From Pastor Steve

Due to an unforeseen circumstance, I am writing to you today instead of coming by video. Please allow me to do a little “cleanup” on forgiveness from the last two Sundays. This is an area that we did not cover.

Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross.”

As we stated, the purpose of forgiveness is to restore (reconcile) that which is broken. This is only made possible through the supernatural work of the cross. That is why forgiving others is so essential in our own forgiveness at the cross. The aim in forgiving others is reconciliation with them even as we are reconciled to God.

However, here is a viable question? What if full reconciliation is not possible or feasible? What if it is one sided? There are at least three scenarios where this can occur.

1. The person you need to forgive has already deceased.

2. The person you need to forgive does not recognize or receive your forgiveness.

3. The person you need to forgive shared with you or led you into a life of sin.

In each case you still need to forgive because you have been broken by the offense. Forgiveness frees you and restores any brokenness in you with God. In other words the offense or any unforgiveness on your part before, can no longer stand between you and God. Full restoration is dependent upon the receiving of forgiveness. Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He forgave them knowing most of them would not receive it. He simply made full forgiveness available to them.

If you have lived in sin or been led into sin by someone, you still need to forgive them. However, unless they have repented of their sin and received God’s forgiveness, it is not wise to attempt reconciliation because they will most likely lead you, or attempt to lead you, back into that sin. This is one reason why there are so many incarcerated individuals who come to Christ then go back to jail again and again. In all such cases of sin, there needs to be separation from the one you forgive.

Finally, there are three simple steps, (not rules) that can help you to forgive others.

1. Choose to forgive and speak it out loud to the Lord.

2. Get before the Lord and ask for His grace to fully forgive. Only Christ can give you that power. Do that as many times as needed because often it is a process over time depending on the depth of the wound.

3. Take the initiative in restoration when possible and feasible.

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