Even As The Lord Is Forgiven You
To help you understand where I am coming from, let me give this to you in bullet points.
The Christian definition of love is...
1) Christian love is sacrificial
1 John 3:16 says,
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us ”
2) Christian love implies action
1 John 3:18 says,
“My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.”
3) Christian love demands obedience
1 John 5:3 says,
“For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.”
And Jesus said in John 14:21,
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me.”
Thus, we show our love for God through obedience!
We as Christians have the commandment to love everyone
Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31,
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
Who is thy neighbour?
In Luke 10 Jesus tells a parable that explains we are all neighbours of each other. So we are to all love each other.
God shows us how we are to love.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This verse did not say while we were yet sinners, God tried to have a relationship with us. It did not say that while we were yet sinners God forgave us of our sins. (Forgiveness: not to hold a person liable for their sin. Canceling the debt and never demand payment.)
What it does say is that he loved us enough to provide the sacrifice of his Son for us.
Once He did that, then it is our responsibility as the offender to repent and ask for forgiveness.
God is a just God. Because of your sin you become separated from God, your relationship with Him has been damaged and you must die for that sin.
God is a loving God. Because He loves us, He has provided away that a relationship between you and Him, and reconciliation between you and Him can be established again and that provision is through the sacrifice of His Son.
God is a merciful God. And because He is merciful He shows that mercy by taking what He has provided (the sacrifice of Jesus Christ His Son) and reconciles us, brings us back into a relationship with Him, He forgives us..He does not hold us liable for our sin. He cancels our debt to Him. But for that to happen, We must first come to Him and confess, and repent, and ask for His forgiveness for our sins. Until we do that He is not required nor will He forgive and restore a relationship.
But until the day we do come to Him. He loves us enough to provided what is needed to make it all happen.
Conclusion: We must be like our Father and forgive in the same way.
We must have a love in our hearts towards those who have sinned against us, that only God can give.
We must be prepared in our hearts and be willing to do what ever is needed outwardly to restore a relationship with the one who has sinned against us.
We must be willing to forgive when that person who sinned against us ask for forgiveness...to not hold those who sinned against us liable for their sin, to cancel their debt to us.
And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as (in the same way) God hath forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. Colossians 3:12-13