Forgiveness, the final stop on the path to REAL peace.
You could do all of the other stops along the path, and have solved the problem. But that is not the goal God has given to us, to just remove problems from our lives.
Problem Solving, vs. Restoring Relationship
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Be reconciled... this is more than just being ok. Problem resolved. There is restoration of the relationship.
To move to REAL peace, restoration of relationships we need REAL forgiveness.
Not only is this We are commanded
But what is forgiveness?
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
It is not deserved and cannot be earned.
“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
(Luke 6:37 only occurrence)
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
When God forgives us, He
Frees us from the penalty that is due to Him. He frees us from His wrath.
Frees us from the bondage, the weight, of our sin. He clears our conscience.
Frees us graciously. We do not deserve it. We could not earn it.
Freely overlooks. He will remember no more.
So, when we are told to forgive as God in Christ has forgiven us, we need to:
Free from the penalty. Our wrath. Restitution.
Free from the bondage.
Free graciously, not expecting them to earn it.
Free them by remembering no more.
Some Consequences may remain
The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
This is REAL forgiveness. The final stop on the path to REAL peace. It is a tall order! If I'm honest, this is more than I can handle.
Forgive - freeing them from the penalty, freeing them from the bondage, freeing them graciously, freeing them by mercifully remembering no more.
I cannot do this. So this week, let's focus on HIS forgiveness, and the fact that not only does He forgive us, but...
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
He has given us what we need to act like He does!
Let's ask God to work His nature in us--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control--so we will forgive as He has forgiven us in Christ.