I am preparing several workshops for Emmaus Bible College’s “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference which will be held in Dubuque, Iowa, May 26-28. My three topics are entitled: (1) “None (or at least, Fewer) Dare Call It ‘Sin’: I Timothy on Homosexual Behavior”; (2) “The Forgotten Virtue of Forgiveness”; and (3) “Becoming Worldly Saints — An Evaluation of Michael Wittmer’s Needed Challenge.”
Let’s continue to consider the topic of forgiveness. I’ve gone through the various uses of the word forgiveness and forgive in the Scriptures. Here are three truths that I have seen:
(1) Forgiveness is not a virtue — It is a commandment! Forgiving others is not a good idea — God tells us to! You might want to look up the following texts: Mt. 6:12, 14-15; 18:21, 35; Mk. 11:25; Lk. 6:37; Lk. 11:4; Col. 3:13. God’s forgiving us is intimately connected with whether or not we forgive others!
(2) Forgiveness from God is possible — We belong to a pardoning God! “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” (Micah 7). Ps. 130:4- “With you there is forgiveness.”
(3) Forgiveness is not cheap! It cost the Son of God His blood to procure forgiveness for us! (Mt. 26:28; Heb. 9:22). The Apostle tells us that “redemption is through His blood.” And that expression is equated to the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).