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How to receive forgiveness

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Loyal
I'm not a big fan of "five steps" to weight lose, romance, saving money, etc...
But sometimes I do think there are certain steps that need to be taken in order for some
things to happen. The number of steps isn't that important, what is important, is that we
take how ever many steps are necessary.

1. Expressing regret

This one is easy. Maybe too easy. But many people I know are good at saying "I'm sorry".
Sometimes it's from the heart, sometimes not so much. Some are good at just throwing a
"I'm sorry" out there without really giving it much thought. "Let's just move on to the next thing."
So nothing ever really gets fixed or forgiven.

When Peter betrayed Jesus three times (before the rooster crowed) it says Peter remembered what
Jesus said, and "he wept bitterly". ( Matt 26:75; Luke 22:62; )
Even Jesus is called "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" ( (Isa 53:3; )

2. Explaining what went wrong

I've found through the years, that saying your sorry alone isn't usually enough. For one thing,
I might think I did a certain thing wrong that made a person angry with me. Then later after talking
to them, it turns out that wasn't the thing that made them angry. Both sides should agree on
what went wrong. (This isn't the same things as agreeing to fix it).

In Matt 16:6-7; Jesus warns the disciples of having the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
In the next verse... the disciples try to figure out why He said this. "Is it because we didn't bring
any bread?" Sometimes what we think we did wrong, isn't really what we did wrong.

In the story of David, if we look at 2 Sam 12:9-10; It explains exactly what David did wrong, (in case there was any doubt). Sometimes we need to spell out what we did wrong.

3. Acknowledging responsibility

In 2 Sam 12:13; David says "I have sinned against the Lord". He took responsibility.
In Psalms 51; David says "wash me thoroughly from my iniquity". "cleanse me from my
sin". For I acknowledge my transgression. David knew who was responsible for his sins.

Sometimes we tend to be like Adam in Gen 3:12; "This woman you gave me" caused me to sin.
We blame our mistakes on other people. We blame them when we sin.
We can be tempted by other people (or Satan). But ultimately, when we sin, it's our responsibility.

4. Declaring repentance

The Bible teaches that repentance is required for forgiveness.
(Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Luke 17:3-4; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; etc... ) If we keep on doing the same thing
over and over again we haven't really repented. If we are a new creature in Christ, and the old
has passed away, we need to quit doing the sins we used to do.

5. Offering to repair

Some sins we can't repair. If we kill someone, we can't bring them back to life. (It's possible
that God can, but this rarely happens). But some sins, we can repair. If I stole 100 dollars from you,
I should try to pay you back. Again, if we look in 2 Sam 12:5-6; David tells Nathan... "the man who has done
this deserves to die, He must make restitution fourfold. Some get hung up on the four fold part
of this. I would just say pay back what God leads you to pay back.
Part of the old law required restitution. ( Exod 21:34; Exod 22:3; Exod 22:5; Exod 22:11; etc... )
If we have something against a brother...we need to take care of this. ( Matt 5:23-24; )
Matt 5:24; says "first, be reconciled with your brother.."

6. Asking forgiveness

There are multiple debates about this. Some believe we don't have to ask for forgiveness.
Some say we are already forgiven for all future sins. But 1 Jn 1:9; says "IF" we confess our
sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us....

Also, while God may know all of our sins, the people we sin against don't. So we still need
to ask them for forgiveness. ( James 5:16; Matt 18:15; Luke 17:3; )

Remember.... we are supposed to forgive at least "seventy times seven" times. (or more).
It seems we are supposed to forgive unconditionally.

But God on the other hand, does have conditions for forgiveness from Him.
(Matt 6:15; Matt 12:31-32; Matt 18:34-35; Mark 4:12; Mark 11:26; Luke 11:4; etc... )
 
Loyal
@B-A-C Probably all of those things you listed are necessary, but to put them on a written list of "things to do" is not necessarily going to get them done, is it? If we really "come unto him" in complete surrender recognizing our inability to get where we need to be alone, will not He provide what we need to get there? What He provides is likely to be directions like your numbered steps and the means to do them... and we may even then write them down on paper.

Hmmm, perhaps He even used the OP of this thread to answer someone's prayer of surrender...!!! Give God the glory!
 
