Combined resentment and unforgiveness is the single largest and most dangerous trap in the church.
1. To forgive someone who has wronged you is to condemn them; not to forgive them is to condemn yourself.
- Jesus said; "Unless you forgive those who have sinned against you, I will not forgive you. (Paraphrased)......Matt 6:14,15
Which simply means that if you carry any resentment or unforgiveness in your heart for anyone, then you are living in a state of unforgiveness. Think about that.
2. For the sake of discussion, there are two kinds of sin. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. If we fail or refuse to forgive we are guilty of an egregious sin of omission.
But there is more to forgiveness. Did you know that we actually have the authority to forgive man of their sins on behalf of Christ? That is how much authority that Christ has given us.
- Read John 20:23 - "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
This is not a very clear translation.
The New International Version's translation reads, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them,they are not forgiven." I do not think that I am required to forgive someone on Christ's behalf but there are times when it is expedient for me to do so.
The greatest example in recorded history of forgiveness was at Golgotha; where Christ unilaterally forgave those who carried out the act of the crucifixion and were in the process of drawing straws for his garments behind the cross.
However, there are many misconceptions concerning what forgiveness really is.
Forgiveness has nothing whatsoever to do with your feelings (emotions). Emotions are at best, erratic in nature. Forgiveness is a simple act of the conscious will. Nothing more, nothing less.
3. In other words, say that someone wrongs you. All you need to do is turn to the Lord and say, Lord, it is my will that this person be forgiven. Contrary to popular opinion, you are not required to have anything to do with that person again, but you are required to forgive them.
But there is one condition that the Lord imposes on those who forgive—and that is that they never bring the matter up again to those they forgive.
- Step #1We must forgive all those who have sinned against us.
Forgive who? The thief, the adulterer, the murderer, etc.
- Step # 2Concerning forgiveness, we must learn to walk in a state of repentance and forgiveness before God.
- Step # 3Concerns self-forgiveness.
4. In order to complete the forgiveness cycle, we must also forgive ourselves. There is no way around this. Forgive ourselves of what? Of anything that we have ever done to grieve the Holy Spirit. This can be difficult for some, but it is absolutely necessary.
So it all comes down to this, are you willing to deal with this issue of forgiveness? You will never become an overcomer until you do.