Grace and Peace in the mighty name of Jesus to the readers of this blog. It is most important to know the joy and the blessings, and the healing that is given to us simply by just forgiving one another. For all of us who claim to be Christians must understand that if the sin that we have committed is not forgiven the wages that we will pay will be death…even eternal death.
For men, whether they be high as well as men low, for men on the throne as well as men on the scaffold, there is only one way to become reconciled to a sinful past. We must also submit and acknowledge the Divine law especially when we have broken it. King David, whose word had become law, founded it no easy task to do so. He was willing to have the husband who stood in the way of the gratification of his covetous desire murdered in battle. However, when Nathan recites a parable, as if an actual case in which there was a situation of extreme injustice, he was no doubt appealing to the King’s sense of justice and equity.
David then demands that the guilty party pay fourfold restitution and even forfeit his life. Suddenly, the weight of the whole accusation is forced upon him. Nathan told him, “Thou art the man.” David then repents, renounces his own act, and resolves to arise from his shame.
The Joy And Healing of Forgiveness
My brothers and sisters let us take a closer look at the blessedness of forgiveness and King David’s situation. King David put in a miserable year from the time he conceived the murder of Uriah to the critical moment until Nathan the prophet’s accusing finger brought him to the point of confession and repentance. But what happened? David repents, renounces his own act, and resolves to arise from his own shame; but this blessed forgiveness from God the very moment David cried, “I have sinned against The Lord.”
David knew and understood that God was waiting to establish the old relationships; just as in the parable that Jesus gave of the prodigal son… for just as the prodigal son knew that all would be well the very moment he came to make resolve with his father saying, “I will arise and go, and say, father, I have sinned.” Readers, if we are true Christians and we have an awakened conscious – sin becomes an intolerable nightmare. And the spell of that nightmare is only broken when God says, I will put away the remembrance of it forever. Then where once our hearts were burdened becomes a new hope in the Divine compassion and forgiveness of God.
There is a curse in having a convicting conscious. When we do not acknowledge our wrong-doing it is always felt. Whether we realize it or not this mental state or condition can produce severe mental depression as was stated in the Psalms. “My bones waxed old my roaring (or groaning) all the day long. “Not only were they intolerable, but his nights were filled with sleeplessness. “Day and night thy hand was upon me.” Readers, look at what a mis-adjustment sin brought on; instead of the feeling we are in the Divine hand feeling the eternal support of God, we feel the Divine hand and the pressure of eternal wrath.
The nature and operation of our conscience has not changed since David’s time. I am sure we can all remember times when we “kept silence” and suffered, while all the time our conscience whispered, “Better go and talk it over and make the matter right.” This was God’s hand heavy upon us as long as the wrong was “unconfessed” and unforgiven. We probably have laid on our beds when the lights were out and we could not sleep (I know I have).
The Joy And Healing of Forgiveness is Essential to Being As Christ
We may have wronged a brother or sister weeks before. He or she may have forgotten about it. What was it that kept us awake and brought misery with our remembrance? It was the power of conscience. Our load can only be lifted and allow us to sleep at night when we have made a conscience effort by coming to our brother or sister and making full confession and securing forgiveness.
Brothers and sisters our forgiveness is based on our confession. What has God promised to do if we confess our sins? In I John 1:v9, it states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We must also understand that it has been made possible for our sins to be forgiven. How? In 1 John 2:1-2 it states, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins.” When we truly have understanding when we sin against God as well; as David understood when he quoted in Psalms 51:4; “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.”
Our healing brothers and sisters comes also from our following the divine instructions given to us concerning our confession and prayer for one another as it is stated in James 5:16. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
We must note that the bible makes a distinction between a sin and a fault. We sin against God; for sin is the transgression of the law. We trespass one against another. The offenses, while sometimes involving sin, are called faults, and should be corrected by confession and forgiveness. Confess your sins to God who can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his or her duty freely to forgive you. Readers, it is important after you have done this to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God and in injuring him you have sinned against his Creator and Redeemer also.
The Vital Nature of The Joy And Healing of Forgiveness
Now let us be realistic, to confess one’s faults is not an easy thing to do; in fact, it is one of the hardest lessons to learn, for it requires the grace of humility as well as that of sorrow and true heartfelt repentance. “I made a mistake.” Are sometimes four of the hardest words one can say. Brothers and sisters your confession should not only be complete, but should be as broad and public as was the offense; however we must realize that private offenses should be confessed in private.
Now is it ever right to tell a brother or sister of their faults? What did Jesus say? In Matthew 18: 15v, It states, “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Also in the book of Leviticus 19:17v. It states, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.” It is also most important that when we reprove or rebuke our brother or sister that we do it with the right spirit which is defined in Galatians 6:1 v. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Brothers and sisters, it is much easier to tell someone else of another brother’s faults then to tell him of them himself; but that is not the Christian way to proceed in the matter. Your first efforts should be made with the offender in person and alone. It is also easier to tell a brother or sister of their faults than it is to confess to them our own. Again, it is one very difficult lesson to learn, and one Christian duty that is difficult to perform. Only humility and the grace of God will enable us to do it.
The Joy And Healing of Forgiveness
Readers when we pray, the Lord Jesus tells us what to do and why. In Mark 11:25 v. it clearly says, “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,” If we do not forgive others, what will God not do? Verse 26… “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” How often should we forgive? Let us take another look at the same question that was asked to Jesus.
Matthew 18:21-22… “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.” We must note that this is an unlimited number. We must pardon offenses against us however many times it has been done to us; we must forgive to the end if we have the mind of Christ. What mind is that? Let us look at the spirit Jesus manifested towards those who nailed him to the cross.
Luke23:34 v. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Long after the death of Jesus the same exact spirit was manifested in him towards those who stoned him. Acts 7:59-60… “and they stoned Stephen, calling upon God…and he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.
The Joy And Healing of Forgiveness
Readers, through all this unlimited forgiveness that we should bestow upon one another we must not forget the conditions that should be apparent in order for us to be able to forgive. God will not forgive you one time unless you have repented or are making an effort to repent from the sin or offense that you are asking forgiveness for! It is with these parameters that he has set for us to forgive one another as stated in Luke 17:3-4, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns unto thee saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him.”
We then see there must be fruits of repentance shown in order for forgiveness to be implemented. Be not deceived…God is not mocked.
In conclusion, the mind of Christ should always be seen in all that we do exemplifying all that represents who and what he is. Knowing this first that our reconciliation and healing greatly will depend on how we forgive our brothers and sisters. It is indeed our charity that reconciles us. We must remember what is stated in 1 Peter 4:8v, about charity, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for it shall cover a multitude of sins;” not just our sins, but also the sins of our brothers and sisters when we display our charity by our forgiveness to them.
May God Bless us all in the mighty name of Jesus!
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