Articles

More Keys to Growing Up Spiritually - Forgivenes

Forgiveness is a powerful force in the life of the believer. We have accepted and enjoyed the privilege of forgiveness when we made our personal decision for Jesus as Lord of our lives. Jesus, in the Lord‟s Prayer in Matt. 6:9-13 teaches us to ask God for forgiveness “as we forgive” others. Society at large now recognizes what God has been telling us in His Word for thousands of years. The best way for man to operate in this world includes forgiveness as a major “life key”. Victims of any injustice can prolong their personal suffering without the librating power of forgiveness. Perpetrators usually go on with their lives, be it in ignorance or lack of remorse, often oblivious to the pain or chaos the victim could still be enduring.

These perpetrators can also be liberated by forgiveness; set free from the very limitations that produced their behaviour. Sometimes just being told of what their actions generated can mirror back to them an unwelcome image. Forgiveness is also a remedy for their souls. The most wonderful demonstration of this was the cry of Lord Jesus on the cross „ Then said ‘Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…’ (Luke 23:34). The whole world was freed to join the family of God as a result. The first martyr Stephen when he was being stoned to death kneeled down and cried out „…Lord, lay not this sin to their charge…’ (Acts 7:60). Saul, later called Paul, was in the crowd that stoned Stephen, (see verse 58). Paul in Acts 26:10 admits his culpability in the death of saints in Jerusalem. However, Paul found forgiveness, evangelized beyond Jerusalem and wrote much of the New Testament!

The Creator of Heaven and Earth (and all that is in them) has given us the manufacturers/operator‟s manual in His Word, the Bible. Jesus emphasized the need for forgiveness emphatically when teaching the disciples „The Lord‟s prayer” in Matthew 6:9-15. Other scriptures which teach the emphasis Jesus made on forgiveness are Matt. 18:21-35 and Mark 11:25-26. Read also Colossians 3:13 for Paul‟s instruction to the church on this issue.