Forgiveness is the heart and soul of Christianity.
Because of forgiveness, you and I can become children of God. Because of forgiveness, you and I can remain heirs of God. Because of forgiveness, we can address in prayer the Sovereign of heaven as “our Father”.
Because of the essential role forgiveness plays in our access to all the spiritual blessings in Christ, forgiveness must be an ongoing, daily concern. God’s forgiveness of our debts must prompt a joyous pursuit of forgiving our debtors. Committing to forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven us is quite a challenge. It means:
- We must forgive our debtors fully. When God forgives a penitent sinner, He forgives from the heart. He does not refinance our sin debt; He eliminates it. He casts all our sins into the depths of the sea, drowning our iniquities because of His compassion (Micah 7:19). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
- We must forgive our debtors frequently. Peter’s questions of: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21) was met with a startling answer: “I do not say to you,up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22), a graphic parable (Matthew 18:23-34), and a sobering application: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).
God’s approach to forgiving us is “giturdun”. He forgives fully and as frequently as we need and seek it.
He expects no less of us (Luke 17:3-4).