Matthew 18: 21-22 reads, Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Jesus often spoke in the Bible about forgiveness and practiced the same. He forgave those who sinned against others, forgave those who sinned against him and forgives us each and every day. He taught, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” Find out why forgiveness plays such a crucial role in Christianity and how we can forgive like Christ. Click To Tweet
Forgiveness in Christianity
Forgiveness is second only to love in the word of the Lord. We are taught to love one another and forgive just as freely. Not when we’d like to and not when we’re ready. We must forgive as a commandment of God, no matter what.
What Forgiveness Is
For Jesus, forgiveness is critical to our development as Christians. Jesus wants us to love one another as he has loved us, and he explained that the way that people will know that we are his disciples is by the love that we have for one another. But we are human and our love is imperfect. We damage our relationship with God and with our loved ones when we sin. To remain in sin and alienation is to be lost in darkness. Forgiveness is the way to turn away from the sin and return to love.
What Forgiveness Is Not
One reason people tend to resist forgiving is that they don’t understand what forgiveness is or how it works. You might assume that if you forgive someone who offends you, this means that you must continue that relationship as though the offense never happened. God never commanded to keep trusting those who violated your trust, but He does command that we forgive every time, even when it is not asked of us.
Jesus said it time and time again. We must forgive, all the time. People will sin against us, and try as we might, we will sin against others. Just as God forgives and will always forgive, we are to forgive others the same.
Join us this Sunday to learn more about the role of forgiveness in life as a follower.