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Forgiving One Another
by Molly Wingard




Matthew 18:21-22 ASV says, " Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven."  Peter, trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven (the perfect number) was enough times to forgive someone. Jesus answered, "seventy times seven," meaning that we shouldn't even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. Jesus means limitless forgiveness. Forgive daily those who have sinned against you. Allow God's forgiving nature to guide you in forgiving others.


Luke 17: 3-4 ASV,  Jesus says, "Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.." To rebuke does not mean to point out every sin we see, it means to bring sin to a person's attention with the purpose of restoring them to God. When you feel you must rebuke another believer for a sin, check your attitudes before you speak. Unless rebuke is tied to forgiveness, it will not help the sinning person. If God commands us to do this to others, we can be sure that God does this for us as well, even if we come repeatedly confessing the same sin.


Ephesians 4:32 ASV says, "and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you. " God forgives us, not because we forgive others, but solely because of His great mercy. As we come to understand His mercy, however, we will want to be like Him. Those who are unwillingly to forgive have not become one with Christ, who was willing to forgive even those who crucified Him.


What are our benefits?


Mark 11:25-26 ASV Jesus said, "And whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any one; that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses. " Forgiving others is tough work- so much so that many people would rather do something totally distasteful than offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged them. Real prayer dismantles pride and vengeance, filling the holes with love. For our churches to have prayer power, there must be harmony and forgiveness evident in the body of believers. Understand that God forgives us our sins as we forgive others who have sinned against us. Adopt the forgiveness of others into your prayer life as a daily discipline.


2 Corinthians 2: 7-10 ASV says, "so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.  For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all things.  But to whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for what I also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes have I forgiven it in the presence of Christ; " Paul feared that excessive punishment might cause the offender to be overcome with grief. Therefore, he urged the church to affirm their love for him. Though they had accepted Paul's authority in the case of the rebel, they had yet to prove that they accepted it in all things.

James 5: 15-16 ASV says, "and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working. " Prayer offered in faith does not refer to the faith of the sick person but to the faith of the one praying. Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. A Child of God's most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer.


Examples of forgiving:


David: 2 Samuel 19: 18-23 ASV says, "And there went over a ferry-boat to bring over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he was come over the Jordan. And he said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.  But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Jehovah's anointed?  And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? And the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him. ."


Paul: 2 Timothy 4:16 ASV says, " At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account."


Jesus: Luke 23: 34 ASV says, "And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots."


Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting Him to death. God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation even to the ones who crucified Jesus.


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