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How to forgive?

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by arunangelo, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. God forgave us by compensating for the offenses we committed against Him (1John 2:2). He compensated for our offenses by sacrificing His life. Furthermore, by His act of forgiveness He bought us eternal life and healing to our spirit. True forgiveness, therefore, consists in compensating for the offenses that our offenders caused us; and bringing them healing by our prayers and acts of sacrifice. God did this for us because He loves us (John 3:16) and wants us to have His joy (John 15:11). Forgiveness is therefore the ultimate act of love. Jesus commands us to forgive (Luke 6:37) and love one another as He loves us (John 15:12). Many may feel that it is impossible for us forgive in such a fashion. However, if we have faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, then with His grace we can do it. Furthermore, if we love Him we will obey His command (John 14:15) to forgive (Luke 6:37).
     
  2. To arunangelo: It seams to me from studying the Bible, Jesus did not say we should be always forgiving. Christians who say we should be forgiving all the time don't seam to understand what the Bible teaches.

    Notice a striking contrast between Jesus' two comments on forgiveness: The first in Matthew 18:21, 22, (NIV), Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Here Jesus is talking about a freely forgiving spirit, a willingness to forgive and not hold grudges. But notice what Jesus says in Luke 17:3, 4, (NIV) So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." Notice Jesus stipulates here, "IF HE REPENTS!" There is a clear demarcation between minor sins we should have a willing spirit of forgiveness and keep freely forgiving, and more serious sins one has to confront people with and help them to repent so they can be forgiven.

    Notice what Jesus says when he is judging one of the 7 congregations in the book of Revelations; "Thyatira." In Revelation 2:21-23, (NIV) Jesus says: "I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Notice Jesus gives these clearly unrepentant ones time to repent, but if they do not repent, they will be repayed according to their deeds.

    Even throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God repeatedly punished them because they would not repent of their sins, for which many died. Clearly Christians must have a freely forgiving spirit, but if you do not hold people accountable for serious sins against you, you could end up enabling them to continue on a serious sinful path. If God continued to forgive the nation of Israel when they were clearly not repentant, they would have never seen a reason to change and would be enabling them to continue in their sinful behavior.

    This is where spiritual maturity come into play: "To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question!" We want to let people know we have a freely forgiving spirit and are not petty and small minded, but also we love and care for others enough not to enable a serious sinful action or pattern of behavior by continually forgiving someone for something that they need help to confront and deal with, even giving them time to repent or change. Even if that means holding their hand and walking them through it!
     
  3. Just my view but I believe you are on the right track. Jesus said if we do not forgive we will not be forgiven. If you manifest the same heart He did hanging on the cross - Father forgive them, they know not what they do, then my friend you are walking close to His heart.
     
  4. It is not a matter of what we think Jesus said; the way He forgave us and His command to forgive says it all.
     

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