Forgiveness – A Teaching
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
God is a Parent, and He has many children, and some who are still in the future meant to be His children, because people will respond to Him. We discern real Christians by the way they love and how they act towards others. One thing I came to use as a discernment is do people forgive others as they treat their own children?
I have known people who were “staunch” Christians but yet their children got away with things that they would hold other people’s feet over the fires over. Is that real Christian love? I’ve seen people forgive their children of the unforgivable, but rake others over the coals and condemn them.
It’s even a norm thing in our society where we forgive and cover our children no matter what and thus great conflicts are created among families and people groups, because there are injustices. On the other side, some are so severe with their children, that they can never live up to it and internally rebel because of impossible “perfect” standards.
In Jesus’ day and time, it was not unusual that conquered people were forced to become slaves. Others who could not take care of themselves would sell themselves as servants to take care of a debt so their needs could be met. This still goes on today in places in our world.
For God so loved the world - that’s you and me, the people living on the planet
That He gave His only begotten Son - that is Jesus, which declares God the Father a Parent
That who so ever believes in Him - that means that they confess their faith in Him and work to live according to His teachings
Should not perish - for their sins, for missing the mark, for not understanding or because they just were ignorant or rebellious
But have everlasting life - a blessed life now and in the world to come eternal life. In other words, their identity as the best person they were meant to be would not be lost or their soul destroyed.
That is the verse John 3:16. Sometimes we can hear something so often that it ceases to have its real meaning. Do you know Who said that verse? It was Jesus, as He spoke representing the Father God, knowing that He would be giving His Life up for the good and well being of others. This is something He lived day to day and paid the ultimate price to do.
Jesus tells this parable in Matthew 18…
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
Here we see how God is willing to forgive us, even when we cannot repay, but have good intents.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet[d] and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
Here we see where pride and lust for power came in. This can be a stumbling block! Because he had seen others rule in harsh authority, he justified it for himself. He missed the mark, not seeing in the Spirit. This is obviously required of all of us and we learn it, which is why there is teaching.
32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
We choose whom we will serve and our allegiance is seen by our actions. This man was put in prison until he could find the ability to take responsibility for himself.
In verses 21 & 22 of this same chapter…
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
God is not just the Father of the natural world, He is also the Father of spirits. Hebrews 12 reads:
29 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
We live in a time where we are seeing unbelievable human rebellion. It can be a temptation to adopt the ways of wrong power, simply because we see it somewhere else. But as Christians we are called to live by a standard and that is to help and to love other people in the Spirit as best we can, especially in the household of faith.
God looks at the heart, but He also disciplines it so that you will come into alignment with His program and protocol for His Kingdom. That means we may be different or have different assignments, but we are still called to function together, just as a city, town or country would. There are things we have to work out.
Are you forgiving others as you want God to forgive you? Are you a just parent, who offers mercy AND discipline for the greater good, as well as personal good?
God sees our hearts and hears our prayers and He knows The Word (Scriptures) that He has given to help us, along with teachers and other ministry gifts to get and keep us on track for that abundant eternal life. The way He looks at it, is that if we fail, it is not because He did not provide.
We all have a part to play, a role to carry out. Jesus said in John 15:
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
Other people are not in charge of us. We may be indebted to some, but where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Let us strive to find our wonderful place in Him, where we give and receive.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.