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7. life of forgiveness
Forgiveness in the Christian life is a vital weapon that will prove we have the Holy Spirit. A life of forgiveness will testify who we serve. Sometimes it may seem hard to forgive the offenses that someone has committed against us, but it is important to note that as Christians, we should lead a life of forgiveness. This includes both, those who we have offended and those who have offended us (believers and unbelievers). This is not an option, it is a command, if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God forgave you in Christ
In the same way that God forgave our sins, we should act accordingly showing that we are doers and not hearers only of his word. There are two kinds of forgiveness: when we ask for forgiveness for offenses we have committed against other people, and when we grant forgiveness to those who have offended us.
1. Forgiveness over our offenses
This is the forgiveness that we ask for our misdeeds and offenses against other people. There is no distinction between brothers of the Church and nonbelievers. As Christians we must forgive all who trespass against us:
1.1 Forgiveness to the brethren (Church):
25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your trans
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Note: please read 2corinthianas 2:5-11 where it talks about the consolation and love to those who feend us:
1.2 Universal forgiveness (to all who offend us):
14 For if you forgive [a]others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive [b]others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
2. Forgiveness for those who offend us
This is about the forgiveness we give to people that have offended us (Whether they do it consciously or unconsciously). If we think about it, many times we are hurt by comments, words or other actions of people and they do not realize that they are hurting us. Instead of reacting bad, we will use God’s weapon of forgiveness and forgive them.
On many occasions we receive insults from people who know that they are hurting us. In the same manner our attitude of forgiveness should never cease, we must act with the weapon of God's forgiveness and forgive them. Many times they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34 Jesus said, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.). Many of us offend the Lord daily and our repentant heart leads to forgiveness. This is why He says we must forgive others as He forgives us. We may also wonder how many times we should forgive those who trespass against us. Jesus Christ instructed us that we must always forgive:
21 Then Peter came and said:
Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven?
22 Jesus said, -I tell you not seven, but seventy times seven.
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
4 And seven times a day if he trespass against thee, and seven times a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, forgive him.
We have to ask the Lord to help us and provide us with forgiveness in our lives. Forgiveness will heal our inner and outer selves (James 5:16) and will stop Satan from gaining territory over our lives (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
Our forgiveness has to be independent. We must grant it as a mandate from God and we must act with those who had offended us as if nothing had happened. A life of forgiveness will help us heal our inner wounds, and reflect the attitude that shows we are true children of God.
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