Love Is Always Associated With Forgiveness
Without love no one will see the Lord. Love is what removes the pride. Love was poured out on the cross. We should not only have love for the person, but love for the Lord. I cant hold this grudge. Gods love is too great for me to hold this grudge. Also, when someone sins against us a lot of times its usually by people we love. Even though they sinned against us we know that we still love them, but we were hurt by their actions.
4. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
5. Colossians 3:13-14 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
6. 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
What Does The Bible Really Say About Forgiveness
When I teach church classes about forgiveness, I begin with a question: What do you think the Bible says about forgiveness?
The first thing someone calls out is usually “70 times seven,” a reference to Jesus’ instruction to his disciples that they must forgive without bound. Next, students mention the Lord’s Prayer, citing the verse, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Often there is a lull at this point, and then someone remembers Jesus’ words from the cross, “Father, forgive them.” With most groups, the discussion falters here.
Everyone is sure that the Bible is full of messages about forgiveness, but when it comes down to it, few people can identify exactly what the text actually says about it.
The New Testament continues this concern for the forgiveness of an entire people, but shifts the focus to Jesus as the “perfect sacrifice” who replaces the old sacrificial system . At the Last Supper, Jesus declares, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” .
In all four Gospels, Jesus notes the importance of forgiving others to ensure God’s forgiveness. Matthew includes the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, in which a freed slave who does not forgive the debts of another is thrown into jail to be tortured. Jesus concludes this story with a less-than-comforting moral, “So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart” .
Forgiveness: Why Its Important
Forgiveness. Why its important to me. For a long time, I carried the weight of pain, unwilling to let go.
I thought to forgive meant to erase all that had been done.
I thought forgiving meant it made it okay.
Forgiving felt as heavy as the pain itself. How could I let this person off the hook? Its not okay, Im not okay.
The harsh reality I had come to was that the pain I carried in unforgiveness caused a chain reaction of other emotions, events and blurred my reality.
Forgiveness doesnt mean reconciliation.
That takes both parties coming together in agreement to work it out. Maybe thats an option in this season, and perhaps it isnt.
Forgiveness takes one person. You. Your willingness to walk through healing with the Father. Scripture is clear on forgiveness. I also believe He was clear on it because He knew the separation it caused.
What it doesnt mean:
- Take something wrong and make it right
- Heart change
- Saying I wont continue to hold this offense against you
One of the most challenging things for our physical mind to process and understand is the truth regarding what the Bible says about forgiveness. Scripture is clear on forgiveness. I also believe He was clear on it because He knew the separation and hardened hearts it caused.
What does the Bible say about forgiveness?
Here are essential and critical verses on forgiveness in the Bible. Remember, Jesus died for every mans sins.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12
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Forgiven As We Forgive
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus covers a lot of ground in the Lord’s prayer . He addresses:
When He finishes the prayer, forgiveness is the only topic he elaborates on. Jesus wants us to see the link between receiving and extending forgiveness. While it’s true that God has forgiven more than we’ll ever be called to forgive, there’s something else at play here.
The kingdom of God is all about reconciliation, and we are called to demonstrate God’s desire for harmony in the way we live. Paul explains it this way:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation .
There can be no reconciliation without mercy. When we receive God’s forgiveness but refuse to forgive others, it shows that we dont truly understand God’s heart. We’re not merely called to be reconciled with God were called to join in the ministry of reconciliation. That doesn’t just mean allowing people to be at peace with Godbut at peace with us, too.
We Should Forgive Others As God Forgives Us
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Matthew 6:12 From the Lords Prayer And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
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A Prayer To Help Forgive Others
Lord, Help me to forgive as you forgive, teach me to love as you love. Fill me with your Spirit so that I can choose what is best, honorable, and righteous. I am weak Lord, I struggle to forgive those who have wronged me, but you are strong Lord, and know that even when I am weak your strength within me can help me to forgive.
Thank you for your love, and thank you that its not all up to me. You have equipped me with the power and grace to go through this so that in the end you will be glorified.
I pray that your overflowing power will fill my life, allowing me to make a difference in the world and bring you honor. I ask for your assistance in reminding me that the most important things we can do in this life are simply to obey you and choose to love others. Amen.
What Does Jesus Say About Forgiveness
Jesus himself stressed the importance of forgiveness, but he was doing so in a culture that stressed very legalistic ideas. The problem with legalism is that it forgets or bypasses the spirit in which the law was given. Forgiveness from a legalistic perspective is a matter of balancing the books and making sure that a debt is paid or cancelled. From a spiritual perspective, forgiveness is about restoring the pathways of communication and love.
Look at Matthew 18:15-22 as an example. In verses 15-20, Jesus lays out a conflict resolution process that seeks a state of forgiveness between the parties involved. The ideal result of this solution is the meeting of two people seeking a state of forgiveness, and Jesus says that he is there also. What a beautiful moment that people can share not only with each other, but with God. Where else can we specifically do something and know that God joins us in that moment? Seen in this light, forgiveness is sacramental.
Peter hears Jesus give this instruction, but his legalistic side kicks in and he asks in verse 21 how many times he has to forgive someone before he can write them off. Seven times?
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Even If You Feel Overwhelmed By Your Sins God Is Not He Will Still Forgive You
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, You forgive them all.
If you stop and think about all of your sins, it can certainly feel overwhelming. All of us have done things we are not proud of, and all of us fall far from Gods standard of perfection. Its important to be aware of your sins and your need for Jesus to save you from the consequences.
