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  • Eugene Adkins 7:45 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness,   

    Randomly Ordered Thoughts 

    On my way home I noticed the wording on the road-sign for the Church of God. For some in the religious world, the sign made a pretty bold statement. It said, “God’s grace demands right living.” According to the scriptures that statement is doctrinally sound (Titus 2:11-12, Colossians 3:15). See how easy it would be to settle the overwhelming number of divisions that denominationalism has caused if only we would go by the right standard? If it’s true it’s not new!

    From the mouth of babes…I asked my five-year-old daughter yesterday if her ear was sore. She confidently said, “No.” About five seconds later she said, “I don’t even know what sore means.” Ignorance by itself doesn’t get us into trouble as much as ignorance that wants to remain that way (John 9:39-41).

    Men from Mars are chauvinistic. Women from Venus are feminist. Men and women made of the Earth know each are made in the image of God, and God’s image carries with it responsibilities that will outlast fickle times that believe changing the culture equates to changing the truth (Genesis 1:26-27, Ephesians 5:33). (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 12:00 pm on 2016-11-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness,   

    Wipe your internet presence clean with one click. And your sins with one dip 

    click-hereIt’s the real deal, supposedly. These folks will find all your accounts on the web, through a Google login, and wipe your internet presence clean. They don’t say if they’ll get you off Google as well. But it really tempts one, does it not?

    There is a good side to the internet. At times, however, we don’t see it. We get bombarded by the bad side, and offers like the one made by the site above appeal to those who are tired of it all. (More …)

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:20 am on 2016-06-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , , ,   

    6-3-2016 Hatred Without A Cause 

    David said, “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause” (Psalm 109:3 NKJV).  “Without a cause” means “uncalled for, not needed.”  This very verse described Jesus (John 15:25), whose message was, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 NKJV).  But, some then, as some today, spread the “Roots” of hate. Solomon said, “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18 NKJV).  No one is following Christ who cannot pray to God, “forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4 NKJV).  Root out racism, of every color, by bringing all hearts to Jesus “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 10:16 am on 2015-08-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , Septuagint   

    Use of “aphesis” (forgiveness) in the Septuagint 

    “Deissmann has made an interesting study of the use of aphesis [forgiveness] in the Septuagint (BS, pp. 98-101). There it is translated ‘brooks’ (Joel 1:20) and ‘rivers’ (Lam. 3:47). He shows that this is probably due to the use of the term in Egypt—the Septuagint was made in that country—for the ‘releasing’ of water by opening the sluices. Then there is the common use in the Septuagint of aphesis for the Year of Jubilee. It was a time of release of land. In Egypt the word was used for the ‘release’ of land from the payment of taxes. This usage is found both on the famous Rosetta Stone (196 B.C.) and the papyri. The Septuagint also uses it for the sabbatical year (Exod. 23:11).”

    — Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the NT, p. 290.

     
    • John Henson 7:17 pm on 2015-08-01 Permalink | Reply

      The release or the “sending away” from the prefix “apo” in ἄφεσις. Robertson indicates it is “a sending away after the buying back,” which is especially clear in Colossians 1:14.

  • docmgphillips 6:49 pm on 2015-06-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    I forgive you 

    Once again, someone who has survived a tragedy hastens to tell the perpetrator, “I forgive you.” And we are firmly told to forgive. But I have a question. I do not find anywhere in the New Testament where anyone was forgiven before repenting. Jesus Himself said, “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) So my question is this: If God does not forgive before repentance, can we? If we say we forgive a person who has not repented, then does he believe he is forgiven by God also, and need not repent? Will God hold his sin against him even though we say we have forgiven him? IF he asks, we have no choice but to forgive, but can we forgive if he does not ask ?
    What say ye?

