"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
Bible Spotlight - ON FORGIVENESS, part 2 quotes
1) “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy”. Leviticus 11:44.
“The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty”. Exodus 34:6-7.
2) True Forgiveness Step #1 - When a person comes to you acknowledging and confessing their sin against you and seeking your forgiveness, you are to willingly receive them with respect - no matter how much suffering they may have caused you.
- “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalms 86:5.
You are to be good and ready to forgive all who come to you seeking forgiveness, not holding grudges, or refusing them until they have learned their lesson; but mercifully accept and willingly receive them.
- “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29-32.
All bitterness, wrath, anger, evil thoughts, and bad feelings are to be put away from your heart and mind, and receive those who sinned against you with kindness, tenderheartedness and be willing to forgive even those who have hurt you deeply. Your gracious words would then lift them up, instead of piercing their hearts, and in this way you would also avoid grieving away the Holy Spirit from yourself!
- “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36.
“...thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.” Nehemiah 9:17.
Even if your enemy comes to repent, you are to graciously receive them, show them mercy, treat them kindly, do good to them, and forsake them not. This is only possible if you truly have love for them in your heart, and not hatred.
- “And when he (the Prodigal son) came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:17-20.
This Prodigal son was received with compassion, affection, tender-heartedness and respect BEFORE he repented, because he had already made the very difficult choice to give up his pride, stubbornness and rebellion, and return to the very person he had wronged so that he could repent, confess and ask forgiveness! Since he received such tender compassion, he knew that he would surely be granted forgiveness, and so freely confessed all his sin.
3) True Forgiveness Step #2 - You are to help ease their mind and spare adding to their guilty feelings by yielding to their desire for pardon and then freely forgive them.
What is true forgiveness to be based or founded upon?
- “The good LORD pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God”. 2 Chronicles 30:18-19.
Forgiveness is to be based upon goodness toward those who repent.
- “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32.
Forgiveness is to be based upon kindness and tenderheartedness.
- “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression”. Numbers 14:18.
Forgiveness is to be based upon longersuffering and mercy towards the sinner.
- “Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.” Psalms 25:16-19.
- “O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God”. Daniel 9:18-19.
Forgiveness is based upon compassion and pity for the one who sinned against us, as well as to prevent their enemies from taking further advantage of this situation.
- “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”. Psalms 32:1.
Forgiveness is actually blessing them.
All these graces must first reside in the your heart before you could forgive in this full and complete fashion!
“...from your hearts forgive...every one his brother their trespasses.” Matthew 18:35.
4) Are all types of sin against us really to be forgiven?
- “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13.
Any arguments and quarrels are to be forgiven. When tempted to harbor ill feelings, instead freely and lovingly forgive those who oppose you and thus prevent anything coming between you and them.
- “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him”. Daniel 9:9.
- “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him”. Matthew 12:32 (Luke 12:10).
- “For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” Psalms 25:11.
No matter how bad the rebellious the sinful actions were; no matter what evil words were spoken; no matter how great their sin was, they are to be freely forgiven.
- “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities”. Psalms 103:3.
- “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme”. Mark 3:28.
- Leviticus chapters 4-6 and also Numbers chapter 15 reveals that all who confessed their sins were indeed forgiven. Not a single person was ever refused forgiveness, no matter how evil their sins were.
No matter how evil the sin was, you are never to refuse them total forgiveness!
5) Should we forgive someone who will likely continue sinning against us?
“And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” Luke 17:4.
“...Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you (will not change)...Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only. (And Moses forgave him) And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD.” Exodus 7:4, 10:16-18.
6) Is there a fixed limit to forgiveness?
“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.” Matthew 18:21-22.
Jesus did not mean that after 490 sins then you are no longer to forgive them. But that our forgiveness is to be without any limit!
7) What will happen if we do forgive others their sins against us?
“And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them”. Jeremiah 33:8-9.
8) What if we do not forgive, but instead mistreat those who sin against us and add to their misery?
“When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then thou scarest me...and terrifiest me...So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity....How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee...? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.” Job 7:13-16, 19-21.
God forbid that we should so mistreat someone that they come to loathe their life and wish for death! May we instead manifest love for our enemies, and not hate them because of their sins against us!
9) What consequences are there if we refuse to graciously forgive those who sin against us?
- “...forgive, and ye shall be forgiven”. Luke 6:37.
- “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15.
Just as we treat those who sin against us, so God will treat us when we sin against Him!