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Bible  Spotlight  -  ON  FORGIVENESS,  part  4  (final)  quotes

1)     “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy”. Leviticus 11:44.

     “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty”. Exodus 34:6-7.

2)    What are you to do when someone sins against you?

– “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him”. Luke 17:3.

     This verse reveals that you are to personally rebuke or reprove those who sin against you, letting them know that they need to repent for their sin.

– “Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.  It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” Jeremiah 36:2-3.

     These verses reveal that the unrepentant are to be warned what punishment their sins will bring to them, which will hopefully lead them to repentance.

3)     Are all sins to be noticed and made to repent of?

– “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Psalms 130:3.

– “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11.

– “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Micah 7:18.

     These verses that not all sins are to be noticed, or made to be repented for.

4)     When is it proper to forgive sin?

– “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin”. 2 Chronicles 7:14.

– “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Acts 8:22.

– “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” Luke 17:3.

     These verses reveal that forgiveness is to be given after humble repentance and confession of the sin has been made.

5)    Are there times in which sins can be forgiven even though no verbal confession has been made?

– “And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Matthew 9:1-2 (Mark 2:5; Luke 5:20)

– “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.  And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:44-48.

     These verses reveal that Christ read the heart and understood the reason and motive behind her actions, and then freely forgave her, even though no spoken confession was made.

6)    Can forgiveness really be given even though no repentance has yet occurred?
– “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.

     This verse reveals that if someone does not realize that they have sinned against you, then you are to ask God to forgive them anyway, and also for Him to work to wake them up.

What about those who know that they have sinned against you, and yet  will not repent?

– “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26.

     This verse reveals that if someone knows they have sinned against you, and still will not repentant, you are to forgive them anyway.  But this type of forgiveness does not remove their need to still confess and repent of their sin to both you and to God.  But by forgiving them in your heart, there is no longer any need to hold their sin against them, and thus no danger of withdrawing your affection or your company from them.

7)    What happens to the unrepentant when you have not forgiven them their sins?

– “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20:23.     

     This verse spoken to the united disciples reveals that those whose sins were not forgiven, would also not be forgiven by God and thus were in danger of being losing salvation!  But if you forgive them their sin, even though they have not yet confessed and repented of it, then your forgiveness is placed on their account, and if they should happen to die before they actually confessed and repented to you, they still can be saved by God and not lost.  But only forgiving someone their sin after they have actually confessed and repented to you, means that if they should happen to die before doing that, then they are lost because they will die in that unforgiven sin!

     But there is another issue that we need to understand about repentance.

– “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:30-31.

     This verse reveals that repentance comes from God to us as a gift, and does not naturally originate in the heart of any human being!  The real battle to bring a sinner to repentance is between them and God, and not between yourself and them.  Since they cannot confess and repent until they open their heart to God, then applying all the force against them to try and bring them to repentance will accomplish absolutely nothing!  The best and most effective weapons to use against the unrepentant is prayer, love and kindness, and to avoid using force.
     “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.” Proverbs 25:21-22.

8)    Should you ask forgiveness when you do not believe you have committed any sin?

– “My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.” Job 27:4-6.

     These verses reveal that if you are accused of committing sin, and you know that you have not done anything wrong, then you are not to repent; you are not to compromise your integrity just to please your accusers; you are not to give up your righteousness and admit to doing wrong just to try and keep the peace; never justify those who falsely accuse you by compromising your honesty and integrity!

9)    Can intercession for the sin of another be accepted?

– “Thus hath the Lord GOD showed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.  And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.  The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.” Amos 7:1-3.

     These verses reveal that we are to intercede with God for those who have sinned, asking Him not to punish them severely for their evil actions, but only just enough to bring them to repentance.

10)    Can personal sin be forgiven through the intercession of another?

– “And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity [of Nabal my husband] be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.  Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal...and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.  Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.  And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.  I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee [all] thy days....So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.” 1 Samuel 25:23-28, 35.

     These verses reveal that in some situations, we can accept the intercession of another who makes the wrong that another individual committed against us right, and then forgive that sin and erase the debt - even though the wrong-doer themselves did not personally confess and repent.

11)    “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:12-17.