By Kenneth Allan Clark. © Copyright 2004
Published by Victorious Christian Ministries International.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author Kenneth Allan Clark.
Scripture taken from the “Clark's English Translation” Copyright © 2012, 2013 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission, all rights reserved.
Hard copies of “God’s Love & Forgiveness.” By Kenneth Allan Clark are available from
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P.O. Box 144 Wynnum QLD 4178
This book covers both the importance of God’s forgiveness towards us and of our need to forgive others, before we can fully expect or enjoy God’s blessing and goodness towards us. You may ask why the title “God’s Love and Forgiveness”? This is because forgiveness is an act of love. This book is not a study on love and all the different kinds of love. It is a study on forgiveness, which is the outworking of God’s love towards mankind. The greatest act of love ever, was God’s giving of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Through this act of love, God brought both forgiveness of sins to mankind and reconciliation between God and man.
God’s love is a sacrifice of love, in which God gives His all for the benefit of all mankind, whom He loves, not expecting anything in return.
Example 1: God gives all mankind both rain and sunshine. God does not expect us to repay Him for either the rain or the sun, and there is no way that we could ever repay Him. But if we were to close ourselves in a stone building, and not avail ourselves of God’s free gifts of rain and sunshine, our mortal body will surely die.
Example 2: God gives us salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, so that all mankind may have eternal life. This is a free gift of God’s love to all mankind; there is no way we can repay Him. But if we were to cloth ourselves in sin, and not avail ourselves of God’s free gift of salvation, instead of enjoying eternal life, we along with our sin, will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. For all sin must and will be destroyed.
Mankind depends on God for everything, while God depends on mankind for nothing. God does not need mankind it is mankind that needs God. Those who do not love God, will often say, “Why doesn’t God leave mankind alone to get on with life?” Why? 1: Mankind cannot survive without God. 2: Even if God were still to gives us gifts of rain and sunshine, sin if not dealt with will destroy all mankind.
God could if He wanted to, simply remove and destroy all mankind along with their sin, and start all over again. But God’s love for mankind stops Him from destroying all mankind. God’s love is totally selfless, in that He never expects anything back in return. But the love of mankind without God is selfish; in that it always expects something back in return. It is only when we repent of our sins and ask Jesus Christ into our lives as both our Lord and Deliverer, that we to can begin to love others as God loves us.
THE MEANING OF WORDS THAT
In writing this book I have looked at the meaning of the words atonement, remission, forgiveness, pardon, reconciled, propitiation, redemption and justification; all words that are used to describe the outworking of God’s love and forgiveness towards mankind. Using where applicable Bible passages or short stories to give you more understanding of the words. Finishing up by looking at some Bible passages on forgiveness that help us learn more about God’s love and forgiveness towards us, and how we also should show love and forgiveness towards others.
The New Bible Dictionary:
(Paraphrased) The word ‘atonement’ is one of few theological terms that come from an Anglo-Saxon Source. It means ‘a making at one’, and points to a process of bringing those who are estranged into unity. Its use in theology is to denote the work of Christ in dealing with the problem posed by the sin of man, and bringing sinners into a right relationship with God.
To be estranged is a term we use to describe a husband and wife who are living apart from each other, because they are finding it difficult (or impossible) to live together. When these difficulties are overcome, it is then possible for the husband and wife to come back together as one. In so doing, it is said that husband and wife are now reconciled to each other.
So it is with man and God. Man was created to live in union with God. But man’s sin makes it impossible for man to live in union with God. It is only when a man (or a woman) accepts that Jesus Christ died for his (or her) sins, and that God our Father has forgiven him (or her), that man can then be reconciled back to God.
Atonement: Hebrew kaphar: To cover, or to make covering.
Atonement: Hebrew kippurim: Coverings.
Atonement: Greek katailage: Reconciliation.
The word atonement is mainly an Old Testament term meaning to cover. Under the Old Covenant the daily sacrifices and the yearly sacrifices of atonement only covered sin; they did not completely deal with sin. If they did, there would no longer be any need for the priest to continually offer daily and yearly sacrifices of atonement. Atonement means to cover. Sacrifices of atonement only covered sin; they did not do away with sin.
