Forgiveness

MATTHEW 18 : 21 - 35 NKJV
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

From the above scripture we can see that Jesus is telling a story to illustrate what happens to believers who do not forgive others.

MATTHEW 6 : 14 - 15 NKJV
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Again in Matthew 6 : 15 Jesus is making it clear that we will not be forgiven of our sin if we do not forgive others. Now that is a big deal! That means we have no salvation if we do not forgive others! So then how do we know if we have unforgiveness towards others? The first thing that we can do is ask God to show us if we have any unforgiveness towards others.
Now God may show us things like how we have kept a record of other people's wrongdoing. This is a sure sign of unforgiveness. It often comes out when there is a disagreement or argument between people and some people remind others of their previous wrongs so as to defeat their opponent. In other words throwing their unforgiveness up at the other person. Another sign of carrying unforgiveness towards someone is that you no longer spend time with that person because you do not like them anymore. Why do you not like them anymore? What have they done that you have not forgiven them for? Have you tried to be reconciled to them? (Now if you have forgiven them but they continue to treat you in the same way that they have asked you to forgive them for, then that is different. Because they have no remorse and their attempt at reconciliation is only lip service. It would be understandable if you were not to keep company with that person anymore.) If you are struggling to forgive then you can ask The Holy Spirit why. You can also ask Him to empower you to forgive and He will. Another sign of carrying unforgiveness towards others is when you speak of what others have done to you to other people. Another sign of unforgiveness is when you avoid that other person.

LUKE 17 : 3 - 4 NKJV
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

From Luke 17 : 3&4 we can see Jesus telling us to rebuke a brother who sins against us. Then if he repents forgive him. So first correct him/her strongly and then if they say that they repent then forgive them. In other words if they ask for your forgiveness and tell you that they will not do that sin against you again, then Jesus tells us that we are to forgive that person. 

MARK 11 : 25 - 26 NKJV
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

In Mark 11 : 25 Jesus is now saying that, if you are praying and you are convicted that you hold unforgiveness towards anyone then forgive them. In other words it is not like being reconciled to the person in question, but getting our hearts right with that person and with God, without even speaking to that other person. The Holy Spirit may instigate a reconciliation with that other person at a later date. The most important issue is that we are not holding any unforgiveness towards anyone, at any time.

LUKE 6 : 37
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

 If Jesus is the role model of all christians, then it stands to reason that we should be like Him. Jesus is the ultimate forgiver of others. He laid down His own life that all who believe in Him may be forgiven. What great love!!! Now Jesus requires of us that we will love others just as He has loved us. His great act of love was for our forgiveness. How much then if we are like Him will we be different to the rest of the world. 

LUKE 6 : 22 -23 NKJV
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
    And when they exclude you,
    And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
    For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
    For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
    For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

How do we normally react towards those who hate us, do we hate them back? When they exclude us do we exclude them back? When they slander our name, do we slander their name? Or do we forgive them??? 

LUKE 23 : 26 - 35 NKJV
26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

After all that had been done to Jesus, including being crucified unjustly, Jesus says: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Jesus forgives them. Jesus also knew that the people who crucified Him did not understand what they were doing, their sin was their blindness. When people sin against us, how much do they understand what they are doing? Yes they will know that they are doing the wrong thing, but do they really understand the consequences of what they are doing to us? If we attack them as they have attacked us they may feel justified, but if we forgive them, they are clearly the only guilty person. Let us not be ensnared by Satan, being tempted to retaliate, but let us forgive and thereby give them an opportunity to see their guilt.

JOB 28 : 28 NKJV
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
As we walk in repentance, we walk more in the loving forgiveness of Jesus Christ and we should in turn understand other people and the sin that they are trapped in and forgive them more easily.

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