Mercy and Forgiveness

"they [Christians] appeal to those who injure them, and try to win them as friends; they are eager to do good to their enemies; they are gentle and easy to be entreated." Apology of Aristides p.277. This was written to the Emperor in 125 A.D., when Christians were being martyred for their faith.

1. Give some example situations in which other people ought to show you mercy.

2. What are at least four ways God shows us mercy? If you want, you can look at Lamentations 3:29; 1 John 1:7-9; Psalm 91:4; Romans 8:28; John 16:8

3. What is a good definition of mercy? How does mercy differ from grace?

4. What are some ways you should be merciful to others?

5. What are some ways the Bible gives us? See James 5:19-20; 1 John 3:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8

6. Why does Lord's prayer say, "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us"? (Matthew 6:12)

7. Let's say someone is standing on a street corner asking for money, and you go to the bank and give him all the money you have. Is that what God wanted you to do? Why or why not? See 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10

8. If someone sins against you should you just forgive him and forget about it? See Matthew 18:15-17

9. If someone if oppressing other people, should you just forgive the oppressor and not help the oppressed person? See Isaiah 1:17.

10. If someone wrongs you more than once, do you only have to forgive him the first time? If not, how many times should you forgive him, and why? See Matthew 18:21-22

11. How it important is it for a Christian to show mercy and forgive others? See Matthew 18:23-35.

12. Is it possible for someone to be a member of a good church, walk down to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and still go to Hell? See Matthew 7:21-23. Why?

13. How do 1 John 2:19 and 1 John 3:6 explain that?

14. Are we supposed to judge? How comes Matthew 7:1-5 and James 4:12 appear to say no, but Matthew 7:6,15-20 appears to say yes?

15. How are we supposed to judge (examine) ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and others (2 Corinthians 2:13:6). How are we not supposed to judge ourselves (1 John 3:18-21)?

16. When should individual Christians try to get revenge?

17. Is it OK for a good government led, to punish evildoers with the police and army? See Romans 13:3-4

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by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.