Receiving God’s forgiveness is based on our faith and love.  We cannot expect to be forgiven without them.

Acts 5:31                     Repentance is connected to forgiveness

Acts 13:38 – 39           Faith leads to forgiveness

Acts 26:18                   Understanding God leads to forgiveness

Romans 4:7                 (See Psalm 32:1 – 5) Confession leads to forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7 – 14      Faith leads to forgiveness

Colossians 1:4 – 14     Faith leads to forgiveness

Colossians 2:8 – 15     Faith and baptism lead to forgiveness

James 5:15                  Faithful prayer leads to forgiveness

1 John 1:9                   Confession leads to forgiveness

Luke 23:34                  Acting ignorantly can also lead to forgiveness

It would be dangerous to forgive less than I expect God to forgive me.

Matthew 6:12 – 15, Mark 11:25 – 26, Luke 11:4

Matthew 18:21 – 35

Luke 6:37

Ephesians 4:32

Colossians 3:13

2 Corinthians 2:7 – 10

It would be arrogant to forgive when God does not

Matthew 12:31 – 32, Mark 3:28 – 29, Luke 12:10

Luke 17:3 – 4              If he repents…

It would be presumptuous to give hearty endorsement to God’s lack of forgiveness

Jude 9

How do we know how to forgive as God does?

To forgive is to repair a broken connection.  Spiritual connectedness is fellowship.  God forgives in order to re-establish our spiritual connection.  We do the same with brethren.  Saying that we forgive those with whom we have no relationship is meaningless and only obscures the concept.

  • Our relationship to the unforgiven is that of an ambassador.  I have no cause to be offended.  He just needs the gospel.  If he will not accept it, my response is sorrow for him.
  • Our relationship to the forgiven is that of a brother.  I have no cause to be offended.  He’s doing the best he can, and God has forgiven him already.  My response is to help him succeed.