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Forgiveness: Defined and Demonstrated

by Mike Sanders

MikeSandersForgiveness “in Christ” is more than forgiveness in this verse. At Golgotha God made Jesus to be sin and His finished work satisfied God’s wrath. It opened the way for my forgiveness, complete and permanent (2 Cor 5:21).

The adverb “as” identifies the model for me to follow. The model both defines and demonstrates forgiveness for me. Of course, God in Christ Jesus is the model. I am to forgive you “as God in Christ also has forgiven me (Eph 4:32c; Col 3:13).” Now comes the question, “How did God in Christ forgive me?”

     God in Christ removed the offense/guilt. My sin had broken the relationship with God. But God so loved that He made the way (solo) for reconciliation. I have a relationship with the Father, only because He initiated the way to remove my offense (Rom 5:6-10).

     God in Christ covered (blotted out) the offense/guilt. Jesus purchased me for God with His blood (Rev 5:9). The price paid was more than enough (1 John 2:2; 4:10). That I have been forgiven thus; I consider your offense blotted out, too. Your wrong toward me is of little consequence compared to my sin toward God (Matt 18:21-35).

     God in Christ will not impute the offense/guilt to me (Rom 4:8). “Will not” is an emphatic negative, meaning never, ever, by no means. All provision has been made. The offense can never again be returned to the record. God will never again credit me with sin (Rom 8:1).

Now comes the question, “How do I forgive you?” It begins with my solo initiative to remove the offense. Next, I consider the offense(s) covered, blotted out, as mine has been by Jesus’ blood. Then, I determine, by no means, will I impute the offense(s)/guilt to you in the future. I forgive you “as” I have been forgiven.

 

Michael T. Sanders is the former minister of the Buechel Church of Christ in            

                                                   Louisville, Kentucky and now retired UPS DC-8 Captain.

 




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33