     
    • James 1:26 am on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

      I am usually in the minority on this one, but I believe we can refuse to hold a grudge, or forgive the person which is separate from God’s forgiveness. Stephen forgave the people who were stoning him in this sense. He could not actually forgive sin and neither can we, only God can truly forgive sin, but he asked for the Lord to forgive the sin just as Jesus had on the cross. Jesus commanded us, however, in Mark 11:25-26 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” He does not require that they come and ask us, or repent, or anything. It is our action. Consider other cases similar to this one, but where the killer then took his life as well. Should those people go through life holding unforgiveness in their heart? Just a little of my thoughts. There are other passages as well that tell us to forgive without specifying any action on the other parties part.

      • docmgphillips 12:10 pm on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

        It is always dangerous to refuse to investigate all the Bible says on a subject, So, James, I ask you to read Luke 17:4. This is Jesus talking. “IF he comes to you and says, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Many times it is necessary to investigate more to get a clear understanding. I can school my heart to bear no harshness or bitterness against a person, but, unless he repent, I have no right to forgive. These are two entirely different things.

        • RichardS 1:40 pm on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

          Would you say that the Lord was wrong to ask the Father to forgive the crowd that was crucifying Him (Luke 23:34)? How about Stephen ? Would you say that it’s better to forgive someone even if they don’t ask for it than to have an unforgiving heart that may lead you astray ? Was Christ wrong in telling us to love and do good to our enemies (Matt. 5:43-47;5:16) ? Or Paul (Rom 12:20-21 ; Titus 2:7-8) ? Or Peter (1 Pet 2:12) ?

    • UChenna Bekee 4:39 am on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

      The Bible doesn’t teach that you forgive who who has not recognise his offence and faults. Matthew 18:21-35. What we cannot not do is to take vengeance but for forgiveness to be what God intended it to be, the fellow must repent. bearing grudges and forgiveness are not the same. Col.3:13 tells us to forgive in the manner Christ forgave us. We all know Christ demands or repentance before he forgives us Luke. 13:1-3

      Thus, in order for us to truly forgive someone on a personal level, they must repent. But, what if they never come to repentance–then what? In that case we must guard our hearts against bitterness and animosity. Even if a brother is in sin and refuses to repent of it, we must love him and not develop evil feelings toward him. But, if a brother refuses to repent then we can’t forgive him because God hasn’t forgiven him!

      • docmgphillips 12:12 pm on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

        I agree absolutely 100%. Bitterness and animosity are always wrong, but forgiveness follows only after repentance. Is it not presumptuous of us to think we can forgive where God has not forgiven?

    • docmgphillips 8:23 pm on 2015-06-20 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, you miss my point. Jesus was God, so He had the power to forgive; neither Stephen nor I have that power. I bear a grudge against no one. When someone has merely annoyed me or hurt my feelings, I can and do forgive them, regardless. However, if they have sinned, I have no right to forgive them until they repent. I still bear no grudge, but forgiveness is not mine to give if they do not repent. There is a huge difference between hurt feelings and sin, isn’t there? And read it again…Stephen did not forgive the crowd: he asked God to do so. When someone annoys me or hurts my feelings, I hasten to forgive them; when someone sins against me, I pray to God that they will repent so they may be forgiven.

  • John T. Polk II 9:32 pm on 2015-04-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, miracle, , , works of penance   

    4-13-2015 “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – Forgives Sins 

    1 John 3:4 NKJV says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Since sin is the violating of God’s Law, only God can forgive sin. Jesus said a miracle showed He had “power on earth to forgive sins” and then healed a paralyzed man instantly (Mark 2:1-12 NKJV). No Apostle or church of Christ was ever to “forgive sins,” but they preached Jesus Christ as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV). No one today has the right either to claim to forgive sins with “works of penance,” or make up their own rules on how to be forgiven by God with “a sinner’s prayer!” Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • TFRStaff 9:18 am on 2014-10-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness   

    Why forgiveness is hard 

    By Jeremiah Tatum — Have you ever been hurt? I mean really hurt. I am not talking about falling down and scraping your knee hurt and getting a bandage from mommy. I am not talking about some wound that was your fault or that happened accidentally. But I am talking about being hurt by someone you loved so sincerely and completely that you fail to understand why they hurt you. I am talking about that part of yourself that says you would never do to your worst enemy what has been done to you by someone for whom you would have given your very life.

