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Forgiveness For The Repentant

Salvation is about being forgiven for our sins. That is, to accept Christ's sacrifice for sin by repenting (Christ died for repentant sinners; unrepentant sinners are going to be cast into the lake of fire - see When Will You Be Judged?; also Could Christ Return Tonight?). By God's Word, we must forgive those who are genuinely making an honest effort to repent, not those who sin defiantly, or who sin and say they're sorry - while making no effort to stop doing wrong. Otherwise, "forgiveness" would merely be condoning and enabling rebellious evil behavior.

"18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.

18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [see Bind and Loose].

18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:15-20 KJV)

"Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?"

When Peter asked how many times we must forgive a repentant sinner (i.e. someone who sins out of weakness rather than defiance - the reason that Peter specified "my brother sin"), Christ's answer was, in effect, to forgive as many times as they truly repent. This life is an endless struggle to do what is right (see Concupiscence and Growing In The Grace And Knowledge) for all of God's people.

The Ten Commandments

"18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22 KJV)

God forgives humans because He is absolutely pure and sinless. Humans must forgive other humans because we would be hypocrites if we didn't. All humans are sinners; the only difference is whether they are repentant, or defiant.

"18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had Compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." (Matthew 18:23-35 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Why must we avoid people who choose to sin defiantly? (b) How can we know what is truly right from what is wrong, so that our repentance is genuine?
(a) See Striving For Strife and Pearls Before Swine; also Grace Into Licentiousness
(b) See:
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 1
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 2
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 3
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 5
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 6
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 7
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 8
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 9
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 10
Also:
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 1
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 2
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 3
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 4
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 5
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 6
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 7
The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 8
Also:
Christian Living and our Sabbath Sermons page


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