How Many Times Is Forgiveness Mentioned In The Bible? (Importance Of Forgiveness)

In my younger years, there was a time I was angry with God and the world due to various happenings in my life, and I can tell you that it’s not a good place to be, mainly because it took me a long time to finally find the grace to extend forgiveness to others and myself. Throughout the healing journey, however, I learned a great deal about forgiveness, and with the help of my grandfather and pastor, I was finally able to let go and forgive. I studied the Bible and learned that forgiveness is crucial to the Christian faith. I noticed this word was mentioned severally in the Bible. I embarked on a journey to find out exactly how many times it appears. So, how many times is forgiveness mentioned in the Bible?

Forgiveness has been mentioned at least 127 times in both the Old and the New Testaments, but the Greek translation of the word forgiveness and other related words appear 146 times throughout the New Testament. That said, the actual word ‘forgive’ is only used 38 times in the New Testament and 89 times in the Old Testament. 

In this post, I’ll share more about what the Bible says about forgiveness, the appearance of forgiveness in the Bible, and the importance of forgiveness.

Read on for these insights!

Before you proceed, below is a video on the same topic covered on our Youtube channel:

What does the Bible say about forgiveness?

Forgiveness is one of the vital teachings in all of Christianity, and there are several tales and parables throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament, where the Bible encourages believers to be forgiving. The Bible’s core message in many of the teachings points to the fact that forgiveness is the best way of building a positive relationship with God. Forgiveness is also regarded as the best way of living happily with others, neighbors, or otherwise.

The Bible regards forgiveness as the foundation of the Christian faith, and several verses throughout the Bible talk about the importance of forgiveness. 1 John 1:9, for example, teaches the importance of forgiveness in leading a holy life by encouraging believers that they only need to confess their sins and that God will forgive them after. Confession of sins to the faithful God means that God will forgive sins and cleanse all believers of sins and from all wickedness. 

Forgiveness of sins also carries a lot of weight when it comes to living a life free of sin. This is shown by the fact that God sacrificed his only Son, Jesus Christ, to save believers from condemnation – Romans 5:8-9.

Additionally, the Bible inspires Christians to return to God even after committing sinful acts that make them feel evil and dirty. Isaiah 55:7 says that no one is too wicked or bad to receive forgiveness and that even the most wicked individuals can still change their ways and turn to the Lord if they ask God for his generous forgiveness. Psalm 65:3 also reiterates that despite being overwhelmed by sins, God can forgive all sins. 

Where does forgiveness first appear in the Bible?

How Many Times Is Forgiveness Mentioned In The Bible?
Where does forgiveness first appear in the Bible? Image source: Pixabay

Forgiveness first appears in Genesis 50:17-21. This scripture is about the story of Joseph, and it relates to the wrongdoings of his brothers and the fact that their wrongdoing would be overlooked, as would the evil committed. It further notes that the sins of God’s servants would be forgiven because of God’s unending and unprejudiced forgiveness.

Why does God encourage Christians to forgive in the Bible?

The Bible encourages us to forgive because God has commanded us to forgive each other. Also, God, through the Bible, encourages Christians to forgive others because we would want to be forgiven by others as well. God used forgiveness and our ability to forgive as the yardstick through which we may also receive forgiveness. 

There’s also the fact that forgiveness is the one effective route through which we can let go of toxicity that presents in the form of anxiety, anger, and stress. Lack of forgiveness is equated to maintaining some semblance of power within us, yet all the power belongs to and resides in God. So, to break out of the shackles of this toxicity and to lead a happier, more peaceful life, forgiveness is essential.

The Bible also talks about the importance of forgiveness by showing how much forgiveness was important to Jesus Christ, who preached it all the time. Matthew 18:15-22 talks about forgiveness and the importance of conflict resolution among people. In this scripture, while Jesus was speaking about forgiveness, His disciple Peter questioned him, specifically the idea of forgiving seven times. Jesus insisted on the importance of forgiveness in this scripture and noted that people needed to forgive each other as many times as they could always – seven times seventy – which pretty much meant forgiving always.

The Bible also commands Christians to forgive, and through the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, the Bible outlines the importance of forgiveness and asks believers to forgive others and themselves in the same way God forgives them.