    How do you forgive when you have been hurt so deeply by someone you love so deeply? Why is forgiveness so hard? (More …)

     
    • Jack 4:06 pm on 2014-10-09 Permalink | Reply

      JEHOVAH GOD’s agape love is long-suffering_ HIS forgiveness conditional; “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “Repent therefore and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins, so that times of refreshing may come from [the] presence of the LORD…(Acts 3:19).

      Take heed to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ a forgive him (Luke 17:3-4).

      Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but a leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says JEHOVAH. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS UPON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:14-21).

  • Ed Boggess 8:32 am on 2014-08-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "living in sin", forgiveness, , ,   

    1 John teaches us much about the love of God and how his grace works on behalf of his children. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us.” We all stumble in many ways and fall short of the glory of God. But once we are adopted into the family of God, the blood of Jesus constantly washes us from our failings and sins. As long as we are walking in the light, this blessing gives us the confidence that we can live without fear, trusting in the grace and love of our Father. But since we all stumble and sin, else why would there be any need for a constant cleansing, how do we know that we are walking in the light? I hear the phrase, nearly always describing someone other than the one using the phrase, describing someone as “living in sin”. Every time I hear it is used exclusively for one particular sin. But why apply it to only one? The gossip, the liar, the resentful, the thief, the cheat, tax evader (or tax corner-cutter), the lustful, the covetous, and on and on are all living in sin. How can anyone trust themselves as walking in the light and therefore receiving the cleansing power and sonship of God? I believe the answer is in the context of 1 John itself. John does not introduce the idea and then abandon it, but rather develops it throughout his letter. In the midst of this development, he identifies who is walking in the light and who is not. in 3:7, 8 John warns against being deceived and then contrasts two different lifestyles. Using the ESV John says there are the children of God who “practice righteousness” and there are those serving the devil who “make a practice of sinning.” John is not talking about a single sin but a overall lifestyle. Through the years I have seen people struggle with a particular sin, perhaps drunkenness, yet overall they lived a life serving the Lord. I am not the judge of such folks, nor will I condemn them off-hand. I will encourage them to continue to work on those areas they fall short, as I hope I continue to work on the areas I fall short. But the very fact that they are living lives “practicing righteousness” gives me hope that God’s grace will cover their shortcomings.

    Through nearly 50 years of preaching I have met and grieved over scores and hundreds of former Christians who were offered no hope and therefore gave up. I remember one deacon’s son who had been told he might as well give up since his situation, a mess he had made for himself, made it impossible for him to be saved. Believing what he was told, he no longer tried. He had children and they were not taken to church nor introduced to the Lord. They now have teenage children who were never taken to church and never introduced to the Lord. So there is Oscar himself and his wife, four children and 12 grandchildren, 18 in all: all with no hope and all altogether away from the Lord. Why? Some folks “living in sin” are never told “you might as well quit”, others, liars, gossips, etc. are ignored. Oscar is one of hundreds I have come across. How many more could be multiplied if we only could somehow know? There will always be tares among the wheat and the Lord has the wisdom to separate the two when it is time. Think how much greater the kingdom could be, if we left it to Him. These are just some thoughts I choose to share that cause me to grieve. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I am sure I will be again. But maybe I’m not. This is Just-A-Minute or two or three.

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:23 am on 2014-06-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forgiveness, , , ,   

    (#189) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:3-Beware of the Merciless Poor 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 28:3: “A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

    “A driving rain” can wash away planted seeds, top soil, and even the crops, themselves. “A poor man who oppresses” is merciless and unforgiving to those like himself. Power or authority in the hands of one who hasn’t earned it is a weapon of mass destruction!

