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Forgiveness Article 11 July 22, 2016

July 23, 2016

Reverence to God   Psalm 145:1-7

“I will extol Thee, my God, O King, and I will bless thy name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless thee, and I will praise they name forever and ever.  Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.  One generation shall praise the works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.  On the glorious splendor of thy majesty, and on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate.  And men shall speak of the power of Thine awesome acts; and I will tell of thy greatness.  They shall eagerly utter the memory of Thine abundant goodness, and shall shout joyfully of Thy righteousness”.

What is supposed to happen in forgiveness, and how is it supposed to work?

The model to follow is in Matthew 6:14-15

Christ said, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions”.

Forgiving is personal with God.  Believers are supposed to follow Christ’s lead when it comes to forgiveness.  God and Christ do not put any conditions upon forgiveness.  God separates the sin from the consequences of the sin.  It is only in man’s mind that we think we cannot be forgiven for some acts of sin.  Since we are living in the church age and under the rules of Christ and His forgiveness, Christ also forgives sin unconditionally.  The consequences do not come into play immediately.  There is a principle that governs us.  Jesus wants us to be like Him.  Forgive unconditionally, then move on and let Christ handle the consequences in his timing.  There is another principle in the Bible called sowing and reaping, which we will not deal with here that has to do with consequences.

When King David sinned by having an affair with Bathsheba, then David, put Uriah, her husband, on the front battle lines to be killed.  When Nathan went to confront David with what he had done, David repented and ask God to forgive Him.  God did forgive him.  Later, after David had taken Bathsheba as his wife, that is when God told David that the son would die because of the sin he committed.  God forgave David’s sin, but the consequences of the sin was the baby would die.  The baby did die, and his spirit went into the presence of God.  Over the course of David’s life, David had many encounters with God.  King David wanted to follow God’s rules and be true to God.  This is the reason that God said that David was a man after His own heart.  David had the willingness to repent and ask God for forgiveness.  God always forgave.  The consequences were just delayed.  When a good King would arise, repent and ask for forgiveness for himself and for Israel, God forgave them.  He delayed the consequence for a little longer.  Israel left Egypt in about 1440 BC.  The first deportation of three came in about 734 BC.  In Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness”.  God warned Israel many, many times of what would happen if they continually put other gods before them to worship and pray to.  After 706 years of telling Israel what would happen, God started the captivity of His people so they could learn their lesson.  In the Creator’s Wisdom, He knew what Israel needed to get them to realize that they not to have other gods before Him.  Just as He knows us and what we need in Him to become more like Him in our life.  God has the power to heal and restore, or call someone home.

What does the Bible say about God and what kind of man God likes?

Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”.  “By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life”.  (Humble Spirit)  Proverbs 22:4   I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.  Lamentations 3:22-25  “It is the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because of His compassion, because His compassion’s fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.  The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him”.

What God does not like in man?

An unforgiving spirit.  Isaiah 2:11 “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”.

In the New Testament what does Christ say we should be like?

II Corinthians 2:10 “But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ”.  “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you”. Ephesians 4:32,   Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and you reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men”.  Psalm 34:2,  Proverbs 16:21  “My soul shall make its boast in the Lord, the humble shall hear it and rejoice”.  “The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness”.  ” let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another”.  Galations 5:26

A number of years ago there was tension between me and another family member.  I went to this family member to find out what was wrong.  They made a very serious accusation.  They asked me if it were true.  I told them this did not happen.  Then some months after that, another family member called me and asked me what was going on.  I explained to the other family member what had taken place, this created even a larger fracture for me because, even after asking me, they still believed the accusation.  This damaged the family relations for a very long time.  When it was finally settled, forgiveness was difficult and drove me to my knees.

After many years this family member asked me to forgive, and asked me to write down all that had been said and done so they could atone for each item.  I wished I could say I handled this better.  I told them that I would just like to move on and start over.  We did not move on or start over, I was watching to see if the deeds and actions had changed toward me.  Wrong thing to do.  You see they did it correctly.  I had rejected their offer of entering into a process of reconciliation and forgiveness.  But, how could they know all that hurt me since I had never told them.  They could not live up to my expectations because I had never told them everything.  They could not live up to my expectations because I had never told them what they did.  In my unwillingness to write down for them all what had been done, I failed, because I was unwilling to enter into the process of reconciliation.  Three years ago the Lord told me to tell the family member that I had erred and I had been looking at what I thought they should be doing instead of what I should have done.  It still didn’t quite sink in yet with me.  Earlier this year the Lord was very blunt with me and my inability to deal with this problem.  He said if you would have done the very simple request of telling them what they had done, this whole process would have been done in short order.  No, you did it your way, and that has not worked well has it!  It is time you write to them and fess up to what you did, and ask them to forgive you for what you didn’t do.  Everybody has suffered enough here.  Let it go and never bring it up again.  I did just as the Lord wanted me to do.  After several months the family member called and we talked for about 20 minutes.  We had not done that in years.  I knew what Jesus had said was true.  Let it go and never bring it up again.  I love the presence of the Lord Jesus in my life.  A long time ago I asked Him to never allow me to get by with anything.  I want to be obedient in all that He says for me to do.  For I know, that if I follow Him to the letter, it will be better for me.  My prayer has been answered many times.

Principle.  “Be on your guard! if your brother sins rebuke him, and if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, I repent, forgive him.  Matthew 17:3-4.  Matthew 18:21-22  “Then Peter came and said to Him, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times? Jesus said unto him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven”.  Just in case you didn’t go any further than reading this, forgive up to 70X 7=490 times.  This is just one person.  Now you know the extent that God will go to forgive us.  Always remember, forgiveness comes first and then the consequences.

What is the purpose of forgiveness?

As followers of Christ, we are to imitate His grace that follows us in acts and reactions of our sins or other that sin against us.  Forgiveness is not a casual, oh, I’m sorry, it is not supposed to be flippant from our lips.  It releases the offender of any future need or desire from you to get even.  Forgiveness is not earned, but an act of grace in our lives toward those who offend us.                   (Parts of this paragraph is part of an article that I read else where.  I do not remember were).

**

It will keep you in good stead with God, but more importantly, it will heal you and your brother or sister and there will become a bond between you.  There will also be peace in your heart that you are doing what God and Christ has asked you to do.  Unforgiveness will keep you from the very best that Christ has for you.  Ask for forgiveness and give it.

 

 

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