Forgiveness in the Bible is also a critical practice that reminds Christians that they deserve forgiveness and they’d still be forgiven even if they feel overwhelmed or wicked. In Psalm 65:3, the Bible reminds Christians that God forgives all sins, even when someone is feeling overwhelmed.

Why is it important that we forgive?

Importance Of Forgiveness
Why is it important that we forgive? Image source: Pixabay

The Bible advises Christians to practice forgiveness, and the top reasons for this include the fact that it’s a commandment from God and that you are only forgiven by God if you forgive.

Forgiveness is important to everyone

It’s important to forgive because forgiveness is an important concept available to everyone, regardless of how much sin someone feels that they’ve committed.

A chance at changing your life

Forgiveness cleans up your life, and it’s believed that when we seek forgiveness from God, He’ll forgive us and help to change our lives. Asking for forgiveness will also save you from condemnation – Romans 5:8-9. The Bible also mentions that when you forgive or ask for forgiveness, you receive so much more love, which will potentially change your life for the better – Luke 7:47. The person who is forgiven also feels the love.

Forgiveness brings joy and light

Psalm 32:1-5 is a scripture that teaches about the importance of forgiveness and the good that comes about when forgiving. By refusing to confess sins and asking for forgiveness, the Bible notes that someone feels heavy and also a feeling of their body wasting away, but after confessing and asking for forgiveness, the heaviness lifts, and all that’s left is joy and no guilt. Forgiving others when the weight holds someone down could also lighten the load, and you need to forgive to feel lighter and more joyful.

Other benefits of forgiving include feeling less stressed and lessened feelings of anger, hurt, depression, and anxiety. It also removes physical ailments while boosting energy levels and your overall state of being.

It’s worth noting that while forgiving others who have caused pain or harm is difficult, it is necessary. In Luke 23:34, Jesus spoke to God after he’d been crucified, and he prayed to his Father, asking Him to forgive those who had crucified him because they didn’t know what they were doing. Through this act of forgiveness, Jesus showed that any sin, however terrible, could be forgiven.

How many times did Jesus say to forgive our enemies?

The scriptures in Matthew 18:21-22 shows that Jesus instructed his followers to forgive seven times or seventy times seven, which could translate to forgiving endlessly and as often as needed. It could also mean that we should always forgive without counting how many times we have forgiven someone because it’s pretty much impossible to count every time you forgive someone. It also means forgiving sins or wrongdoing from others, just like we forgive those who wrong us.

How can we seek God’s forgiveness according to the Bible?

How Many Times Is Forgiveness Mentioned In The Bible?
Seeking God’s forgiveness. Image source: Pixabay

Always forgiving others 

We can seek God’s forgiveness by forgiving others without being asked. In Matthew 6:14-15, the Bible says that we should forgive because when we forgive others, God will also give us forgiveness. The opposite is also true, and not forgiving others means we won’t be forgiven.

Lord’s Prayer

We can also seek forgiveness by praying, specifically the Lord’s Prayer, which teaches about the importance of forgiveness and how to ask God to forgive sins. Matthew 6:9-15, John 20:23.

Examples of forgiveness in the Bible

Genesis 50:17 says that God forgave Joseph’s wrongdoing and all the evil things they did.

Exodus 10:17 says that God would offer forgiveness for sins, even just once, and that would take away death.

Luke 7:47 says that anyone can be forgiven their sins, even if they have many sins, and that people who are forgiven many sins show a lot of love, and those who are partially forgiven will show just a little love.

Proverbs 28:13 talks about the importance of confessing one’s sins and asking for forgiveness instead of trying to hide the wrong things that were done. It adds that confessing and asking for forgiveness will give that person God’s Mercy.

1 John 1:9 says that confessing sins to God will lead us to righteousness because God forgives all sins and is faithful.

Matthew 18:21-22 says that Christians should forgive seven times seventy.

Colossians 3:13 says that people should forgive each other even when they have complaints against each other. It commands forgiveness because God forgives.

Ephesians 4:32 says that Christians should be kind and forgiving.

Luke 17:3 reminds Christians to rebuke their brothers for wrongdoing, and if they repent, they should be forgiven.

Isaiah 43:25 says that God forgives and forgets the sins of all people for His own sake.

Ephesians 1:7 says that all believers have received the redemption of God through the blood of Christ and that all have been forgiven.

Psalm 103:12 talks about how God forgives all transgressions regardless of where you are.

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