YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON FORGIVENESS
Lesson Overview: What does it look like to truly walk through our lives extending forgiveness to others? Why do we extend forgiveness to others? This youth group lesson dives into the topic of forgiveness, and how as we receive forgiveness from God, we can extend it to others.
Bible: Psalm 86:5; Mark 1:1-5; Matthew 18:21-22
Bottom Line: Because we’ve received forgiveness from God, we extend forgiveness to others.
Capture: Grab their attention with an illustration.
- Illustration/Story: Have you ever watched a court case on TV and waited to see if someone was pronounced innocent or guilty? It’s an intense moment with high emotions!
- Now imagine this: the court knows for a fact this person is guilty, it’s been clearly proven, but instead of pronouncing the person guilty, they are pronounced innocent and set free! That would be wild, right?!
- Spiritually, this is what happens when God forgives us. We are, without a doubt guilty, but He declares us innocent and forgives us of our sins.
Connect: Connect them to God’s word.
- Tension Question: Have you received God’s forgiveness? Do you extend forgiveness to others? Tonight, Scripture is going to show us how pivotal forgiveness is in preparing the way for God to move!
- Scripture: Psalm 86:5 — God is forgiving! He forgives everyone who calls to Him!
Consider: What does this mean for us today?
- Scripture: Mark 1:1-5 — Give context for John and Baptist and his message of repentance. In repentance, we change our minds and confess our sins. Tonight, we are talking about what God does when we choose to repent. He responds in forgiveness!
- When we change our minds and confess our sins in repentance, God is faithful to respond with forgiveness. This is just as radical as the courtroom analogy, because we were guilty in our sin and God wipes the slate clean.
- Forgiveness doesn’t stop there with God’s forgiveness toward us. It continues in how we respond to others who have wronged us. When we reach an understanding of just how badly we had sinned against God, badly enough for His son to have to die on our behalf, we can more freely extend forgiveness to others who sin against us.
- Bottom Line: Because we’ve received forgiveness from God, we extend forgiveness to others.
Collide: How do we apply this in our lives?
- Scripture: Matthew 18:21-22 — Just like God forgives us radically, Jesus instructs us to radically forgive others.
- In Jewish culture, it was customary to forgive someone only three times. By asking Jesus if we should forgive someone seven times, Peter thought he was being radical. He doubled the number of times you would forgive someone and added one…but Jesus responded even more radically. We should respond with forgiveness endlessly!
- Share about a time when you were able to extend forgiveness to someone because you realized how greatly God had forgiven you.
- Application: Receive God’s forgiveness and extend forgiveness to others in your life — this will prepare the way for God to move in your life and the lives of others!
Call: How do we respond to the message?
- Altar moment: Take a moment to reflect tonight. Are you withholding forgiveness from someone in your life? Tonight, choose receive the forgiveness God has offered you, and extend it freely to those in your world.
- Small Group Questions:
- Have you ever watched someone be pronounced innocent or guilty in court?
- Are you someone who freely extends forgiveness toward others? Why or why not?
- Why is it so difficult to forgive others sometimes?
- What would your life look like this week if you walked in forgiveness?
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