posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 01:23 AM
Forgiveness and forgiving others is a requirement for those who claim to be Christians and I think it is a distinctive hallmark that distinguishes
between those who only believe in God from those who are Jesus disciples.
“Forgiveness is a very important aspect of our walk with the Lord. It shows that we have the true Spirit of God in us because forgiveness is a
demonstration of the love of God in our hearts. Peter asked the Lord how many times he should forgive someone who offends him and he replied and said
70 x 70 in one day. Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven. A Christian who does not know how to forgive is not born again. Let me say that when you
forgive you free yourself from condemnation.” Prophet Frank Ogbu
A. Why do we need forgiveness?
We NEED to forgive others in order to be FREE from our past and to prevent satan from taking advantage of us.
2 Corth 2:10-11 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the
presence of Christ, lest satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devises.
We are to be merciful just as Our Heavenly Father is merciful, Luke 6:36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
We are to forgive as we have been forgiven, Ephesians 4:31 – 32 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.
B. Forgiveness is NOT FORGETTING
People who try to forget find they cannot. God says He will remember our sins “no more”. Hebrew 10:17 Then He adds, “Their sins and their
lawless deeds I will remember no more.” But our God is omniscient (Having complete or infinite knowledge, knowing everything) He cannot forget.
Remember our sins “no more” means that God will NEVER USE YOUR PAST AGAINST YOU!
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Forgetting may be the result of forgiveness, but
it is never the means of forgiveness. When we bring the past against others, we are saying we have not forgiven them.
Forgiveness is a CHOICE, a crisis of your WILL. Since God requires us to forgive, it is something we can do. However, forgiveness is difficult for us
because it pulls against our concept of justice. We want revenge for offences suffered. However, we are told NEVER to take our own revenge.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
You say, “Why should I let them off the hook?” That is precisely the problem. You are still hooked to them, still bound by your past. You will let
them off your hook, but they NEVER GET OFF GOD’S HOOK. He will deal with them fairly, something we cannot do.
You say, “You don’t understand how much this person hurt me!” But do you not see, they are still hurting you! How do you stop the pain? You do
not forgive someone for their sake, you do it for YOUR OWN SAKE so that YOU can be FREE. Your need to forgive is not an issue between you and the
offender; it is between you and God.
Forgiveness is agreeing to Live with the consequences of another person’s sin. Forgiveness is costly. You pay the price of the evil you forgive.
You’re going to live with those consequences whether you want to or not; your only choice is whether you do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or
the Freedom of forgiveness.
Jesus took the consequences of your sin upon Himself. All True Forgiveness is substitutionary, because no one really forgives without bearing the
consequences of another person’s sin. God the Father “Made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the Righteousness of
God in Him “ 2 Corinthians 5:21. Where is justice? It is in the cross that makes forgiveness Legally and Morally Right: “For the death that He
died, He died to sin, once for all. “ Romans 6:10
C. How do you Forgive from your heart?
You Acknowledge the hurt and the hatred. If your forgiveness DOES NOT visit your EMOTIONAL CORE of your life, it will be incomplete. Many feel the
pain of interpersonal offences, but they won’t or don’t know how to acknowledge it. Let God bring the pain to the surface so He can deal with it.
This is where the healing takes place. Do not wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving; you will never get there. Your feelings take time to heal
after the choice to forgive is made and satan has lost his place Ephesians 4:26 – 27 Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your
wrath, nor give place to the devil. Freedom is what will be gained, not a feeling.
As you pray, God may bring to mind people who have offended you and experiences you have totally forgotten. Let Him do it even if it is painful.
Remember, you are doing this for your sake. God wants you FREE. Do not rationalise or explain the offenders behaviour. Forgiveness is dealing with
your pain and leaving the other person to God. Positive feelings will follow in time. Freeing yourself from the past is the critical issue right now.
Do not say, “Lord, please help me to forgive,” because He is already helping you. Do not say, “Lord, I want to forgive,” because you are
bypassing the HARD CORE choice to forgive which is your responsibility.