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Forgiveness – an Ongoing Process!

By David J. Smith
May 26, 2012

One of God’s GREATEST attributes IS love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

Since Jesus had Paul to write, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), there must be forgiveness. Is God the only One that can forgive, or do we also forgive? Is forgiveness required of us?

Found in Jesus’ model prayer was this: “And FORGIVE us our debts [sins], AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS (those who sin against us)” (Matthew 6:12). What if someone asks forgiveness, yet we do not accept that request? Many people in God’s church worldwide commit sins against other church members. Satan’s job is to confuse us about forgiveness! Has he succeeded?

Every person is different! Each seeks forgiveness by confessing and asking forgiveness, and this by the fruit of the Spirit. None of us can read another’s mind, only God can!!! That’s why forgiveness is so important. Only God can read the mind. Everyone else’s judgment is based upon the outward appearance! Continuing to gossip about someone opens the door for Satan or a fallen angel. Could a message be misunderstood? Ask the speaker one-on-one what he meant.

Notice an event that occurred while Jesus walked the earth in the flesh. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the middle, They said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery in the every act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned; but what say you? This they said tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground [possibly writing their sins one-by-one], as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord, And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you: GO AND SIN NO MORE” (John 8:3-11). Notice the difference between the scribes and Pharisees and Jesus! They were sticklers for strict compliance with the law – KILL the sinner, while Jesus showed compassion on the woman. He simple said “go and sin no more.” Which do you want to hear? KILL or MERCY by saying “go and sin no more?” Yes, Jesus said you will “know them by their fruit.” How do we know someone has not repented if he or she is not doing the same thing they once did? I thought the whole idea of forgiveness was to give a person the opportunity to be in a right standing with God again, and US!!! How do we know whether someone is bringing forth fruit of repentance or not if we keep knocking them down every time they try to get up? MERCY, MERCY, MERCY!!! Don’t judge by what we think or the outward appearance! Let God show over a period of time whether true repentance has occurred or not!!!

What if God has forgiven SOMEONE of his or her sins? Can we condemn them at all? Jesus inspired it to be said: take heed that we think we stand less we fall! Can any one of us unknowingly get caught up in Satan’s game of accusing? We may not even realize that we are doing the devil’s work. There may be a time not to forgive because God has not forgiven (John 20:23). But until then – PLEASE DO NOT EVER CONDEMN SOMEONE ELSE THROUGH UNFORGIVENESS!!! We need to be on the right side – forgiveness, rather than the side of being unmerciful.

We are to be Christ-like in our thoughts and mind. This means we forgive whether we feel someone else has asked forgiveness or been truly forgiven. Forgiveness brings great peace of mind. Try it, you will like it! Jesus will make everything right in His good timing. Remember, all things “work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God is LOVE and FORGIVENESS!!! This is our goal – to be like Christ.

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