    Jesus Christ, who was “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), best described this wisdom in Matthew 18:23-35: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35). People have a tendency to not show pity to those who have sinned like they have, though their sin may have been worse! A “poor man” is harder and more impatient with other “poor” people because they are like he was. James warns us of this attitude: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).

    Anyone who knows what it is like to have sins forgiven (Mark 16:15-16) should know how to forgive others: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We who have admitted our own sins before God should have compassion on others.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • TFRStaff 9:27 am on 2014-04-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forgiveness, words of Christ   

    The first word from the Cross 

    by Ron Bartanen The Sower April 6 http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

    The last words spoken by a loved one are probably the words most indelibly impressed in your mind. There is special significance to words spoken by one who realizes that life is ebbing away. There is no time for frivolous talk, and words are carefully chosen.

    Such also are the words of Jesus, all of which are precious to the believer, but the final words, as uttered upon the cross by the suffering Savior, serve as a unique window to His soul. They have frequently been referred to as “The Seven Words From Calvary.”

    History records that there were thousands of Jews that had been hung upon Roman crosses for villainous deeds, but the words they spoke would not in any way resemble the words that mocking crowd would hear from Jesus’ lips the day He was crucified. I wish, in these few lines, to think on Jesus’ first utterance: “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

    What a contrast that must have been to the curses and hate-filled speech customarily heard on similar occasions! In that one sentence we find an invocation, a petition and an argument. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 4:34 am on 2014-04-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, ,   

    God is greater than you to forgive 

    The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

    “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

    Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

    Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love … keeps no record of wrongs.” Let us not only forgive others, but let us help people who cannot forgive themselves.

    God is a God of mercy.

    Mum Katheryn [Haddad]

     
  • TFRStaff 6:37 am on 2014-02-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness, , ,   

    LET HIM HAVE IT! 

    Isn’t it hard to be for those who are against us? There are some situations where perhaps we would like to just let people have it, whether that be a verbal tongue lashing or a fist to the face. However, are we not glad God has been for us even when our choices have gone against His Will? (note Romans 5:6 & 8) Though His judgment is to be taken seriously, for the present He offers the opportunity to repent and be drawn to a closer walk with Him. Therefore, considering how much FORGIVENESS WE HAVE RECEIVED from God, are we being MINDFUL OF BEING AS MERCIFUL toward others as He has been toward us? (note the parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:23-35) Praise God for His gracious mercy.

    Because it has been a few years, I can’t even remember the book I read it from, but what has stuck in my mind is the author’s mentioning of four responses to actions that may have been directed against us. The choices were that we could either curse it, nurse it, rehearse it, or reverse it. It was the author’s choice of words which have helped me remember them. Which of these we follow through with will impact the manner in which we treat others.

    Remember Paul’s exhortation where we read. . .

    “(14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and DO NOT CURSE THEM. . . . .(17) REPAY NO ONE EVIL FOR EVIL, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (19) Beloved, NEVER AVENGE YOURSELVES, but LEAVE IT TO THE WRATH OF GOD, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:14 & 17-19 ESV)

    Some things may be easier to forgive than others. There are also some life incidents or situations difficult to remove from our mind. It is not foolish to live mindful of what we draw our life into and what situations might best be avoided. Still, forgiveness from the heart is important not only due to the impact it will have on how we treat others, but also because of what we are able to release from our own life as we LEAVE IT TO GOD to deal with things according to His mercy and will. If we can trust God with other areas of our life, let us also trust Him in this. By doing so, our life load will remain much lighter. Leaving repayment to God, He will bless us for our service to others and ultimately call to account those who have refused His Ways!

    Have a great day TRUSTING GOD’S DEALINGS WITH OTHERS!

    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on 2014-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, , kings, laws, , ,   

    (#151) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:28-How To Lose An Election 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 20:28: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.”

