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There are many seemingly simple statements but the meaning and
ramification of these statements are truly incredible.
Many of us are labouring hard at our Christian walk, but deep down we feel
that we are stagnating and that we are not making the progress that
we should be making, yet we pray, study and even fast from time to time.
There is a very real problem in how we deal with certain situations.
We can think that we are acting in a charitable manner and indeed
It is understandable why we feel this way.
Here are some examples.
These are meant to be illustrative and not definitive.
A. Your husband or wife has left you. Obvious
B. Someone has stolen from your house. Obvious
C. Someone has told horrible lies about you. Hidden, Unknown.
D. Or tried to manipulate and literally destroy you. Hidden, Unknown.
reserved acceptance of the situation with grace,
and you grin and bear it. You do not bear any anger or hostility
to the person who has thrown the injustice at you.
In the case of the person associated in the case of a marriage break up
you may unwittingly forgive the partner but not the other party
concerned. Any contact that you have with the person is kind and pleasant.
You are showing 'love' to the person.
This is all very well. But it is not enough. Herein lies the problem.
There is nothing that you have done wrong, however, the fact is that all
the persons who have wronged us have grievously offended us.
It is true that all sin is against God but we have also been sinned against.
If we fail to love we remain a victim and not a victor.
We therefore have to forgive the person otherwise they will remain in
their sin. We are bound to the person by their sin, the fact that we accept
with grace and dignity the situation, does not matter. The sin still exists.
It therefore follows that we have to forgive the person.
It is easy for ministers to keep admonishing their congregations to do these
things when in fact, if they are honest, they have to admit that they
themselves are just as unable to practice what they are preaching.
True forgiveness, like love is from God.
Like our whole Christian calling, it is all above and beyond our human ability.
The following verses are the key to all our problems.
In order to forgive you have to have genuine love.
We need to realise that we are made in the image of God
therefore what we have is only an image of the real thing.
1 John 4:8 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
When you see all the violence, bitterness, hate and anger between people
of for example different religious beliefs, races etc, you can be certain that
in spite of claims to be Christian, Christ is not involved in anyway.
We are told that God is love, and therefore He is the source of all love.
It cannot be obtained anywhere else in the universe. Never mind what the
ministers or counsellors tell you. You cannot work it up or any such thing.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us.
God is love;
and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.
This verse clearly links love to our dwelling in God and God dwelling in us.
The most that we can do is give the appearance of forgiveness and love,
however forgiveness and love is not optional, they are direct commands.
This puts a great deal of force into the ‘Lord’s prayer’
Weymouth Translation Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our shortcomings,
as we also have forgiven those who have failed in their duty towards us;
It is important to notice that we are asking to be forgiven, present tense
in view of something that we have already done 'as we also have forgiven'
14 For if you forgive others their offences,
your Heavenly Father will forgive you also;
15 but if you do not forgive others their offences,
neither will your Father forgive yours.
If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven it is that simple.
Forgiveness annuls offence.
We can see that we are bound to the person (See Document Loose & Free)
by the sin that they have committed against us.
Our error is in not forgiving them, but often we will not even know that
they have sinned against us.
We can see that grace and dignity and
treating someone nicely is not enough.
John 20:20 And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands
and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you:
as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them,
and said unto them, Receive you the Holy Spirit:
23 whose soever sins you forgive, they are forgiven unto them;
whose soever sins you retain, they are retained.
The following verse shows that if we do not have mercy we can expect
to pay the full price for our debts.
Matthew 18:32 Then his lord called him unto him, and said to him,
You wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because you besought me:
33 should not you also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant,
even as I had mercy on you?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors,
till he should pay all that was due.
35 So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you,
if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
It is no wonder naked and in unbelievable suffering Christ on the cross
said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
They were hurting themselves plus the other party concerned.
This shows clearly that forgiveness is required in the most extreme
circumstances and not the trivia with which we often take offence.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, Father,
forgive them; for they know not what they do.
and parting his garments among them, they cast lots.
In case you might think that only Christ could do this, you would be right.
That is the key. Here is another example
Acts 7:55 But he was full of the Holy Spirit, and looking up to heaven,
he saw the glory of God and Jesus at the right hand of God.
The Holy Spirit is none other than Jesus Christ and the Father.
Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying,
Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord,
lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
We need to consider that we may not have forgiven others because we
did not accept that what they did to us was sin and both them and us
are consequently suffering.
Or we may not even know that these persons have sinned against us,
thus we have to ask God to make these people known to us.
There is really only one way of life that can prevent this,
anything else is quite disastrous.
We have to obey the commandment ‘To love one another’.
As was said earlier this is beyond our ability, so we are left with
just how do we do that ?
1) Acknowledge to our Father in heaven that we are unable to forgive,
or love or whatever we are required to do.
2) Ask our Father in heaven to be the forgiveness, love for the wrong
done to us. Christ and the Father are one, and our Christ is
all-inclusive and will meet every need.
This principle applies to our whole Christian life.
This understanding is chain breaking, freedom giving and will release
life into our very being. Let the indwelling Christ live out the life
which is the very purpose of His indwelling in us.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the
flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me.
When you start to do this your life will never be the same again as
you experience the renewing of the mind by the Holy Spirit,
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
and the transformation from dust to become a precious stone in
the Temple of God, the New Jerusalem, that is our ultimate
destination which will only be attained by forgiveness and love.
Revelation 22:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels
which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked
with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride,
the Lamb’s wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and
high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem,
descending out of heaven from God,
The only way out of this dilemma is Jesus Christ.
He is the only way of escape.
Praise the Lord.
Come soon Lord Jesus.
(Bible Explanations, Messages of Life, Hope & Encouragement)