In this episode Saso and Ben talk about the issue of forgiving one another because we’ve been forgiven so much.
FORGIV’ENESS, noun forgiv’ness.Websters 1828
1. The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty. The forgiveness of enemies is a christian duty.
2. The pardon or remission of an offense or crime; as the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.
3. Disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive. And mild forgiveness intercede to stop the coming blow.
4. Remission of a debt, fine or penalty.
Forgiveness does not mean “bro, now you owe me a solid”. Forgiveness means the debt is canceled and now you no longer have a hook, the debtor does not owe anything. It’s like paying the bill for your food at the restaurant. Once it’s paid you don’t owe anything else, there fore nothing else should be expected by the restaurant.
Often times we “forgive”, but we act like the debt was partially paid. We bring up things from the past, we argue with generalized sweeping statements as if we never forgave that person.
Maybe this is why it’s so hard for us to believe that receiving the gift of salvation is so simple. Because we require a lot for forgiveness and in turn we feel we have to give something in order to be forgiven by God, but that’s not what the Bible teaches. The bible teaches, whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Romans 10:9-10
- Ephesians 2:8-9
When God forgives us, it requires faith and not works otherwise we’d would boast and grow prideful. Salvation is given as a gift, it is not something to be earned or merited.
The Lord’s prayer speaking of forgiveness and an example of how we should pray for others who sin against us
- Matthew 6:12-15
- Colossians 3:13
How often should we forgive?
Examples of Forgiveness in Scripture
- Joseph – Genesis 50:19
- Stephen – Acts 7:59-60
- Simon Peter – Luke 24:34
- Jesus Christ – Luke 23:34
The new covenant with the house of Israel and house of Judah
- Hebrews 8:11-12
- John 8:3-11
Forgiveness is a command
Since forgiveness is a command, we must willfully make the decision to obey God and forgive others.
Forgivness is conditional
Also, the prerequisite to biblically forgiving others is to be forgiven. If you’ve not placed your faith in Christ, if you’ve not been born again as spoken of in John 3, then you are incapable of forgiving others as commanded in scripture.
What about forgive and forget?
This is a common question among Christians. We can’t selectively choose what we want to forget. In fact there are many things stored in our brains that we’d like to delete but it’s just not possible. Unfortunately there are things we do forget but we don’t willfully forget them because it’s impossible for us to forget things on demand.
The bible never tells us to forget, however, the Bible tells us to be prudent.
Forgiveness and trust are two different things. We can forgive someone, but it doesn’t mean we will immediately trust that person after we forgive them, especially if they are unrepentant. For example, if a woman is physically abused by her husband, it’s very possible for her to forgive him. However, if he is unrepentant and has not sought help, it would not be wrong for her to keep her distance. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you immediately trust or pretend the offense did not happen.
Forgiveness means that you’ve released the person from any type of repayment or retribution. However, that means that the dynamics of the relationship may and will likely change until trust is regained which can take time and honestly, trust may never be regained.
We are not instructed to forget but we are instructed to love and pray for enemies.
- Matthew 5:44
- Romans 12:18
Why we don’t forgive
Ultimately we don’t forgive others because of pride as we’ve already mentioned. Someone may have hurt you, said something offensive, or offended you in some way and you are just unwilling to forgive them because they made you feel bad or perhaps mad. This is really what it boils down to. Forgiveness involves humility.
Consequences of unforgiveness
The bad thing about unforgiveness is that it leads to other sins like anger, jealousy, bitterness, and hate. Just think what the United States of America would be like if we just forgave each other. What would our world be like if forgiveness was a priority?
The parable of the unmerciful servant
What prevented the servant from forgiving his fellow servant? Pride and greed! And what was the consequence?
The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from Him.Matthew Henry
Why is there a need for forgiveness?
Who are we to not forgive? After all I’ve been forgiven so much.
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 5:12
- Romans 6:23
- Psalm 51:5
Forgiveness available for all of us
2 Corinthians 5:21
Who do you need to forgive?
Has anyone plucked out your beard? Put a crown of thorns on your head?
God help us to forgive as we have been forgiven of all of our unrighteousness if we have placed our faith in Him.