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To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.

To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.

OCTOBER 24, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.

Steve Brown:
To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you. Let’s talk, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was author and seminary Professor Steve Brown, and this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening, and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. You are very fortunate to be listening today cause we’ve got an interesting week. Great subject, going to talk about forgiveness and we’re gonna be talking and listening to the teaching of one of my best friends in this life, Jerry Parries. Jerry is a teacher of Grace and that’s how we got together. We met a long time ago at lunch because he got grace and was criticized for it. And I got grace and was criticized for it. And we were like two porcupines in a storm trying to hug each other. And over the years we have created a Grace conference and you can find that on our website And you can read some of the things that Jerry has written as a blogger for Key Life. And you can also hear some of his teaching. And he’s going to be here occasionally as one of the voices of Key Life. And you are very fortunate and I am too. Jerry Parries, I know how busy you are. Thank you for associating yourself with Key Life.

Jerry Parries: Oh man. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Steve Brown: Now, we’re going to talk about forgiveness, and that’s an important subject. You know, I was one time doing clinical training at an experimental hospital in Boston. We had to do it as a part of our thing, and I had to be on the wards and talking to people. And I found that 99% of the people that were in that Harvard Experimental Hospital were there because of guilt.

Jerry Parries: Wow. That is something else. I tell you, unforgiveness will wreck your life. It is, it is a, it’s a cancer if you allow it to sit there and rest in you and allow your mind to continue to think of negative things and hold grudges. It’s really a

Steve Brown: It’s horrible.

Jerry Parries: It’s tough.

Steve Brown: But you can’t forgive until you’ve been forgiven too.

Jerry Parries: Oh, absolutely.

Steve Brown: Our own forgiveness is pretty important too, right?

Jerry Parries: Yeah. And when in fact, you can’t, you don’t even understand forgiveness until you’ve been forgiven, until you fully accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ into your own life, you will never be able to fully forgive others, because you’ll have a tendency to feel that they owe you. But when you know that Jesus have paid it all and he owes you and he’s paid your complete debt, then you give the debt. Jesus in the Lord’s prayer says.

Forgive us this day as we forgive our debtors.

You know, and so as we forgive others, as God has forgiven us, true forgiveness takes place.

Steve Brown: Do you think that’s maybe the reason that teachers like you and me who get radical grace are criticized? Because in order to get radical grace, you have to know you’re a radical sinner.

Jerry Parries: Absolutely, Absolutely, without a doubt. It’s like, when you read the story of David and how he was really, really did some awful, just awful things. And God called him a man after his own heart. God forgave David and blessed him beyond measure, but David was able to understand God’s love based upon how he messed up. You really don’t understand how much God loves you until you screw up a whole lot.

Steve Brown: That’s so true. That’s so true.

Jerry Parries: And, when you screw up a whole lot, see Jesus says he that loves much is the person that has been forgiven much. If you don’t think you have done nothing and you think that you’ve been a goody good shoe all your life, then it’s very hard for you to really receive the forgiveness of God because you feel that he hasn’t forgiven you for much, cause you didn’t do much. But when you screw up, like you and me have all of our lives.

Steve Brown: Speak for yourself.

Jerry Parries: When you know, when you really understand, that you are a jacked up person, not only in deeds, but in thoughts that when you sit down and you look at people who, and you criticize them in your mind, but you didn’t say it out of your voice, but your heart said it, you know, when you talk about people and you down people and you say different things. And you realize that that was ugly, that wasn’t cool, that wasn’t nice to say, that’s not Christlike. And then God forgives you for that, then when people say ugly things to you, you remember that, You know what, He’s forgiven me, I need to forgive others.

Steve Brown: So, that’s kind of basic, but what we’re going to talk about mostly this week, is our forgiving others.

Jerry Parries: Yes.

Steve Brown: So, talk to us some about that. Let’s jump into that swimming pool and do some swimming.

Jerry Parries: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s really that when we don’t forgive others, it prisons us into our own selves. As you were talking about, that’s the light way of, you know, you talked about me, I forgive you. But there are times that, there’s some quotes that I love that I want to share, it says.

Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemies die.

Steve Brown: I like great quote.

Jerry Parries: Another one that I love is.

Forgiving others or forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

Steve Brown: Oh man.

Jerry Parries: It’s that, if you don’t forgive others, it wears on you. So, the gift that we are talking about this week, is the gift of forgiving, for the gift is for you. It’s for you. It’s for you. Here’s one that I.

Forgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in. Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime.

Steve Brown: Oh man. That’s so true.

Jerry Parries: And so, give yourself a gift today and that’s what I want to share. Just give yourself a gift and forgive and let it go. The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge. And that is a very heavy weight, that’s extremely heavy weight to carry. So, I want to just drop one thing for you this week on, on this day, and here’s what I want to tell you. This is will help you to forgive others, when you remember this.

Remember that the Lord has forgiven you, and when the Christ has forgiven you, then it will help you to forgive others.

I’m looking at Colossians 3:12, in the New Living Translation, it says.

Since God chose you to be his holy people, you’ve been chosen by God. God hand picked you, after all you’ve done, God hand picked you to love you.

He says.

Since you have been chosen by God to be his holy people he loved, you must clothe yourself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

And then verse 13, I love it says.

Making allowances for others faults and forgiving anyone who offends you.

And this is the part I love.

Remember the Lord has forgave you, so you must forgive others.

And that’s really what we have to do. We have to remember, it’s easier to forgive when you remember how you have been forgiven. When you realize what God has done for you, when you realize that God has snatched you out of some stuff that you didn’t deserve. When I look at the Scripture that says.

Be tender hearted and mercy, with mercy.

Mercy is a term that you use when, mercy is something that you deserve to get, but God decides not to give it to you. And so, mercy is what you ought to give others because when you deserve to be cut off, God didn’t cut you off. God kept on loving you. God kept on forgiving you. And so, when people do things to you and instead of you harboring that, instead of you locking that into your heart, instead of you being bitter about that, remember what Christ have did for you. And when you can remember that, then you can let others go and you can set others free with that kind of mercy and love.

Steve Brown: Oh man, that’s life changing.

Jerry Parries: It really is.

Steve Brown: Yeah, it really is. So, when we’re in church and we meet Christians who are bitter and angry, constantly critical of others, self-righteous, they either don’t understand or they may not be Christians.

Jerry Parries: I would, I tell my church all the time, when you don’t fully understand what God has done for you, you will never be able to reach the level of love that he has intended for you. And therefore, you can never love someone else when you haven’t been really loved yourself. And you never know that you’ve been really loved until you know that you’ve been really forgiven.

Steve Brown: Yeah, that is so good. I’ve quoted you everywhere and I love that statement. You say a lot of things that cause light to go in my head, but one of the things you say that I just think is maybe the best thing you ever said.

God, you will run out of sin, before God runs out of grace.

Jerry Parries: That is absolutely correct. For where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. So, I want to encourage everybody that’s listening to me today, if you have been forgiven, release yourself with the gift to forgive others.

Steve Brown: Oh, so good. You know, when you talk about this, we’ll talk about it later, but I wish you had known my mother. On her dying bed, death bed, she said.

Lord, I don’t think I’ve got anything against anybody now.

And she was a giant spiritually. And listening to you teach today, I can understand why. Hey guys, you think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter: Unforgiveness is a cancer. So true. That was Steve Brown and our friend Jerry Parries talking about the forgiveness that flows from experiencing grace. Such a great conversation and hey, great news. We’re gonna continue this conversation throughout the week. Do not miss that. Well, I think I mentioned this last week, but when there’s a cool opportunity, you really want to make sure your friends get in on it, right? So, if you go to you’ll find not only the current issue of our digital magazine, but a whole archive going back years. It’s the first time we’ve done this. And again, that’s and speaking of magazines, through the end of the year, we still have copies of our 2022 print magazines, completely different set of articles. To claim your free copy of that, just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to

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