At the same time, its important to not let this awareness of your sinfulness overwhelm you. No matter how many times youve sinned and no matter what you may have done, Jesus has already paid the price. That means God will forgive every single one.
Why Does The Bible Command Us To Forgive
As mentioned before, forgiveness allows us to become unentangled from toxic anxiety and stress so that we can become more of what God created us to be. Forgiveness is a non-negotiable practice for true followers of Jesus Christ and there is another reason besides the previous one. The forgiveness that we receive from God is tied to our forgiving others. Not our capability to forgive or our capacity to forgive, but our actual practice of forgiving others is something that God reciprocates by forgiving us.
The Bible mentions this is as well as the Lords Prayer . In fact, Jesus further explains after the Lords Prayer that forgiveness on our part brings about forgiveness from God. Perhaps this is because as we forgive and release our desires for vengeance or control, we are releasing ourselves from deep-seated self-centeredness which allows God to have more influence and power in our lives. You cant receive the blessings of God if you are full of the relics of your old self.
Are there exceptions? The Bible shows that Jesus commands us to continually forgive those who repent and seek our forgiveness . There is a verse where there is a different recourse, but it needs to be understood correctly.
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We Owe Forgiveness To Those Who Dont Deserve It
And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep . There are numerous examples that charge us to forgive others, even when they dont deserve it. In addition to this example of Stephen, I think about Jesus on the cross in the midst of his executioners: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do . Every time I find myself having trouble extending forgiveness to someone Ive deemed undeserving, I think about how unworthy I am of forgiveness. Yet, God saw fit to love me and forgive me. When considering the magnitude of that, every situation in my life where I was reluctant to forgive seems trivial.
God Gives Us The Ability To Forgive Others
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you . Forgiving can be one of the hardest things that God requires of us. But, the good news is He doesnt command it of us and then leave us to do it on our own. He gives us Jesus as an example. And, He gives us the power, through the Holy Spirit.
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How Do We Translate Our Decision To Forgive Into A Change Of Heart
God honors our commitment to obey him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive by faith until the work of forgiveness is done in our hearts.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Lack Of Forgiveness Breaks Our Fellowship With God
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift . The Bible is very clear that harboring bitterness in our hearts is sin. And, if we arent actively seeking to kill it, it will break our fellowship with God. We wont experience everything God has to offer us.
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Jesus Is Our Ultimate Example: When He Was Hanging On The Cross He Forgave The People Who Nailed Him To It
Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they dont know what they are doing.
Jesus was convicted for things He didnt do and died in one of the most gruesome ways possible. As He was dying and experiencing the torturous pain of the cross, He asked God the Father to forgive the people who convicted Him and nailed Him to the cross. If someone has hurt you in a way you feel is unforgivable, consider Jesus example.
Forgiveness isnt easy, but God can help you both give and receive forgiveness. As a result, you will experience the joy and love that are produced by forgiving and being forgiven.
We Owe Others An Unlimited Amount Of Forgiveness This Is How Gods Forgiveness Is Practiced
Forgiving is difficult, but doing it over and over again can seem impossible. But, with God, everything is possible. Jesus is clear in this passage that there is no last straw that justifies us withholding our forgiveness. God does not have a last straw for us.
To be clear, this does not mean allowing others to take advantage of your forgiveness. God also gave us the ability to be reasonable and make smart decisions with our lives.
Holding onto resentment only takes our joy, without hurting the other party. We must repeatedly forgive because God commands it and He knows what is best for our lives.
- Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I will forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not tell you seven times, but seventy times seven .
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Forgiveness Is Rarely A One
It is most often a life-long process. However, forgiveness has to begin somewhere at some point in time. There will undoubtedly be a moment, an act, when you decisively choose to forgive. It may well be highly emotional and spiritually intense and bring immediate relief a sense of release and freedom. But that doesnt necessarily mean youll never need to do it again. You may need every day to reaffirm to yourself your forgiveness of another. Each time you see the person, you may need to say, Self, remember that you forgave _______!
There may well be other myths concerning forgiveness, but those are probably the most important ones. Lets turn our attention now to the essence of true forgiveness.
Unforgiveness Only Hurts You In The End
Holding grudges creates bitterness and hate. Dont go kill someone in your mind. We have all done it before. We have all thought ungodly things about people who sinned against us or did something we didnt like. Unforgiveness is unhealthy.
You are taking your eyes off of Christ and Satan starts throwing things in your mind. Satan wants you to think about what you should have done or said in your confrontation. He wants you to think about violence. Our first thought shouldnt be to throw up our middle fingers.
We should immediately go to the Lord for help in removing these wicked desires and keeping our minds on Him. Sometimes we have to cry out to Him because the situation hurts and these evil desires are killing us.
13. Romans 12:19-21 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for Gods wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
14. Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
15. Ephesians 4:26-27 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
16. Proverbs 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
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If We Confess Our Sins Jesus Will Forgive Us
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
James tells us that confession leads to healing . John confirms this truth. If we want to maintain our relationship with Jesus , we need to be open and honest about our missteps, mistakes, and misbehavior.
The good news is that our Godwho abounds in mercyfaithfully forgives our sin. But more than that, He cleanses us from the inside out. This means that relationship is restored between ourselves and God, but also that our conscience is clear. We don’t have to carry the weight of our failures and imperfections.