Forgiveness

There is much to be said about forgiveness and the impact it has one each life. The Bible holds hundreds of examples of people who have experienced first-hand, being forgiven of wrongful deeds: King David, Peter the disciple when he denied knowing Jesus three times, the woman caught in adultery, Paul who murdered hundreds of Christians before his conversion, Cain who killed his brother Abel because Abel's sacrifice was accepted and Cain's was not are just some to name a few who experienced the forgiveness of God in their life first-hand.

The sole purpose behind the come of Jesus Christ as a human was that He died as an atonement for our sins. He hung on the cross in our place. By all rights, WE should be the ones hanging on the cross. After all, Jesus was WITHOUT ANY SIN, but we were born into sin, yet it was Jesus who died and it is us who live.

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 1 John 1:8.

For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Romans 3:23.

1 Peter 2:22, He (Jesus) never sinned, and He never deceived anyone. It goes on to say in vs 23-24, He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When he suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried away our sins in His own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. you have been healed by His wounds! Again in 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So we have concluded that we are the sinful ones and that Christ was and is blameless. It was for the forgiveness of our sins that Jesus came and died. In Hebrews 9:22 we find that there would be no forgiveness if Jesus hadn't shed His blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14 tells us that we are free because of the shed blood of Jesus and the forgiveness He gives us. Jesus died so we could be forgiven, plain and simple.

In today's society, when you bring up the topic of forgiveness, it can and it may start a heay discussion, or even an argument. Many cultures, religions and sects don't believe that forgiving others is a requirement of the way we live. If they took a closer look at the Word of God, they would discover their error in the way they think.
In 1 John 1:8-9 we are told to recognize sin and ask for God's forgiveness. No one deserves to be forgiven. (Psalm 130:3-4 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But You offer forgiveness that we might learn to fear you.) But when we ask for forgiveness, we are freely given it -- all because Jesus died on the cross, bearing our sins, and then rose to Heaven.

The Bible tells us that we are made white as snow when God forgives us (Isaiah 1:18). When we turn away from sin, we find forgiveness (Luke 3:3). Try and understand -- we have already been forgiven of EVERY SIN IN OUR LIFE if you believe in Jesus! That means if you have said the sinner's prayer and you truly meant it in your heart then ALL of your sins -- past, current and the ones you will yet commit, have already been forgiven -- completely!!!

And once God forgives you of your sins, He does not remember them (Psalm 103:12) As humans, it is next to impossible to forget, but God can do all things. Once He forgives us, He won't remember what our sin was. When He looks at us, all He sees is the blood of His Son, He sees us as spotless, blameless, pure, forgiven and whole. Awesome, huh?

Just as we trust in Christ for forgiveness (Acts 13:38-39), so we also trust that thosStop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.e we offend will forgive us. In fact, we are COMMANDED to forgive those who sin against us! Jesus spoke of it clearly: Luke 6:37 -- Matthew 6:14 -- If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. It is quite clear that we are commanded to forgive us in order that we, ourselves, might be forgiven also.

We are even told how often we are to forgive someone who offends us. Matthew 18:21-35 tells us that we are to forgive 70 times 7 times. That means that we are to forgive EACH sin up to 490 times each day! That means if someone lies to us, we are to forgive that person up to 490 times for the same lie in one day. And, to add to the pot, if we DO NOT forgive those who hurt us, that person will remain unforgiven by God as well (John 20:23).

In my life, I have had to learn, the very hard way, the peace that forgiveness of others offers. Growing up, I was sexually abused. On more than a dozen occasions, both men and women have sexually abused me. Some of my assailants were male and some were female. I've been abused by both genders. The abuse started when I was 3 and the last assault took place when I was 28 -- I am currently 35.

For years, I was angry, bitter, hateful and vengeful. I could only think of making my assailant's lives as miserable as mine currently was. I'd been in and out of psychiatric wards on a regular basis. I've been through years of counselling. Then one day, forgiveness was explained this way to me: Loving somebody is like being handcuffed to them. You would do anything for them and would go anywhere for them. In this way, you are connected to them like you were handcuffed. You go where they go. So to it is when you hate someone or don't forgive someone. When you hate somebody so much that your anger and bitterness rule your life -- you think about them daily, you curse them daily, you let them ruin a good day when you think of them -- you hate so much that you are again tied/handcuffed to them. Think about it…by loving someone totally, you are willingly being tied to that person. By hating someone to the same extent, and giving them the time and energy and thoughts in your day, you are STILL cuffed to.

The Bible tells us over and over that we are to forgive each other: Colossians 3:13, John 20:23, Luke 6:37, Matthew 6:14….We are to treat each other like this: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32.

The sole purpose of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, was to provide a bridge between us the sinful human race, and God, the holy, blameless, eternal God of all that is good.

Colossians 2:13-14 tells us when Christ forgives us, that ALL our sins and debts are cancelled -- For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. When He nailed our sins to the cross, He remembers them no more.

If He was able to forgive us, even while He died on the cross because of our sins (Luke 23:26-49, especially verse 34) then who are we to do any less? Why should any less be expected of us as sinners?

Christ loved and forgave us -- and continues to do so - He commanded that we do the same -- for both our friends AND for our enemies! To be forgiven is to be blessed…to forgive someone is also to be blessed by God. What you expect, give in return.

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Copyright 2007-2014 by Sheri Liegh Adams.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Sheri lives in Canada.

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