Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV), "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
How many times have been you told that you must forgive in order to be forgiven?
How many times have you been told the Bible says that you must forgive in order to be forgiven?
How many times have you been told that you are already forgiven of all of your sins?
How been times have you been told that the Bible says that you are already forgiven and that should be your motivation to forgive others?
I am sure the answer to the first two questions were higher numbers, unless you are a believer who studies the Bible in the proper way, rightly dividing the word of truth. Ask yourself why your pastor has failed to tell you about the last two questions. Better yet, ask your pastor why.
The basic principle behind living forgiven is understanding that you are forgiven of all trespasses and the sin debt is no longer held to your charge. Otherwise, this whole series will mean absolutely nothing to you. In the verses above, we read a small list of attitudes, attributes, and actions that should follow the believer as they walk each and everyday of their life. The last quality is what this study is all about. "Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Those are powerful words that should resinate in the hearts and ears of those who read and hear them. Once you fully grasp the concept of complete and total forgiveness, your life will be revolutionised. You will live life in a complete and totally different way.
This bears the question, "How did God forgive you?"
Let us take a look at how God forgave you.
Romans 5:6-12 (KJV), "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
This becomes more and more amazing as we read and study the Bible. God forgave for Christ's sake while were sinners. While we an ungodly, pitiful, unrepentant, and without strength, Jesus Christ, of His own free will, chose to suffer the death of all mankind. In fact, God chose to accomplish this before the foundation of the world. Now that we have been justified by His blood, we are also saved from wrath. Now is a present tense word that means at this time you possess forgiveness, you possess the atonement, and you possess salvation, from the tribulation, to come. So then, it should not be too hard for us to forgive our neighbour for blowing leaves into our yard. It should not be too hard to forgive the guy who just cut you off on the road. Living forgiven starts with an understanding that you should also live forgiving.
Grace and Peace,
Complete in Him.