Understanding Forgiveness, Part 2
Topic: Forgiveness Scripture: Ephesians 4:32
Forgiving others can be hard, but trying to explain forgiveness to them can be even harder. Some say that we must always forgive unconditionally, though that would make biblical commands like church discipline difficult to comprehend. Others believe that forgiveness is always conditional upon the offender confessing his sin and repenting of the wrong. However, that would give us no category for understanding Peter’s statement that love covers a multitude of sins. How can we explain forgiveness in a way that makes it clear? Forgiveness is the releasing of a debt, a disposition of the heart expressed in both attitude and action; and it is a commitment and a promise that always hopes in Christ and works for reconciliation. In one circumstance it is parental, covering sin out of sacrificial love. In another circumstance it is judicial, pursuing the offender out of a desire to see the broken relationship restored. But in every circumstance it is gracious; always desiring to see the glory of God on display in the lives of redeemed sinners who love to forgive like their Master.