Matthew 6:12   ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14-15   “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Matthew 18:21-22   Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:35   “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

NASB translation 

One thing a lot of new believers find difficult, is forgiving others, and I was no exception, but as I listened to sermons, participated in small groups; and studied my Bible, God’s word, I discovered and was convicted forgiving was not an option. The words of Jesus are very plain on the subject, and if I wanted to be a disciple of His, I needed to do as He instructed me. Jesus does not give me a reason, or a psychological explanation, other than God will not forgive me if I don’t forgive others. He just tells me to forgive, the fact He tells me should be enough. Like so many other things Jesus told me to do, I did not discover the benefits of trusting obedience to Him, until after applying His word to my life and personally experiencing the results of peace and joy. I was convicted I needed to forgive my father and visited with him in Chicago. I forgave him face to face, but he felt like he was a good guy and did not need to be forgiven, I did it anyway. After that, I proceeded to forgive many more, most of whom had been out of my life for many years. Some I thought I could never forgive, but I did. I have not forgotten all the things they did, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone that hasn’t obeyed the call to forgive, is missing the incomparable peace and joy that God is blessing me with. Forgiving others, other than receiving the great gift of eternal salvation, has to be at the top of the list, of the best orders of Jesus I have obeyed.


Matthew 18:21 – 22  Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

One topic I heard a lot of in church, and in our small group, the first few years after recommitting my life to the Lord, was the topic of forgiveness. The topic was preached on, and people talked about it frequently. Whether they practiced this biblical doctrine or not, I do not know. I remember being convicted about who there was in my life I should forgive. I wasn’t too concerned about who it was I might need to ask for forgiveness of, that would come later. One name that kept coming up was Earl W. Six, my father. My life with my father was a few times good, but mostly a traumatic experience which lasted up until the time I left home at 16. I thought that settled that part of my life, but I was wrong. The first few years after I left home every time I saw my father, he never saw me. I would see Him on the street or in some other public place and would shake all over, needless to say, I never tried to visit him during that period.

As the years moved along, I began to feel like I should try to have some kind of relationship with my father, and visited him at his home a few times. These were never very pleasant visits, I never stayed more than a few minutes. He always seemed happy to see me, but didn’t have much to say either. After a while I was able to visit without the old father son baggage showing up every time to make me miserable.

Finally after the conviction became strong enough to motivate me to action, I made plans to visit my father and forgive him for the negative part he played in my life. At the time he was living in the Chicago area with his wife Rose. At what I thought was a good time in our conversation, I told him I forgive you for all the things you did while I was a child. He said what things, I was a pretty good guy. This stunned me but I chose not to rehash the things that bothered me then, plus some of the things I knew about how he treated his second family children. At that point it was all water over the dam. I don’t know if my forgiveness did any thing for him or not but it did for me, but that is another story.  How could a true follower of Jesus not forgive, if they consider all Jesus has to say about forgiveness

Matthew 6:14 -15 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness Restores

The act of forgiveness is vital to Christianity and to the church.  To forgive means to grant full pardon to an offense or an offender; to restore an offender to a non-offender one who has not offended. 

      How we praise God for His forgiveness which He freely granted us at salvation.  We were born separated from God because of an inherited sin nature but when we came to Him through faith in Jesus Christ He forgave ALL our sin.  At the moment of His forgiveness we became sinless in standing and our broken relationship with God was restored.  THANK GOD FOR HIS FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION.

      If we are truthful we know that even as Christians we sin against God.  The Bible says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  I John 1:8. Upon recognizing our sin we must ask forgiveness from God who has made it simple but necessary.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…”  I John 1:9. Keeping a clean slate with God insures our restoration.

      As Christians we are commanded to forgive one another – fellow Christians.  Jesus said to the disciples, “…If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”  Luke 17:3. If a Christian offends us and asks to be forgiven we MUST forgive him as God forgave us at our request.  In forgiving an offending Brother or Sister in Christ we restore them to a non-offender and our relationship is also restored.  Forgiveness restores fellowship within the brethren.

      The flip side to granting forgiveness is asking to be forgiven.  If we know or are informed that we have wrongly offended another Christian it is mandatory that we ask the offended Brother or Sister in Christ for forgiveness.  He/she is then obligated to forgive us and restore us to true fellowship.  What a wonderful feeling it is for a fellow Christian, whom we offended, to forgive us and restore us to pure fellowship again.

     Forgiveness and restoration are vital to the peace and unity of the church.  Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness…”  Galatians 6:1. When a church member is doing wrong Spirit filled men of the church are to meet with that person and restore him/her.  This requires repentance and the asking for forgiveness by the offender, after which, the church grants forgiveness and restoration.  FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION ARE NECESSARY FOR THE PEACE AND UNITY OF OUR CHURCH.   

Let us not forget the supreme offer of forgiveness.  As Jesus hung on the cross (our cross) He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34. Imagine, Jesus asked God to forgive His murderers.  That is the kind of forgiving attitude we Christians ought to have.

     I pray that we will be careful to grant forgiveness to a fellow Christian when asked.  I pray we will ask for forgiveness when necessary.  I pray we will keep the peace and unity of the church by forgiving and restoring fellow Christians when needed.  HELP US, DEAR GOD!