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TRUE BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS !
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TRULY FORGIVE?
I once thought I knew what it meant to forgive, until I was faced with the question; “What does it TRULY mean to forgive?”
Does saying, Father I forgive that person for what they did to me, truly mean that you have forgiven that person? What about the times you do forgive someone and the feelings of strife you have against that person just keep coming back every time you see that person and it is just like the incident happened all over again when nothing really actually happen, but rather only the FEELINGS of contention keep rising up when you come into the same room with that person, whom you honestly prayed to God saying that you forgave them? What do you do then? How do you make these resentful feeling go away and stay away?
Well in order to find the TRUTH about a matter concerning my faith for me personally I go to God, my heavenly Father and ask him to reveal his truth to me from his Holy word, the Bible.
Then after praying and communing with God, just talking over my feelings and such for a bit, I then sit in silence for a little while to see if I get any particular direction from the Holy Spirit as to which direction to head toward. Sometimes a scripture will come to mind and at other times God will direct me to read a certain book or chapter in the Bible. But in this instance when I asked God the question, "What does it truly mean to forgive?", there was no definite verse of scripture that came to my mind, or any other direction, so I picked up my concordance and looked up the word “forgive”. And here is what I found.
To begin this study in God's word about “What does it TRULY mean to FORGIVE” I want to share with you some interesting facts that I discovered while studying this subject. Now to ME, I find these mathematical facts about how many times certain words are found in the Bible. I have a study called "THE AMAZING NUMBER 7!", which shows some pretty amazing things in God's word that to ME cannot by any means just be a coincidence. Anyway check it out sometime it may even be a good door opener or ice breaker so to speak to witness to your neighbor about the Bible, but for now here is what I found about the word "forgive" and the number of times it is found in the Bible.
The word “FORGIVE” is found exactly 56 times in the King James version of the Bible. This only seems to work in the King James Version by the way.
The word “ FORGIVEN” is found exactly 42 times in the Bible.
The word “FORGIVENESS” is found 7 times in the Bible.
And all the other forms of the word forgive, such as FORGIVENESSES, FORGIVETH (which is forgives in today's English), and FORGIVING all total to be found exactly 7 times in the Bible.
Now all the forms of the word forgive added together come to the total of 112 times exactly. And if you haven't notice already, I want you to take note that all these numbers are exactly divisible by the number 7. The word "FORGIVE" is found 56 times, which is (8x7), the word "FORGIVEN is found 42 times, which is (6x7), the word "FORGIVENESS is found exactly 7 times, or (1x7), and the three words "FORGIVENESSES, "FORGIVETH", and "FORGIVING" when they are all added together they total 7 times.
Now chances are that most Christians have at least heard at one time or another that the number 7 is God's perfect number. But there are some Christians who have spent a great deal of time searching the word of God for patterns in numbers and their significance and they have come to say that the number 7 means perfect, and or completeness. So then, if we consider these meanings of completeness and perfection that are given to the number 7 in relation to the end GOAL of Almighty God for his creation of mankind, then we can see that when God's PLAN of salvation is totally completed at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus, which is when as many as will RECEIVE the FORGIVENESS that God freely offers them, then at that time all who have entered into God's kingdom in the world to come will have been made PERFECT.
But even in this present world the very moment anyone of us who BELIEVE the word for TRUTH and RECEIVE FORGIVENESS of all our past sins, then at that moment in time we FORGIVEN and CLEANSED for ALL of our past sin and we are made PERFECT in the eyes of Almighty God. And we also remain PERFECT before the eyes of Almighty God our Father, until we slip and fall back into sin by giving into the temptations of the devil.
Now the Bible teaches us that sin separates us from God so in order to get back into a right relationship with God we must REPENT of our sin and asked God to FORGIVES us. Then we must BELIEVE his word that assures us that he is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE us of all our sin and CLEANSE us from all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. And again at the very moment we CONFESS our sins and BELIEVE that God is FAITHFUL to perform his word to FORGIVE us of our sins we are once again made PERFECT. So you can see how vital FORGIVENESS is to the PLAN of Almighty God to save mankind. Since sin separates us from God, then it is like tying God's hands so to speak and the blessings and protection of God is temporally cut off from us, until we repent and restore that right relationship with God. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying, this separation from God because of our sin does NOT mean that God leaves and forsakes us. No not by any means does God leaves us, but rather God does all he can do to bring us to repentance. But do not be deceived by the enemy, God requires us to walk in love one toward another.
Now if we take the total number of times that all the forms of forgive are found in the Bible, which is 112 and divide it by 7 we get the number 16, which is the number for LOVE.
So by using numbers and their meanings, we find that forgiveness is PERFECT LOVE, because the number 7 means PERFECT in Biblical numbers and the number 16 means LOVE. So then FORGIVENESS is PERFECTION that is multiplied by God's LOVE. In other words, walking in forgiveness is walking in love. Therefore it we harden our own heart to hold a grudge and do NOT walk in forgiveness, then we are NOT walking in LOVE. Now some of you may be saying, "Well you do not understand what they did to me. It is impossible for me to forgive them. They are not even sorry for what they did. So how can I forgive them?
First of all God SO LOVED us that he offers his FORGIVENESS to us, then when we RECEIVE his forgiveness by FAITH God's LOVE is shed abroad in our hearts. It is then with this AGAPE or God kind of love, or with HIS PERFECT LOVE that his word says that he has shed abroad into our hearts that enables or empowers us to walk in LOVE one another and even LOVE our enemies.
You see, this thing called forgiveness, that we often take so lightly, is the very basis for our faith in God. Let me explain what I mean by this. If there were no forgiveness from God, then there would be no salvation. God chooses by HIS GRACE to FORGIVE us of our sins on the basis that we REPENT and BELIEVE that we are forgiven when we ask for his forgiveness. But in return for God forgiving us God then requires us to forgive OTHERS of their trespasses which they commit against us personally. In other words, when anyone offends you then God requires you to FORGIVE them even if they do not ask for your forgiveness. Yes, they are still in the wrong for offending you and even more so by not asking for forgiveness when they have been made aware that they offended you and it is THEY themselves will have to answer to God, but YOU yourself are free from any wrong in God's eyes if so be that you have FORGIVEN them. We will cover this in more detail a little further on in this study, but what I want you see for now is that your FAITH plays a big role in your forgiving others who seem impossible to forgive. Please consider what is to follow.
