Forgiveness for many is an action often treated with contempt. We often forget that God told us to forgive and not hold grudges in our hearts towards others. We must understand God’s way of forgiveness if we are going to live a life that is pleasing to Him. If we want to be used by God for His honour and glory, we must understand God’s way of forgiveness and faithfulness.
Psalm 78: 38 says, “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath.” This verse from the Book of Psalms shows us that God is full of compassion for us and will forgive those who sin against Him. Psalm 25: 18 says, “Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.” This verse from David asks God to forgive him of his many sins. Does God really forgive those who transgress His most holy law? We find the answer in Psalm 130: 4, “But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.” The result of God’s forgiveness is respect for Him and His marvelous grace. We call this forgiveness, grace. Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. We do not rightfully deserve to be forgiven. We have broken God’s law; we have rebelled against the Creator.
Due to God’s love He forgives us and not only that, the Lord will help us along the road of repentance. Hebrews 12: 6 testifies, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
The first time we read about forgiveness in the Bible is found in Genesis 50: 17, “Thus you shall say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you. Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father. And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.” In Jeremiah 31: 34 God said, “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
God decided not to keep on bringing up the wrong. The Devil on the other hand wants to continually remind you of your sinfulness and hinder your relationship to Christ. Satan will do all he can to remind you of your unworthiness and the fact you’re a sinner. Sadly, many have given into the temptation to quit.
Jesus also spoke about forgiveness and forgave many people during His earthly ministry. Matthew 18: 21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Jesus is not saying we forgive someone 490 times then stop forgiving them. Jesus is saying there is no limit to how many times you should forgive someone. The moral of message is keep on forgiving. In Matthew 9:6 Jesus said, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sin then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” This is grace on display. God will forgive us. As God demonstrates His forgiveness to us, we should show the same forgiveness. In Luke 17: 3 we learn the principles of forgiveness and the conditions. “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Forgiveness means to set aside the wrong doing and being reconciled to fellow believers.
No longer allow the wrongs to hold back our fellowship is the core meaning of forgiveness. Below are some Scriptures about forgiveness.
Romans 6: 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Acts 8: 22-23 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.·
Romans 4: 7 Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered.
Romans 5: 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.
Ephesians 4: 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 2: 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
Colossians 3: 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
James 5: 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
1 John 2: 12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.The pinnacle of the Word of God is that we can receive forgiveness of all and every sin and as a result enter Heaven.
Romans 8: 1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Writing his first letter John wrote, “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Jesus is the light of life and if we walk in the light of Christ, He will cleanse us from all sin. There is forgiveness in Christ. Romans 3: 23-26 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
We can be justified in Christ and receive His grace of forgiveness. Inspired by God’s Holy Spirit the Apostle John wrote in his first letter, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As God forgives our sin He places our sin as far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us according to Psalm 103: 12. When Jesus was on the cross He cried out, It is finished. When He said those words, He really meant it. His work on earth was done. He had finished what He was sent to do, pay for the sins of men and women on the cross. Christ purchased sinners on the cross. He pardoned all those who by faith, repent and believe the gospel. Therefore, we should cast our fears, cares and burdens on Him because he deeply cares about us. Forgiveness for our sins can only be found in Christ. Nothing else is acceptable to God.