Doctrine #47: Forgiveness

If someone wrongs you, how are you supposed to handle it? Let's say there is a husband and a wife who are in a fight. The husband says very hurtful things to the wife, she slams the door, and the conversation is over. Three days go by, they see each other, and they remember how much they really do love each other. They look into each other's eyes and see the person that they married, they embrace, and say, "I love you so much. I am so sorry, Honey."

State your will with a "Yes" or a "No": is this a Profitable way for a marriage to work?

The statement of your will that you won't equal out your own justice. Forgiveness allows God to equal out justice. Forgiveness benefits the forgiver. Forgiveness does not mean the forgiver has to forget and/or feel good about the forgiven person.

Question: Do you believe God forgets about our sin when He forgives us?

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If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...

"1 O Jehovah, thou God to whom vengeance belongeth, Thou God to whom vengeance belongeth, shine forth." (Psalm 94:1)

(God alone ought to equal out justice because He is Right and Just. You are not Right and you are not Just. Do you have faith that God is Just and is going to execute justice while also being Right? If you do not believe He is Just, you are going to seek out your own vengeance.)

"1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 Jehovah is a jealous God and avengeth; Jehovah avengeth and is full of wrath; Jehovah taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies." (Nahum 1:1-2)

(This same point began the Book of Nahum. God does not think as a man. When He has wrath it is because it is Right and Just for Him to have wrath. We saw in Doctrine #33 Law that God rejoices over us regardless of our actions because He rejoices in the execution of justice. The next passage began with God stating recompense (justice) belongs to God alone...)

"35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense, At the time when their foot shall slide: For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things that are to come upon them shall make haste.
36 For Jehovah will judge his people, And repent himself for his servants; When he seeth that their power is gone, And there is none remaining, shut up or left at large.
37 And he will say, Where are their gods, The rock in which they took refuge;
38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink-offering? Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your protection.
39 See now that I, even I, am he, And there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; And there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, And say, As I live for ever,
41 If I whet my glittering sword, And my hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine adversaries, And will recompense them that hate me.
42 I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, And my sword shall devour flesh; With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the head of the leaders of the enemy.
43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: For he will avenge the blood of his servants, And will render vengeance to his adversaries, And will make expiation for his land, for his people." (Deuteronomy 32:35-43)

(Justice belongs to God because He is Holy. He is Right and Just. God Does what he Says, and when He says He will execute justice, He will.)

"1 Jehovah reigneth; let the peoples tremble: He sitteth above the cherubim; let the earth be moved.
2 Jehovah is great in Zion; And he is high above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name: Holy is he.
4 The king's strength also loveth justice; Thou dost establish equity; Thou executest justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye Jehovah our God, And worship at his footstool: Holy is he.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, And Samuel among them that call upon his name; They called upon Jehovah, and he answered them.
7 He spake unto them in the pillar of cloud: They kept his testimonies, And the statute that he gave them.
8 Thou answeredst them, O Jehovah our God: Thou wast a God that forgavest them, Though thou tookest vengeance of their doings.
9 Exalt ye Jehovah our God, And worship at his holy hill; For Jehovah our God is holy." (Psalm 99:1-9)

(God also forgives because it is Right and Just to do this when people recognize Him. God forgave them, but He still took vengeance on them because of what they did. Is that a contradiction? No. Remember, when reading a passage where God directly interacted with people, see what God did through the Eyes of Him being always and completely Right and always and completely Just. Does God forgive simply when people say, "O Jehovah our God" or was there something more people had to do?)

"1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,
2 If any one sin, and commit a trespass against Jehovah, and deal falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit, or of bargain, or of robbery, or have oppressed his neighbor,
3 or have found that which was lost, and deal falsely therein, and swear to a lie; in any of all these things that a man doeth, sinning therein;
4 then it shall be, if he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took by robbery, or the thing which he hath gotten by oppression, or the deposit which was committed to him, or the lost thing which he found,
5 or any thing about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in full, and shall add the fifth part more thereto: unto him to whom it appertaineth shall he give it, in the day of his being found guilty.
6 And he shall bring his trespass-offering unto Jehovah, a ram without blemish out of the flock, according to thy estimation, for a trespass-offering, unto the priest:
7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before Jehovah; and he shall be forgiven concerning whatsoever he doeth so as to be guilty thereby." (Leviticus 6:1-7)

(Under the Law, the person needed to confess and repent. They needed to restore the person and add something more. They needed to confess and repent to God with an offering. Remember, confession without repentance is deception, because it is a Right What with No HOW/WHY (the DO not following the SAY). What does forgiveness look like to us today with principles?)

"14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.
19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord.
20 But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:14-21)

(Paul stated that we shouldn't take out our own justice, even when people are unjust to us. He said we should give more, because God will recompense, He is Just. This was something to DO. This was a principle (a benefit). This passage said to overcome evil with good, not with destruction: evening out our own justice. If we give more to people who are evil to us, we will deserve more through justice. If we forgive these people instead of taking out our own justice, then God can move against these people. Jesus said the same thing...)

"27 But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you,
28 bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.
29 To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also.
30 Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again." (Luke 6:27-30)

(Jesus said to give more to people who abuse us: to forgive. When you love people that hate you, when you bless those that curse you, when you give people the other cheek when they hit you, you are being contrastive! You are not being comparative and giving them what they gave you, you are looking long term. Are we supposed to forgive everyone?)

"15 And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established.
17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican." (Matthew 18:15-17)

(Why didn't Jesus say to forgive this person? Do you think people are more likely to go directly to the person that sinned against them, or do they tell other people first? There was another passage from Jesus that was similar to this passage that was more focused on forgiveness...)

"3 Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)

(Jesus said to forgive ONLY if the person repented. What was going on here? This seems like a contradiction, doesn't it? If you see a contradiction, you must resolve it if you desire to Think like God. If you do not resolve a contradiction you are thinking as a man. You are pursuing comfort over growth.)

(Jesus told us to treat believers differently than non-believers. "Brother" meant believer. When nonbelievers abuse you, you are supposed to give and forgive so that you gain reward from them. You can see nonbelievers as "ATM's for spiritual value". It is not our responsibility to save people... it is Jesus'. When it comes to believers, you are supposed to confront them so that they can retain their salvation. If they won't listen to you, you ought to get witnesses. If they still won't listen, they are to be removed from the body of believers for the profitability of all. The believer could still confess and repent at this point in front of the entire church, but it had to get bad before they opened up their eyes. If they hear but don't agree, you aren't supposed to forgive them. Forgiving them would bring judgment that would also affect you because they are still in the body. You ought to hold off on forgiving, which is actually extending mercy to them. Giving them time to repent. If they never repent, you will get your justice at Judgment Day during the reward judgment. However, if you don't confront them, when you get your reward, you will have to answer to that person why you didn't help them equal out justice on earth instead of in heaven. This entire process is for the benefit of the believer who sinned and the profitability of the entire body. We are all unique and value things differently. You could sin against someone because you didn't see what you did as a sin, this is why confrontation is so important. Confrontation is a WHAT, the causes for confrontation are in the HOW/WHY.)

If you are confronting someone for their benefit, out of LOVE, in order to help them retain their salvation you are pursuing TRUTH!

How can you confront someone with LOVE?

You have heard that God is love, and we have learned that God is Right and Just. How is it "loving" of God to wipe out all of those nations as the children of Israel were crossing into the promised land? How is it loving of God to recompense people with death? Is there another contradiction we must resolve?