Thursday, September 13, 2012

Do Christians Forgive?

I have often wondered (still do) why so many who call themselves Christians simply WILL NOT forgive....

Jesus put it like this:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But aif you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. "

Notice the words in v15: you do not forgive others their transgressions, your Father will not forgive your transgression."

What is the world does that mean? If we don't forgive others, the Lord will not forgive us? Do people really believe this? Of course not. If they did, there would be forgiveness!

I have often said, you are more like Christ than any other time when you forgive.

John MacArthur writes:

But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. That states the truth of verse 14 in a negative way for emphasis.

The sin of an unforgiving heart and a bitter spirit (Heb. 12:15) forfeits blessing and invites judgment. Even the Talmud taught that he who is indulgent toward others’ faults will be mercifully dealt with by the Supreme Judge (Shabbath 151b).

Every believer must seek to manifest the forgiving spirit of Joseph (Gen. 50:19–21) and of Stephen (Acts 7:60) as often as needed (Luke 17:3–4).

To receive pardon from the perfectly holy God and then to refuse to pardon others when we are sinful men is the epitome of abuse of mercy. And “judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

There are petitions for the believer to ask from God, but there are also conditions for the answers to be received. Even more, our prayers are to be primarily concerned with the exaltation of the name, kingdom, and will of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer is primarily worship which inspires thanks and personal purity.

Why don't Christians forgive? Christians do! Those who merely call themselves Christian may not necessarily be one.

"You say with your lips you love me, Jesus said, but your hearts are far from me."

*John F. MacArthur, Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 397-98.

**New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 6:12–15.

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