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Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

On the surface, it looks like we have to forgive others in order for God to forgive us. That’s why it’s important to read in context, remember who Jesus was speaking to, and when He was speaking to them.

When Jesus made this statement, He was talking to His disciples who were living under the Law of Moses. Under the Law, people had to earn their blessings and forgiveness through works. One of the works to receive forgiveness was to forgive others.

Although it’s extremely beneficial to forgive others and it’s a command given by God, in the New Covenant, forgiving others is not a requirement to be forgiven by God. Making it a requirement dilutes the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s essentially saying Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough for God to forgive us and that we must forgive others to receive total forgiveness, which is not true.

God’s forgiveness towards us comes through His grace, which means it can’t be earned. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Jesus. Ephesians 1:7 says, in Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Again, it’s extremely beneficial and a command to forgive others, but if we haven’t forgiven a person, God’s not holding that over our heads. We won’t go to hell if we die and didn’t forgive someone. Our unwillingness to forgive is a sin, but that sin has been paid for through the sacrifice of Jesus. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, God has completely forgiven us of all our sins.

And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear. -Hebrews 8:12‭-‬13 NLT

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Scriptures of the Day

November 2022
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