“Forgiveness” is like the weather, everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it! Well, “no one” is incorrect … “few Christians do anything about it” would be better terminology. This is a fundamental doctrine of the Word of God, but we hear very little about it from Christians.
God deals with forgiveness in several aspects. First, we receive eternal forgiveness when we trust Christ as our personal Saviour. Through the act of inviting Christ to come into our heart, we receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal (never-ending) life in exchange for the previous sentence of “… condemned already, because we have (had) not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
As a Christian, we are instructed to confess individual sins to the God to restore “fellowship” with Him on a day-by-day basis. “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
“Confession” in the original language means for us to look at our sin the same way God does … as being genuinely bad, harmful and hurtful to our relationship to God. His promise is that we then ARE forgiven and cleansed.
Some Christians have said that they confessed their sins to the Lord and they still feel dirty and guilty. Well, if your feelings tell you that you are dirty and guilty and God says you are forgiven and cleansed, who is telling the truth, God or your feelings. God is, of course! You ARE forgiven and cleansed!
The next area is closely akin to the above, and that is forgiving ourselves. Often Christian are so harsh upon themselves even after they have gotten things right with God. Of course, this usually is because of a sincere regret for the sin and a recognition of the harm (to self, others, and the Lord) the sin has produced.
However, if God says we are forgiven, we ought to be willing to forgive ourselves.
As Paul said, “. . . forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Another area Christ often talks to us about is forgiving others:
Jesus said, “And when you stand to pray if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
It could be that one reason we often do not feel forgiven ourselves is that we are not really forgiving others.It could be that one reason we often do not feel forgiven ourselves is that we are not really forgiving others. Click To Tweet
A friend said to me, “Well, I’ll forgive him, but I won’t forget it!” In other words, he wanted to bury the hatchet but leave the handle sticking out!.
True forgiveness means it will never be brought to memory or discussion again. How long to continue forgiving?
Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven …which means to continue forever. Knowing how much the Lord has forgiven us, how can we ever not forgive someone else?
Read the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35!
Sharing His Wonder,