Forgiveness is the key to freedom and there are three areas to consider:
1. Receiving God’s forgiveness
- 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- God wants to forgive us, cleanse us, set us free but we need to recognize our sins and confess to Him and that is the condition. God wants to hear our confession as it is a sign of humility and first step towards repentance.
- Some think that after we confessed our sins, we must feel a certain way. However it is not about feelings. The word of God is more then feeling, it is faith.
- Sin is a terrible burden to carry and guilty feeling is likewise a heavy burden to bear.
- Psalm 51 records for us the prayer of confession and repentance of King David’s about his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and his murderous act against her husband Uriah. It was Prophet Nathan who exposed David. There David repented and confessed his sins to God and He forgave him.
- While God forgave David, but he still paid for the consequences of his sin.
- It is therefore important to know that while God forgives our sins, we will still have to bear with the consequences of the sin.
- In John 4:28-29 The woman at the well who lives an adulterous life of many husband, yet when Jesus exposed her sin, there was no sense of condemnation, except the awe of Jesus’presence. She felt the power of God and and went about bringing the whole town of people to come meet Jesus.
- Jesus has become the living water for her.
- Psalm 130:3-5 If God were to mark our iniquities, nobody will stand. God indeed forgives, so we have to learn to enjoy the forgiveness of God.
- God forgives us but it does not always erased the consequences of sins.
- Example there was a case in the past where few guys were sentenced to death. Rev. Khoo (the Prison Chaplin at that time) led them to confessed their sins and led them to Christ. They received the forgiveness of God, but they still faced the death sentence.
- So let us stop sinning else we may incurred for ourselves more consequences.
2. Forgiving ourselves
- Self-Condemnation is common.
- There is no sense in punish our future for the mistakes of our past. Forgive ourselves, grow from it, and then let it go… Melanie Koulouris
- 1 Tim 2:7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ[a] and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
- The Apostle Paul, while have committed many murder against Christians, thank Jesus for enabling him and putting him in the ministry.
- 1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
- It is no wonder Paul would declare himself the Chief of sinners having received such great forgiveness from God as he forgives himself.
- Thank God for His amazing grace for his forgiveness.
- John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
- If we have truly repented, receive the forgiveness of God, forgive ourselves, pick ourselves up and move on.
- To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you… Lewis B. Smedes
3. Releasing Forgiveness to others
- It’s easier to deal with forgiving ourselves as no one can see. However when it comes to forgiving others, it can be very difficult especially those who has hurt us deeply.
- Ephesians 4:32 Forgive one another
- While it may be difficult, we must still do it because it is good for us as it is the key to freedom.
- Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
- This is a difficult verse to accept, but it is plain and true. God has given His one and only begotten son Jesus to die for our sins so that we can receive His forgiveness, so how can we not forgive when God Himself has forgave us whole we were yet sinners.
- Meditate on Psalm 73
- Unforgiveness is emotional bondage that consumes minds with memories of offenses, distort emotions with revenge, and child hearts with churning unrest… Charles Stanley
- God wants us to live a free life, a blessed life and one key to freedom, is forgiveness.
Forgiveness releases us to enjoy…
1. our walk with God
2. fellowship with others
1. Forgiveness does not always lead in a healed relationship.
2. Some people are not capable of love and it might be wise to let them go along with your anger. Just wish them well and take care of yourself.
Let us always choose to receive God’s forgiveness, to forgive ourselves and to stop sinning, and also to forgives others. Forgiveness is the key to freedom.