Loyal
robably all of those things you listed are necessary, but to put them on a written list of "things to do" is not necessarily going to get them done, is it? If we really "come unto him" in complete surrender recognizing our inability to get where we need to be alone, will not He provide what we need to get there? What He provides is likely to be directions like your numbered steps and the means to do them... and we may even then write them down on paper.
You may be right. Many people already know these steps. Some practice them.
Other's know them, but for some reason choose to leave part of them out. But, I believe in discipleship, in fact
I feel very strongly about this. We assume our children and the next generation know these things, and yet
in many cases they do not. It isn't taught in school. Often, it isn't even taught by parents.
So many of them don't fall into the category above, about "already knowing" what to do.

Unlike some on here (perhaps yourself)... I don't believe the Holy Spirit always guides us in every situation
without at least partially some scriptural input. They are many who claim to be led by the Spirit, and yet
the things they are doing are completely opposite of what scripture says about them. So I believe it has to
be both.. scripture and the Spirit. One gives us knowledge... but knowledge without doing anything practical
with it is useless. The other gives us the will and ability to do it. However having the will and ability is nothing
without knowledge of how to do it.
 
Loyal
You may be right. Many people already know these steps. Some practice them.
Other's know them, but for some reason choose to leave part of them out. But, I believe in discipleship, in fact
I feel very strongly about this. We assume our children and the next generation know these things, and yet
in many cases they do not. It isn't taught in school. Often, it isn't even taught by parents.
So many of them don't fall into the category above, about "already knowing" what to do.
We need to do always what we can in accord with what God has given us. At one time almost anyone who attended a Sunday School in a Christian assembly would receive something good. That in my more recent experiences is no longer always the case. Some so-called churches seem to be social gatherings in some other name (not in Jesus name). And I'm talking about churches.

Unlike some on here (perhaps yourself)... I don't believe the Holy Spirit always guides us in every situation
without at least partially some scriptural input.
If people do not consume as much scripture as they do garbage, is it surprising that so much rotten fruit is the result? As for me [as per your suggestion] I am still praying that the Lord help me to "pray without ceasing" and to "rejoice in the Lord always", but so far on those two points and others I still fall short. Help us all dear Lord!

They are many who claim to be led by the Spirit, and yet the things they are doing are completely opposite of what scripture says about them. So I believe it has to be both.. scripture and the Spirit. One gives us knowledge... but knowledge without doing anything practical
with it is useless. The other gives us the will and ability to do it. However having the will and ability is nothing
without knowledge of how to do it.
As people are misdirected by careless or ignorant ministers, they are at the least delayed if not thrown completely off of the highway of holiness. Those [you and I and...?] who are hearing God's Word can but lean more heavily on Him always following His lead. Can we turn the tide? We cannot make a believer out of an unbeliever, but we can allow God to feed a hungry heart with the correct nourishment. If only one person each benefits from our surrender to God, is it not worth the effort?
 
Active
I'm not a big fan of "five steps" to weight lose, romance, saving money, etc...
But sometimes I do think there are certain steps that need to be taken in order for some
things to happen. The number of steps isn't that important, what is important, is that we
take how ever many steps are necessary.

1. Expressing regret

This one is easy. Maybe too easy. But many people I know are good at saying "I'm sorry".
Sometimes it's from the heart, sometimes not so much. Some are good at just throwing a
"I'm sorry" out there without really giving it much thought. "Let's just move on to the next thing."
So nothing ever really gets fixed or forgiven.

When Peter betrayed Jesus three times (before the rooster crowed) it says Peter remembered what
Jesus said, and "he wept bitterly". ( Matt 26:75; Luke 22:62; )
Even Jesus is called "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" ( (Isa 53:3; )

2. Explaining what went wrong

I've found through the years, that saying your sorry alone isn't usually enough. For one thing,
I might think I did a certain thing wrong that made a person angry with me. Then later after talking
to them, it turns out that wasn't the thing that made them angry. Both sides should agree on
what went wrong. (This isn't the same things as agreeing to fix it).

In Matt 16:6-7; Jesus warns the disciples of having the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
In the next verse... the disciples try to figure out why He said this. "Is it because we didn't bring
any bread?" Sometimes what we think we did wrong, isn't really what we did wrong.

In the story of David, if we look at 2 Sam 12:9-10; It explains exactly what David did wrong, (in case there was any doubt). Sometimes we need to spell out what we did wrong.

3. Acknowledging responsibility

In 2 Sam 12:13; David says "I have sinned against the Lord". He took responsibility.
In Psalms 51; David says "wash me thoroughly from my iniquity". "cleanse me from my
sin". For I acknowledge my transgression. David knew who was responsible for his sins.

