2001-04-16 - Forgiveness
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also as forgiven you.
I recently read two interesting stories. The first … A married pilot dismissed his mistress from his London apartment. The young woman agreed to leave but asked for a day to pack her belongings. When he returned from an overseas flight he found the phone off the hook. His mistress had made a long distance call to the speaking clock in Washington D.C.
The second is somewhat like the first. A housewife, distraught over her husband's unfaithfulness, decided to throw herself out of the window of their third floor apartment. She didn't realize her husband was walking beneath. She survived, he did not.
One of the things I find I learn a lot about since being married is forgiveness. Forgiveness needs to be a constant in any relationship, but especially in a marriage. The model of how we are to forgive others is found in Scripture. It is the model of how Christ has forgiven us, so also we are to forgive others. This is not easy. In fact, it is impossible, but that is the standard by which we are to forgive others.
Romans 3:10 tells us that, "There is none righteous, not even one." This means that we know that we need forgiveness. In fact, Jeremiah 33:16, tells us that salvation is possible because, "… the Lord is our righteousness." So while, in ourselves we have no righteousness, we obtain the righteousness of Christ in salvation. It is part of the forgiveness that is ours in Christ. Christ's forgiveness is so complete that Psalm 103:12 promises us, "As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgression from us."
God's forgiveness of us is total. "For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon you." Psalm 86:5 The Lord Jesus Christ has become our righteousness. It really is amazing. But there is more here as we see from the verse we started with and this is what I am learning through being married. The passage in Ephesians above tell us that we are to forgive others as the Lord has forgiven us. That's a tough assignment. Remember, our sins have been removed as far as the East is from the West. So also, we are to forgive others in this manner.
This means that when we forgive someone we don't remember past wrongs committed against us. This means that when we forgive someone we don't hold a grudge against them. This is how we have been forgiven and this is how we are to forgive others. "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25 God promises to forget about our sins. Ephesians tells us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Therefore, we also, when we forgive others, must seek to remember those sins no more.
Soli Deo Gloria,