What does the Bible say? What does the Bible say about forgiveness? There are four questions regarding forgiveness that can cleary show us what it’s all about, as we look into the Word for the answers. The first one is who? Who should we forgive? We should forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” The others here include our neighbors, enemies, family, friends, and co-workers.
All of us have at times been hurt by someone. The question is how did we respond? Was it with anger or revenge or have we held a grudge? Anger, vengeance, and holding a grudge only escalates the hurt and deepens the scars. We need to forgive and forget, and we do this by just simply letting it go. We also should forgive ourselves sometimes. In other words, we may have done someting in our past, and can’t let it go. We may never be able to forget it, but we’ve got to let it go. Then, the second question is what? What steps should we take to forgive? We must realize, first that none of us are perfect. Then, secondly, we must release the offender of the debt we feel they owe to us, and then finally we must refocus our attention upon God. The third question is where? Where can we find examples of forgiveness? In God’s Word, of course. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and the turn of events in his life led into all kinds of ups and downs; but he forgave them. The prodigal son greatly disappointed his father; but he sorrowfully repented, and his father forgave him. And how about this one? Stephen was being stoned to death for just preaching the Word, but in Acts 7:60 it says “…he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” But the greatest example of forgiveness is found with Jesus on the cross where He said in Luke 23:34b, “….Father, forgive them; for they no not what they do.” Then the final question is why? Why should we forgive? First, because God has commanded us to forgive. Jesus said in Luke 17:3, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” Also, forgiving is the Christian thing to do; and it is necessary, so we can be forgiven by God. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” It is absolutely necessary and of the upmost importance that we all just forgive one another, by forgetting, and letting it go. That’s what the Bible says about forgiveness.
Pastor Randall Smith