Do you know what forgiveness really means according to the Bible teaching? What are the verses that teach about forgiveness? Let’s see what we were able to find here.
What is forgiveness?
Before we proceed to the verses from the Bible that explain and show the real forgiveness God had for us first, let’s see what this notion means in a broad sense. The popular secular opinion explains that forgiveness is “a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”
On top of that, people also need to make sure what in reality forgiveness is not. It is not pretending that anything bad ever happened. It means that you choose to let it go, and not let the offense be your guide. You decide not to judge people by what they did to you in the past and choose to love them and believe in the best about them.
Now as we know what forgiveness in its general meaning is, let’s move on to finding out more about the forgiveness as it is described in the Bible.
What does Bible say about God’s forgiveness?
It is not a secret that all our relationship with God is based on forgiveness. We were created in His image, perfect and flawless. The first people only had one restriction: not to eat from one tree in the Garden of Eden. However, they disobeyed. They had everything, yet were not satisfied and wanted their way.
That is when God had to send them away from the Garden. Since that time people were not able to have the direct relationship with the Lord, as God is holy, and we are sinful. We are born with sin, and it is a part of our nature to choose sin over righteousness.
However, in His perfect will was a desire to save us from the eternal penalty of hell that we are supposed to pay. We do not deserve His mercy, yet He gives it to us for free through faith in Jesus Christ as the Only One who can give us salvation. No other ways would world apart from Jesus and His death on the cross. He was pure and had no sin. That is why His death was a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the people that ever lived.
This what is called forgiveness and also grace. God did not say that nothing ever happened. He takes our sins very seriously as they insult Him and let Him thin that we don’t care about Him and His commandments. Nevertheless, He chooses to give us something we do not deserve despite all the bad we did to Him.
Forgiveness God shows to us is an example of how everything can be left behind with the only desire to help and love the other person. It is not because we did something to make Him love us but just because we want us to live and prosper.
This forgiveness is only granted to those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the cross as the penalty for their sin. People who believe that Jesus is God in the flesh who dies voluntarily for their sins to let them live instead can experience this forgiveness of God to His people and the consequences it has on their lives.
Let’s check the verses from the Bible that talk about this forgiveness to get inspired by the scale of the blessing it brings:
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:10-14)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:9-10)
“Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:44-50)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
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“To him, all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)
“For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8)
“And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.” (Luke 23:34)
Forgiveness of others in the Bible
Since God has left us a perfect example of forgiveness, He wants us to follow His lead and forgive others for their wrongdoings against us. The standard He has set for us is extremely high, and no human with his sinful being can ever reach what God expects from us. This reminds us that we desperately need His help and assistance to make us able to forgive others.
Here are the verses that encourage Christians to forgive those who sinned against them by mistake or even on purpose. God made it clear that we should love one another, and forgiveness is a part of the loving side. This is so considering that to love means to choose to want good for the person that we might not necessarily like. Sometimes when this person hurts us, we have to forgive her or him to keep on loving them and doing good to them no matter what.
All in all, here are the verses that God wants to bear in mind when thinking of forgiving others. Some of the verses are taken from the Bible stories that illustrate forgiveness; others are made from epistles of Apostles. So. To be in the context, we highly recommend you reading the whole passage to be tuned up to the general idea of the forgiveness of others on the pages of the Bible:
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (John 14:6)
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26)
“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.” (Matthew 18:21-35)
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:15-20)
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:18-20)
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