The Sunday Conversation | with Pastor Luke Okoro | 03. 10. 2021
Matthew 6:9-15; Romans 23:1-2; 9-31; 5:8; Luke 23:34; Hebrews 12:1-4; Acts 7:50; and
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”. (Matthew 6:9-15.)
As long as there are human beings talking to each other, interacting among themselves and living together, there must be offences. Relationship among human beings is like a motorist on the road. No matter how expertly and carefully your driving is, somehow some others will come your way to make sure your safety is not solely dependent on you. Our journey as believers is like that on earth. Sometimes people act against you for no just cause. Indeed offences will always come. And what are we expected to do? We are expected to FORGIVE as the Bible enjoins us in the passage quoted above.
What then is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is to overlook an offence, an error or an act of excusing a mistake. It can also mean to stop blaming somebody, to cancel a debt or to absolve an error as in infidelity in a marriage relationship. Yes, the bottom line in forgiveness is that: Anything can be Forgiven! Everything is Forgiveable! And forgiveness can take place anywhere. The other thing is that the act of offence can be carried out: Anywhere. Anyhow. And by Anybody! Jesus on the Cross on showed that offences are everywhere as much as offenders too.
The two villains that were crucified with Jesus Christ on the cross in Luke 23 found time to malign and abuse Jesus before one of them repented and was forgiven his sin there and then by Jesus. The Bible also tells us that Jesus forgave us our sins while we were yet sinners– when he died on the Cross of Calvary. (Romans 5:8). By implication Jesus who knew no sin died for those who were sinners. Yes the saint dying for the infidel in order to save the infidel from eternal death and hell fire.
This could not have been done without God forgiving humankind their sins including the inherited old Adamic nature arising from the FALL in the Garden of Eden. And if God could give us Jesus to die on the cross, what then is that offence, as believers we can’t forgive? Ponder on this as we converse.
I ask this question because I have seen or heard several people say they can only forgive “over their dead body”. That shouldn’t be so.
Jesus says when we forgive, our Father in Heaven will also forgive us. And that if we don’t forgive those who trespass against us, then our heavenly Father will also not forgive us our trespasses.
That is the essential message in the Lord’s prayer as taught His disciples. As believers the same message is for us today. As long as we wish to go to heaven where Jesus is preparing for us since He departed this side of eternity, we must learn to forgive. (John 14:1-6.)
Now, this is not to say that there are no hard sides of forgiveness. There are.
An act of murder. An insincere and careless divorce. A rape. A robbery. An arson. Calculated deceit or Fraud. Marital infidelity or cheating. Abuse of any kind.
Prodigality. Bareface lying or perjury that gave birth to jail. Stolen virginity. Sexual advantage. Child trafficking. Right denials.
Conspiracy and wilful insubordination.
Bad habits that broke friendships and relationships. False or fake marriage. Corruption and it’s associated evils? The list can be stretched. Whether you are the victim or the villain doesn’t really matter. What is at stake is Forgiveness. Let the victim accept forgiveness as much as the villain too. God expects us to forgive no matter how deep the cut. Again this can be hard. But that is the demand of heaven for BELIEVERS.
Notwithstanding, several homes have been torn apart because wives and husbands as it were do not want to forgive each other; parents don’t want to forgive their abberrant wards or children; children rejecting to forgive their irresponsible parents.
Many otherwise flourishing businesses, friendships and relationships have totally collapsed because of unforgiveness by the parties involved. Strangely too, Christian groups have also broken up or failed because of unforgiveness. The sin of unforgiveness is no doubt a reproach, a little fox that challenges a believer’s claim to righteousness.
(To be continued).
Happy Sunday. Kindly share.
*Pastor Luke Okoro can be reached on:
October 3, 2021