Jesus taught that forgiveness is central to the relationship between God and humans, and between humans. Because we are forgiven, we should forgive others.
"Forgive us this day our sins, as we forgive the sins of others"
Lord's prayer - Matthew 6:12
Jesus stopped the stoning of a women caught in adultery and said to those who were stoning her:
"Let you who is without sin cast the first stone"
"Do not judge for you will be judged ... why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but miss the log in your own ?"
Jesus in Matthew 7:1,3
We have all sinned, and if we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive others
If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.”
Other teaching about forgiveness includes:
- Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins so that we can be forgiven
- 1 Corinthians 13 - love does not keep a record of wrongs, i.e. agape love will forgive.
- Marriage vows “for better, for worse” implies forgiveness when we do wrong.
- Jesus told a story about a prodigal son who wasted his inheritance on prostitutes and wild living. When he said sorry to his father, he was forgiven instantly. Christians believe that God loves us like a father and will forgive our sins if we are truly sorry.
This quote from John’s letter sums up Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness:
'If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.'
1 John 1:9
Also have a look at this from John Colet School in Aylesbury.