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To have mercy and forgiveness is the teaching of this parable in Matthew 18:23-35. Christians owe their redeemed existence, made possible by mercy and forgiveness, to The Messiah, Jesus, His death, resurrection and ascension.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like the King who called on those who owed him debts. One official owed so much, the amount seemed beyond paying so the King ordered that he be sold, including his wife and children in order to repay the debt. The official begged for mercy, realizing the situation the King had compassion and wiped out the huge debt owed. Much relieved, the servant went on his way but sought out a fellow servant who owed a very small amount of money to him.

With utter disregard for the example given to him by His king, the forgiven servant uncompassionately delivered his fellow servant to the prison tormentors to extract confession of where his money might be hidden, even though he too, had begged forgiveness and mercy and time to pay his little debt.

The incident did not go unnoticed and it was reported to the king. So outraged with his official to whom he had completely dismissed his debt that was owed, with not showing any compassion after he himself had been given, the king had him given over to the prison torturers until his debt was repaid in full.

If we can forgive our enemies, we can expect to be forgiven.

Matthew 18:23-35 "The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him $10 million! He couldn't pay, so the king ordered him sold for the debt, also his wife and children and everything he had. "But the man fell down before the king, his face in the dust, and said, 'Oh, sir, be patient with me and I will pay it all.' "Then the king was filled with pity for him and released him and forgave his debt. "But when the man left the king, he went to a man who owed him $2,000 and grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. "The man fell down before him and begged him to give him a little time. 'Be patient and I will pay it,' he pled. "But his creditor wouldn't wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt would be paid in full. "Then the man's friends went to the king and told him what had happened. And the king called before him the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil-hearted wretch! Here I forgave you all that tremendous debt, just because you asked me to-- shouldn't you have mercy on others, just as I had mercy on you?' "Then the angry king sent the man to the torture chamber until he had paid every last penny due. So shall my heavenly Father do to you if you refuse to truly forgive your brothers."

A person lending money could seize the borrower and force him and his family to work for him until the debt was paid. The debtor could also be thrown into prison or his family be sold into slavery to help pay off the debt. The debtors were usually compelled to acknowledge hidden assets they possessed then thown into prison.

This parable is a warning about the penalty for not forgiving others.

God's principle of forgiving others is quoted in 'The Disciple's Prayer' which is a model prayer that Jesus taught to His disciples.

God has forgiven believer's immense debts, and they dare not refuse to forgive others for small offences. The lack of forgiveness is a form of vengeance taking judgement into one's own hands, which is in direct opposition to God. It is taking the role of God in one's own life.

Believers cannot withhold forgiveness from others, for if they do they violate Christ' law of love. Christians are to have a generous forgiving attitude as Christ does. If Christians do not forgive from the heart, other fellow brothers or sisters, then the Heavenly Father will not forgive them.

The certain King is the Heavenly Father. The servants are fellow believers and citizens in the Kingdom of God. The unmerciful servant is wicked in God's eyes and has not shown gratitide for His grace.

The unforgiving servant shows no mercy and is called wicked. Unforgiving believers are wicked believers. Many are spiritually in prison, as well as mentally, emotionally and physically because of unforgiveness.

God's anger upon the wicked is a righteous anger. God is angry with the wicked every day until they repent and forgive. Because God is holy and just, He is always angry at sin, including the sins of His own people. A lack of forgiveness offends God who chastens unforgiving believers severely.

An unforgiving attitude is punished by torment.

Those who know God's mercy are to operate on His principle. The unforgiving believer that showed no mercy, shall have judgement without mercy and receive justice. Justice does not include mercy. God's forgiveness is of grace, not justice. Those who choose justice will be judged by justice which the parable clearly depicts. Jesus requires His followers to forgive.

Forgiveness, compassion and mercy cannot be earned. A forgiving servant experiences compassion. The Holy Spirit within a believer prompts continuously to give up resentment and the demand for satisfaction on an account of an transgression. Christ taught forgiveness should have no limits on its exent, but unforgiviness is a serious sin, especially to a brother or sister in the Kingdom Family of God.

God gives believers grace to forgive others from the heart. This same attitude of forgiveness is to be in all believers, having no bitterness, resentment or grudges.

A true forgiving heart is a result of spiritual rebirth. Christians, because they have been forgiven by God their many sins, should never fail to forgive. Unforgiveness blocks communication between God and His people. Every believer has the power to bind and loose unforgiveness and forgiveness, to forbid or permit.

All believers must give an account of themselves of words, works, stewardship and of self.

The immense debt illustrates the enormous amount of sin that all have incurred before God.

The parable is likened to The Kingdom of God, and this lesson is crucial. The human capacity to forget God's gracious gift of forgiveness and allow unforgiveness, restricts the progress of the work of The Holy Spirit in a believer's life.

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