7 Bible Verses About Forgiveness

Forgiveness isn’t about letting someone off the “hook”. It’s about understanding the grace of God and reflecting that grace to everyone, including those who do us wrong.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say “I can forgive but I won’t forget!” When we have this attitude we are not really forgiving at all.

True forgiveness lets go of all animosity towards our transgressors and bring us into a state of peace. I feel we often forget how beneficial true forgiveness is for our internal state.

When we refuse to truly forgive someone the way that God has allowed us forgiveness through the cross, we are doing more harm to ourselves than to the person who did us wrong.

One of my favorite quotes about unforgiveness is, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This quote may seem harsh but it really hits the nail on the head.

Our unforgiveness never affects those who do us wrong, it only poisons us and hinders our relationship with our heavenly father. When we learn to truly forgive, we begin to fully understand the awesomeness of God’s grace in its deepest form.

Here are 7 Bible verses about forgiveness that will help you better understand the power of forgiveness and see the transforming effect it can have on your life!

7 Bible Verses About Forgiveness

1. 1 John 1:9 – Forgiveness Starts With Repentance

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

This is where true forgiveness begins. We can never forgive nor fully understand forgiveness until we ourselves have been ultimately forgiven by the grace of God.

Forgiveness for us starts with repentance, choosing to not only “feel sorry” for what we have done, but to truly turn from our sin and seek His face.

When we turn to Him and are purified from all unrighteousness, we become a new creation and have a true ability to extend this grace to others.

2. Ephesians 1:7-8 – Forgiveness Is All About Grace

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” – Ephesians 1:7-8

It is because of God’s grace and God’s grace alone that we are saved and forgiven. Christ’s life and death on the cross is the ultimate example for how we should live.

We need to be like Him by loving and extending grace and mercy to all we meet, all the way to the point of death.

It can seem easy for us to have the grace to forgive those we don’t know, it is a lot harder when it is someone who is really close to us. Remember, God knew us in Him before the creation of the world and He knows us better than we know ourselves, yet because of His grace, He sent His son to die for the forgiveness of our sins.

3. Matthew 26:28 – He Poured Out His Blood For It

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

Our forgiveness wasn’t free, God sent His one and only son into the world to pour out His blood for it. Whenever we think about how hard it may feel for us to forgive someone, we need to first think about the cross.

When we remember and reflect on the cost of our forgiveness, it begins to make us feel really selfish for not being willing to forgive others.

Next time you struggle with forgiveness, think about all the trespasses you have committed against your heavenly father and how even though you have sinned and continue to sin, He was willing to give His Son to redeem you.

4. Colossians 3:13 – Forgive As The Lord Forgave You

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

When we turn to God and receive forgiveness from Him, our lives and understanding of life also begin to change. As we are further transformed by the renewing of our minds through His word, we begin to understand His grace more fully.

This is the moment we need to search our hearts and see if there is any unforgiveness lingering in our hearts. This unforgiveness is not of God, it is of the world. We need to rid ourselves of it and let the Grace that was extended to us pour out into all of our relationships.

When we follow His example we become more like Him. For many situations, this may be a hard thing to do, but as we trust in the Lord and His goodness we begin to understand that true forgiveness is always the best answer no matter the trespass.

5. Daniel 9:9 – He Forgave Even Though We Rebelled

“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” – Daniel 9:9

Forgiveness becomes especially hard for us when we feel like we have been betrayed. Maybe this is where you are stuck right now. Someone you love has turned against you.

This is the situation God was in and is still in this day. Even though we can never fully understand the depths of God’s love in this life, we can know it far exceeds our own. Yet those He loved turned against Him.

We deserve eternal separation from God because of our sins, yet He redeemed us not only to keep us from eternal separation but also to draw us near to Him.

6. Psalm 103:12 – As Far As The East Is From The West

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:12

It’s amazing when we begin to realize the fullness of Christ’s death on the cross. It is hard if not impossible to understand the depths of our sin nature until we are born again.

Once we do begin to understand how deep the darkness within us went, we begin to have a much greater appreciation for scripture like this one.

This scripture plainly means that God has separated us from our sin as far as it could possibly be separated. On the day of judgment when He looks at us, all He will see is the blood of Christ.

We need to truly forgive others in this same way not just simply saying “I forgive you” but taking the trespass and completely separating it from the relationship. When we do this we not only heal our internal wounds, but we put the light of Jesus on display which in turn could lead that person to the ultimate source of eternal forgiveness.

7. Matthew 18:21-22 – Never Stop Forgiving

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” -Matthew 18:21-22

It may be easy to forgive someone the first time they do you wrong and maybe even the second. The true test comes when someone continues to do you wrong over and over again.

When Peter asked Jesus about this, He gave him a surprising answer. He told Him to keep on forgiving no matter how many times someone does you wrong.

This can be hard for most of us who feel like we deserve some sort of justice at some point! Well, we can take rest in knowing that there will be a judgment but for now, we need to forgive as many times as is needed.

We need to also remember that although we are called to forgive as many times as we need to, we aren’t called to repeat the same foolish mistakes that lead us into a situation that once again requires our forgiveness. Sometimes after we forgive someone we need to have the discernment to change the capacity of the relationship.

Forgiveness is something we will need to extend continuously until the end of this age. When we realize the true state of those who continually trespass against us it makes it easier to extend grace toward them.

Remember that true forgiveness completely lets go of any animosity not only for the sake of those we forgive but also for ourselves.

As we follow the example of Christ it becomes much easier to forgive and forgiveness leads ultimately to restoration. Forgiveness is part of the ultimate plan of the one who is making all things new!

