The Christian living site of Pastor Jim Piper, Jr.

The Gift Of Forgiveness: Part 3

November 12, 2012 :: Jim Piper, Jr.

God has forgiven me for my past, present, and future. I do not plan on failing him today or tomorrow, but I know this is my pattern. I still confess my sin to God, others, and myself. I do this because it seems right to my soul and because the Lord has instructed me to do this through John’s inspired words found in 1 John 1:9.

I confess sin because my faith is less about religion and more about nurturing a relationship with God and others. The result of true confession is repentance, fellowship, and growth. Simply put, obedience to God brings freedom from guilt, love for people, hope for tomorrow, and increased fellowship with God.

Increased fellowship with God is brought about by a soul being filled with God’s Spirit. Many are not filled with God’s Spirit because there is no room for him. The soul is filled with the will of a person instead of God. A filling of God’s Spirit requires a surrendering of one’s will to God, yielding oneself to the Creator. To be filled and directed by God is the joy of a creator-creation fellowship. This kind of relational experience is not possible without the gift of forgiveness.

In the words of Jesus, forgiven people, forgive people. Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” Matt. 6:14, NKJ. One obvious result of being forgiven by God is receiving the power to forgive. Jesus is not saying that forgiveness from God is earned by forgiving other people, no, not at all. He is saying that forgiveness begins by recognizing my need to be forgiven and one of those sins for which I need to confess is the sin of not forgiving others.

Remember, the power of rendering justice has been given to the resurrected Christ. Justice has been accomplished through Christ and will be carried out by Christ. When we refuse to forgive, we clog up our vessel with sin and stubbornness, thus impeding the power of Christ working in and through our lives. This disobedience frustrates the grace of God which is designed to flow through us.

All sin is like cancer. Cancer cells grow and multiply. They corrupt the blood and vital organs, resulting in death. Unforgiveness, the sin of not forgiving those who have hurt you, is a spiritual cancer. It will kill your spiritual, relational, emotional, and even physical life making you a bitter person. In other words, when you forgive people, it benefits you as much or more as it does others! It removes spiritual cancer!

So, what would happen?

So what would happen if you applied the inspired, God-breathed words of Paul? He exhorts us to be “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” Here’s the implication: God wants to be the forgiving power expressed through your surrendered will. You might say, “Some people are difficult and should not be forgiven.”Yet, if we claim to be Jesus people, those who have invited the risen Christ to live and reign in our inner person, we not only have the power to forgive, it is a vital part of our mission here on earth. This kind of power and sense of mission can only be experienced and expressed through an intimate relationship with the resurrected Son of God.

So what would happen if you obeyed God, and became a vessel of kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness? First, you would become controlled and powered by God. Second, you would be a model and witness of Christ in this world. Third, you would begin to experience the healing your soul desires.

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