“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).
We must never forget the beauty and costliness of the forgiveness of sins. Christ, in His death, forgave us of all our sins, and it is He who in the Lord’s prayer instructs us in the depths of God’s forgiveness. He says, “in this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven […] forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors […] For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:9-15).
Scripture says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” which means that every human who will populate the Kingdom of God is a forgiven sinner whom He calls saints or sanctified ones. Scripture necessitates forgiveness! It is necessary and unavoidable for every believer! “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” connects us both to God and man. In this prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask the Father to forgive us in the same manner as we forgive others. As was said in a previous article, “love demands repentance.” It also demands forgiveness! “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” As Christians, we must never be casual concerning forgiveness for our continued forgivenesses is predicated on our forgiving others. God does not take unforgiveness lightly! The apostle Paul 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. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:12-15).
The peace of God does not rule in an unforgiving heart! Therefore, let us continually forgive one another!