Jesus taught us a lot about forgiveness. In fact, the reason He came to earth was to save us from our sins. He became a sin sacrifice for us and through Him God forgives our sins. God forgave you when you accepted Christ and washed away your sins. He expects you to forgive others like He as forgiven you. We ought to pay attention to what Jesus says about forgiveness in the Bible.
According to an article on Active Christianity, when you don’t have the power to forgive, then you have to find it in Christ. This means that Jesus will give you the grace and strength to forgive others because He knows it’s not easy. Forgiveness keeps you in spiritual bondage and when God asks you to forgive, it is to give you freedom and open the door to restoration and reconciliation.
Candy Arrington says that often those who offend us never ask for our forgiveness or admit any wrong-doing. Forgiving these people is perhaps the hardest. But Jesus is our example for forgiving those who don’t appear to be sorry or ask to be forgiven.
Forgive others as God has forgiven you
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.Matthew 6:12
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, one of the things that featured in His prayer was forgiveness. He knew that not forgiving others hinders our prayers. You can address forgiveness as you say your prayers and get right with God even as you petition Him.
Prayer is talking to God in the name of Jesus who died for the forgiveness of your sins. We offer others this gift of forgiveness for their offenses against us as a sign of the love of Christ.
Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of your sins
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.Matthew 26:28
During the last supper, Jesus told His disciples that His blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins. He was about to be crucified to fulfill the purpose for which He came to earth.
When one is born again, they are under the new covenant sealed by the blood of Jesus. It is different from the covenant God had with the Israelites during the time of Moses. At that time, the blood of animals was used to atone for sins, but today the blood of Jesus washes away our sins.
Jesus has authority to forgive sins
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”Mark 2:5
Some men had brought a paralytic to Jesus for healing. Since they couldn’t enter through the door, they made an opening on the roof and lowered him before Jesus. Jesus responded by forgiving the man’s sins to show those present that He had the authority to forgive sins.
Today we have the assurance that He forgives our sins when we repent, and He redeems us from slavery to sin. We are to receive His forgiveness by faith.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not forgivable
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”Mark 3:29
Jesus uttered the above stern words when the teachers of the law were saying that He casts out demons by Beelzebul. This was an insult to the Holy Spirit by whom Jesus performed miracles and healed the demon possessed.
God works in our lives and on the earth by His Spirit. Profaning the Holy Spirit is rejecting the power of God that accomplishes His will on earth. Jesus says it is an unpardonable sin. We are to keep away from it.
Forgiveness and Love
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”Luke 7:47
Jesus shows us that there is an interesting connection between love and forgiveness. When you are forgiven much, you love much. And when you are forgiven little, you love little. Those who experience God’s forgiveness for sins that the world considers “unforgivable,” have great room for the love of God in their hearts.
The Apostle Paul is one such person. He had a great impact for the Kingdom of God after receiving forgiveness for the cruel things he did to believers of Christ.
Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” – Luke 17:4
As long as we are in a relationship with others, we will forgive them continually. There is no limit to the number of times we forgive a person. Since forgiveness is not something we have a natural inclination for, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to do so. That is why He is our Helper.
Walking in forgiveness ensures our hearts are always pure before God.
Forgive those who don’t apologize
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.Luke 23:34
When Jesus was on the cross and enduring the insults and abuse of those who crucified Him, He didn’t hold it against them. He chose to forgive. He knew they didn’t understand the kind of spiritual bondage they were getting themselves into.
It is only Jesus who can help us forgive those who are not sorry for the hurt they have caused us. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.
What does Jesus say about forgiveness?
Alisa gives us a good parting shot. She says, “When someone repeatedly violates us, we aren’t called to continually endure it. We can physically and emotionally set boundaries to protect ourselves. The key here is to keep our spirit right by forgiving the offense.”
Let forgiveness be a way of life for you because you live in a fallen world with imperfect people.