John 3:16, the famous verse that we are all so familiar with, says,
"For God so LOVED the world, (all of mankind) that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Almighty God the Father sent his only begotten Son as an act of his great LOVE for us to show or demonstrate to us his LOVE, for you see, LOVE is more than just a word.
Love is DOING. Love is something that can be SEEN. Most of us think of love as a feeling, which there is no denying that most definitely love can and will produce very good feelings of peace, joy, safety and comfort, but these feelings are only the benefits of love that come AFTER we actually LOVE someone. Feelings come AFTER the act is already in the process of DOING. For example, much like the feelings of being irritated or upset, bitterness and uneasiness are all the products or feelings of anger and hatred only AFTER we made the choice to take offence and become angry, which can easily lead to outright hate if left unchecked. I will say more on this later.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:16,17 that God IS LOVE.
"And we have known and BELIEVED the LOVE that God has to us. God IS LOVE; and he that dwells in LOVE dwells in God, and God in him.
17. Herein is our LOVE made PERFECT, (why? why should we strive that our love be made PERFECT?) THAT (or so that) we may have BOLDNESS in the day of JUDGMENT: because as he is, so are we in the world."
Jesus came to show us the LOVE of the Father, God Almighty. And when this LOVE of Almighty God dwells in us it gives us peace and a good conscience toward God. We have BOLDNESS to be in his presence. We are not ashamed. The scripture says, There is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those of us who are in Christ Jesus who WALK after the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God in OBEDIENCE and NOT after the flesh, the FEELINGS of anger and bitterness that want to rule over us to not forgive those who have offended us. We read in 1 John 4:12, which is but a few verses back from the above verse we just read that when we walk in love one toward another, then God's love is PERFECTED in us.
"No man has seen God at any time. IF we LOVE one another, God dwells in us, and his LOVE is PERFECTED in us."
We PERFECT our love AS we become DOERS of the word of God and not hearers ONLY. It is sort of like WALK the TALK Christianity. Practice makes perfect, so to speak. The more we work at forgiveness and walking in love the easier it becomes. Now I want you to skip down a few verses and read 1 John 4:20,21 which says,
"If any man say, I LOVE God, and (or but yet) hates his brother, he is a LIAR: for he that loves NOT his brother whom he has seen, how can he LOVE God whom he has not seen?
20. And this COMMANDMENT have we from him (Almighty God, our Father) That he who LOVES God LOVE (as is a continual love for) his brother ALSO.”
Remember the words of Jesus, Whatever you do to the least of these my brethren you do also to me. Do you BELIEVE this? I mean do you really BELIEVE these words of Jesus or did you just at one time used to believe them? What was the very first verse from the Bible that I wrote to you in this study of God's Holy word on “What does it TRULY mean to forgive"? Do you remember?” If not, it was John 3:16. And what does it say? Let us read it again.
"...Whosoever BELIEVES (as in whosoever CONTINUES to believe, the one who actively believes and keeps on believing. That is what this word means in the original Greek text and NOT having believed at one time in the past. So then whosoever CONTINUES to BELIEVE) in him should NOT perish, BUT have EVERLASTING LIFE."
Now I want to focus on this particular part of this verse and keep it in the CONTEXT from where it is found and read the next two verses.
John 3:17,18 says,
"For (or because) God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; BUT that the world THROUGH him might be SAVED.
18. He that BELIEVES on him is NOT condemned; BUT he that BELIEVES NOT is condemned ALREADY, (WHY? Why is the one who chooses NOT to believe on the name of the SON of Almighty God ALREADY condemned?) because he has NOT BELIEVED in the NAME of the only begotten SON of God."
So from the context of John 3:16 we see that the OPPOSITE of
"...Whosoever BELIEVES in him should NOT perish, BUT have EVERLASTING LIFE."
Is EQUALLY as true just as it is for whosoever does NOT believe will REMAIN CONDEMNED until he or she BELIEVES!
In other words, it is CLEARLY and PLAINLY spelled out for us in this passage of scripture that WHOSOEVER does NOT BELIEVE shall or will without a doubt PERISH and shall NOT receive ETERNAL LIFE simple because they do NOT BELIEVE. For a deeper understanding of HOW Satan our adversary using the very word of God AGAINST us please read the study called "THE WEAPONS OF OUR ENEMY SATAN", which teaches us the DANGERS of UNBELIEF.
Therefore, since RECEIVING from God requires FAITH, then it all comes down to whether or not we BELIEVE. So then, what does it mean to BELIEVE?
Now I know;
We all SAY we BELIEVE, and we may even truly believe that we believe, but do we TRULY believe the WAY that the word of God teaches us to BELIEVE?
We all SAY we LOVE, but do we TRULY love in the WAY that the Bible says we are to LOVE?
We all SAY we FORGIVE, but do we TRULY forgive the WAY that the Holy word of the Most High God teaches us?
What I am trying to get you to see hear is that some Christians SAY, "Well I just do NOT believe that God expects us to forgive everyone that offends us." Well just because someone does NOT BELIEVE that there is no God does no make it so. So for a Christian who just does not FEEL like forgiving someone who has offended them does NOT mean that God word does not WARN us that if we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. I am getting a little ahead of myself. I will explain this a little further on in this study, but for now I want you to read 1 Corinthians 13:13, which teaches us three things that should be abiding or actively living in the life of every believer.
"And now abides FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY, these three, but the greatest of these is CHARITY."
The word “charity” here means LOVE. The HOPE that we have as Christians is the looking forward to our new life with God, that is to say, ETERNAL LIFE, and all its' benefits. And our FAITH is the means by which we obtain this eternal life from Almighty God, the Father, and his Son Jesus.
So then, I have listed three things below, which we all SAY that we have or do, but do we TRULY mean what we SAY and are we actually doing God's word to walk in LOVE, when we do NOT forgive others?. In other words, does the fruit we bear, actually demonstrate or reveal the character of;
BELIEVING, which is our FAITH? And
LOVING, which is CHARITY or God's LOVE dwelling in us? And
FORGIVING, which is believing that God forgives us as we forgive others in order to receive the promise of our reward of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come?
Let me and try and explain what I mean by this. Now if I were to say to you that IF you do NOT FORGIVE your fellow man, then you yourself will NOT be forgiven and THEREFORE you yourself will NOT receive ETERNAL LIFE in he world to come, but rather that you yourself are CONDEMNED ALREADY, because you do not TRULY BELIEVE my words by SHOWING or bearing fruit, BECAUSE it can clearly be SEEN that you do NOT DO as I COMMAND you to DO, which is to FORGIVE others! Now if Jesus would have spoken God's word this bluntly then would this TRUTH in God's word change the way you looked at the TRUE meaning of FORGIVING? In other words, would you take walking in love and walking n forgiveness if your own reward of receiving eternal life depended upon your obedience to God's word to FORGIVE others?
