Pastor Ralph Byma
Freedom – pt-8 I Choose to Forgiveness
When Jesus hung on the cross and was surrounded by those who were mocking and crucifying Him He did not cry out in anger but in mercy. Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
If we don’t understand our sin problem, we won’t understand the gift of forgiveness that Jesus provided for us at the cross or be able to understand how we are to forgive others. Sin separates us from God. The solution is repentance and forgiveness. 1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we understand God’s forgiveness for us, it will lead us to understanding how we are to forgive others who have hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally.
Unforgiveness affects our relationships with others and with God. Forgiving others is a choice, even when they haven’t apologized or acknowledged the hurt they caused. It’s letting go of the need to have the person who hurt us to make it up to us. Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Instead we place our trust in God to make it right. It breaks the cycle of pain and let’s us move on. It doesn’t mean that we approve of their bad behaviour, or that we are justifying evil, overlooking abuse, denying what happened or allowing people to walk all over us, pretending it didn’t hurt or having total reconciliation. Forgiveness is a conscience choice to forgive others so that we can get out of God’s way and be able to move on in freedom. By doing our part, God is able to step in to the situation and do His part. Forgiveness is an act of obedience to God.
Jesus didn’t just die for our sins, but also for the sins committed against us and for the consequences that those sins have had in our lives. Jesus came to heal and forgive.
Break the chains of hurt and unforgiveness – choose to forgive and be set free.