“For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (AMP)
This is such a vital subject which must be taught, shared and discussed in Christian circles.
Why is forgiveness so critical? Before we were saved we broke every one of God’s laws. The word of God declares in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If God first reached out to us while we were still sinners, rebellious and running from Him, then why shouldn’t we show mercy towards others as well now that we’ve been forgiven?
“For there will be no mercy to those who have shown no mercy. But if you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.” James 2:13 (TLB)
This is a word of CAUTION for every believer in Christ
If we will not forgive and release someone for their sin against us and continue to hold them in bondage, Jesus said, “…neither will your heavenly Father forgive you of your trespasses.” It’s not that God doesn’t want to forgive – He has given us His word as a guideline and will not violate it. This is a word of caution but it is also a word of exhortation and encouragement to move on to higher heights in God.
Many times we cannot understand why things are not going right for us. We struggle through life and find that we cannot make ends meet, we leave job after job blaming our employer never realizing that the problem could very well lie within us and not always with someone else. We must be honest with ourselves, search our hearts and purpose to walk in forgiveness daily.
Obedience is better than sacrifice
“Samuel replied, ‘Has the Lord as much pleasure in your burnt offerings and sacrifices as in your obedience? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. He is much more interested in your listening to him than in your offering the fat of rams to him.” 1 Samuel 15:22 (TLB)
Obedience in the Strong’s Greek concordance is defined: to hear intelligently. We must be hearers and doers of the word of God so that we will grow in His grace and mercy. To hear the voice of the Lord God and to obey Him is far better than trying to rectify our mistakes and repent for them later. God is interested in our relationship with Him just as we are with our own children.
God cannot lie
Over two thousand years ago the Lord said “You must be born again.” (John 3:3) In the Old and New Testament the Word says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Joel 2:32, acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13)
When we were lost without God and committed all kinds of sin, we thought life had no more to offer us but the problems and pressures that came upon all of us daily. But the moment we cried out to the Lord in desperation, He came and delivered us, forgave us, and set us free; this makes Him faithful to His word.
In the Amplified Bible Hebrews 1:3 says the Son of God is upholding, maintaining, guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. Therefore if God the Son should lie once, the whole universe will turn chaotic. This is unthinkable. You see, if He didn’t lie about our salvation, then He is not lying when He says, “if you do not forgive your brother neither will my heavenly Father forgive you”.
Many of us have failed to acknowledge this truth and are walking on a minefield daily. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
When we refuse to forgive others we hold them as well as ourselves in bondage. Jesus said in John 20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven
times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-23
Think of someone you have had a fallout or disagreement with and go to them or give them a call and make right with them – you will begin to walk in a new realm of victory.
I pray that the importance of repentance and forgiveness will become a daily part of our lives as we learn and grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and move to a greater and new height in Him.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Evangelist Peter Rahme