Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
Why is forgiveness, which God extents freely, seem to be so difficult to attain? Why are so many people full of guilt and seemingly no way to get rid of it? What are the keys to being forgiven?
First, I want to share some things that forgiveness does.
There is a story in the Bible recorded to illustrate the power of forgiveness. There was a man sick, a paralytic that was stretched out in a bed without the ability to function at all. It is a nerve disease that takes all ability to function away, like sin to the soul. They brought him to Jesus, and Jesus said, Son, your sins are forgiven. Click-Mark 2:5. After they questioned Him about Him just declaring forgiveness to this sick person, He said, Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?
Click-Mark 2:9. Jesus wanted people to understand that forgiveness frees a person from the bondage of sin that strips a person from all ability.
Forgiveness to the soul is like a miraculous healing to the body, it frees and enables a person to walk away from sin and evil, and function as a child and servant of God.
The primary focus of forgiveness is to remove the offense that stands, first between us and God and then between one and another. People don’t talk to each other because of forgiveness, and when one tries, the one that has forgiveness won’t listen. It is like that between us and God, when we are guilty, or when we do not forgive there is tension between us and God, and the fellowship is lost, and the relationship is damaged, but when forgiveness takes place there is restoration.
Sin drives us from God without the ability to return, but forgiveness brings us back to Him. Click-Colossians 2:13
How to obtain forgiveness
In Luke chapter 17 Jesus was teaching on forgiveness. Not only did He encourage people to forgive others, but that repentance must precede forgiveness.
This speaks about one person forgiving the other, but it is likewise with God, repentance has to precede forgiveness. Click-Luke 24:47 declares this plainly,
May seek forgiveness solely to clear their mind of guilt, but not with the intent to forsake the sin itself. Such forgiveness cannot be had. Repentance is simply seeking forgiveness with the intent to not continue in the sin.
Click-I John 1:5-10 describes this point very well. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
To confess simply means to bring it into the light, as the context in this passage describes. God is light, and when we seek forgiveness from Him, we bring the sin into the light for it to be fully exposed. As long as we seek to hide, or deny what we have done there is no forgiveness, but if we are willing to confess it before God openly then He will show His faithfulness and not only remove the guilt, but fully restore the person to His righteousness.
Click-Luke 11:4 which is part of the sample prayer the Lord Jesus gave to His disciples, and to all who want to follow Him, and it is the middle of the prayer it
Click-Matthew 18:21-34 is a parable of the person that was seeking forgiveness, but was not willing to forgive those who had wronged him, and in verse 35 Jesus gives the conclusion. “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
When we come to God to ask for forgiveness, but we are not willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we simply will not receive it