Genesis 45: The Fundamentals of Forgiveness

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 45 at
  • Forgiveness is the answer to most of the anger we experience in life
  • Joseph illustrates the fundamentals of forgiveness
  • Chapter 45 illustrates the fundamentals of forgiveness
  • Joseph had plenty of reason to be angry but chose to focus on his circumstances as being from a loving and sovereign God
  • Forgiveness is vital for the Christian as it is necessary in our relationship with God. It is also essential as to our relationship with others
  • Forgiveness does not seek to minimize the sin but rather to neutralize it
  • Sin does not destroy the purpose of God. God can use the evil we do to accomplish His good
  • In final analysis, it was not his brothers who were responsible for sending Joseph to Egypt but God in order to bring about their salvation
  • One year since brothers had first arrived in Egypt
  • Silence about the sins of others makes restoration an easier process
  • We don’t hear the brothers confession to Jacob because Moses wrote for our instruction not to satisfy our curiosity
  • Repentance and forgiveness are essential for lasting reconciliation
  • Forgiveness – to release and set free
  • Forgiveness is not free. Sin has a price. Forgiveness means the forgiver chooses to pay the price
  • Forgiveness is not earned. People do not complete some task in order to be forgiven. That is not true. Might be justice, but it is not mercy or grace
  • Principles of Forgiveness
    • biblical forgiveness should be granted quickly
      • Joseph experienced his forgiveness of his brothers long before his brothers knew they had been forgiven
    • Biblical forgiveness should be granted privately
    • Biblical forgiveness must be given freely and unconditionally
      • forgiveness is a matter of grace, not works, and grace does not make demands upon the one who receives it
      • Forgiveness can be refused (rejection of Christ)
    • Forgiveness that is biblical must be granted sacrificially
    • Biblical forgiveness is not provisional, but permanent
    • Biblical forgiveness seeks the correction and restoration of the offender
      • forgiveness seeks the best interest of another even at our own expense
  • Basis of Forgiveness
    • Forgiveness is a mark of godly character and conduct
    • seriously consider the scriptures which command us to forgive
    • recognize forgiveness is not an option but a command
    • consider your own sinfulness and the forgiveness God has freely given to you
    • Meditate upon the sovereignty of God in the offense committed against you
      • suffering is for our good and His purpose
    • Give careful consideration to the matter of servanthood
    • Meditate on the characteristics of Biblical love
  • Are you harboring anger and bitterness because of the sins others have committed against you?


*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis






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