- What brings us to asking this question?
- We recognize our sins and shortcomings. Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; None of us are perfect. We all sin, and need God’s Forgiveness.
- We recognize our inability to change in our own strength. Romans 7:16-17: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Even after becoming saved, we battle with the sin nature, and continually need to repent and ask forgiveness.
- What is Forgiveness?
- Forgiveness is defined as the letting go of sin. In the Bible. This includes forgiving everyone, every time, of everything, as an act of obedience and gratefulness to God. It acknowledges the sacrifice God made through His Son Jesus who died to restore the relationship between God and man.
We read in 1st Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. We also read in 1st John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- How does this apply to you and me?
- We all need to receive God’s Forgiveness. Ephesians 1:5-7: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; We all need to trust Jesus to forgive us, and adopt us into His family. Before coming to Christ, we are at enmity with God. Now as Christians we receive His Forgiveness and are family!
- We all need to forgive one another. Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Out of gratitude for what God has done for us, we should extend forgiveness to other people.
The good news is that He can enable us to do this as we yield our lives to Him.
- Who in the bible needed forgiveness?
- King David: After being confronted about his adultery with Bathsheba, he wrote this: Psalm 51:1-3: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. He knew only God could cleanse him of his sin. Later in this chapter he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation. He had consequences for his sin, but he received God’s Forgiveness and restoration.
- Peter: Luke 5:8: When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. for he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: Peter came face to face with the miracle working power of Jesus, and his first reaction was to recognize his own sinfulness and need of salvation.
- Mary Magdalene: Luke 7:47: Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Though we don’t know exactly what her past was like, we know Mary had lived a sinful life, and was forgiven much. Because of that, she loved Jesus and was sold out to Him.
- Who do we need to forgive? Ourselves or others?
- We do need to forgive ourselves. Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Sometimes we can be harder on ourselves than we are on others who have wronged us.
- We are also called to forgive others. Matthew 6:12: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. That’s in the Lord’s Prayer. If we want to experience God’s Forgiveness to us, we need to forgive others.
- What did Jesus say about forgiveness and who we need to forgive?
- Jesus said we are to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22: Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until 70 times seven. In other words, if we truly forgive, we are not keeping count.
- Jesus says this in Mark 11:25: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. We are reminded again here that our forgiveness from God is connected to how we forgive others.
- Ask yourself this question: Have you forgiven yourself for things that happened in your life? Have you forgiven others who have wronged you?
- Has it been a while since you’ve felt the love, peace and presence of God in your life? Maybe there’s someone you have withheld forgiveness from. Ask God to search your heart and He will show you.
- In answer to the question we started with, “When is there no more forgiveness”, I would say this: As long as you are alive and breathing, you can find forgiveness. Jesus says this in John 6:37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
- Have you come to Jesus and given your heart and life to Him? If not, let’s get that taken care of today.