we do not deserve God’s forgiveness {read Romans 3:21-31}. One goal for each Christian should be to live a better life each day.

We can do this by reading, studying and hearing God’s word—applying it to our daily life. Allow the love of God, His word and Spirit to help us learn to forgive each other.

The forgiveness to love ratio

Jesus shows that love is a direct result of forgiveness. So if we forgive each other more, the result equals loving each other more. Do you love someone more (showing that you are grateful) because they have forgiven you often? Or do you abuse their acts of mercy?

Luke 7:44-48 Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet.

47 This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (CEB)

Love and Forgiveness

Proverbs 10:12 Hate stirs up fights. But love erases all sins by forgiving them. (NIRV)
Proverbs 16:6 Love and truth bring forgiveness of sin. By respecting the Lord you will avoid evil. (NCV)

1 John 4:7-10 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

10 This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. (GNT)

Question for part three: Are you forgiving those who you feel do not deserve forgiveness?

Skip to the end.

Willing to forgive

picture of long beach, ca for the forgive each other bs 2 Timothy 3:2 2 Timothy 3:3

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,” 2 Timothy 3:2-3 (NKJV)

Study #4. Key point: There will be times when people are not willing to forgive or love. As a child of God you should always be willing to forgive each other.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, dis obedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.

4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (NLT)


We see 2 Timothy 3:1-9 happening now, unfolding before our eyes. It will get worse, please do not reject the scriptures that can help us live lives that please God. Be aware of your own behavior, are you doing any of the things listed in verses 2-7? How about what is found in Romans chapter 1 verses 24-32?

God wants us to live Holy. Living holy is good, honest and right living in harmony with God’s word and Spirit; free or set apart from sin—wrong living and evil.

The love effect

1 Peter 4:7-11 The time is near when all things will end [end of all things is near]. So think clearly [be serious/alert] and control [discipline] yourselves so you will be able to pray. 8 Most importantly, love each other deeply [earnestly], because love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins [covers a multitude of sins; Proverbs 10:12; Luke 7:46–47].

9 Open your homes [Be hospitable] to each other, without complaining [grumbling]. 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants [stewards; managers] of God’s various gifts of grace [Romans 5:15–16; 6:23]. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God [or oracles from God; or as one bringing God’s message].

Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised [glorified] through Jesus Christ. Glory and power belong to him forever and ever [Colossians 3:17]. Amen. (EXB)

Question for ‘Forgive Each Other – part four’: Is there someone who you need to forgive?

Skip to the end.

Forgive Each Other – Wrap-up

graphic for forgive each other

“love forgives”

Proverbs 16:6 Love and truth bring forgiveness of sin. By respecting the Lord you will avoid evil. (ICB)

♦ Colossians 3:12-14 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (NRSV)


When we forgive each other or release another person from past wrongs, we benefit in many ways:

  • We open the door for God’s forgiveness.
  • To forgive can improve and repair our relationships with others.
  • When we do not forgive it can lead to anger/hatred and health problems due to stress and anxiety, so release what you are holding against others.
  • The love we have will be genuine and properly follow the example of Christ.

Love forgives

Proverbs 17:9 Whoever wants to show love forgives a wrong. But those who talk about it separate close friends. (NIRV)

♦ 1 John 4:10-11 This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. 11 Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. (GNT)

I close with a short message, we must forgive and love each other; just as the Lord loves and has forgiven you, you also must forgive. If we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven by God. Forgive each other, be forgiven and blessed— Tim ☺.

Final question for ‘Forgive Each Other’: God forgives because He loves us. Is it possible to love someone and not forgive them?

Worth reading:

God Forgives You, To Be Forgiven, You Must Forgive || ‘Release Yourself to Free Yourself‘ || ‘Emotional Competency’ – Forgiveness

Study Outline

Note: parenthesis (#) enclose the key verses.

Intro: Matthew 6:5-15 (14-15); Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:7-11 (8). Forgiving: Exodus 34:1-9 [(5-7); reference Numbers 14:11-25 (18-20); Nehemiah 9:12-21 (17-18); Psalms 86:1-7 (5)]. Love: Proverbs 10:12; Hosea 1:6-7 (6); 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Proverbs 17:9. Ephesians 1:3-14 (7).

Study #1: The model prayer: Nehemiah 5:1-13 (12-13); Matthew 6:5-15 (12-15) and 18:21-35 (32-35). Luke 11:1-4 (4); 17:1-4 (3-4). Forgive a debt: Deuteronomy 15:1-6; Luke 7:40-43; Romans 13:1-14 (6-8); 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (7-8).

Study #2: Sermon: Luke 6:37-42 (37); Matthew 6:5-15 (14-15); Mark 11:20-26 (25-26).

Study #3: 1 John 3:11-24 (11, 16); Luke 7:36-50 (47); 1 John 4:7-21 (11, 21). Colossians 3:12-17 (12-13); Matthew 5:43-48 (44-45) & 18:21-35 (21-22 & 34-35); 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (1-5).

Study #4: 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (3); Romans 1:28-32 (24-32) & 14:14-15:13 (15:1-6); 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (3-8). 2 Peter 2:12-3:9 (2:12-14 & 20; 3:3 & 8-9); 1 Peter 4:7-11 (8).

Wrap-up: Proverbs 16:6, 10:12 and 17:9; 1 John 4:7-11 (10-11). 2 Corinthians 2:3-11 (5-7); Ephesians 4:25-32 (32); James 2:1-13 (12-13).

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Copyright information:


Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible Scripture quoted by permission. || Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. || (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


(GNT) and (TEV) Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. || (GW) Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group. || (ICB) Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


(NCV) Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ || (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. || (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bishop Pettiford

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  1. Forgive each other
    Make your #life with others better. Show #mercy and #love. Be #kind, #patient, and willing to #forgive each other.

    Message in the picture:
    “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – from Colossians 3:13 (NLT)”

    Scripture for the day:
    Colossians 3:12-14 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient.

    13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you.

    14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity.

    Please help us help others; share this with your family and friends!
    Thursday, July 13, 2017

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  4. Thank you Bishop Tim, this was very informative. I am ready to forgive people in my past, and it might not be that difficult to do, as I am not so important. But, I do deserve the freedom of forgiving those in my past.

    • Auntie Flo, I am so glad to see that you were touched by this, I must encourage you (again) to never feel that you are not important. Let me reassure you, God constantly reveals Himself to you and put people in your life to prove His love for and to you. You are extremely important! Now exercise your freedom to forgive, let go of the past and let’s move forward.

  5. Thank you STM for sharing and yes this is a huge point to make!

    • And thank you Chef Ann!

  6. Thank you so much for the wonderful. Information. Adding to my daily Bible Study..Kamedra@G+

    • Thank you Kamedra, our desire is to provide information to grow and edify the body of Christ!

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