Can you explain true forgiveness?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated:

Speaker 1

All right, so Robert is asking I was reading two articles from your website about forgiveness, and both of them contradict themselves. In the first article, how can I forgive those that have wronged Me? It said forgiveness is unconditional, rather someone wronged you or not. In two articles, do I have to forgive someone who sinned against me if he didn’t repent? And do I have to forgive a person who does not apologize? Is a I’m scrolling to read Lost my spot.

Speaker 2

They say forgiveness is conditional.

Speaker 1

Yes, as forgiveness is conditional. It says, just as God forgives when sinners repent for sinning against Him, we forgive when sinners sin against him. It confused me. Can you explain true forgiveness?

Speaker 3

All right, so I’m looking at the articles right now and so the first one you’re referring to, how do I forgive someone that has wronged me? This article was written on August 9, 2013. So it’s been a while since we’ve written this, but I’ll go ahead and quote the beginning of it. So it says forgiveness will be easy if we grant it to those that are sorry and repented, but to grant it to those that are not, then it becomes harder since the Bible teaches us that we are to forgive without conditions. And then it goes on to quote Matthew, chapter six, verse twelve, which says and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. So the Bible or Jesus in the Bible teaches us to forgive those, or that we ask God to forgive us in the same way that we forgive others. And this is without condition, in that we are to always have a spirit of forgiveness. And I think that’s the essence of what Jesus is saying is that God will always forgive you. First. John one nine says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Speaker 3

So we should always have an attitude of forgiveness that we’re willing to forgive. However, in the article, it did go on to say later that basically we are not to have a spirit of resentment against those who’ve wronged us. We want to have a spirit of kindness and patience with them. And so that’s the essence of what that first article is saying, is we’re always supposed to have a spirit of forgiveness in us, just as we experience the forgiveness of God in us, if that makes sense. I’m not confusing you more. So that’s what I understood from the first article is saying, yes, we need to have an unconditional spirit of forgiveness in that no matter what, we should be willing to forgive. Not that it’s going to be easy, but that God is calling to that of us because God is always willing to forgive any sin that we confess to Him in any way that we’ve hurt God. Now, the next article says, do I have to forgive someone who sinned against me if he didn’t repent. And so this article was written November 1, 2019. So it may have been from a different author, so it might have different wording or a different way of saying things.

Speaker 3

But I think the message is still pretty much the same in that it quotes James chapter five, verse 16, which says confess your fault to another and pray for each other that you might be healed. It’s saying confess your sins to God and also your fault to each other. And if you’ve offended your brother or friend, you confess you’re wrong and it’s your brother’s duty to freely forgive you. And so I think it’s on the same page that we’re called to forgive others who have wronged us. And it says kind of the same thing where it quotes first John 410 says here in his love not that we loved God, but that he loved us. So basically, therefore, the innocent should be patient with the guilty and pray that God may humble his heart and they might seek reconciliation. So it’s saying that if somebody has wronged you and they are not repentant, you need to pray for them to still having that spirit of forgiveness towards them. But if that person hasn’t asked for forgiveness, you should pray for them to have a repentant heart, because if that person doesn’t repent, then in essence they won’t be forgiven by God.

Speaker 3

Not that they can’t be forgiven by you, but that they can’t be forgiven in the sense of having their sins cleared in heaven and they can lose their salvation. So if somebody’s wronged you and they’re not repentant, you need to have a heart of prayer for that person so that they will have a heart of repentance in order for them to turn to God who can truly and completely forgive sin as far as having their sins recorded in heaven. I hope that makes a little bit more sense. And then the other chapter article that you’re talking about, do I have to forgive a person who does not apologize? It’s talking about basically how God’s love is infinite and God’s grace extends to all sinners. But basically forgiveness is dependent as far as on God, as far as wiping away the sin out of heaven, only if that person confesses their sin. So God has provided a way of forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness through Jesus, basically through asking God for forgiveness. And his son jesus is his son’s blood. Jesus’s blood is the cleansing agent that cleans our sins in the books of heaven.

Speaker 3

But that cleansing can only occur if that person wants it to be cleansed. God will not force us to be forgiven if that makes sense. God will only extend the cleansing forgiveness if we ask for it. So I hope that didn’t confuse you too much. But basically in essence, what I’m trying to say is that with each other, human to human, we’re always supposed to forgive others always because God forgives us always as long as we come to Him in forgiveness. But we should always have a spirit of forgiveness for others, even if they haven’t repented against or shown repentance or told us they’re sorry. We should have a heart that longs for them to repent and come to God for forgiveness because we want to see them be forgiven as far as having their sins cleared in heaven. Because like I said, all of our sins are written in a book in heaven and as we come to God and we ask for forgiveness, those sins are washed away. And so again, God will only cleanse those sins or remove those sins out of the books in heaven if we ask for that to be done.

Speaker 3

So I hope that makes it a little more clear if doesn’t keep asking and hopefully I can make it more clear or jay or if you have any other thoughts on that.

Speaker 1

I just wanted to add one little piece too in regards to should we forgive someone even when they haven’t repented? And obviously, as Tina said, the answer is yes, we should. I want to also add a piece to that that a lot of people miss, which is that forgiveness does not mean you have to rebuild the relationship. That requires trust to be in place.

Speaker 2

That’s called reconciliation.

Speaker 1

Yeah, forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. And in today’s world most people blur these two together and they assume that since I have to forgive, I also have to reconcile and have a relationship with this person and they end up staying in toxic, harmful, hurtful relationships as a result of that. The Bible isn’t saying you have to reconcile with someone, it’s saying that you forgive them. But reconciliation still requires trust to be established.

