Be Empowered To Forgive

Many, at times, find it very difficult to forgive someone, especially if they have been terribly hurt. God wants us to forgive. He has not only given us directives to do so, but the means to do so, and we will be certainly blessed as we follow through.
Be Empowered To Forgive
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Adultery, rape, murder, abandonment, and molestation are just a few things that deeply hurt people. Even slander, lies, theft, and more can also bring great anguish. Many affected by such things find little or no forgiveness within toward those who have wronged them. You might ask, “How can I possibly forgive?” Let us look into the Holy Word of God to find His answer, and help, in this.

I. Realize Your Position Before God

In regard to the salvation of God offered to all, there are only two groups of people: the unsaved and saved, which may also be described as the

unredeemed and the redeemed. John 14:6 and many other passages indicate the only way to be redeemed is through Christ. Each of us needs to be redeemed because we are all born as sinners and none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10). Christ Himself said as recorded in John 3:18 (ESV), “. . . whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

The Holy Scriptures are clear that until we surrender to God through Christ we are under the condemnation of God and will spend eternity in the lake of fire unless we can be found in Christ’s Book of Life (Revelation 20). However, because we have sinned against the eternal sovereign God we cannot ever earn our way into that Book of Life. We cannot justify ourselves before the Holy God. His justice demands our eternal punishment. However, Christ paid the penalty for our sins and so the Father is just and right to show mercy on us. 

Consider well what Titus 3:5 says about the redeemed: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit." In order to be redeemed we must surrender to God through Christ, admitting that we are sinners, and by His mercy be saved. It is written in Proverbs 28:13 (ESV), “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Like David we must earnestly call upon God (Psalm 51:1): “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”

II. Recognize The Need To Forgive

Those who are born again, redeemed by God through Christ, should very well recognize the unmerited mercy and forgiveness of God toward them. Because God forgave us we should forgive others. Our salvation is in jeopardy if we do not grow in Christ to where we forgive others. Jesus said in Mark 11:25-26 (AKJV), “And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

We are to remember that in “The Lord’s Prayer" we are to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Corresponding to this and the previous Holy Scripture is James 2:13 where it is written, “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment." There are times when we are wrong that we feel the need for “immediate justice," but it is clear from His Word that vengeance belongs to God. We need to wait for it and in the meantime reach out in mercy to the one who has wronged us. 

III. Resort

The written Word of God is exactly that: His Word {1}. Unforgiveness is sin but if we are truly redeemed by Him, if we are truly born again, we can stand and act upon verses like Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Considering the multiple passages that speak about grace we see that the grace of God includes the ability to do what God wants us to do. There may be times where we forgive someone to a point but are still concerned how we might behave when we come across the person or persons who did us wrong. Or, there can be certain things we feel very hard to let go. This is one reason why it is written in Hebrews 4:16, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." More about dealing with the inability to forgive will be brought out in the next point.

We are also to resort, if we are truly saved, to the Holy Spirit of Christ within. By the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote as recorded in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." “By the faith in the Son of God" could be by the faithfulness in the Son of God. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins (1 John 1:9) and if He dwells within us then we are enabled by His Spirit to forgive those who have trespassed against us.

IV. Release

It has been stated above that we need to believe, stand upon, and act upon the written Word of God. It is written in Isaiah 53:4, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried.” This is not figurative language. It is spiritual reality. Not only did He upon the cross take our sins but He also actually took our griefs and sorrows. By faith and by His Spirit we have to release such things unto Him before they spiritually cripple us.

One thing that will help us release our griefs and sorrows in regard to having to forgive someone is that when anyone does anything wrong to someone they have actually sinned against God. Think of what King David did in his early kingship. When he committed adultery with Bathsheba he did wrong against her, her husband (whom he later had killed), the people of Israel, and then to the son that was born from the result of that affair. Yet, by the Holy Spirit David says in Psalm 51:4, “Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, . . .”.

Keeping in mind that one of his sins was having Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed in battle we may certainly ask how can that be? The answer is that each person is made in the image of God. When someone wrongs you or I they have wronged God Who made each person in His image. Unless they repent they will answer to God for it. So the core issue is not what they have


done to you or I but what they have done to God.

With that in mind we may now ask ourselves this question: Which is worst, sinning against you or me or sinning against God? Now let us consider the parable put forth by Christ in Matthew 18:22-35 which was in answer to Peter’s question in verse 21, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus replied as follows:

“I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25    But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29    So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.
35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Passages like Psalm 51:4 and Matthew 18:21-35 will help us to get our eyes off of self and on to God and also to see what we owe God in comparison to others. In regard to the ten thousand owed to the master in the above parable, Albert Barnes says {2}, “If these were silver talents, as is probable, then the sum owed by the servant was 16,180,000 dollars, [or about 8, 421, 876 sterling]; a sum which proves that he was not a domestic, but some tributary prince. The sum is used to show that the debt was immensely large, and that our sins are so great that they cannot be estimated or numbered.” Concerning the hundred denarii or pence he says, “The Penny was a Roman coin, worth about fourteen cents [seven pence] of our money. Consequently, this debt was about fourteen dollars [three pounds three shillings] — a very small sum compared with what had been forgiven to the first servant.” So it is seen each of us owes God vastly more than what anyone owes us.

“They owe me an apology.” That may be true at times, but if it never comes do not hold it against the person because if you or I do that it will become an emotional and spiritual weight. It will get worse if we dwell upon it. Sadly, most people are not surrendered to God through Christ and most of those do not want to be. God’s directive is for us not to focus upon our hurt or stand in His stead against those who hurt us, but to trust Him to handle things His way and in His time.

The Gospel of Mark records an incident where a man needed Christ to cast a demon out of his son that tortured him in various ways. From Mark 9:23-24 we read, “Jesus said to him, ‘All things are possible to him who believes.’ 24 Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.’” I strongly feel this can be applied to us when we find someone or something difficult to forgive. I feel we can take the directives mentioned above and then if we sense difficulty in forgiving we ought to pray, “Father, I forgive. Help my unforgiveness.” In His mercy and love He will empower us to forgive.

Notes:

{1} I would caution my readers, however, that not every version of the Holy Bible accurately expresses what God had empowered the human authors to write down. For help on this please read my article titled, Holy Bibles Good And Bad at .

{2} From an electronic version of Barnes’ Notes, by Albert Barnes, incorporated into the Online Bible computer program.

{3} Please also read The Forgiveness Factor at https://oasisofhope.neocities.org/fgv.html .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by March 28, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M441 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 24-02-2017 91 2

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  • sumitdgr9  25-02-2017
    Yes, truly said, one must learn to forgive because forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Nice article.
    reply 0
  • destinykst  24-02-2017
    The weak can never forgive,forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.If you have the courage to admit your mistakes then surely your mistakes are forgivable.
    reply 0
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