The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/20/2017

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Forgiveness - How Much


"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? ' " (Matt.18:21). "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him" (Lk.17:3).

This week I would like to delve into the divine subject of forgiveness. Perhaps this is one of the most difficult of all Christian behaviors to cling to, so it really needs to be addressed. If you google the word forgiveness, you'll find an endless amount of information, of both Christian and non-Christian nature. See if you like this definition, and comment on it if you wish... "Forgiveness is an attitude of heart which restores the offender to the former state and affections of the offended one..." To forgive is to bury the matter and treat it as if had not been committed. See if you like these human sketches about forgiveness;

"Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement" Horace Bushnell

"To return evil for good is devilish; to return good for good is human; but to return good for evil is God-like" Spanish proverb

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury" Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Jesus lets us know that forgiveness comes from the heart. In the parable about the king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants, (Matt.18:23-35) which might be good for all of us to read and meditate upon, Jesus ends it this way; "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart" (Vs. 35). From the Book of Hebrews, we get this wonderful nugget about the nature of God; "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more..." (10:17). In the 2nd of today's above verses, Jesus says that if our brother sins we are to rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. The teaching does not stop here though, as Jesus teaches on an even higher plane. If he does not repent, we must still manifest a kind and tender feeling toward him (Matt.5:44-46) and leave vengeance in the hands of the Lord. As Jesus' ambassadors on earth, we are to imitate him when it comes to forgiveness. More tomorrow....

Have a great start to your week.... Begin it with a RAK or two... Love mark Phil.4:1

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