Use these 30 Bible verses on forgiveness to battle unforgiveness & help you to better understand & accept God’s forgiveness in your own heart.
We all have found ourselves on either end of forgiveness. Whether you’re the one whose forgiveness is pending someone’s offense or you are hoping to receive forgiveness for your own offense.
There is great power in forgiving and the Bible has a lot to say on the topic. It is, after all, one of the foundational elements of the Christian faith!
It requires so many traits of Jesus to receive it and offer it well to others – patience, self-control, wisdom, humility, a strong identity rooted in God, and confidence that can only come from Christ.
We see forgiveness not as a suggestion but as an instruction from God. He not only calls us to forgive one another. He practices what He preaches because He is the epitome of what ultimate forgiveness looks like and it all stems from His great love for us.
Forgiveness is not something that God takes lightly, and it shouldn’t be something that we take lightly either. In Matthew 6:14-15 we’re told, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
That is the seriousness with which God regards forgiveness. One way to understand it is through thinking of our offense against God. We as sinners have offended a holy and just God. There is no greater sin than our offense against Him.
We are all guilty of this by nature. In His justice, He could rightly withhold mercy from us. Yet, He not only showed us mercy and forgave us. He showed us grace and gave us more than we deserved.
If we have sinned against, and we refuse to show forgiveness to our offender, why should God forgive us? Our sin against Him is greater than the offense of man.
This does not mean that we don’t truly hurt, grieve, or even distance ourselves in situations that are necessary. But it does mean releasing the other person and ourselves out of the mercy that we have received from God.
As Christians, we have directly experienced the greatest kind of forgiveness.
We have been forgiven by God, through the work of Christ on the cross. We were the offenders, and God chose not only to forgive us, but He reconciled us to Himself. We have received the ultimate forgiveness! And, only because of our experience of that can we off that to others in our everyday lives – because of God’s mercy.
When it comes to our relationship with others, be it friends, family members, spouses or significant others, offense is inevitable. We will hurt one another and we will be hurt in return. But not every fallout results in reconciliation.
Sometimes bitterness overtakes forgiveness. Other times the person who caused the harm continues in their ways without remorse.
So when should we show forgiveness?
And who is forgiveness dependent on?
Let’s dive into God’s Word to find the answers.
I pray that these Bible verses on forgiveness will help you find the healing and courage to forgive and to receive not only God’s forgiveness but also to seek the forgiveness of those who you have slighted as well.
Scripture on Forgiveness
1. 1 John 1:9
“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
2. Ephesians 1:7
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”Ephesians 1:7
3. Ephesians 4:31-32
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31-32
4. Matthew 6:14-15
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15
5. Jeremiah 31:34
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”Jeremiah 31:34
6. James 5:16
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”James 5:16
7. Psalm 32:5
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”Psalm 32:5
8. Micah 7:18-19
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”Micah 7:18-19
9. Colossians 3:12-13
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”Colossians 3:12-13
10. Matthew 26:28
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”Matthew 26:28
11. Luke 23:34
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”Luke 23:34
12. Matthew 18:21-22
“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
13. Luke 6:37
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”Luke 6:37
14. 1 John 2:12
“I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”1 John 2:12
15. Luke 17:3-4
“So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”Luke 17:3-4
16. Acts 2:38
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38
17. Isaiah 43:25-26
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.”Isaiah 43:25-26
18. Colossians 1:13-14
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”Colossians 1:13-14
19. Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”Isaiah 1:18
20. Numbers 14:19-21
“In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth.”Numbers 14:19-21
21. Mark 11:25
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”Mark 11:25
22. Psalm 32:1
“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”Psalm 32:1
23. Matthew 12:32
“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”Matthew 12:32
24. 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14
25. Acts 13:38-39
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”Acts 13:38-39
26. Joel 2:13
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”Joel 2:13
27. Psalm 103:12
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:12
28. Luke 5:20
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”Luke 5:20
29. Matthew 6:12-15
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:12-15
30. Colossians 2:13-15
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”Colossians 2:13-15