FORGIVENESS-A KINGDOM LIFESTYLE

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:13).

Every human who inherits the Kingdom of God is a forgiven sinner who has practiced a lifestyle of forgiveness! One day, the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and said, “‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’”(Matthew 18:21-22). I am sure that Jesus’ words startled Peter far beyond what is written in this text. Peter was practicing a lifestyle of reasonableness-one that does not go further than normal human behavior. Is a lifestyle of reasonableness and pragmatism what God wants, or does He desire that we live on a higher plain? I think He wants much better for His beloveds than what our humanity can produce. Peter’s carnality had not allowed for the answer Jesus would give him. Seven times seventy takes forgiveness out of the realm of human capacity, possibility, and reasonableness, and places it squarely where it has it genesis, the hands of God. Seventy times seven means that we should forgive as often as we are asked. If it were possible for a brother to sin against us 490 times a day, we must forgive each time. In order to live a Kingdom lifestyle, we need Jesus the King, that we might take dominion over each obstacle that tries to prevent us from proving our victory through Jesus Christ.

The scripture says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies [compassionate hearts], kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Colossians 3:12-13). The Father has given the New Covenant believer all he needs for “life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue […] that […] we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). God provides everything we need through Christ Jesus. As a result of this work of God in the believer, he now has power over unforgiveness. The power to forgive releases both the offender and the offended! How beautiful is the Lord!

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