Well then, what does the Bible, the Holy word of the living and only true wise God, have to say on this subject of what does it TRULY mean to forgive. Does Almighty God require us to forgive others in order for God to forgive us? Please keep in mind that if God doe not forgive you, then you will die in your sin and shall not receive eternal life in the word to come. What does God's WORD, his WHOLE word teach us? Forget about what your church denomination teaches you and go to the word of God directly and see for yourself what Almighty God requires of us.
Please turn to Matthew 6:14,15 and read straight from the word of God for yourself.
"For IF you FORGIVE men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you:
15. BUT if you forgive NOT men their trespasses, NEITHER will your heavenly Father FORGIVE your trespasses.”
And since we all know that the word of God teaches that NO sin will enter into the city of God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from God, then we all need FORGIVENESS from God. For without which NO man will see God and obtain eternal life. So then, I pray that you see, that your very soul is at stake here, IF SO BE that you harboring bitterness in your heart by NOT TRULY forgiving others. 1 John 3:14,15 WARNS us that if we harbor HATE toward our fellow brother or sister in the Lord, then we are the same as a MURDER and we know that no murdered shall receive eternal life unless they repent of their sin.
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we LOVE the brethren. He that loves NOT his brother abides in DEATH.
15. Whosoever HATES his brother is a MURDERER: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."
So I ask you. Is it really that big of a deal what your brother, or your sister, or your mother, or your father, or your son, or your daughter, or your friend, or your enemy, or whoever may have WRONGED you, for you to hold on to those feelings of hurt to the point that they cause you harbor anger and even hate in your heart to hold a grudge and NOT FORGIVE them, which in turn will cause you NOT to obtain eternal life in the world to come if so be that you would die having hate and unforgiveness in your heart?
I mean, really, what could they have done to you for you to be willing to have your joy and peace stolen from you every time you see or think of that person who offended you? I mean, really, are you willing to run the risk of losing receiving the promise of your reward of eternal life in the world to come and therefore be cast into the lake of fire, just so that you can have the satisfaction now of saying in this present life, “But you do not understand what they did to me, or what they said about me. It is impossible to forgive someone who is so hateful toward me. I just cannot forgive them. You just do not understand.” This my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, is the way that the world thinks, but the word of God assures us that we are no longer of this world, so be not conformed to this world's way of thinking any longer. Get into the word of God and see what God has to say. Your very salvation depends upon it if so be that you continue harboring anger and hatred in your heart to others.
Now I know these are HARD words to receive, but this is what the word of God teaches us. We are COMMANDED to LOVE one another. We can SAY what ever we want, but if we do not bear the right kind of fruit, then we will not inherit eternal life at the end of our journey, or WAY. The word of God tells us that we shall know the tree by the fruit that it bears.
"I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE: NO man comes unto the Father but by me."
Jesus went on to say in this same context in the gospel of John chapter 14 and verse 20 which says,
“IF you LOVE me, KEEP my COMMANDMENTS.”
So what did Jesus mean when he said, “I am the WAY”? For an in-depth study on this question please read the study “I AM THE WAY: WHAT DOES JESUS MEAN?” . But just briefly for now I will say that Jesus came to show us the Father, or more precisely the Father's WAY, so to speak. In other words Jesus came to show us the true nature and character of Almighty God, which is LOVE and MERCY. Now these are not ALL of God's characteristics, but the ones in which I am focusing upon in this particular study of God's word.
Jesus said in the next chapter of John, chapter 15 and verse 10 through verse 14, still speaking on the same subject,
"IF you KEEP my COMMANDMENTS, you shall abide in my LOVE, even as I have kept the Father's commandment, and abide in his LOVE,
11. These things I have spoken unto you that my JOY might REMAIN in you, and that your joy may be FULL.
12. This is my COMMANDMENT, that you LOVE one another, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.
13. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14. You are my friends IF you DO whatsoever I COMMAND you."
In other words, Jesus laid down his life for YOU, IF SO BE, that YOU do what Jesus COMMANDS you to DO. These are NOT MY words my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, these are the very WORDS of Jesus, who said that we are his friends IF we DO the things that he has COMMANDED us to DO. So then, our salvation is DEPENDENT upon us walking in LOVE and FORGIVENESS and keeping ourselves in the WAY that Jesus showed to us.
Jesus brought to us the word of TRUTH. What Jesus spoke to us is the TRUTH. The life that Jesus lived was the TRUTH. He is our faithful witness. He is our testimony. He is our example to follow. All through the word of God we see phrases like, "EVEN as I have KEPT the commandments of the Father, EVEN as I have OVERCOME, purify yourself EVEN as he, speaking of Jesus, EVEN as he is pure, and so forth and so on, TEACHING us the Jesus is our EXAMPLE to follow. Jesus is a living and true RECORD showing us that he, being the Son of MAN, as in, being a HUMAN BEING HIMSELF, fulfilled the law, keeping the commandments of his God and Father. THEREFORE so ought we to walk EVEN as he walked WITHOUT SIN. This is what the word of Almighty God, his WHOLE word, teaches us. Obtaining eternal life in the world to come is CONDITIONAL on what we DO.
Jesus say in Matthew 24:13,
"But he that ENDURES unto the END, the SAME shall be saved."
In other words, it is ONLY he or she who believes on Jesus that endures unto the end of their life and is found to be faithful in what God has COMMANDED us to DO who will be the ONLY ones who will inherit eternal life in the world to come. Therefore it is VITAL that we OBEY God's word and walk in LOVE and FORGIVENESS unto the END. Faith without works is dead. For a deeper understanding on we are saved by FAITH and NOT by WORKS please read the studies entitled "WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF GRACE?" , "WE ARE NOT SAVED BY OUR OWN WORKS" and "WORKS OF THE LAW VERSUS GOOD WORKS"
Let's take a look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13 again and focus on what LOVE truly is in God's eyes. Begin reading with verse 4 and read through verse 8. Now the King James version says "charity", which means love, so I will simply interchange the words charity and love just as I have interchanged you for the word thee, your for the word thou, and so forth in this and other studies I have done. It just make it easier to read for most people without the thee and the thou.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not, love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
5. Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
6. Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8. Love never fails:”
And remember that God shed abroad HIS love in the heart of every one who BELIEVES. Now walking in LOVE and walking in FORGIVENESS may seem hard and even impossible at times, but it is because we are trying to do it in our OWN strength. It is because we are NOT truly BELIEVING that God placed his very own LOVE in our hearts to EMPOWER us to love other by BELIEVING that we can. I will explain this in more detail a little later in this study.