    “Mercy” is “kindness, forgiveness, protection offered,” and kingdoms, countries, or empires that incorporate “mercy” in its laws and leaders can survive. Jesus used such a king to make a powerful point about “forgiveness” (Matthew 18:21-35), for a servant is forgiven his debt but he will not forgive one who owes him. The king wanted his “compassion” to be passed along, and when it wasn’t, the unforgiving servant was condemned, and Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). Mercy shows a king’s heart for his people. When people realize that “the king” (or leader of government, whether an individual or congress) doesn’t care what pain, anguish, penalty, or price government policies impose upon them, they will seek a change of leadership.

    “Truth” is “fact, reality, veracity, honesty,” and laws of the land must have this at their core, or else there is no standard for conduct. The Israelites settled in their Promised Land, but failed to follow God’s Law. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Governments without Biblical, Constitutional, or Legislative truth for a moral compass are destined to fail. “Truth” is the backbone of good law. All law that is based upon half-truths, lies, or deceit should be uncovered and removed.

    Without “mercy and truth” for limits, no government will survive, and without personal “lovingkindness,” elections are lost! “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:1-6).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • docmgphillips 8:48 am on 2013-11-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    I Forgive You? 

    If you are anything like me, you have been taught that you must always forgive everyone everything. No exceptions. No qualifications. Is that a correct teaching? I have come to believe that it is NOT. Let me present my thoughts on this subject.

    I was studying the Bible recently when I noticed a few verses that have changed my mind. First of all, in Mark 2:7, we find an interesting question that is repeated in Luke 5:21. In Capernaum, a man, sick with palsy, was let down through the roof to Jesus. Jesus said to him, “Thy sins are forgiven.” The scribes who were present were immediately upset and incensed, asking, “Who but God can forgive sins?” And they were right. No one but God has the power to forgive sins, in spite of the doctrine of some. And under what conditions does God forgive sins? I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible where God instructs us about the forgiveness by Him of a man’s sin where repentance is not the first condition.

    Let us go back to what we have always been taught. Look at these passages:
    •Matthew 6:14-15: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    •Matthew 18:21-22, 35: Then came Peter and said to Him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee seven times, but until seventy times seven….So also shall my Heavenly Father do unto you if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
    •Mark 11:25: And whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any one; that your Father Who is in Heaven may forgive your trespasses.

    It would appear for these verses that we are required to give unconditional forgiveness to anyone and everyone who sins against us, would it not? These are the verses I have heard repeatedly. But, you know, Psalm 119:160 says “The sum of thy word is truth.” To me, this is a warning to look carefully into the Word of God, studying all He has given about a subject and not just one verse. To get a clear picture of what God has said for us, we need to look at all He has given us on a subject.

    So, let us also read Luke 17:3,4: Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times turn again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Did you catch that? If your brother sins against you, and if he repents, you must forgive him.

    This forgiveness is not merely a cancellation of bitter thoughts and the desire for revenge against another. The words “remission” and “forgiveness” are translated from the Greek, aphesis, which means “release,” or “the sending away of sins.” This is the restoration of a peaceful relationship which the offense interrupted, whether with God or with another. Indeed, when we sin against a brother, we also sin against God. Although Paul was speaking of a specific sin, his words apply to any general sin when he wrote: And thus, sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, ye sin against Christ. (I Corinthians 8:12). Sin is sin. When we sin against another, we also sin against God. Are we better than God? If God does not forgive sin except when the sinner repent, how can man do more than God and forgive a brother without the repentance of that brother?

    We are urged to be Christ-like. We all accept that. This instance is no exception. We must always be ready to forgive any offense if the other asks for forgiveness. That is certainly true. Not to forgive a repentant brother would guarantee that God will not forgive us. But the key is repentance. It is our duty to love and forgive all, but, as with God Whom we try to copy, there can be no forgiveness unless there is repentance and the asking for forgiveness. In fact, if we say we have forgiven when the other has not asked for forgiveness, we present a false picture to that brother, and, indeed, sin against him because we have indicated to him that all is all right when God has not forgiven him if he has not repented.

