Hebrews 2:1 TPT This is why it is so crucial that we be all the more engaged and attentive to the truths that we have heard so that we do not drift off course.
Faith Works By Love
Galatians 5:6 TPT When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.
Mark 11:23-26 NKJV For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (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.”
Notice that Jesus added the necessity for us to forgive others right after He teaches on faith and receiving answers to prayer. That is because they are so closely related to one another.
How does God forgive?
There are three parts to forgiveness:
- The Heart of Forgiveness
- The Act of Forgiveness – make the relationship right
- Restoration of the position in the relationship
Let’s see how God operates in forgiveness:
- When Jesus died for us, He died for all.
Romans 5:12,18 NLT (12) When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (18) Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.
Hebrews 7:27 NIV Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Jesus never again has to die, because the price has been paid once and for all. Based on these Scriptures, it is safe to say that in the heart of God, the price has been paid for all men to be saved and forgiven?
- When Jesus died for us, he paid in full the sin debt that we were incapable of paying.
Colossians 2:13-14 ERV You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins. (14) Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross.
- So, in the heart of God, we are forgiven but does that mean we are automatically saved? (in a right standing relationship with Him?)
No. We know from what the Bible teaches that this does not happen. (There is a part that God has played and a part we must play)
1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV God… who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- We must acknowledge the truth that we are sinners, believe what He did for us, repent and then receive the act of His forgiveness.
Acts 3:19 AMPC So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;
Once we repent, believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and make Him the Lord of our lives, we are saved, Born Again and in right relationship with God.
How does God want me to forgive?
Matthew 18:21-35 AMPC Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? (22) Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! [Gen 4:24] (23) Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants. (24) When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000], (25) And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made. (26) So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything. (27) And his master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt. (28) But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe! (29) So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all! (30) But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt. (31) When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master. (32) Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to. (33) And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? (34) And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed. (35) So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
- In your heart, you begin forgiving by releasing any ill will towards them and wish goodwill to them.
Luke 2:14 NKJV “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
- With a heart of forgiveness, you release that person from owing you a debt to make things right between you.
Matthew 6:12 NKJV And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
- This might be something you do many times; but do it until you have fully released the debt.
Matthew 18:21-22 AMPC Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? (22) Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! [Gen 4:24]
- If and when they come to you and repent, then you extend to them the act of forgiveness and move towards restoring the position of the relationship. (Privileges, Benefits)
Luke 17:4 AMPC And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).
How do I know that he has repented? I will be able to see it in their actions.
Matthew 3:8 NLT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
When someone meets the qualifications in that they acknowledge the truth, repent, and then show the fruits of that repentance, then I MUST show them the act of forgiveness. I must restore our relationship and allow them to move forward in our relationship.
- If they never repent and ask for forgiveness, trust God with the outcome.
Can I hate them? Can I hold malice in my heart towards them? (Malice is the desire to see harm to come to someone because they wronged you.)
Ephesians 4:31 NKJV Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Romans 12:19 NLT Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.
But we must come to a place that we trust that God is the only one that can truly settle the score and we let go of that anger and malice and leave justice up to Him.
We must walk in the attitude of forgiveness towards those people, let go of any anger, malice and bitterness towards them and then leave the payback and justice up to God.
The Law of sowing and reaping applies to sowing wrong towards others just like it does money.
Remember, God always wants to show mercy and it is not our place to determine if He is able to do that and when. We let Him determine what is the best course of action for people.