For now turn to 1 John 5:1-5 and read,
"Whosoever BELIEVES that Jesus is the CHRIST (the ANOINTED ONE of Almighty God, the MESSIAH) is born of God: and every one that LOVES him that is begotten (meaning that everyone who makes the choice to believe upon the SON of Almighty God as their Messiah, or their Lord and savior and loves God) LOVES him ALSO that is begotten of him (meaning that if we TRULY LOVE the ONE TRUE and ONLY Almighty God, then we SHOW that we TRULY LOVE Jesus the SON of God).
2. By THIS (speaking of truly SHOWING that we truly BELIEVE) we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and KEEP his commandments.
3. For (or because) THIS is the LOVE of God, that we KEEP his commandments: and his commandments are NOT GRIEVOUS.
4. For whatsoever is born of God OVER COMES the world: and THIS is the victory that OVER COMES the world, EVEN our FAITH.
5. Who is he that OVER COMES the world, but he that BELIEVES that Jesus is the SON of God?"
And HOW do we truly SHOW that we truly BELIEVE? That is right! By KEEPING his COMMANDMENTS to walk in LOVE and walk in FORGIVENESS. Now we ourselves may make the commandments of God to be hard and grievous, but they are NOT if so be that we BELIEVE upon the promises written in God's word. The word of TRUTH teaches us that just shall live by FAITH. Please refer to the study on "BIBLE MEANING OF FAITH" for a deeper understand of true BIBLICAL faith, but for now I want to point out to you that by BELIEVING the promises of God such as God will NOT ALLOW us to be tempted ABOVE that which we are ABLE to bear will cause us to OVER COME the temptation to sin. You see, it is our FAITH in these promises to RESIST the Devil and BELIEVING that the Devil WILL without fail FLEE from us, simple because we BELIEVE God's WORD is HOW we who have been justified by the blood of Jesus shall LIVE or shall OVER COME and obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come by FAITH. Now please turn back one page to 1 John 3:14-16 and hear what the word of God is saying to you.
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, (how do we know?) because we LOVE the brethren. He that LOVES NOT his brother abides in DEATH. (Abides in what? By NOT walking in you towards your brothers and sisters in the Lord you are walking in DEATH or separation from God until you repent and walk in LOVE)
15. Whosoever hates his brother is a MURDERER, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16. Hereby we PERCEIVE we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought (this word ought i the original language means that because Jesus laid down his life for us, then we are OBLIGATED) to lay down our lives for the brethren."
Now it is easy to love a brother or sister when things are going well and there is no friction between each other.
And it is relatively easy to love someone when we ourselves did something wrong and we know that we did wrong and openly took the blame, even if they do not accept our apology.
But when we are in the right and we are wrongly accused by someone, it then becomes more difficult to suffer that wrong and just let it go as if it means nothing, like nothing ever happen, and TRULY FORGIVE them for the unjust wrong that THEY did to us. And even more so the difficulty seemingly increases to truly forgive others when they wrong us, when they do not ask to be forgiven when they have been made aware that they have wronged you. And yet even more so when they say or act as if they did nothing wrong and maybe say something like, "It is you who should be asking for forgiveness from me, because it is you who wrong me". This happened to my wife one time when I convinced her to finally ask forgiveness from some who deeply hurt her and this person turned all the blame on my wife.
Let me just say, WOW! I really had to reach down deep into the weapons of our warfare and pray that the eyes of understanding of my wife be opened to the TRUTH that we do NOT war against flesh and blood, but rather our fight is against Satan and the evil principalities of the air and the rulers of darkness in this world, because she was ready to make WAR. But I want you to know that my wife eventually SUFFERED the wrong that this person did unto her and finally went to this person and took all the blame even though she was NOT to blame. She did this because she understood that STRIFE between our fellow man will STEAL our JOY in the Lord. The relationship was restored and the hurt is now in the PAST!
I love that little scene from the animated movie The Lion King where the baboon hits the lion in the head and the lion gets angry and immediately the baboon says to him,"It is in the PAST!". In other words, why are you angry with me for something that is in the PAST? You see, we cannot change what has already been said or done. It is in the PAST. But we CAN FORGET about it by TRULY FORGIVING the person for the wrong that was said or done by them. At times they do not even have to KNOW that they wronged you. Just let it go and cast these care of this hurt upon the Lord.
Please take a look at 1 Peter 2:17-23 which says,
"Honor all men, LOVE the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not ONLY to the GOOD and GENTLE, but also to the froward.
19. For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God ENDURE GRIEF, suffering WRONGFULLY.
20. For what glory is it, when you are buffeted for your FAULTS, you shall take it patiently? But if, when you do WELL, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21. For EVEN here unto you were called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving for us an EXAMPLE; that we should FOLLOW his STEPS (What STEPS? Continue reading the very next verse):
22. Who did NO SIN, neither was guile found in his mouth (this is the EXAMPLE that Jesus left us that we are CALLED to FOLLOW. We are called by the gospel to live without sin EVEN AS Jesus lived his live without sin):
23. Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; BUT he COMMITTED himself to him that judges righteously."
Jesus is the WAY. The LIFE of Jesus lived is the WAY to ETERNAL LIFE. He came to show us the WAY of righteousness, the WAY to the Father. Jesus is our EXAMPLE to follow. Jesus overcame the world THROUGH the Holy Spirit of God and the written word of God. Jesus came in the FLESH and became a MAN just like you and I, yet he lived his life without sin. He COMMITTED the keeping of his life to his Father in heaven. Jesus FORGAVE all those that persecuted him showing us the WAY. For a deeper understanding on HOW to live your life WITHOUT SIN please read the study entitled "HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN!", but for now let us continue this study in God's word to learn what it means to TRULY FORGIVE.
One of Jesus' disciple came to him one day and asked how many times we are to forgive a brother that trespasses against us. Let's go ahead and turn to Matthew 18:21,22 which says,
"Then came Peter to him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?
22. Jesus says unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: BUT until seventy time seven.”
So Jesus tells us that if a brother or sister sins against us that we are to forgive them 490 times. Now for me personally I cannot think of any one person who has has wronged me anywhere near 490 times, but even if they did I do not think Jesus meant for us to keep track of how many times we forgive someone and when we get to number 500, then we do not have to forgive that person any more. just common sense alone should teach us that we are not to keep track of how many times a person wrongs us, but here is another verse that should lead you to come to this conclusion that we are not to keep a record of those who have hurt or have offended us.
