To Forgive Is Difficult – A Personal Revelation

The Doctrine of Forgiveness may be defined as: letting go of resentment; excusing a guilty person of trespass; release from payment; forgetting an offense, never throwing it back on the person again; and finally, it means loving those who mock us, bully us, talk about us and malign us behind our backs.

Forgiveness is contrary to our nature — we would prefer to get even. To forgive ill treatment is a tough assignment. However, we can maintain a forgiving mind when we stay in fellowship with the Lord (through 1 John 1:9). In fellowship, we have the power of the Holy Spirit who uses metabolized doctrine to guide us. Over time we can learn to think like Christ if we keep on keeping on in study and fellowship.

We must learn the attitude of lovingkindness and mercy — even toward our enemies. We must learn mercy from the Mercy Seat by the Holy Spirit (See Matthew 5:23, 24; Romans 12:14-20; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13).

The greatest person in history came as a servant to His creation. He came full of grace and truth; humility and mercy; sacrifice and service; caring and compassion. Jesus Christ had an intimate love affair with the Father and the Scriptures. If you want to be great in the kingdom of heaven you must learn humility and forgiveness. You must learn Bible Doctrine so you can learn how to forgive according to Scripture (Read Matthew 18:21-35.)

Forgiveness requires humility. Humility, too, is something we must learn by the Holy Spirit — our “guiding light.” Please understand that the Holy Spirit leads the believer by utilizing Bible knowledge memorized, processed through thinking and quiet meditation, and stored in our soul. Stored doctrine provides a frame of reference from our memory center which enlightens our understanding and application of God’s Word to circumstances. The Holy Spirit guides us by the light of metabolized doctrine. He is our mentor in our thinking as well.

Doctrine applied to thinking results in conformity for application to life. But first we must learn obedience and, from obedience, we learn patience and, from patience we learn humility. In the plan of God we are being conformed to be like Christ in our thinking (divine viewpoint instead of human viewpoint) and actions (Romans 8:29). 

How much time do you spend in the Word of God? Time in the Word is directly related to love for the Lord. You cannot love where there is no knowledge!

As believers, we must be consistent in our daily study of the Word and in our daily confession of sin so that we are forgiven and cleansed (spiritually bathed).

Who are the enemies of the Christian — the same enemies that Jesus resisted all of His life: the world (unbelievers), the flesh (the sin nature), and the devil (John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 6:12). In 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, we are instructed to be separated from the world. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, we are told to cleanse ourselves by naming (admitting) our transgressions.

How do we separate and cleanse? God’s pre-designed plan for separation and cleansing is seen in 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Corinthians 13:5 Galatians 5:16, 17; Philippians 3:14, 15; Ephesians 5:17, 18.  

One more thing on forgiveness: forgiveness also includes learning to forgive yourself for your own disobedience to God and wrongdoings to others. This, for me, is the hardest of all. I constantly struggle with my own spiritual failures. I relate to the great Apostle Paul in Romans 7:25, (turn to it) where Paul describes his struggles against the flesh (human nature — the self).

We all struggle with sin-weaknesses, therefore thank God for the books of Romans and John.

For additional study on sin and forgiveness, please read Chapters 1-8 of Romans, which also covers much of the major foundational Christian doctrines found in the Bible. Doctrinal truths such as: the grace of God from the creation and fall of Adam to the end of history; the two natures of the believer; God’s answer to the tyranny of sin; a soul-sustaining description on suffering; forgiveness; redemption; sanctification; spirituality; eternal security for the believer; the restoration of Israel and much more.

Happy Studying in Fields of Grace.

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