Sometimes we tend to be like Adam in Gen 3:12; "This woman you gave me" caused me to sin.
We blame our mistakes on other people. We blame them when we sin.
We can be tempted by other people (or Satan). But ultimately, when we sin, it's our responsibility.

4. Declaring repentance

The Bible teaches that repentance is required for forgiveness.
(Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Luke 17:3-4; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; etc... ) If we keep on doing the same thing
over and over again we haven't really repented. If we are a new creature in Christ, and the old
has passed away, we need to quit doing the sins we used to do.

5. Offering to repair

Some sins we can't repair. If we kill someone, we can't bring them back to life. (It's possible
that God can, but this rarely happens). But some sins, we can repair. If I stole 100 dollars from you,
I should try to pay you back. Again, if we look in 2 Sam 12:5-6; David tells Nathan... "the man who has done
this deserves to die, He must make restitution fourfold. Some get hung up on the four fold part
of this. I would just say pay back what God leads you to pay back.
Part of the old law required restitution. ( Exod 21:34; Exod 22:3; Exod 22:5; Exod 22:11; etc... )
If we have something against a brother...we need to take care of this. ( Matt 5:23-24; )
Matt 5:24; says "first, be reconciled with your brother.."

6. Asking forgiveness

There are multiple debates about this. Some believe we don't have to ask for forgiveness.
Some say we are already forgiven for all future sins. But 1 Jn 1:9; says "IF" we confess our
sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us....

Also, while God may know all of our sins, the people we sin against don't. So we still need
to ask them for forgiveness. ( James 5:16; Matt 18:15; Luke 17:3; )

Remember.... we are supposed to forgive at least "seventy times seven" times. (or more).
It seems we are supposed to forgive unconditionally.

But God on the other hand, does have conditions for forgiveness from Him.
(Matt 6:15; Matt 12:31-32; Matt 18:34-35; Mark 4:12; Mark 11:26; Luke 11:4; etc... )
Thank you for that very accurate and informative thread. Also, we should remember that for someone who sins against us, and asks forgiveness, we should forgive them and not hold their sin in our remembrance against them in the future. If they sin against us again, even if it's the same sin, it's the first time.
 
Member
I think it is necessary to forgive regardless of whether or not the offending party asks you for it. I have found that very few, and I mean VERY few people have ever came to me asking forgiveness. WE must forgive people. I have a slogan I share. Father don't send anyone to hell for anything they have ever done to me.
 
Member
I'm not sure that anyone who is truely sorry for an offense against someone should think that they have any right to ask the offended party for forgiveness.
 
Member
I think it is a personal decision. It takes a bit of courage to come to someone you've offended and ask their forgiveness. The act of asking is acknowledging your wrong. If you ask the Father for forgiveness he will give it regardless of whether or not the offended party grants it. The bible says we must forgive if we want forgiveness.
 
Active
I'm not sure that anyone who is truely sorry for an offense against someone should think that they have any right to ask the offended party for forgiveness.
If they are truly sorry, they should express that to the offended party and ask forgiveness. If not, they stop the progress that our Heavenly Father has put in place for peace for both parties. Of course they have a right.
 
Loyal
I'm not sure that anyone who is truely sorry for an offense against someone should think that they have any right to ask the offended party for forgiveness.
If you were the person offended. Would you want them to apologize to you?
Would you feel they don't have any right to ask you for forgiveness? Why?
 
Member
Chopper,

re: "If they are truly sorry, they should express that to the offended party..."

The offender expresses their regret by telling the offended party that they are truly sorry for their behavior. It is then in the offended party's court.
 
Active
Chopper,

re: "If they are truly sorry, they should express that to the offended party..."

The offender expresses their regret by telling the offended party that they are truly sorry for their behavior. It is then in the offended party's court.
That is true my friend. Now, if the offender needs to repay the offended for something that was lost, broken, or stolen by the offender, he must tell the offended that he will restore his goods. Then the offended can extend forgiveness. If the offender cannot restore the goods, forgiveness gets a little harder for the offended. He still should forgive.

If the offender won't restore the goods, even though he can, he has no right to ask forgiveness.
 
Member
B-A-C,

re: "If you were the person offended. Would you want them to apologize to you?"

If I had a right to be offended, and the person was important to me, then a sincere apology would be welcomed.



re: "Would you feel they don't have any right to ask you for forgiveness?

Yes, that is my feeling.



re: "Why?"

I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow just doesn't seem right to think that one's hurtful or harmful behavior is worthy of forgiveness. It seems to diminish one's sincerity in their feeling of regret.
 
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