Take a look at Luke 17:4, which teaches us that when Jesus said that we are to forgive some even if they wrong us 490 times he was really saying to us even if someone wrongs us 490 times is a SINGLE DAY we are to forgive them each and every time.
"And if he trespass against you seven times in a DAY, and seven times in a DAY turn again to you, saying, I repent: you shall FORGIVE him."
Now again, putting these two verses together we find that Jesus was basically saying it doesn't matter how many times your brother or sister offends or trespasses against you even in a single day, whether it be seven times or whether it be seventy times seven times in a DAY you shall forgive them. Think about that for a moment. That is 490 times in a single day, each and every day of your life we are commanded by Jesus to FORGIVE others. In other words, we are never to have our FORGIVENESS mode turned off. We must always be or possess the attitude of forgiveness. This is one of the characteristics of LOVE, and if we LOVE the brethren we will FORGIVE each other and move on. It is in the PAST. FORGIVE them. FORGET about it. And move on.
So then, I pray I have made it clear from the word of God that without FORGIVENESS you shall NOT inherit eternal life in the world to come, IF SO BE that you hold that bitterness in your heart all the way to your grave. In other words, i pray that you truly see that if you do not repent of your anger and hate and FORGIVE those who have wronged you unjustly, then you are in danger of not receiving your promise of reward of eternal life in the world to come.
So then, what does it mean to TRULY forgive someone? Now you may be thinking, "What does it feel like"when I truly forgive? No I mean what is the true Biblical meaning to truly forgive? How can we know that we have truly forgiven someone? This is what I want to know! Yes, I know I am supposed to walk in forgiveness, but HOW to I do it? How do I know that I have truly forgiven someone?
That is HOW you will know that you have truly forgiven someone. We do not walk by sight or by what we FEEL, but rather we walk by FAITH. So just like you BELIEVE that you have been forgiven of your sins by God you must also BELIEVE that when you say Heaven Father I forgiven them for the wrong that they have done and I pray that you forgive them also. Then settle it in your heart that your have forgiven them and do not be moved by any FEELING'S that may keep coming back when you see that person that you have FORGIVEN. Let's begin by first changing your attitude, that is of course if it needs changing. Let's look at the way God FORGIVES us. How do we RECEIVE forgiveness from God? Take a look at 1 John 1:9,
"If we CONFESS our sins, he is FAITHFUL and just to FORGIVE us our sins, and CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness."
We see here that IF we confess our sins then God will forgive us of our sins, but HOW do we know for SURE that we are FORGIVEN? That's right, we have to BELIEVE that our sins are forgiven, BEFORE we get that peace in our hearts that is FREE from any CONDEMNATION. In other words, we have to make a quality decision in our heart to BELIEVE the word of God over our FEELINGS. We have to RESIST those lies of the enemy that keep saying God did not hear your prayer or what ever lie he brings to you. If you hold fast the confidence of your FAITH that your are forgiven, then the FEELINGS will eventually come. Your joy and peace will be restored. God is FAITHFUL to perform his word.
So then, since it takes FAITH to RECEIVE the FORGIVENESS of our sins, then likewise it also takes FAITH to FORGIVE others as well. WE have to BELIEVE that they receive our forgiveness, BEFORE we will get that same type of peace in our hearts that will give us the assurance that is just as if nothing had ever happened to cause a rift in the first place.
In some instances and in perhaps most instances you can forgive someone without them ever even knowing that they wronged you, just by letting it go and NOT taking offenses. Simply say something like, "Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do." Then KNOW that you fight is NOT with them, but rather your fight is with your enemy Satan, the Devil and NOT with your fellow man especially with your fellow brother and sister in the Lord. BELIEVE the word of God when it says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power and rulers of darkness in high places. We only have one enemy and he is Satan, the devil. Our brothers and sisters are not our enemy. This will become clearer to you as we continue on in this study of what it truly means to forgive.
Now many of us KNOW and truly BELIEVE without a doubt that God does not remember our sins when we ask him for forgiveness. BUT WHY? Why do we KNOW that God does NOT remember our sin when we ask for forgiveness? Because his WORD says so, and not just because it says so, but because we BELIEVE it to be the TRUTH. We may not FEEL like God has forgiven us. But BY FAITH we can KNOW that he has if so be we asked and confessed our sins to him. Please read the following verses from the word of God;
Hebrews 10:17 says,
"And their sins and iniquities will I remember NO more."
Psalm 103:12 says,
"As FAR as the east is from the west, so FAR has he removed our transgression from us."
Isaiah 43:25 reads,
"I even I am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will NOT REMEMBER your sins."
There are many more such verses, but I think I have made my point. When God FORGIVES us he no longer REMEMBERS our transgressions, our sins, our wrong doings, our faults or our shortcomings. They are COMPLETELY forgotten, never to be brought up again.
Unless of course we OURSELVES bring them back up to him through our UNBELIEF. Let me share a little bit what I mean by this.
God says when I FORGIVE you, then I remove your sins from my memory and your sins are as FAR from me as the east is from the west. Think about this for a moment just how far that really is? It is INFINITY! The distance cannot be measured, because the east is moving away from the west just as the west is moving away from the east and they will NEVER meet.
BUT if YOU TURN AROUND from going west you will IMMEDIATELY be going east. Are you following what I am saying? Your sins are headed in one direction getting farther and farther away each passing moment, but the moment YOU yourself bring them back to remembrance by UNBELIEF, fearing that God has not truly forgiven you of your sins, then God also remembers them, because you have WAVERED in your FAITH. You have to cast your cares, worries and fears upon the Lord and LEAVE them there. If you bring your faults back up then this means you TRULY do not BELIEVE that God has FORGIVEN you. Decide once and for all time that you are going to believe God's WORD above what your FEELINGS are telling you.
Now this does not mean that you cannot start over and ask forgiveness again, or better yet, just RESIST the LIES of the enemy, when he tries to get you to think that God has not really forgiven you and say, "NO devil, I asked forgiveness of that sin and God's word says that he is FAITHFUL and just to forgive me if I ask him, so therefore I am FORGIVEN, case closed so get you behind me Satan in the name of Jesus. You are a liar from the beginning and I RESIST your lies." Then BELIEVE that these FEELINGS and the devil's lie will flee from you. You have to BELIEVE. For without FAITH it is impossible to please God. The just shall LIVE by faith.
