Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Forgive God’s Way

By Odon Bulamba (17 January 2003)

We are going to talk about divine forgiveness. We all know about forgiveness, if you do wrong against your brother, you ask for his forgiveness. If this forgiveness is not from the depth of your heart then it isn’t forgiveness. Example: You can hurt someone and say “sorry”, and that’s it but deep in your heart you don’t feel that you’ve done something wrong. God’s forgiveness is quite the opposite. God’s forgiveness is not limited to the lips or the education we received from our parents, but it touches the depth of a man’s heart.

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is the act of forgiving someone when you feel in your heart they have hurt you. So you decide to forgive them and forget it completely.

There is a French saying that says, “You can hurt me today but when I see the sky I’ll remember the wound”, but God’s forgiveness is not like this. God’s forgiveness is like removing scars. Forgiveness has 3 components, so first of all you must have a wound and the wound is what we call wrongdoing. Secondly, the person who was wounded will feel it in their heart, and after this is forgiveness.

Example: If I stab you, what will you feel? Pain goes to the depth of your heart because the person who stabbed you has just become your enemy. He may smile at you but you won’t smile back, so after 30 years you will decide to forgive. This is how forgiveness works in the world. Christians who are spiritual babies say they forgive but in the depth of their hearts they lie. They remember what happened 2 years ago when they see the person who wronged them, and in their heart they can’t wait for God to judge that person. There are Christians who live this way.

Acts 10:43 says, 43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Romans 3:23-24 says, 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Forgiveness is free. What does Jesus say about forgiveness?

Matthew 6:14-15 says, 14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

If you forgive, God will forgive you and if you don’t forgive, God won’t forgive you. This is a condition that Jesus gave us. This is not a contradiction even though it seems so. Before some Christians forgive they ask that person they are forgiving to pay their debt, other Christians completely cut off their relationship and say that this is their forgiveness. Is this forgiveness according to Acts, Romans or Jesus?

This is forgiveness from the devil. We add our own conditions and use the Word of God to cover it. When Luke wrote the book of Acts he was talking to the newborn Christians, and he talked about forgiving and forgetting their sins completely.

God’s forgiveness happens even before the wrongdoing has been done, even before we were condemned Jesus came to save and forgive us our faults. Before we were born Jesus accepted to crucify His life for you and me, then He said, “It is finished”.

This is the quality of God’s forgiveness. As Christians we must not push people away and forgive them later. One day I went to Social Welfare and I was introduced to a new case manager. He was a serious man but he asked me how he could help me? I said I want joy in my heart but he looked at me in a strange way. I said I really need Christ’s joy in my heart, so I said maybe you can’t help me but I can help you. He looked at me thinking I didn’t need his help. I said to him that Jesus loves you. He asked me how do you know that? I said you are a creature from God and He loves whomever He created. He said this is not true; you Christians have illusions in your heads.

When I left he came up to me and said, why did you tell me that Jesus loves me? I said that Jesus died for your sins and He wants you to change your behaviour. Suddenly his face changed and said that it went deep into his heart, what have I done wrong? Why have you troubled my peace? Where can I get my peace back? I said there is always peace in Jesus Christ. He then asked me for my phone number. When he phoned me he said that he had been a Christian for 12 years and nobody had talked to him about Jesus’ love. He had lived with hatred and disorder all his life, he thought that if he drunk beer on earth he would drink it in heaven. I talked more about God’s love and His forgiveness.

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