Would you explain forgiveness? Thank you!
Thanks for your question. In some ways it’s a big question; in others it’s simple—but it often demands the supernatural. “Forgive as Christ forgave” demands accessing Christ. Several books have been written on the subject, so here, we will be quite concise.
There is a depth of meaning associated with the word forgive. In all that it signifies, there is the intention to release and send away. Release, as in releasing or forgiving a debt, means you pay for it.
Jesus, for example, can release us from our sin debt because He paid it. He provided for our forgiveness through His payment on the cross. This alone, however, offers us no benefit until we come to Him admitting our sin (debt), trusting Him for salvation (which includes forgiveness). Likewise, when we are wronged we must release the offender—to God. In the second stage of the transaction, when the offending party “owns” it, we can and will be ready to release them personally.
The release demands grace. In some cases we may have to come to God and say, “I don’t feel anything, but by Your grace, I release . . . .” If the offender has yet to own the offense, you have released them to God who says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and this must be done with a view to release the offender whenever the wrong is owned. To forgive as Christ forgave leaves no place for harboring an attitude hoping the party never does make things right.
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