Likewise, in much the SAME way, when we FORGIVE others the devil will bring those FEELINGS we had when this other person transgressed against us. Now our job is to RESIST the devil and the word of God assures us the devil will flee from us. So RESIST these feelings of resentment, uneasiness, irritation, bitterness, or whatever they may be, depending upon the offense. You can be hurt a lot or you can be hurt only slightly, and your feelings will vary on the degree of your hurt. But no matter what the wrong you have experienced the feelings of this wrong will diminish and completely leave you if you RESIST them in the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is ABOVE every other name. If you do not believe this then you need to read the study "JESUS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES" to boost your faith in the authority that God has given you as a believer to use the name of Jesus to cast out devils and over come every work of the devil.
You may be saying to yourself, I have tried to do this, but it is too hard. Think about what you are saying. Hard is a relative term. Let me explain what I mean. When a young child is learning to do math and the child comes to you and says to you, it is too hard, you then in turn teach your child HOW to overcome this particular problem. Then after the child LEARNS to do the math problem, he or she no longer finds it to be HARD. In fact they seem more surprised at how EASY the problem really was to solve.
So in much the same way, once you COME to the understanding of how EASY it is to FORGIVE, then you will be amazed of how simple it was all along and wonder why you never saw the answer before.
Now as simple as the answer is there will be some who just will not accept it, but seeing that we have no alternative than to do our HOMEWORK just as the little child does theirs if they want to pass the test, then you had better take heed to what the word of God has to say. You can refuse to do your homework and continue to struggle through life, or you can APPLY yourself to learning the word of God and move onto that higher level of math, so to speak, that ABUNDANT life that Jesus tells us about in John 10:10 which says,
"The thief comes not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY."
This verse is a whole study in and of itself and perhaps one day I will write down what the Lord has shown me through this verse, but for now I just want you to see that it is for YOUR good that you are to FORGIVE others when they wrong you.
Remember the verse I shared earlier in this study.
John 15:14 which says,
"THESE THINGS have I spoken unto you (why?) that my JOY might REMAIN in you, and that your JOY may be FULL."
You see, your joy is NOT full when you are at odds with your brother, or your sister or your mother or your father, or your son or your daughter or a friend or a coworker or anyone for that matter. When there is an issue of NOT FORGIVING someone in your life, then there is an absence of the PEACE of God, which is not there by the way for the sole reason of reconciling the problem. God places that uneasiness in you to move you to reconcile the matter.
So if your joy is NOT full and there is an absence of God's PEACE, then one place that I would check is to see if there is someone in your life that you have NOT FORGIVEN. Most likely it did not happen long ago, but rather just recently, unless of course this lack of peace has been lost for quite some time. If you honestly do not know who from which you may be withholding forgiveness, then ask God why you have lost your peace.
Now if something is continually being brought to your remembrance, then it may be that God is dealing with you to get this issue resolved. Or it may be the enemy trying to get you into UNBELIEF. This is something you are going to have to work out with God, because I do not know what is in your heart.
The bottom line is if you know in your heart that you have TRULY forgiven this person and these feelings keep coming up before you, then you need to RESIST these feelings, which are nothing more that the lies from the enemy, Satan, the devil. Then rest in God's faithfulness to perform his word and move on by putting this offense out of your memory no matter how many times it keeps coming back. Refuse to dwell on it any longer. The brief THOUGHT may come up, but refuse to DWELL on it. Do not give the devil PLACE. He will flee and leave off from oppressing you with doubt if your hold fast to the profession of your faith. It is in the PAST.
Paul says in Philippians 3:13,14
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I DO, FORGETTING those things which are BEHIND, and reaching forth unto the things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Now if you KNOW without a DOUBT that you have TRULY forgiven this person that has offended you or transgressed against you, then you need to move on to FORGETTING this incident and let it go. It is BEHIND you, It is in the PAST. Get over it and move on.
Is it really worth harboring these feelings, which are nothing but the lies of the enemy, to just have the satisfaction of saying you were wronged by this person to gain the sympathy of another. Think about this for a moment before you go off and sulk. Is it an even trade, that is to say, is it worth giving up your JOY for a little sympathy from someone who will most likely forget about your plight the moment you leave their presence? Every body has their own problems to deal with so if you really think that those who say I feel your pain will carry you pain home with them and cry out to God day and night so you can FEEL better for NOT forgiving someone who wronged you, then your have been blinded by the enemy. Very few believers will carry the burden of intercession for something that you can do very easily yourself by just HEARING the word of God. FAITH comes by hearing and true understanding come by hearing the WORD of God. So again is it truly WORTH a little sympathy from others rather than just going ahead and FORGIVING those who wronged you?
No, I tell you a thousand times NO. It is far, far better to TRULY FORGIVE and FOREVER FORGET the hurt so that your JOY may be FULL than it is to receive a little sympathy by others that will be most likely be forgotten by them as soon as they leave your presence and their own problems are brought before them.
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in or Lord Jesus Christ, that we are COMMANDED to walk in LOVE, and if there are UNRESOLVED feelings of contention and friction between others, then we need to take them to the Lord and LEAVE them there.
Now sometimes there will be issues that will have to be addressed face to face with the ones who have wronged us, because they are an ongoing transgression. What I mean by this is that it seems that no matter how hard you try to get along, they just seem to continue do or say something that ignites these bad feelings in you over and over again and again. Now please keep in mind that they may NOT be pushing your buttons, so to speak, intentionally. It may be that they are not even aware that they are antagonizing you and to them it is completely unintentional. Now if you are confident that they are causing strife intentionally, then the word of God gives us these instructions to reconcile the matter. But even if this strife or contention is UNINTENTIONAL we are still to follow the word of God to clear up the matters of strife and bitterness. You will know by the Spirit of God when you need to confront a person who has wronged you face to face. Your peace will be lost until you do. So again there will be times when you must follow the outline given to us in Matthew 5:23, which tells us what to do when WE, as in you or I, are the one who transgress against another, rather than someone else transgressing against US, as in you or me.
"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there REMEMBER that your brother has aught against YOU; (meaning that YOU are the one who has offend your brother and NOT that you are the one who has BEEN offended BY your brother. So the when your brother has been offended and hurt BY YOU)
LEAVE there your gift before the altar, and go your way; FIRST to be RECONCILED to your brother, and THEN come and offer your gift."
