Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Unpacking Forgiveness

In his article "Unpacking Forgiveness", takes the words of Kelsey Grammer on the topic of his sister's murder to deal with the issue of forgiveness. In one pity summary of scripture, he notes:
  • Christians are called to forgive others as God forgave them (Matthew, 6:12, Ephesians 4:32).
  • God forgives conditionally. God only forgives those who repent of their sins and turn in saving faith to Him (1 John 1:9, John 3:36).
  • Likewise, we also should offer forgiveness to all.
  • We forgive those who repent. Indeed, we are obliged to forgive (Luke 17:3-4), knowing that whatever someone has done to offend us pales in comparison to what we have done to offend God (Matthew 18:32-33).
He deals with the topic of justice:
Vengeance belongs to God. He will repay. Count on it. (Romans 12:17-21).
Finally, for those who forgive when the other party does not repent:
Automatic forgiveness packs unforgiveness. It redefines forgiveness as far less than what it means biblically. It hardens hearts with bitterness, isolation, and pessimism. In contrast, conditional forgiveness centers on the Cross. It offers the Gospel to all, recognizes that because of Christ any offender can be forgiven, believes that all relationships can be redeemed, and rests knowing that justice will be served.

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