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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forgiveness: MY thoughts

Forgiveness is an interesting topic, and it is the one I have chosen today. I spend several hours debating with my family over what I though forgiveness was. And I'm going to tell you MY interpretation of what the bible says about forgiveness.
I have been told to forgive as God forgave me...So how does God forgive, anyway?

declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
Jeremiah 31:34b 

Forgiving isn't being able to have amnesia, but rather when you forgive someone, your saying that you will not dwell on their sin or bring it up. God doesn't hold our sins against us after we've been forgiven.

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalms 103:12

God removes sin from us, it completely takes it away. But I haven't yet got to the part that I had an argument about, I'm stilling getting there. I just need to make sure everyone understands that. Let me ask you this: 

When does God forgive us? When we ask for it.

So does that mean we forgive other WHEN THEY ASK FOR IT?
So am I saying you can be angry and bitter until forgiveness is asked? NO WAY!

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

You get ride of bitterness, anger, and rage BEFORE you forgive. These two verses say we should...
  1. get ride of sin
  2. be compassionate
  3. forgive
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry
Ephesians 4:26

So you CAN be angry (Jesus was) but you must not sin and you must no dwell on why you are angry. So, now, here's back to what God does.

God, the perfect one, does not forgive until we confess, or ask for forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

So when WE ask, he WILL forgive. BUT he doesn't forgive us UNTIL we ask. Were suppose to forgive like God, right? So that means that we shouldn't forgive UNTIL the person who wronged us asks for forgiveness...RIGHT?
One thing my mom said was that we we are not God (I agree) and we shouln't forgive like him (I disagree, Note Luke 17:3-4)

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."
Luke 17:3-4

Jesus says "If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." 
Jesus, the perfect son of God, says that IF HE SAYS 'I REPENT' YOU SHOULD FORGIVE

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
Mathew 18:15-16

If you forgive someone before they repent, you cannot rebuke him or her. This is why Jesus says not to have unconditional forgiveness.
My family brought these two verses to my attention:

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 7:59-60

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Luke 23:24

Was Jesus sinning? Was Stephen sinning? No, and no.
Neither Jesus or Stephen said "I forgive them" they said "God, forgive them." I MY OPINION these two where saying, God, do not hold this against them. (Stephen was saying that, but that's what I THINK Jesus was saying as well). Jesus did not sin, but he was ready to forgive the men who killed him, as was Stephen and, had they asked for forgiveness, I think Jesus would have also said "Father, I forgive them."

Here's a summary of all this:
  1. Forgive like God forgives
  2. When you forgive, you are saying that you will not bring up the offenders sins anymore
  3. God forgives us when we repent
  4. We should forgive others when they repent
  5. If someone sins, you should talk to them alone and show them how they have sinned
Anything I said that was not clearly stated in a bible verse is MY OPINION I tried to make it clear what was my thought and what is God's word.
-Ruth

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