Forgiveness

In this series we will learn how the Bible reveals to us God’s plan, purpose, and will concerning common issues so that we can reframe our beliefs and behaviors about these issues. That is how we develop a Biblical world-view.
 
Frame: to form or make, as by fitting and uniting parts together; construct. So in our lives, we take the various influences and experiences and beliefs and form those together or fit those together to construct what we choose to believe about any specific item.
 
Reframe: to frame again and often in a different way. The essential idea behind reframing is that a person’s point-of-view depends on the frame it is viewed in. That frame has been developed, right or wrong, through various influences and experiences. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking, belief, and behavior often change along with it.
 
As Christians, our primary source of truth that should construct our beliefs is the Bible. See 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
 
We don’t base our beliefs on what our culture tells us; we base our beliefs on what the Bible teaches. That is what it means to have a Christian, or biblical, world-view. And this will affect the way we see everything else in our lives. See Romans 12:2.
 
The first common issue I want us to “Reframe” according to God’s Word is Forgiveness. Forgiveness is essential to our lives. The reason lies in an inescapable fact of human nature: we are bound to hurt others and others are bound to hurt us.
 
Making sense of forgiveness means talking about sin. Sin: “missing the mark” or “straying from the path”. This implies that there is a mark, an ideal, or a path that we are meant to follow in order to have a proper relationship with God and with others. When we miss the mark, fall short of the ideal, or stray from this path it effects others around us and our relationship with God.
 

Forgiveness requires awareness, confession, and repentance.

See Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:8-9; Acts 3:19.
 
Repentance begins with my awareness of the gap I have created between myself and God, or myself and the other person. I acknowledge that I have stepped off the path, hurting people and wounding my relationship with God, and I express the remorse I feel. I confess to the other person and do what I can to make amends, I confess to God and ask for his mercy and forgiveness, and I turn back toward the right. When I do that, God forgives me. It’s not a complicated process. God removes the burden of my sin and I am restored.
 

Forgiveness means that God will never hold that sin against you again.

See Psalm 32:1-2; Psalm 130:3-4.
 

Forgiveness means that God chooses to no longer remember your sin.

See Isaiah 43:25.
 

Forgiveness means that you are not identified by your sin.

See Psalm 103:8-12; Psalm 25:7.
 

Forgiveness means that God destroys the power of that sin to hold you hostage any longer.

See Psalm 51:1-3; Romans 6:6-7.
 

Forgiveness means that I must forgive others as God has forgiven me.

See Matthew 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:32.
 
Forgiveness is not the same as condoning. Forgiveness means letting go of the right to retribution. We are letting go of the pain in our own lives and refusing to hold that sin against the one who wronged us.
 
There are two dimensions to forgiveness: there is your internal release of bitterness, anger, or desire for revenge, and there is the extension of mercy toward the one who has wronged you.
 

God’s forgiveness of sin is limitless and calls us to forgive without limits.

See Matthew 18:21–35.