The power and importance of forgiveness

Peace and grace from our Lord, Jesus Christ be multiplied in your life! I believe the word I am sharing with you in this column strengthens you and helps to travel into life everlasting. Today I would like to begin a new very eassential topic – the power and importance of forgiveness. We are going to have a look at the two sides of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something, life on Earth would turn into the sufferings of hell without. Every human faces the question of forgiveness time to time. We like the word “forgiveness” when we receive it, but what about when we have to forgive somebody, give something away from yourself? Quite often we are not willing to do so. Though, the true understanding of forgiveness obliges us to notice two sides of forgiveness. Let’s have a look at the verses from Scripture that help us to see them. 
« Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses». (Matthew 6:12,14-15).
« Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions ». (Mark 11:25-26).
« Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful. Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free ». (Luke 6:36-37).
 There are several conclusions we can make from the verses above: 
  • We need to be forgiven.
  • We need to forgive all those who ever hurt us or made some losses to us.
 Based on these conclusions let’s answer some important questions. 
  • Why do we need forgiveness? What does it give to us?
  • What are the consequences of unforgiveness in human life?
  • How to learn to forgive people?
 The word “forgiveness” is often compared with the other term “void of transgressions”. Many Bible translations say “forgive us our transgressions …” in the Lord’s prayer. What are our transgressions? In this context Jesus uses Jewish metaphor “transgression” to describe sin. So transgressions are sins. Transgressions or debts are something we should have done but we didn’t or the vice verse. Since we have failed to pay our failures and sins we became debtors to God, so we need His forgiveness. Thanks to God, He forgives us when we confess our sins and ask Him for forgiveness. 
« If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.». (1st John 1:9).
 What do we gain by forgiveness? 
  1. Forgiveness makes our debts void.
 Without forgiveness we are eternally imprisoned by God, our creditor. The name of that prison is hell. God doesn’t want anybody to get into that prison. However, a person who neglects God’s mercy by choosing his own way of life, instead of God’s way, will inevitably go to hell. The Bible says everyone has sinned, no exceptions. That’s why we all have to be aware of the fact that we need God’s forgiveness. 
« As it is written, “There is no one righteous. No, not one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, no, not, so much as one; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God ». (Romans 3:10-12,23).
 Forgiveness is the only way to freedom. When God forgives us we receive the gift of life and a chance to get free. 
 « For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ». (Romans 6:23).
 That’s why the psalmist wrote: 
« Blessed is he whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom Yahweh doesn’t impute iniquity, in whose spirit there is no deceit ». (Psalm 31:1-2).
 Let’s continue tomorrow! Go with peace! Rufus Adjiboje, pastor

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