7 – ENGAGING THE POWERS OF THE KINGDOM – THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

7 – ENGAGING THE POWERS OF THE KINGDOM – THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

God’s grace provides everything we need to “escape the corruption that is in the world caused by evil desires and participate in the divine nature. ” 2 Peter 1:4

Now we begin to explore the facets of grace that we can apply in every circumstance of our daily lives so that we can escape the corruption that is in the world. Forgiveness must surely top our list because we still have an enemy within that will inevitably clash with the people around us.

Protecting and looking after self is at the heart of our old nature. The more self-aware and the less God-aware we are, the more we react in an ungodly way to the things people say and do that offend us.

A “touchy” or “sensitive” person is one who is insecure… in relation to God and to who he/she is. We become defensive and make excuses for our ungodly reactions instead of owning and taking responsibility for what we say and do.

How do we engage the power of forgiveness to live free from grudges and bitterness so that we do not miss the grace of God?

Once again, it’s about being transformed by the renewing of our minds.

  1. The foundation of forgiveness is the awareness of God’s mercy towards us in forgiving our unpayable debt. Any debt of sin another owes us is miniscule compared with the debt we owed God by the lives we lived because of our unbelief.

“All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.” 1 John 5:10 NLT

We can forgive because we have been forgiven.

  1. God, in Christ, has already forgiven the sin of the whole world.

“He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” 1 John 2:2 NLT

When we refuse to forgive, we hold our offender accountable for the debt that has already been paid. It is illegal to demand payment for a debt twice.

  1. Forgiveness is not about how we feel but a choice we make and what we do. When we forgive the sin of another against us, we choose to cancel the debt and set our debtor free.
  1. Forgiveness does not excuse sin; it shows mercy on the basis of what Jesus did for us.
  1. In the end, forgiveness is about showing our debtor compassion when we recognise the truth of what Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

Who knows the ramifications of sin of one person against another? How would we feel if we were to see how far our sin has gone in damaging the lives of others?

  1. The wonder of forgiveness, then, is not that we must forgive but that we may forgive because God has forgiven us.
  1. Failing to forgive enslaves us as much as it does our debtor and interrupts our fellowship with the Father because it disrupts our unity with Him.

The world demands revenge, and revenge only multiplies the offences. The kingdom says, “Forgive! ” and forgiveness stops the process of sin’s downward slide.

One more thing to consider. The more we live in forgiveness, the more our minds will automatically release others from their debt when they fail until it becomes a settled way of thinking and living. This is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Can you see how powerful forgiveness is in living out the kingdom’s way of love in the darkness of this world’s ungodly way?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

All Scripture quotations in this series

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Luella Campbell


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