Hey Friends! I am Nick Lincoln a co-founder here at Abide and Seek. Besides writing articles to spread the light of Jesus throughout the world, I also enjoy playing music, working out, and spending quality time with my family and friends! My prayer is that by sharing my experiences and the struggles I have faced before coming to Christ, the world can see the life-changing power of a life lived in the light of Jesus Christ!

Comments 15

  1. I found this blog at a time of personal crisis in my family life. Thank you for compiling all these relevant verses in one spot.

    1. Emma,
      We are so glad to hear this article spoke to you when you needed to read those verses the most. God is amazing and always has a wonderful way of surprising us even during times of difficulty. It blesses us to hear this 🙂

      Nick & Leah

      1. Thank you for being of service and being a light in this dark world. I hurt a friend pretty badly and I’ve asked the Lord for forgiveness and she says (texts she forgives me but not ready to talk to me). I’m saved and she’s saved but we both have struggles that go beyond most peoples I think. Please pray for Patti. And me. Thank you and God Bless You

  2. Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    This reading was a blessing!!!

    Thanks for sharing. May God continue to inspire you to do his will in helping people to heal, love God and love his fellow mankind.

    Keep up the fantastic job.

    Love Mel

  3. The love of my life are my high school sweet heart, who i love with all my heart and it was the same for her. But this relationship was young love with a twist, she was white and i was black in the early 70’s. The hate that build up from being black and hate. That build up hate anger in me that ruin a beautiful relationship. I couldn’t let loose of the hate that was shown to me. That i build up anger instead of forgiving everyone. That i let hate control me. That the person who love me i lost to death. It should have been the best time of my life with the person gave me.

  4. Not many realize how forgiveness works through the Holy Spirit of God who works in us and through us for others. You are right it starts with repentance and God freely removes all our guilt and shame from our hearts and minds as if we never sinned against Him because of REPENTANCE. That is the key to His forgiveness. Even the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant begged His master to forgive him and have patience with Him. That is why his master forgave him. What about those who do not repent or have any remorse of their sins against God does He forgive them, NO, they are still a part of His Wrath and will parish in Hell unless they do. Jesus gives His disciples some last instructions many people do not teach and I do not know why but it is true and written and I teach the meaning of it through His Holy Spirit. John 20:21 Again Jesus said, Peace be with you. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. This lets us know there will be times we are faced with people who are full of evil and have no repentance. WE are to forgive others as He has forgiven us (through His gift of repentance we show the same mercy he showed to us to others) . Those who have no remorse or repentance to change for God we give to God for Him to handle. We pray for them and never hold any evil thoughts or pain they may have caused others or ourselves. We give all to God for Him to take care of and if they never repent, He will not forgive them either. The same Holy Spirit that lives in God lives in us but many people are not taught that so they do not understand how His forgiveness works. Many make forgiving people hard but if a person has received His gift of repentance it is not hard to forgive anyone, ourselves or anyone in the world for anything they have done. His gift of repentance is always the door to His forgiveness and it is easy when we have been given that remarkable gift of repentance. It is grace given to all but not all receive it and live in it.

  5. Thank u. my heart as been feeling heavy since I came bk from a family trip with my sisters. Reading thus helped m

  6. I noticed you completely skipped LUKE 17:4-5

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
    Luke 17:3‭-‬4 KJV

    Forgiveness requires repentance… you’re just another cherry picker preacher.

    1. Post

      Hey brother thanks for the comment! Sorry you feel that way but the title of the post is “7 Bible Verses About Forgiveness” not “Every bible verse about forgiveness”. There are far more verses in the Bible on the subject I just chose 7 so I guess you could call me a cherry picker if you so wish seeing how with only 7 verses to showcase I looked to pick the best 7 at that time. I wrote the article about 3 years ago so I looked back at it to see which I chose and the very first point I made had to do with repentance. If you would like a full comprehensive overview on the subject feel free to email me at nick@abideandseek.com or nick@weareredefined.com. Thanks again for commenting and have a blessed and glorious day in the Lord Jesus Christ!

  7. Thank for this article it means a lot for me because im in a situation rn seeking for forgiveness to someone i hurt for doing injustice thing i went to her this morning but she refuse to hear me out but u understand she’s not yet ready because she still angry and devasted but i hope in the next dawn she will fully forgive me as i always ask forgiveness to her.

  8. i thank you for the verses on forgiveness it truly is hard to forgive but i have my husband of 41 years left me for my brothers wife they destroyed our family my brother got remarried to a very nice lady but not me his ex turned his only 30 yo daughter against him he hasn’t heard from her in 3years i think she knew about relationship of my husband and her mother may be guilty and can’t talk to her father he was a truck driver and he was gone alot but always took car of them we keep praying at our church and at home for his daughter to call him but i think what is holding it back is he can’t forgive them my life is great i have the home and 2 loveable grandkids and i have the lord with me at all times my brother is a god fearing man and i just hope he can forgive his ex and maybe his daughter will come around loved reading all the comments also

    1. Post

      Sally, We are so sorry to hear of so much heartache within your family. This situation is familiar with Leah and her family with a similar situation which now there is no unforgiveness, praise God! There are so many circumstances and situations that will continuously change within our lifetime here on this earth and sometimes there are things that happen, that we thought never could or would ever happen to us. From reading your comment I can see your heart and your brother’s are fixed on the One who will never change, Who is always there, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, from whom all blessings flow! We will be praying for your family, for you and your brother to shine the light on the dark situation, and to keep your eyes fully fixed on Him! We pray for forgiveness and for anyone in your family who has not come to know the Lord to come right to His feet in full repentance. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen!

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