Thursday, May 31, 2012
Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13—And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you . . . 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. The forgiveness of the sins of sinners is one of the great themes of the Bible and the warning that Christians should forgive one another also has a large place in the Word of God. Both of the verses quoted above tell the Christian how important it is to forgive others, and both use the Lord as an example of forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32 speaks of God forgiving for Christ's sake, while Colossians 3:13 pictures Christ as forgiver. Both suggest that since we have been forgiven so much, we surely should be ready to forgive the wrongs sometimes done to us. God has forgiven us. When we became Christians, our vast load of sin was readily forgiven. We do not all sin in exactly the same way or to the same extent, but we all had sins that needed to be forgiven. We may have been the lying type, thieves, evil speakers, blasphemers, drunkards, gamblers, and/or possessed of low morals. Whatever we were, the moment we were born again, all our sins were forgiven. It cost God much to forgive us. For us to forgive Christians costs little, but before God could forgive us He had to permit His Son to die on the cross to make atonement for our sins. Being righteous & holy, God could not just look at sin. He could forgive only on a righteous basis. His righteousness demanded that sinners be punished. Since God loves sinners too, this caused Him to send His holy & sinless Son into the world in the form of man to take our penalty upon the cross. If He was willing to go to such an extreme in order to be able to forgive us, surely we should be ready to forgive one another. The moment we put our confidence and faith in the Lord Jesus, our status before the Lord is completely changed. Before, the righteous judge puts down every sin against us and we are accountable for each one. However, as soon as we are born again all our sins are forgiven, and God is no longer our judge, but our Father. We are no longer looked at as criminals before the Great Judge, but as children in the family of God. As children of God, we constantly need our Father's forgiveness, and if we accept His forgiveness then we must show a forgiving spirit toward those who do things against us. We must not be like the servant we read of in Matthew 18:23-35, who was forgiven a great debt by his master. Another servant owed him a small amount, and he took him by the throat saying, "Pay me what you owe," giving no attention to the plea for pardon. You will notice that the master was grieved and put him in jail for the original debt. As children, we should not expect the Lord to forgive us if we do not show a forgiving spirit toward others. When troubles come, seek to quickly remove the difficulty and be ready to forgive. Let us be sure not to nurse anger. We may have to forgive many times, as we learn from the Lord Himself in Matthew 18:21, 22; "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." Remember, no one in the world ever wronged us as much as we have wronged the Lord. All of us have some things that need to be dealt with and forgiven. Sometimes Christians hold an unforgiving spirit for a long time. That is when he elders must step in and help the problems to be worked out and everything forgiven, or much harm can be done to the church body. Let us forgive sincerely, heartily, cheerfully, and forever.
Posted by Preacher Phil at 11:47 AM