“In Whom [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
Forgiveness under Grace—(Eph. 4:32; Col. 1:14; 2:13; 3:13; Rom. 4:7; 2 Cor. 2:7,10; Acts 13:38; 26:18).
The knowledge of complete grace forgiveness gives the believer great peace and joy unspeakable. Fear and guilt are banished! We are secure in Christ (Rom. 8:31-39; Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30).
Forgiveness under the Law—“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
The Law is based on the if-then principle and is a system of conditional blessing. “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine” (Ex. 19:5).
Forgiveness under the Law/Kingdom teaching—“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:12,14,15). (See also Matt. 18:34,35; Mark 11:25,26; Luke 6:37; 17:3,4).
Note carefully in the kingdom examples above that forgiveness was extended by the heavenly Father only when forgiveness was first extended to others. Likewise the other is forgiven only if he repents. The order was: 1) Offense committed. 2) Confrontation and rebuke. 3) Repentance of offender. 4) Forgiveness extended by the victim. 5) God’s forgiveness extended to the victim.
Forgiveness in our Personal Relationships. We are instructed to deal with others in the same way that God has dealt with us. He has already forgiven us completely and forever. Therefore, we are to forgive others in the same way.
Questions to ask for those who struggle to forgive others.
1. Since God has forgiven you all trespasses (past, present, and future), is it reasonable or right to withhold forgiveness from those who trespass against you?
2. Are you not grieving the heart of your heavenly Father by your unforgiving spirit?
3. Can you ever forgive others more than God has forgiven you?
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.