Now in today's terminology we would say something like, therefore when you bring your praise and thanksgiving to God and the Holy Spirit brings to your remembrance an unresolved issue that a brother or sister or anyone has against YOU, whether you realized it before or not, but now you know, because you have an uneasiness in your spirit or heart, and the Holy Spirit is convicting YOU that YOU have wrong your brother, then leave off praying or giving of thanks and go to this person face to face and open up to them with sincerity and get this issue resolved, THEN come and give thanks to God with FULLNESS of JOY in your heart.
Again I want you to notice that the above verse applies to the situation whereby YOU have wronged another and THEY have an issue with YOU. So it does not do any good just to say forgive me Lord for the wrong that I did to my brother, IF the Holy Spirit is PROMPTING you by bringing to your REMEMBRANCE this issue and speaking to your heart this uneasiness that something is not right. This is called CONDEMNATION, and this uneasiness will not go away, until you resolve the issue face to face with the person that has aught against YOU for the wrong that YOU did unto THEM. So OBEY the Holy Spirit and go to this person and reconcile the matter. Then go to God with thanksgiving in your heart bringing praise to him.
Now if it be that you have aught against another, because of what THEY have done or said a wrong unto YOU, then the Bible still teaches us that we are to go to this person by again opening up and sincerely explaining the issue to them. Please read the following passage of scripture.
"For the Son of man is come to save that which is LOST.
12. How think you? If a man has a hundred sheep, and ONE of them GOES ASTRAY, does he not leave the ninety nine, and go into the mountains, and SEEK that which is GONE ASTRAY?
13. And IF SO BE that he FINDS it, verily I say unto you, he REJOICES MORE of that sheep, than of the ninety nine which went not astray.
14. Even so it is NOT the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should PERISH.
15. MOREOVER if your brother shall trespass against YOU, go and tell him HIS fault between you and him ALONE: IF he shall hear you, you have GAINED your brother.
16. But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word be established.
17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto you AS a heathen man and a publican (or as if he or she is a heathen or sinner)."
First of all I want to restate and emphasize once again how VITALLY important it is to WALK in OBEDIENCE to the Holy Spirit, to walk in LOVE and to walk in FORGIVENESS for BOTH you and the ones we effect in our lives. For our very salvation may very well be DEPENDENT upon these things and we may also be the cause of another person to GO ASTRAY and be LOST.
Jesus opens this teaching with a parable of one hundred sheep telling us that one of the flock has gone ASTRAY and is LOST and will remain LOST, UNTIL he is found and RESTORED to the fold.
Then Jesus likens the LOST sheep to one who has wrong YOU, saying that they are LOST, because they have unresolved sin in their life, namely the transgression that they transgressed against you. And they will remain LOST UNTIL this issue of sin in their life is RESOLVED, either by you FORGIVING them or they asking forgiveness of the Lord themselves. Jesus said the SINS of whosoever you REMIT their sins are REMITTED. Please read John 20:23 that we can forgive the sins of those who sin against us personally. In other words, basically if we do not press charges against them, then neither will Jesus condemn them for that particular sin that we do NOT retained against them. This does not mean that we can forgive EVERY sin that another person commits, but rather that we can REMIT of CANCEL the penalty of a sin that has been committed against us personally by another brother or sister in the Lord.
"Whose so ever SINS YOU REMIT, they ARE REMITTED unto them; and whose so ever sins YOU RETAIN, they are RETAINED."
The word "REMIT" here means to FORGIVE, to pardon, to CANCEL and to not hold against. And the word "RETAIN" here means to ARREST, to seize under custody, and to hold onto. In other words, this same verse could be written as follows.
"Whose so ever SINS YOU FORGIVE, then those sins ARE FORGIVEN unto them; and whose so ever sins YOU do NOT forgive, then those sins are NOT FORGIVEN them."
This is why I believe FORGIVENESS is so VITALLY important. First of all we have the power and authority to HOLD this sin against them, but this is NOT God's will for us, and consequently by our disobeying god's word and NOT forgiving those who SIN against us personally will open the door for the enemy to steal OUR JOY and peace that we have, because we know in our hearts that it is wrong NOT to forgive others.
I did this once to a person who stole something from me. Now I do not believe this person was a Christian at the time, but it does not matter it was still wrong for me to HOLD this sin against this person until they RETURNED what they stole from me. I know that the word of God teaches us that if a person steals from us that we are to let them have it, but I also read in the word that we will REAP what we SOW and I know that I do not steal anything from any one else, so therefore I was NOT going to allow the enemy to steal from me any more. Basically it was the principal of the thing that I wanted to PROVE to myself that God's word is true and therefore since I did NOT SOW thievery in my life, then I would not REAP the damage of someone else stealing form me. I said to to Lord that I would give the thing that was stolen from me to this person as soon as they admitted that they took it from me. I never went to this person about this matter, and in fact I never personally saw this person ever again in person to this very day. I just kept casting the care of this issue to be resolved upon the Lord and God moved in this person's life to call me on the phone and tell me that he had something of mine. I thanked him for his honesty and told him it was alright and that he could keep it with my blessing. I thanked God for being faithful to his word and from that day on I have never had anything stolen from me again, because I BELIEVE that we REAP what we SOW.
First and foremost we should just immediately forgives other when we are wronged. But sometimes it may be needful to confront that person face to face and go through the steps outlined for us in Matthew 18:11-17. And then if this fails to resolve the issue the word of God assures us that we have given the power and the authority to FORGIVE others of their sin that they have sinned against us WITHOUT having to go face to face with them. and saying I forgiven you, because you have already done this. You can do this again if you like, but chance are the results will be the same and they will throw it back into your face. So what I am saying is that they do not even have to know that we have forgiven them.
You see, I could have forgiven this person that stole from me right at the first, but I felt that I needed to PROVE the word of God and the method I chose to do this was to have this person offer to return the item that he stole before I would forgive him. Even if he was not a Christian sinners still know when they do wrong. I just sort of helped this person feel that condemnation a little stronger by my prayers until he finally gave in to repent of what he did wrong. So in this case the issue was solved face to face, even though we did not literally meet in person, but rather reconciled over the phone. The point that I am trying to make is that I could have FORGIVEN him without him ever knowing that I forgave him and that particular sin that he transgressed against me would not have been held against him any longer by God, because whose sin we forgive that sinned against us will be forgiven them.
Now there may be other sins in that persons life that I do NOT have the authority to forgive and they WILL be held accountable for those sins unless THEY THEMSELVES REPENT and ask God to forgive them personally. All I am saying is that for ME, we do not have to go to every person who wrongs us every single time face to face and reconcile the problem, but rather most of the time we only need to forgive them before the Lord and the person who offended us does not even need to know that we have forgiven them. If there are times that we need to go face to face and confront the ones who offend us or we have offended them, then the Holy Spirit of almighty God will convict you of these times.
