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FORGIVENESS

by Fenter Northern - Associate Minister at Redland Road Church of Christ

FORGIVENESS IS AN UNSPEAKABLE, IMMEASURABLE BLESSING.

Where would we be, I be, without it? But I'm afraid we take this grace of God often too lightly. We may just go day by day without thinking too much about what a sinful person one has been. Even on the Lord's Day when we saints gather around the table of the Lord it is to remember what a sinner one has been and the awesome cost paid for our, my, forgiveness. Oh! -- How much deeper it goes than breaking off a small piece of the unleavened bread and taking a sip of the fruit of the vine.

A beautiful Christian recently wished to speak to me about the burden they were bearing in an otherwise non-Christian family environment. There was no thought for forgiveness by some in the family, as if no one needed it, nor was it even wanted. And that was the only thing that would ever heal the problem. So many heartaches are so unnecessary because forgiveness for them is impossible. Especially is this true among family members and marriages. But the Lord said, if we don't forgive, neither will we be forgiven. That's just too much to bear.

Forgiveness does not mean that God lets one off after a terrible sin. It seldom means anything like that. One must reap what they sow. What it means is -- sin generally has to be paid for regardless of forgiveness but forgiveness restores relationship. One can bear the payment for sin, difficult as it may be, as long as the right relationship is restored. That is what gives one the strength to live with oneself. Otherwise guilt and unrestored relationship can drive one to the pits, -- even suicide.

In Acts 11:18 it is said that repentance is a grant. You and I have no right to repentance and the forgiveness of sin. It is a merciful grant. Let's not let, "Lord forgiven me of my sins,"be a pat ending to a recited prayer, but give some deep thought to the love of a Father God who restores the relationship of his child to himself when they come humbly and penitently asking for it-and who puts the family ring back on the finger and has a welcome home party. Thank God your, my, relationship is restored but the memory of the hog pin we were in, and the fact that it was our bad choice will remain with us the rest of our life. It did Paul who long years later still thought of himself as the chief of sinners. AMEN!




"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18


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