Monday, March 20, 2006

I Can't Do That

In Part 1 we saw how forgiveness works in relationship to ourselves.

In Part 2 we saw that Christ is our living example of how we are to forgive.

Forgiveness Part 3

If Christ is our example, then how do we apply this to our lives?

Can I really apply this to my Life?

The real question is, can we forgive them if they don’t ask?

If we look at the example that Christ gave us we have to say no. If Christ requires repentance for the forgiveness; then, to be a godly process we would have to say that anyone who sins against us would need to repent. Repent means that that this person would turn from his or her sin. Remember that the Bible tells us that God grants repentance and to fight this is fighting God and His sovereign plan. Remember also that we have established that human forgiveness only establishes relationship and if someone has hurt you why would you want to reestablish that relationship with them. We should pray that God would forgive them and grant them repentance just as Jesus did on the cross when He was being crucified. Luke 23:34 says that Jesus, while He was being crucified said “forgive them for they know not what they do.” He didn’t tell them that they were forgiven, He prayed for the Father to grant them repentance and this should be the example we live by. Christ knew that it had to be the Father granting them repentance and Christ loved them and cried out to the Father on their behalf. Is that we do? Most of the time we demand an apology, but not Christ, He was being tortured and pain was being inflicted upon Him and He was the only man to walk the earth completely innocent. If anyone had the right to demand an apology it was Christ. But what did He do? He cried out to The Father to save them and grant repentance.

When people sin against us our common response is that someone owes us something!

People come in for counseling and one of the most common things that I hear is “I just can’t forgive someone.” And of course it’s usually a spouse that is the problem.

What I would like to know is what power do you think that your forgiveness has?

When someone sins against you, how much of that sin did you pay for?

When we can’t forgive what’s the real problem?

Well if we put this in Biblical terms, when we say we can’t forgive someone, what we are really saying is I’m not going to carry my cross anymore and I’m demanding something better. We said that no sin was paid for until the Father poured out the cup of wrath on the Son. When Christ was dragging His cross to Calvary he got to the point that He could no longer carry it any further and Simon had to help Him. This shows us beyond a doubt that Christ was not paying for sin at that point, otherwise we would have to say that Simon paid part of the sin debt and we know that is not true in any way. Why labor this point? Well if you think about it brings a whole new meaning to “carrying your cross and following Him”. When people sin they sin against God and God ALONE. We are owed nothing and our only response is to send those who “sin against us” to God so that He can grant them repentance. Pick up your cross and follow Christ!

So when someone says that they can’t forgive someone else because they have been sinned against what do we tell them?

We tell them the truth. That is, they are murderers because they are doing nothing but hating in their heart.

It’s always about God, not us. We must be God centered! Not man centered!


Justice said...

Excellent follow-up. Great series all in all.

Jason E. Robertson said...

great posts Chris.