Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

“One unpardoned sin would destroy a soul forever.

Many words in Scripture point towards forgiveness, such as: grace, mercy, peace with God, not imputing iniquity, taking away sin, bearing sin, making an end of transgression, covering sin, forgetting sin, not remembering iniquity, washing, cleansing and removing sin, casting it into the sea, or behind the back, scattering it like a cloud, burying it, blotting it out, pardoning it.

The forgiveness of sins is free. It is “without money and without price.” We can do nothing to merit it, or prepare ourselves for it. When God pardons, He pardons: all sins, original sin and actual sin, sins of omission and of commission, secret and open sins, sins of thought, word and deed.

To those who believe in Jesus, all is freely forgiven. Full pardon, or none at all, is what God gives. Nor is this gift ever revoked by God. When He forgives, He forgives forever!

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.” Psalm 32:1-2

~ William Plumer

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Quick. . .where in the Bible will find the command to “forgive yourself”?  Where is this either clearly commanded or even illustrated or exemplified? Can you think of any passage or verse?  Why is it that many times people are told they have to forgive themselves or you hear people say, “I know God has forgiven me, but I just can’t forgive myself.”  Is that biblical language?

Rick offers some biblical reflection and counsel when you struggle to forgive yourself.

The Gospel came to take care of my sin problem because I could not. My job should be simple: apply the Gospel to my life. I must ask, receive, and apply God’s forgiveness to my life.

If you are like me, a person who can become overly shocked by sin, then maybe you need to repent of self-righteousness. This is what I have to do when I think my sin is greater than God’s ability to forgive.

Sometimes I can forget how Jesus is enough for all my sin. How about you? Are you able to rest in God’s forgiveness? Why do you feel the need to forgive yourself when infinite God gave an infinite gift to pay for your infinite offense against Him?

Read Rick Thomas’ article “The Danger of Forgiving Yourself” 

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From the resource pages compiled by Paul Tautages

17 Resources on Abuse

7 Resource on Battling Addiction

14 Resources for Facing Anxiety, Fear, and Panic

9 Resources for Handling Conflict

6 Resources Addressing Cutting and Self-Harm

16 Resources Dealing with Depression and Spiritual Discouragement

15 Resources for Disorderly Eating

16 Resources on Grief and Dying

14 Resources on Forgiveness


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Chris Brauns:

Given the recent discussion on the problems that flow out of a position of unconditional forgiveness, it is a good time to point to another excellent resource. Since Unpacking Forgiveness was published, Ardel Caneday published his booklet, Must Christians Always Forgive? A Biblical Primer and Grammar on Forgiveness of Sins

With the tragic case of the murder of Pastor Fred Winters in view, Caneday unfolds the biblical logic for conditional forgiveness. Caneday reasons:

  1. Forgiveness always concerns sin.
  2. God forgives confessed sin.
  3. God’s forgiveness correlates to our forgiveness.
  4. Our forgiving must be like God’s forgiving of our sins.
  5. God’s forgiveness of sin is for the repentant and so is ours.
  6. Not to grant forgiveness of sins to the unrepentant is not the same as being unforgiving

Caneday takes the time to explain some of the problems that result from unbiblical teaching on forgiveness. Here is one quote:

If we “unconditionally forgive” the sins of unrepentant people we subvert the gospel of Jesus Christ mock God, and diminish the glory of the cross. Those who advocate and practice “unconditional forgiveness” do so out of misunderstanding the gospel’s teaching. While thinking that they embrace the magnanimity of God’s mercy and grace, without realizing it, they actually sabotage the magnanimous grace of accomplished through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ (p. 15).

One of the more helpful distinction Caneday makes is his point that, “Not to grant forgiveness of sins to the unrepentant is not the same as being unforgiving.” Hence, Caneday stresses, “We must always be ready to forgive, eager to forgive, praying that the Lord would grant repentance to the unrepentant person in order that both he and we may grant forgiveness of sins.” (p. 16)

Caneday’s primer is concise, well reasoned, and practical. It is affordable and recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand what the Bible teaches about interpersonal forgiveness. You can order it here.

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Chris Brauns, pastor and author,  discusses several problems with “unconditional forgiveness”–a popular concept among many Christians today.  He begins:

Many teach that Christians should unconditionally forgive grave offenses regardless of whether or not the offender is repentant. Yet, as I argued in Unpacking Forgiveness, this is not biblical.

To be sure, Christians should unconditionally adopt an attitude of forgiveness. We ought always to “wrap the package” of forgiveness. But if the other party refuses to open the present, then forgiveness has not taken place in its fullest sense.  (See others on conditional forgiveness).

While automatic forgiveness sounds like an antidote to bitterness, this is not the case. Those who try and simply dismiss grave offenses, apart from resting in the justice of God, often encounter emotional and theological problems. Here is an incomplete list of problems that sometimes arise from unconditional forgiveness.

Keep reading this post where Chris elaborates on five problems with unconditional forgiveness.

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Thanks to Eddie for his fine work with these sayings and pics. Click to enlarge

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This post offers an illustration that inspires us about forgiveness.  Ray Ortlund writes, 

“Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was a Dutch Christian whose family rescued Jews during World War II.  They were betrayed and arrested.  Corrie and her sister Betsy were sent to a Nazi concentration camp.  Betsy died there, but Corrie’s life was spared.  Several years after the war, she was speaking on the subject of forgiveness at a Christian meeting.  After the meeting, one of her former prison guards appeared out of the crowd and approached her.  Here he was, with his hand outstretched to her: “Will you forgive me?”  The sufferings he had inflicted were real.  Corrie’s anguish was not her own hyper-sensitivity.  The wrong was monstrous.  And now he’s asking, “Will you forgive me?”  Corrie wrote:

“I stood there with coldness clutching my heart . . . . I prayed, ‘Jesus, help me!’  Woodenly, mechanically I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me, and I experienced an incredible thing.  The current started in my shoulder, raced down into my arms and sprang into our clutched hands.  Then this warm reconciliation seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.  ‘I forgive you, brother,’ I cried with my whole heart.  For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard, the former prisoner.  I have never known the love of God so intensely as I did in that moment.”

Cf. Philip D. Douglass, “The Power of Forgiveness,” Covenant Magazine, February/March 1999, pages 8-9.”

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