So once again, in some instances, and you yourself will know when this is the case, you WILL have to go face to face and confront them of this issue ALONE as outlined in Matthew 18:11-17.
Then, if the issue is not resolved, in that they do not acknowledge or see that they in fact did wrong to you and refuse to be reconciled, you are to take one or two more people of wisdom with you to make sure all the facts are made clear and that both of you are understanding the core of the problem. Once all the facts are established, then this person is given another opportunity to make amends, to ask your forgiveness, to at least say something like, "Hey I am sorry, I did not realize that I offended you."
But if this person is still not seeing the importance of how they hurt you, even if they did not intend to hurt you. And even if they do not see and understand that by offending you that they have cut themselves off not only from you, but from God as well, then you may present your case before the whole church, because it is vitally important to make peace and walk in LOVE with one another.
And if they STILL do not come around and repent, then you are to treat them as one who has not yet come to know the Lord. You are to consider them as one who is LOST. Jesus says to treat them as a heathen. So how do we treat a heathen? We share the word of God with them, we pray for them, we ask God to send other laborers into their life, and we BELIEVE that God will give the INCREASE of his word into their life. They will continue to be LOST sinner, unless they repent and are FOUND to be in Christ Jesus before they die. Otherwise they will PERISH. How much do you TRULY LOVE them? Are you willy to spend the time laboring and travailing for them in pray until Christ be FORMED in them AGAIN? Please read Galatians 4:19, which teaches us that sinners are BIRTHED into the body of Jesus Christ THROUGH PRAYER and intercession that is made for them by believers.
"My little children, of whom I TRAVAIL IN BIRTH AGAIN, until Christ be FORMED in you,"
In other words, these little children fell into sin and another believer was PRAYING and making intercession for them to be BORN AGAIN even though they had already previously been BORN AGAIN. You see, when we SIN we then become the SERVANT of CHILD of whom we SERVE. Therefore if we SIN we are serving SATAN and therefore we become the CHILD of the Devil so long as we REMAIN in SIN. Now even after having done all this and they still do not repent of their sin against you, then REMIT that sin and it will be REMITTED or cancel on your behalf. This is God's word, not mine, I am just a messenger bringing to you the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God. It is up to you to do what ever you choose to do with what you hear or read from me or anyone else. If you look around you will find hundreds who will SYMPATHIZE with you, but there are only a FEW that LOVE you enough to tell you the TRUTH. I am just telling you how to God's full joy and peace back into your life and have those feelings of contention leave and never come back.
Hebrews 12:14,15 says,
"Follow PEACE with ALL men, and holiness, WITHOUT which NO man shall see the Lord.
15. Looking DILIGENTLY lest (or for FEAR that) any man FAIL of the grace of God; lest (again for FEAR that) any root of BITTERNESS springing up trouble you, and THEREBY MANY be defiled;"
Harboring bitterness in your heart and pretending it does not matter will defile not only you, but may cause many others to be defiled as well. The word “defile” here means to pollute, to stain, to defile or to corrupt.
If you have the HOPE of inheriting eternal life in you, then you will OBEY God's word and walk in FORGIVENESS and LOVE, BELIEVING that God will strengthen you and give you boldness to speak forth his word in LOVE making PEACE with all men. Remember Jesus says you are my friends IF you do all I COMMAND you to do. Our salvation is CONDITIONAL in that we must OBEY the Spirit of God and KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of God. And if we do NOT endure unto the end of our life and are NOT found to be faithful, then we will NOT enter into the JOY of the Lord, but rather cast into outer darkness. For a deeper understanding of this subject of our salvation being CONDITIONAL please read the study "WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD!"
1 John 3:3 says,
"And every man that has this HOPE (The HOPE of seeing the Lord) PURIFIES himself EVEN as he (Jesus Christ our Lord) is pure."
2 Peter 3:14 says,
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be DILIGENT that you may be FOUND of him in PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT, and BLAMELESS."
Remember the words of Jesus,
"IF we do NOT FORGIVE others, NEITHER will your Father in heaven FORGIVE you."
BE NOT DECEIVED!
Do you REALLY LOVE your brother who offended you?
Are you REALLY laying down your life for your father and mother, your brother and sister, your friend or enemy by putting the feelings of others BEFORE your own feelings by SUFFERING the wrong that they have done unto you?
Do you REALLY BELIEVE God's word and that he is FAITHFUL to perform his word and bring PEACE back into your life where the devil tried to steal your joy through strife?
We have been SAVED, as in, we have been placed back into right relationship with Almighty God and we have been given the PROMISE of ETERNAL LIFE, but in order to OBTAIN that promise of eternal life we must FOLLOW the teachings of Jesus. The TRUTH of the matter is that when you are SAVED, then you are SET FREE from sin, in that, sin has NO more dominion over you, so that you should CONTINUE or go back doing those evil things that you are now set free from IN Christ Jesus. For a deeper understanding on HOW to live FREE from sin please read the study entitled “HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN”.
If it takes SUFFERING a WRONG done to you when you did not deserve it to keep PEACE in your life and your heart PURE before God, then suffer the wrong and FORGET about it and move on. This is what it means to TRULY forgive. God does not REMEMBER or bring back the sins for which we have asked FORGIVENESS, so neither should you bring back up those memories of where you have forgiven others. Let it go, it is in the past. RESIST those feelings of bitterness from the enemy and WALK in FORGIVENESS and LOVE.
You can do this IF you BELIEVE.
May the grace of God be with you and continue to grow in his grace and strength as you read and study his word. Be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS might. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. With man it is impossible, BUT with God ALL things are possible. You can not walk in LOVE and FORGIVENESS in your OWN strength, BUT by FAITH, you can do all that God COMMANDS you to do. To truly forgive is to FORGET, so therefore YOU must bring every THOUGHT into captivity in Jesus Christ. Call Satan a LIAR, RESIT his LIES. You have FORGIVEN that person and these FEELINGS you are having are nothing more than the LIES of the enemy trying to stir up the strife all over again. REFUSE to give PLACE to the Devil any longer. Start praising God for the PEACE he has given you even if you do not feel like it. We walk by FAITH and NOT by SIGHT and feelings. I speak PEACE to you right now in the NAME of Jesus. KNOW that you have TRULY FORGIVEN that person.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Now and Forever,
RETURN TO HOMEPAGE