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Is forgiveness the heart of Christianity?

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Christianity has to do with redemption and redemption has to do with forgiveness. The whole redemption history revolves around God’s forgiveness. It consists of God redeeming us from sin, by compensating for our sins (we committed against Him) by His sacrifice. Furthermore, it consists of healing, where God gives us His sacrificial body and blood as real food (John 6:55), so that we may eat it, and be healed (John 6:33). It also consists of union with God (John 6:56) by us receiving His flesh and blood and by us being part of His body, His Church. Forgiveness also has to do with, returning home, to God’s home and to accepting God’s Fatherhood over us (Luke 15: 11-32). By His sacrificial act Jesus brings us into the household of God. Forgiveness, therefore, is an act of compassion, mercy and true love. God offers us forgiveness, which we receive through baptism. It is up to us to accept it or refuse it. We can accept it by making His forgiveness our way of life. If we reject it we are rejecting God’s forgiveness. This leads to eternal death.

The scriptures are very clear about forgiveness and mercy. In James 2:13 we are told that mercy is above law. In Matt. 6:14-15 we are told that we would not be forgiven if we do not forgive others. In the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 6:12) we ask God to forgive us the way we forgive others. In Luke 17:4 Jesus tells us that we must forgive others repeatedly. In Luke 6:27-36 Jesus tells us to love our enemy, pray for them, do good for them, if someone takes our coat, give them our shirt as well, offer the other cheek if someone slaps us on one, lend and do not expect it back and be merciful like our heavenly Father. In Romans 12: 17-21 Paul tells us to not pay evil with evil, never take revenge, feed our enemy, not allow evil to defeat us and to over come evil with good. He further tells us in 1Cor. 6:7 that a legal dispute is a sign of our complete failure; and that it is better to be wronged or robbed than to wrong others or rob them.
 
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I believe that the "heart of Christianity" is God's mercy and His justice.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (Jn 3:16-18)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice -."(Romans 3:23-25)

Forgiveness cannot occur without mercy and mercy is unnecessary where there is no system of justice in place.

SLE
 
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I believe that the heart or center of Christianity is very diverse, there are many things. But there should only be one and that one thing should be JESUS, not just a piece of Jesus, at least thats what I get from reading God's book.
 
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The Heart of Christianity is the Gospel

The heart of Christianity is the gospel. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again three days later, and reigns in heaven. He is our Savior and Redeemer and giver of eternal life, but only if we choose God through Him, the Son.
By focusing on our need to forgive as "the heart of Christianity", that puts the pressure on we humans to perform. Yes, Jesus clearly expects us to forgive. His expectations for us are high because of what He has already done for us. He loved us first before we loved Him.
I have needed to forgive some major abuse during my childhood and adulthood, and I will tell you something. Humans cannot forgive without the grace and power of God filling us. We do not do it on our own.
At times, I have literally asked God to "give me the power to be able to forgive". Then, He faithfully changes my heart, and when I do forgive those people, it comes from my heart. Forgiveness is powerful and freeing. But we must be careful not to try to do it on our own, in our logical minds. It is spirit work which can only be assisted by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
 

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