How do you define "forgiveness"?

(Use Scripture)

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17 thoughts on “Question:

  1. Sue asked: Add to that how people take parables as if each element were true, instead of an illustration. Do you think that God is really like the king in this parable?

    Jesus said, "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

  2. Charity

    I'll get back to you tomorrow on this - it's already past my bedtime and I've got an early start tomorrow...

  3. I am transferring comments...please feel free to do the same.

    Charity said, I agree with the side of your argument which says that when we are forgiven, we become a new creation and have a desire to forgive. I believe that it is that way round and not the contrary, which was your original argument.

    (Which I believe was, "If we do not forgive, then God will not forgive us."

    My statement was taken from Scripture: "but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". In the same order that Scripture does.

    Charity, I understand what you believe it doesn't mean. And I understand what you believe that it may mean.

    I do not recall that you made a simple statement to the effect of "I believe that it means..." At the end of the week I may need just that simple of a phrase.

  4. Charity said, I believe that the parable of the unforgiving servant teaches us, that as God as forgiven us so we too are to forgive others who come to us in repentance. That is what is modelled there. It is that way round and not the other way round.

    Another do you pick what is supposed to be a "model" and what is not?

  5. But there is very direct wording that I would truly like to know how that direct wording figures in for you (and it will be a slow interchange this weekend...I'll be on the road much of tomorrow and then on a very slow dial-up service.)

    The wording that I am asking about is this:

    "And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."


    "if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

    Does that read like a hhyperbole?
    (sorry, there are a lot of questions all in a row, but it is easier for me to ask them seperately than to try to glob them all up)

  6. Charity

    What is forgiveness?
    There is a pretty wide range of words in both the Old Testament and New Testament translated by “forgive” in English versions, and some of them interchangeably with “pardon”, particularly in the Old Testament KJV :

    In Hebrew: kaphar, nasa, salach

    In Greek: apoluo, charizoinai, aphiemi

    It would take me a lot longer to study all the passages in which these words occur, to try and understand the range of semantic meaning, but given the number of different words used, I would imagine that there is also a range of meaning.

    For now I’ll just look at the way aphiemi and related words of the same family are used in the New Testament, or at least in the passages I have been able to find. I will leave Matthew 6 and the parable of the unforgiving servant for a later comment to reply specifically to your questions on them. In this comment I’m trying simply to answer your original question of what is forgiveness.

    There is the story (told in Matthew chapter 9, Mark chapter 2 and Luke 5) of the paralytic man that Jesus healed in. What this story shows me is that forgiveness is good news for the person that has sinned – a reason for them to take heart. Also that only God has the authority to forgive sins.

    Matthew 12, Mark 3 and Luke 12 teach me that there is only one kind of sin that cannot be forgiven and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    I see in Luke 7 that being forgiven by God goes hand in hand with salvation.

    Forgiveness means no longer holding the wrong a person has done against that person – Mark 11, Romans 4
    I believe that a Biblical condition for forgiveness is repentance, as seen in Mark 4 verse 12 and Luke 17, 1 John 1,

  7. You really should read "From Forgiven to Forgiving" - most Christians today would disagree that repentance is a condition for people to forgive one another - but agree with Adams.

    Also that only God has the authority to forgive sins.

    I think that is a paradox, since the command to forgive (at least in some places) begins with "if you brother sins against you...and must forgive him.

    If only God has the authority to forgive sins, why are we commanded to forgive when somebody sins against us and repents?

  8. Charity

    I am more interesting in seeing what the Bible has to say on forgiveness, than what popular Christian teaching on the subject is and as I said before in any case I have no obvious way of getting hold of the book within the next few months at the very least.

    Yes we can forgive sin/wrong committed against us, but only God has the authority forgive sin that is committed against him. I do not believe that the Bible suggests that we can forgive on behalf of someone else - but the very opposite. That is why the Pharisees were so scandalised by what Jesus said when he healed the paralytic man.

  9. This post is also about to drop off the bottom...I'll answer the question here, but elaborate more on top.

    Forgiveness is a three-fold promise.

    If repentance is there, a promise is made by the one sinned against.

    1) I will never hold it against you or bring it up to you
    2) I will never hold it against you or bring it up to others
    3) I will never hold it against you or bring it up to myself.

    God has promised that He will "remember our sin no more"...not the same as "forgetting".

    As far as the east is from the west is how far God removed my sins from me. From now until eternity, if they are brought up, if they are held against me, it is not by God.

  10. Charity

    So you agree with me, that for this promise to be made, there has to be repentance? That isn't what I understood from your past comments, but I may have misread you.

  11. Charity, read comment 7.

    Part of modeling our forgiveness after God is that there is repentance involved.

    Even in the parable of the ungrateful servant, there is repentance - and in the face of repentance the servant that was owed money refused to forgive.

    That is part of the model.

  12. Charity

    I'm referring to a comment you made on another post - I can't find it now because it's not on the page. I had said that repentance was a component of forgiveness - you told me that most Christians would not agree with me and recommended that I read a book that I cannot get hold of to prove your point.

    From what you seem to be saying now, either you've changed your mind since then, or you didn't actually agree with the position you were representing at that point. Is that accurate?

  13. Charity

    So in that case you're not using the "most Christians" as an argument that I should agree with? If so this is where the misunderstanding has arisen from.

  14. Excuse me please, there was a misunderstanding. "Most Christians" does not include me.

    I have been taught (but no longer believe) that forgiveness is for my sake, even if the one who sinned is not repentant, even if they do not care, even if they are dead.

    We must forgive everybody (or every thing), including the proverbial "kitchen sink" if we are holding a grudge against it.

  15. Charity

    Ok - so this is something that we do actually agree on - forgiveness is for the sake of the person being forgiven rathen than the person forgiving. I'm glad we've got that misunderstanding cleared up.

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