Key Verse: Matthew 18:35
Forgiveness is an important trait and a necessary part of the development of the Christian life. Our Saviour said that offences must need come, showing that there will be offences that are caused by people and with the offences come hurt, whether intended or not. As a result, because there is the hurt, what must be our response? Must it not be forgiveness?
The world has another response: vengeance: the need to settle the score; the need to get even. We do so in anger, in avoidance of contact, in using words that we do not mean and in accusations. Such responses develop a deeper root of bitterness that, in time, defiles all relationships, corrupts thinking, darkens understanding and separates the closest of friends.
Yet the Lord’s admonishment to us is to FORGIVE, which means we must yield. In forgiveness, there must be a giving up of personal rights, including the right to be loved, the right to personal gain, interest and profit. A child was given $90 for tuition by a parent but spent it on toys. Later, he returned and was discovered. The parent forgave him, but there was a loss to the parent of $90, and the parent was hurt by the selfishness of the child. The child demonstrated more love for himself than for his parent. Yet, the parent forgave, still loved him and provided for him. Similarly, when GOD forgives our sin, there is a loss to Him. We may gain pleasures, profit and personal prosperity temporarily in our sin, but the penalty is pain forever in hell. God hates sin, but loves the sinner. He gave His Son to provide a way for sin to be paid for and for us to be forgiven. Sin cost GOD everything: He forgave us our sin when we have done so much to hurt Him, His character, His Son and His people.
How are we to respond when we have been offended and hurt?
WE ARE TO FORGIVE THE WAY GOD FORGIVES
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephsians 4:32
WE ARE TO FORGIVE READILY
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:4
WE ARE TO FORGIVE CONTINUOUSLY .
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22
Forgiveness is a trait of a Christian who is given to GOD, surrendered to His service and yielded for His work. No genuine servant of GOD ought to ever have a grudge against another for this is inconsistent with the faith of Christ. Condemnation in the heart breeds bitterness and defiles many.
Christian: is it hard to forgive on your part? Remember that Jesus forgave completely; so should we. No, I stand corrected; brethren, if we want to ever be like Jesus: so must we.
Evangelist – Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church