Speaker 2

It’s exactly the same with God. So like God can forgive your sin, he might not give you additional penalty on judgment day, but to actually get salvation requires atonement and atonement really means reconciliation with God. So yeah, even with God there’s sort of this forgiveness, he will waive a penalty but also you need the reconciliation coming into saving relationship with Him to have eternal life.

Speaker 3

Yeah, and it’s always interesting because the way God operates is so different than the way we operate too. And I think that’s why God is trying to teach us forgiveness. Because there’s a verse and I can’t think of off the top of my head, I believe it’s in the Book of Psalms where it says god basically says did you think I was altogether like you basically talking about how sometimes we come to God thinking, oh, God’s not going to forgive me because if I did this to somebody, I wouldn’t forgive them. But if we come to God with anything, God does forgive us. God does want to bring reconciliation and forgiveness into the relationship because God feels responsibility to us because he’s our creator. And so it’s a little bit different between human to human. We can’t always like Wendy’s saying, we can’t always be reconciled to other humans because they’re not always trustworthy. I mean, if somebody tried to harm a family member of mine, I’m not going to be best friends with them. I can’t trust them for my family’s safety. That’s not a wise decision. I can forgive them, but I don’t have to put myself or my family in harm’s way.

Speaker 3

But with God, it’s a bit different. And ultimately, what God’s looking for is us to have a change of heart. So both us who’ve been wronged have a change of heart to experience God’s heart in forgiving others, as well as when we have sinned and we come to God and we understand God’s love to us, in forgiving us. So it’s kind of this interesting dynamic.

Speaker 2

We have a really good comment from an unknown to US Facebook user. I mean, we might know you, but Facebook doesn’t tell us who you are.

Speaker 1

Yeah, so this person makes a great point, saying if the person who hurt you dies before asking for forgiveness, you can still forgive and should forgive that person forgiving someone is for you more than for the other person. And that is, you know, I like this quote by Dick Tibbets says, failing to forgive is like taking a poison pill and hoping the other person dies. So when we don’t forgive, we are actually making ourselves sick. We’re actually keeping ourselves in a state of illness essentially by not forgiving. And when we choose to forgive, we are released from that. And again, we don’t need to reconcile to that person to forgive them, but we need to forgive for our own well being.

Speaker 2

And then Robert has a follow up comment.

Speaker 1

All right, so Robert’s comment says, for example, the article says if they didn’t forgive, we don’t hold a grudge or a negative mindset, but you forgive them if they apology, but if they don’t, you just rebuke them. You guys do make sense.

Speaker 2

I think what we’re saying is always forgive no matter what. And really the benefit of the forgiveness is for you to some degree, if you’re truly willing to forgive, even to the point of saying, god, I don’t even want them to suffer any consequences on Judgment Day for what they did to me. God will be happy to honor that. And that’s when you really, truly enter into a state of love, when not only can you love people like you, people who treat you well, but when you can love your enemies, that is when you’ve truly walked into the same heart space as God and can understand what it means to, again, fully love. So that’s kind of the ideal for us to get to. That’s when we’re going to live happiest, when we’re going to be the most free, have better health and healing, when we can get to that point but you can’t force it. It takes a heart.

Speaker 1

Yeah and the Bible teaches us to forgive even if they don’t apologize no matter what, whether they apologize or not we forgive because that is what is beneficial to us to release that grudge. Now you all say but if they don’t you just rebuke them. Well rebuke there are different ways to rebuke and if a rebuke is done out of love and it’s done in a loving way to help the other person correct, be held accountable and aware of their mistake and shown a better way, then a rebuke can be an appropriate thing. But if you don’t forgive first it’s going to be very hard to rebuke somebody in love it’s probably going to be rebuking somebody in anger and that’s usually not going to be very effective at truly reaching them and moving the change in them that may be needed.

Speaker 2

Paul talks about keeping coals on somebody’s head by doing good to your enemy and to me that’s the ultimate rebuke when they’re wrong to you but you do good back to them when you love them they now cannot find any fault in you. If you react with hate, with anger, with whatever that can justify them well you’re a bad person so I was right to be mean to you. But when you love them back, when you take the blow and then turn the other cheek that sort of thing you are rebuking them in the strongest possible sense and that’s when you can shock them and help them really realize they need to turn around and change their course.

Speaker 3

And that’s truly know we saw of Christ on the cross he said, Forgive them Father, for they know not what they and like when I see that, I see just the most beautiful act of love ever because Jesus really demonstrated he he wanted forgiveness. That was his purpose was to demonstrate to know God’s character of love and forgiveness that he forgives those who hurt him. And he doesn’t wish ill, he’s always wishing our good and our salvation.

Speaker 1

I just want to emphasize that an element know, we hear this all the time jesus on the cross saying father, forgive them for they know not what they do. But when you really think about this he was beat, he was stripped naked, he was whipped, he was brutally murdered by them.

Speaker 2

Meanwhile also experiencing all the guilt and shame and pain and everything from sin itself exactly. All of us through all the generations exactly.

Speaker 1

So this severity of what he went through there to then still say father forgive them, they know not what they are doing. When you really think about the context of that we have no excuse in our lives to not forgive someone no matter the hurt they have caused us because he carried so much more and he still said to forgive them but again forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. Forgiveness has to exist before reconciliation can occur. But there is more to the process than just going from forgiveness to reconciliation. Here’s.

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In His Service
BibleAsk Team

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