14th July 2020

Forgiveness

“And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

A prayer of forgiveness is something we all seek at some point in our life. Forgiveness is a valuable gift that is neither easily obtained, nor easily given. Forgiveness is essential for life; it frees us from past wrongs and gives us hope for the future. It is for forgiveness sake that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for mankind.

The prayer of forgiveness is a prayer that is offered up to God. Though we may directly hurt each other, all our trespasses ultimately hurt God. You may wonder how this is possible. How can our shortcomings hurt the omnipotent Creator of the universe? In Genesis 6:5-6 we read, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart.”  He had sorrow in His in His heart. God grieves over all wrong, including the unforgiving heart.

God gives us two good reasons in Scriptures for why we should forgive. First, God commands us to forgive others. God forgave us while we were His enemies (Romans 5:10) “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more (certain), now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His (resurrection) life.” And we should do likewise with one another as we read in Ephesians 4:32, “And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another (readily and freely, as God in Christ forgave you.”.

Secondly, those who do not forgive others indicate that they themselves have not been forgiven because a truly regenerated heart is a forgiving heart. If we are filled with resentment and bitterness, we are exhibiting the “works of the flesh,” not the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:19-26. When we disobey one of God’s commands to forgive, we sin against Him. Consider that God puts our transgressions as far from Him as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). God expects us to extend this same grace to others. Our sin against God is infinitely more conspicuous than anything another person can do to us. Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35) illustrates this truth. The servant had been forgiven a massive debt; symbolic of the debt of sin we owe to God, and then refused to forgive a minor debt of a friend. The lesson of the parable is that if God’s forgiveness towards us is limitless, so should ours be limitless towards others.

Prayer
Almighty God, please bless us with the wonderful power of forgiveness, give us the grace to forgive those who have wronged us. Give us the strength to let go of all ill-will; and the strength to forgive ourselves of our own failings and sins, knowing that you have already forgiven us. In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Study by Dennis Payne

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About the Author:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the North London Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:   london@gracecom.church

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