By Bishop keith Harrington | 2018-02-13
“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
TREASURE OF DARKNESS
The benefits of forgiveness have not been fully explored and realised by God’s children.
Many think forgiveness is favour that the offended hand carries to the offender. Others think to forgive is to wave a white flag. Still many others think to forgive is to sacrifice your right for justice! The lack of understanding and the misunderstanding of forgiveness has contributed to the lame dog practice of forgiveness among Christians. It has also left relationships and many marriages in paralysis without a backbone. Until Christians gain a comprehensive understanding of God’s heart and passion for forgiveness, marriages and relationships will not be able to unlock the medicine cabinet for the ‘treasures of forgiveness’ that are embedded in the darkness of offenses and persecution.
The word of God is very careful and exact with the forgiveness prescription. The biblical standards of how we forgive is set at “be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:42). This is emphasised further with the same encouragement of “forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13). The recurring standard is not only to forgive but that we should forgive “even as Christ forgave us”. Our deploying of forgiveness to one another is expected at the same standard that our Lord Jesus Christ delivered forgiveness to us. Anything less is tolerance not forgiveness and therefore unacceptable and powerless.
The central line question that we need to probe to exact the prescription necessary for the healing of every relationship is, “How does God our Father forgive?”
HOW DID GOD FORGIVE US?
The word of God is very clear concerning the manner in which God takes to forgives us. The Bible did not leave that up to guesswork nor did the word of God leave it to man to speculate. In Isaiah, the Lord says of Himself, “I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Jeremiah picks up the same theme where the Lord repeats the same language and says, “For they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34). David puts another twist to it when he says the same thing in a different way; “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
Knowing that the East never meets the West David is implying that our Lord will not remember our sins again as soon as He releases us of our sins! The recurring characteristic on ‘how does God forgive us’ is: your sins I will remember them more. What does it mean “Your sins I will remember no more?” It means God will not rehearse it to Himself, He will not rehearse it a third party and finally that He will not bring it up to the offender. Please consider the people you have forgiven and ask yourself some questions; Have you been throwing the things they did to hurt you back to their faces. Have you been rehearsing it to everyone that can listen to you? Have you played pity party and rehearsed these acts daily to yourself? If you are in the practice of doing these, then you have not forgiven. May the Lord help you do a self-evaluation and then forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you. You are blessed, safe and secured in His glory.Wishing you and all your loved ones A HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.
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