RCIA – Sin and Forgiveness – 8/2/18

Catholics and Sin                                          6th February 2018

Youtube clip – The Servant King by Graham Kendrick

Have a look at the cartoons in the book “How to Survive being Married to a Catholic”.


  1. Do people see sin as just a bit of fun or do they deny that there is any such thing as sin?
  2. How does breaking God’s law harm human beings?
  3. What can help us as we make choices in our lives?
  4. What is your understanding of sin and how it affects daily life?


Definitions of Sin

Bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds

Can be called;  Self  Inflicted  Nonsense


Why do we commit sins?

There is something fundamentally wrong within us, a state of sin, which causes us to commit sins?


Consider Romans 7; 15-25

Does it sound a bit like there’s a war going on?  What is the answer?  Read on Romans 8; 1-4


Being prepared to change and to be changed

Quote – Helen Roseveare’s book – Living sacrifice p60 (recognising sin in yourself and doing something about it).  On this page of the book Helen is a missionary doctor in Africa and one day she had collected a charity parcel of clothing which had arrived “for the Africans” and she took a pretty dress from it for herself.  Then she was convicted that this was wrong and put it back.  She then saw the delight in an African lady on receiving this same dress.  She had learnt a lesson and God provided for her own needs in other ways.  See this youtube clip for some of her testimony.


Coming before God with open hands

Quote – As bread that is broken – p37 letting God look in our hands, take things out  and put things in.

Jesus is the answer

His blood is for forgiveness, dealing with our sins.

1 John; 1-7 …the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.


The cross is for deliverance, dealing with our sin, our inward state.

Romans 6; 6  We know that our former man (our old nature) was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.


Our response

Acknowledge Jesus as Lord

Accept what he has done for us

Repent and Follow Him

Surrender to His will for us even if that is a lifetime’s work



Prayer (from the book God for Grownups)

We live in a society which calls itself Christian but often appears to live in the opposite way.  It is a world which, at times, puts possessions before people, success before justice, stength before depending on each other and upon God.  We pray that the Spirit of God will fill us with a power which frees us from fear, complacency and prejudice.

Lord Jesus, show us how to be open to new influences and to walk in new directions.

Show us how our failure to love affects others as well as ourselves.

Remind us to try to respect everyone and not just those who love us.

Help us to be aware that we can make tomorrow better than today.

Your power finds its strength in our weakness, without which we can do nothing.



Forgiveness – called to be different and to make a difference

Matthew 6: 9-13 The Lord’s Prayer vs. 12 “And forgive us our trespasses (sins) as we forgive those who trespass (sin) against us.” and then in verses 14-15  “Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your failings either.”

Luke 23: 34  “Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.”

Matthew 18: 21-22  Then Peter went up to him and said, “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?  As often as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “Not seven I tell you but seventy seven times.  (other translations seventy times seven)

Matthew 18: 23-35  The unforgiving servant  vs. 35  “And that is how my Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart”.


1) From these verses which of the terms below best describes what we are being asked to do.

a) an instruction     b) a request      c) an option      d) a command

(Clue – Jesus often says things in such as way that they are commands.)


2) Rate the importance of our forgiving those who have wronged us

Not important   1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5- 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10    Very important


3) Rate how easy or difficult it is to forgive others

Easy   1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10    Difficult


4) In the Scriptures above, when we are asked to forgive, is the emphasis on the one doing the forgiving or the one being forgiven.  (Is this fair?  After all who’s been wronged here.)

Examples of challenging situations

Discussion after each

 1)  The Amish shootings in October 2nd 2006



2) Julie Nicholson whose daughter died in the bombing in London 7th July 2006



3) You tube clip “Corrie Ten Boom, How to forgive”


Other Scriptures on the call to be different theme

Matthew 6: 38-48  vs. 4 Love your enemies

Matthew 5: 13-16  Salt of the earth and light of the world


 Some Theology

The Doctrine of final judgement enables us to forgive others freely  (ref book  Systematic Theology – Wayne Grudem

 As everyone ultimately has God for their judge they do not need us to judge them. (my words)

When we have been wronged , we can give into God’s hands any desire to harm or pay back the person who wronged us, knowing that every wrong in the universe will be ultimately paid for – either it will turn out to have been paid for by Christ when he died on the cross (if the wrongdoer becomes a Christian), or it will be paid for at the final judgement (for those who do not trust in Christ for salvation).

This thought should keep us from harboring bitterness or resentment in our hearts for injustices we have suffered that have not been made right.

In this way we are following the example of Christ…..Systematic Theology – Wayne Grudem


Catechism of the Catholic Church 

  1. “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass AGAINST US”

2838 This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, “and forgive us our trespasses,” it might have been included, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, since Christ’s sacrifice is “that sins may be forgiven.” But, according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. Our petition looks to the future, but our response must come first, for the two parts are joined by the single word “as.”

and forgive us our trespasses . . .

2839 With bold confidence, we began praying to our Father. In begging him that his name be hallowed, we were in fact asking him that we ourselves might be always made more holy. But though we are clothed with the baptismal garment, we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God. Now, in this new petition, we return to him like the prodigal son and, like the tax collector, recognize that we are sinners before him.133 Our petition begins with a “confession” of our wretchedness and his mercy. Our hope is firm because, in his Son, “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”134 We find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church.135

2840 Now – and this is daunting – this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see.136 In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace.

2841 This petition is so important that it is the only one to which the Lord returns and which he develops explicitly in the Sermon on the Mount.137 This crucial requirement of the covenant mystery is impossible for man. But “with God all things are possible.”138
. . . as we forgive those who trespass against us

2842 This “as” is not unique in Jesus’ teaching: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”; “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”; “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”139 It is impossible to keep the Lord’s commandment by imitating the divine model from outside; there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make “ours” the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.140 Then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible and we find ourselves “forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave” us.141

133 Cf.  Lk 15:11-32,  18:13.
134  Col 1:14;  Eph 1:7.
135 Cf.  Mt 26:28;  Jn 20:23.
136 Cf.  l Jn 4:20.
137 Cf.  Mt 6:14-15;  5:23-24;  Mk 11:25.
138  Mt 19:26.
139  Mt 5:48;  Lk 6:36;  Jn 13:34.
140 Cf.  Gal 5:25;  Phil 2:1,5.
141  Eph 4:32.

The Lord’s prayer

 Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.




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