Posts Tagged ‘Forgiving’


Under Gods Command

Mathews 6:14-15 For it you forgive others for their transgressions (Sins), your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. 

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. 

Jesus said if we forgive someone, then the Lord will forgive us. Jesus compares the two types of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of us is dependent on our forgiving others. As we try to understand Jesus’ words, we must first remember that we have no power over the eternal fate of another person, for Christ alone is our Judge:

We know Jesus was not asking us to forgive someone from the penalty of their sin in eternity for only God can do that. The only kind of forgiveness we can extend to another person is the rebuilding of our earthly fellowship with that person. So, when Jesus asks us to forgive another, He must be speaking in terms of earthly relationships, not eternal outcomes.

If a believer forgives in this way, Jesus says God will forgive us. From the context, the proper interpretation is that God will forgive us in the same way He asks us to forgive others: by restoring fellowship with us. Once again, Jesus is speaking in terms of earth consequences and earthly forgiveness. The Lord will forgive us from the earthly consequences of our sins provided we are willing to show forgiveness to others (which is a part of our mission to show the love of Christ to the world).

The Bible teaches that our sins after faith may still bring us earthly consequences. The Lord may choose to bring discipline against us for our sin, which the Bible calls the discipline of the Lord. Discipline is intended by God to drive us back into a godly walk with Him:

By not forgiving others, we deny our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and we break the family relationship God wants us to have with all people.  Our salvation from sin is not based on our forgiving others, but we cannot receive God’s forgiveness until we realize what forgiveness really means.

Lets Bring it Home: We can easily ask God for forgiveness for ourselves but then had on to grudges toward others who are difficult to forgive.  Whenever we ask God to forgive us for sin, we should first ask ourselves if we have forgiven the people who have wronged us.


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Paul explained that it was time to forgive the man who had been punished by the church and had subsequently repented. He needed forgiveness, acceptance, and comfort. Satan would gain an advantage if they permanently separated this man from the congregation rather than forgiving and restoring him. This may have been the man who had required the disciplinary action described in 1 Corinthians 5, or he may have been the chief opponent of Paul who had caused him anguish (2:1-11). The sorrowful letter had finally brought about the repentance of the Corinthians (7:8-14), and their discipline of the man had led to his repentance. Church discipline should seek restoration. Two mistakes in church discipline should be avoided: being too lenient and not correcting mistakes, or being too harsh and not forgiving the sinner. There is a time to confront and a time to comfort.

We use church discipline to help keep the church pure and to help wayward people repent. But Satan tries to harm the church by tempting it to use discipline in an unforgiving way. This causes those exercising discipline to become proud of their purity, and it causes the person who is being disciplined to become bitter and perhaps leave the church entirely.

Lets bring it home: We must remember that our purpose in discipline is to restore a person to the fellowship, not to destroy him or her. We must be cautious that personal anger is not vented under the guise of church discipline.


Under Gods Command                                                                                                

1 Corinthians 10:28-33 But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake-the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Why should we be limited by another person’s conscience? Simply because we are to do all things for God’s glory, even our eating and drinking. Nothing we do should cause another believer to stumble. We do what is best for others, so that they might be saved. We should also be sensitive to the meaning of our actions to new Christians who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ. However, Christians should not make a career out of being the offended people with oversensitive consciences.

Believers must not project their standards onto others. Many believers who have been Christians for years are still oversensitive and judgmental of others. Instead of being the offended weaker brothers and sisters, they are no more than offended “Pharisees.”

Christian leaders and teachers should carefully teach about the freedom Christians have in matters not expressly forbidden by Scripture. New or weak Christians should not remain in a weak or sensitive state but should grow into maturity and discernment lest they prove to be an unnecessary burden on others’ freedom in Christ.

 Lets Bring it Home: God’s love must so permeate our motives that all we do will be for his glory. Keep this as a guiding principle by asking, “Is this action glorifying God?” or “How can I honor God through this action?”