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CAT | Grace Forgiveness Pt 1



Grace Forgiveness Pt 1

Matt 6:14-15

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  (NKJV)

Does the above scripture seem harsh to you?  Why would Jesus say such a thing?  What happens if we fail to fulfill the conditions?

For a true understanding of this scripture we must understand the difference between Old Covenant (OC) forgiveness and New Covenant (NC) forgiveness.

Under the OC  the law was conditional, that is, if a person obeyed the word, they came under a blessing. If they disobeyed the word, they came under a curse. Hence they would be judged guilty, condemned and a punishment meted out.

This led to a sense of anguish, fear, hopelessness, and worst of all rejection.

Isa 59:2.  But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin He has turned His face away from you and will not listen anymore. (TLB)

Whereas, under the NC of grace, forgiveness was unconditional. Why? Because on the cross, Jesus became our substitute sacrifice and took upon Himself the punishment of the sins of the world, past, present and future. Therefor when we invite Christ into our lives, He forgives all our sins.

Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.  (NKJV)

Also, His sacrifice was a once for all sacrifice, never to be repeated again.
Heb 9:26-27 But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  (NKJV)

Hence, whenever we sin, we know that the blood of Christ has washed that sin away and our role is to simply receive the Father’s forgiveness.

This leads to a sense of peace, joy, rest and best of all, acceptance not rejection from God.

Therefore we can now answer the question regarding Jesus statement about forgiveness. Jesus was still operating under the law when He spoke those words. The NC didn’t come into being until Jesus died on the cross because He Himself was the covenant: “This is my body which is broken for you. This is my blood which is shed for you.”

Forgiveness now undergoes a major change. Instead of, ‘You must forgive in order to be forgiven’, it now becomes, ‘Forgive because you have been forgiven.’

This revelation brings two freedoms:

1) If we are struggling to forgive someone and keep falling back into unforgiveness - we know that God’s forgiveness still stands, therefore we no longer have to come under condemnation, guilt and rejection. This gives us the hope and strength to get back up and get back into the forgiveness process.

2) When we are 100% convinced that we are forgiven by God, this revelation imparts to us a grace to forgive others. This is what Paul the Apostle means when he says in Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave (past tense) you.  (NIV)

Meditation Point: God has forgiven all my sin, therefore I never have to feel condemned and guilty when I sin. I no longer have to avoid coming to God because I think He has rejected me. NO Even when I struggle with sin or I’m defeated or feel a failure. I can now come to God in boldness, knowing He accepts me as I am and loves me unconditionally.

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