The myths and the truths of Forgiveness – by Sam Storms

Sam Storms addresses the issue of forgiveness and talks at length about what biblical forgiveness is and what it isn’t.

“Most of the ground that Satan gains in the lives of Christians,” wrote Neil Anderson, “is due to unforgiveness” (Bondage Breaker, 194). I couldn’t agree more. It isn’t hard to figure out why, once we realize that unforgiveness breeds bitterness, resentment, anger, unkindness, and even despair. Nothing is more important for us than to know what forgiveness is as well as what it isn’t. So what I propose in this study is to look first at five myths about forgiveness; that is to say, five lies many of us have embraced about what it means to forgive another person. Then I will turn to five truths about forgiveness, or five essential elements apart from which true forgiveness will never take place.

The he goes on to list 5 myths about forgiveness:

1. Contrary to what many have been led to believe, forgiveness is not forgetting.

2. Forgiving someone does not mean you no longer feel the pain of their offense.

3. Forgiving someone who has sinned against you doesn’t mean you cease longing for justice.

4. Forgiveness does not mean you are to make it easy for the offender to hurt you again.

5. Forgiveness is rarely a one-time, climactic event.

and 5 truths about forgiveness:

1. God in Christ forgave us by absorbing in himself the destructive and painful consequences of our sin against him.

2. God forgave us in Christ by canceling the debt we owed him. That is to say, we are no longer held liable for our sins or in any way made to pay for them.

3. Forgiving others as God has forgiven us means we resolve to revoke revenge.

4. Forgiving others as God has forgiven us means that we determine to do good to them rather than evil. Read especially Romans 12:17-21.

5. God forgave us in Christ be reconciling us to himself, by restoring the relationship that our sin had shattered.

Click here to read the entire article at Acts 29 Network.

(via) Justin Taylor

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