A Few Thoughts on Forgiveness
I don’t like the word forgiveness, because abusers, etc. use that word to manipulate others. I don’t know what word would be appropriate.
A1 Forgiveness is 2 fold
B1 God to humans
B2 Human to human (this would include forgiving ourselves to live in peace after God has forgiven)
A2 Forgiveness is costly.
B1 Sinning, law breaking, must be punished. The lawbreaker must be punished.
B2 It is either the Lord Jesus or me. Jesus will forgive, IF the lawbreaker meets God’s conditions.
C1 Romans 6:23 MKJV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C2 Mark 1:15 EMTV and saying, "The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
C3 Matthew 11:20-22 LEB Then he began to reproach the towns in which the majority of his miracles had been done, because they did not repent: 21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 Nevertheless I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and for Sidon on the day of judgment than for you!
C4 Hebrews 9:22 NRSV Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
C5 John 3:16 EMTV For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
A3 Some sins are crimes in society. They must be punished. Example, a man is domestically violent to his wife. This is criminal. It is NOT forgive and forget. The wife needs to or obtains assistance of a lawyer, law enforcement, or both to stop him. The abused is not seeking revenge, for a crime was committed. This crime is against God’s law and government law.
A4 Some things to be forgiven are ignorant mistakes or no harm was done. Example, you buy something from me, and I shortchange you. Later, I realize my error, correct it by giving back the money I owe you, and ask for forgiveness. You forgive instead of seeking revenge.
A5 Forgiveness does not mean someone gets away with their evil towards us.
A6 Forgiveness does mean that we free ourselves from revenge, giving revenge to God, who will deal with and punish that person/s.
A7 Vengeance is not always forgotten by God’s people. Consider:
B1 The Tribulation saints: Revelation 6:10 GNB They shouted in a loud voice, "Almighty Lord, holy and true! How long will it be until you judge the people on earth and punish them for killing us?"
B2 The parable of the persistent widow: Luke 18:7-8 WEL “Won't God avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him, and yet he bears patiently with them. 8 "I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
B3 False preachers and teachers: Galatians 5:11-12 GNB92 But as for me, my friends, if I continue to preach that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? If that were true, then my preaching about the cross of Christ would cause no trouble. I wish that the people who are upsetting you would go all the way; let them go on and castrate themselves!
A8 Even though people pray for forgiveness of others, God still punishes.
B1 The Lord Jesus: Luke 23:33-34 WEL When they had come to the place, which is called Calvary, they crucified him and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." Then they parted his clothes and cast lots.
B2 Stephen: Acts 7:59-60 WEL They stoned Stephen, who was calling out to God and saying, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." 60 He fell down and shouted with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." After saying that, he fell asleep.
A9 Forgiveness of enemies will certainly add to the severity of judgment those enemies will face: Romans 12:20 WEL Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head.
A10 Forgiveness does not mean doing nothing. Somethings are crimes and the person must be stopped. Some people we trust in as physicians, nurses, lawyers, etc. can hurt and take advantage of us. When they do, action must be taken against them, so they will not harm someone else. For example, a surgeon may be sloppy and careless in surgery. When they hurt a patient, they must be stopped, so the person or family files charges or suits. Realize, this is when he/she were sloppy or careless, harm was committed intentionally or in malpractice (I ain’t no lawyer), not just a bad outcome.
A11 Forgiveness should always be prayed, but punishment expected:
B1 Psalm 28 especially verse 4: Psalms 28:4 GNB92 Punish them for what they have done, for the evil they have committed. Punish them for all their deeds; give them what they deserve!
B2 Jeremiah 15:15 GNB92 Then I said, “LORD, you understand. Remember me and help me. Let me have revenge on those who persecute me. Do not be so patient with them that they succeed in killing me. Remember that it is for your sake that I am insulted.
B3 Jeremiah 18:21 GNB92 But now, LORD, let their children starve to death; let them be killed in war. Let the women lose their husbands and children; let the men die of disease and the young men be killed in battle.
A12 I guess, for me anyway, I will pray they are forgiven (may they be born again), but I will turn them over to God and pray they are punished to stop them from hurting again.
A13 What word should I use? I don’t have a clue.