“Be sure that God has no other way of forgiving sin than through the Word, which He has commanded us men to speak. If you do not look for forgiveness in the Word, you will gape heavenward in vain for grace or, as they say, for ‘the forgiveness within.’”
Forgiveness is a gift that is often hard to give and even harder, sometimes, to accept. It’s hard to give because, in our selfish nature, it is hard to give such an extravagant gift to someone who we believe has wronged us. It’s hard to accept at times because of the grief we feel over wronging someone else.
However, without this most precious gift, we would be lost for all eternity as our due reward for the sinful lives we have chosen to lead. We would be forever lost in the aftermath of our bad decisions and selfish ambitions.
In fact, God saw forgiveness such an important factor in life that He gave His only Son to take on our sin so that forgiveness could be fairly given. This message of forgiveness has been passed on to us through God’s Word and within its pages we find a story of a beautiful relationship between the Creator of all and the people He created to love.
Forgiveness has since become a link between heaven and earth. Mark 11:25 says, “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 trespass.” You see, our forgiveness toward others is linked to God’s forgiveness of us. Our forgiveness on earth directly relates to our forgiveness in heaven.
God’s Holy Word also tells us that “If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Here confession is tied into the same process of heavenly clemency.
Only in God’s Word do we see the process involved in confession and absolution. Only in God’s Word do we hear the beautiful message of grace and mercy. Only in Christ are people assured of the kind of forgiveness that leads to righteousness in God’s eyes.
Today, forgive someone who you think has wronged you and let them know that you still value them. Give to God your anger and disappointment and give to your brother a message of love.
Our prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for withholding forgiveness to those who have wronged us and give us the faith and wisdom not to let our disappointment with others rule our lives. Amen.