    So, the conclusion is this: If someone offends you, you have no right to be bitter toward that person. However, the absence of bitterness is not forgiveness. But if that other person comes and asks for forgiveness, then and ONLY THEN, can we truly forgive that other person.

    I know this goes against what we may have been taught. I know it will offend some. But I urge you to closely study this matter. I would not want you to sin in ignorance by forgiving what God has not forgiven. If you have thoughts on this article, please leave a comment.

     
    • Esther Lee 11:23 am on 2013-11-07 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting!

    • docmgphillips 2:38 pm on 2013-11-07 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. Do we ever err in trying to be “on the side” which God has not authorized?

    • Eugene Adkins 6:25 am on 2013-11-08 Permalink | Reply

      I hear you on the overall principle of what you’re saying (no repentance ultimately means no mercy from God regardless of what we have to say about it), but when it comes to our willingness to forgive someone before they even ask for it a verse that comes to mind is “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

      It’s true that even these people did not find that forgiveness until they repented of their sins (Acts 3:36-38), but the initiative of forgiveness, as far as God’s people are concerned, is for us to let go of the way we have been wronged based upon the fact that God has given mercy to us, and that he will ultimately have the last say in the matter (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12-13, Romans 12:17-21).

      Definitely not easy to do, but then again it didn’t look very easy for Jesus to do what he did at Calvary.

      Good challenge to think about, brother.

    • docmgphillips 9:03 am on 2013-11-08 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Eugene. I sometimes do not express myself well. We must forget the wrong as much as is humanly possible, and always be ready to agape the offender. However, there is no real forgiveness without repentance. If we say we forgive and try to forget, do we not rob them? Do we not let them think that they did nothing wrong? Can we do more than God? I guess my pint is, if God has not forgiven them, how can we? We just must still gape and try to forget.

    • Brian Galloway 4:23 pm on 2013-11-11 Permalink | Reply

      But also consider that Jesus asked God to forgive the men who were nailing him to the cross, even though they didn’t ask for forgiveness themselves at that time. As far as we know, they never repented. Was Jesus wrong?

      • docmgphillips 6:17 pm on 2013-11-11 Permalink | Reply

        I absolutely affirm that Jesus never made a mistake, never was wrong. Perhaps He asked this that they might be forgiven if they asked. At any rate, this occurred before the establishment of the church. Just as Jesus forgave the thief on the cross and told him he would be in Paradise without the benefit of baptism (also before the establishment of the church), Jesus is God and can do anything He desires. I have heard many say that they would rather err on the side of mercy. Please understand, I do NOT believe you can hold a grudge or any animosity. But that is a different issue from forgiveness. In addition, it is absolutely possible for me to be wrong. I just wanted all my friends to think.

  • TFRStaff 5:21 am on 2013-09-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , , , ,   

    Motivated Mercy 

    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. (Colossians 3:13 *NKJV)

    Now I know that forgiving another is hard for us to do at times, but when we remember how very much God has forgiven us; it becomes much less difficult to do. After all, just thinking about God’s tremendous Love and Forgiveness can help us to forgive and love each other.

    So as God’s Children we should; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

    Therefore; Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    So, forgive those who offend you, and do not try to get even; For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)

    When we consider how much God has loved every man, and how much He has forgiven each of us, well, it takes my breath away. Would I love a roach enough to let my child die that that critter might live? I don’t think so. Yet, the difference and the space between God and man is far greater than that between man and a roach. But God loved us enough to let Jesus die for us. And that means that God loved every single person on the face of the earth that much. With that in mind, how can I possibly hate any other person, and not be willing to forgive them?

    Wishing you a beautiful day on God’s green Earth, and may; The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)

    Doc Phillips

    Fredericksburg Church of Christ, TX

    http://fbgcofc.com/

     
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