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
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
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.