Let me tell you a parable. A woman expecting guests was sweeping her home when her guest arrived earlier than expected. So she lifts the corner of her mat and sweeps the dust under the mat, covering the dust but not removing it. It may look right to her guest, but the woman’s conscience is still troubled. She knows her home is not clean, because there is still dust in her home. She says to herself, “If only I had started sweeping five minutes earlier. Then I would have had time to sweep the dust into a bag and thrown it away into the deepest bin. To thrown away is to remit. If we cover our sins, our conscience troubles us. But when God throws our sin away, our conscience is clean.
If we were to do a study of Hebrews chapters 9 & 10, we would see that God through Paul is telling us, that the Old Covenant with all of its sacrifices could never purify us from sin (10:1-2), but were only copies that pointed ahead to Christ who would be “offered once to bear the sins of many,” doing away with the need for continual sacrifices (9:23-28). Sacrifices that only covered sin.
1. To send (money), as by post.
2. a. To cancel (a penalty or punishment). b. To
Pardon; forgive. From Latin remittere, to send back, release.
1. To excuse fault or offence; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against; cease to blame. 3. To absolve from payment of.
Old English forgiefan (translation of Medieval Latin perdonare, to pardon).
1: The act of forgiving.
2. Willingness to forgive.
1: To release (a person) from punishment; forgive.
2. To pass over (an offence) without punishment - - - - - - Law. The exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of the law.
Remission or forgiveness: Greek: aphesis: A sending away.
Remit: Greek: aphiemi: To send away.
Forgive or Pardon: Hebrew: nasa: To lift up or away.
Forgive or Pardon: Hebrew: salach: To send away, to let go.
Forgiveness: Hebrew: selichah: A sending away.
Forgive: Greek: charizomai: To be gracious to.
Forgive: Greek: aphiemi: To send or let off or away.
Remission is mainly a New Covenant term, meaning to loose and cast away. Under the Old Covenant, sins were atoned for (meaning covered over). While under the New Covenant our sins are loosed from us and cast far away. But there are passages in the Old Testament that tell us, God cast our sins away, which is to remit or to forgive our sins. Probably the best description, we have of the remission of sins, is given to us by David in Psalm 103.
Psalm 103:10 He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the sky is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.
4. Forgiveness (Or the remission of sins) means to loose and cast away.
Forgiveness (Or the remission of sins)
Means to loose from and cast away;
Thus resulting in the deliverance from sin.
In doing a word study on forgiveness, I found that there are three Greek words that are traditionally translated into English as either forgive, forgiveness, remission or deliverance.
Charizmai: Meaning ‘to be gracious to - - - - - .’ And to be gracious means to ‘give favour to those who do not deserve favour.’ It is this word Charizmai that is favoured by Paul in all his letters, except the letters to the Romans and to the Hebrews. This word is usually translated into English as forgive, forgave or forgiven. Luke also uses this word once (In Luke 7:43). However given the contents of this verse, the Greek word Aphiemi, would have been a better choice of words.
The gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (And Paul in his letters to the Romans and to the Hebrews) favour the Greek words Aphiemi and Aphesis; both meaning “to loose, to let go, to send or cast away.” These two Greek words are usually translated into English as either remit, remission, forgive or forgiven. However in Luke chapter 4 verse 18 the word Aphesis is twice translated into English as liberty, deliverance or release, depending on what version you are reading.
My initial findings of this word study; are that whenever we read in the Gospels or the Book of Acts the words forgave, forgive, forgiven, forgiving, remission or remittance, we can correctly translate these words as ‘to loose and cast away’.
1. To re-establish friendship between. 2. To settle or resolve (a dispute, for example).
Hebrew: kaphar: To cover, make atonement.
Greek: katallasso: To change thoroughly from.
Greek: apokallasso: To change thoroughly from.
Greek: katallage: A thorough change.
To be reconciled is to be thoroughly changed. Example, to be reconciled to someone (or to a group of people) that we may hate, dislike or just have a difference with, we must first forgive him or her of what offended or offends us. For as long as we hold our brothers (or enemies) sin against them we cannot be reconciled to them. In the same way if sin separates a husband and wife, they must first forgive each other before they can be reconciled to each other. Meaning they must first forgive each other before they can once again live together as husband and wife.
In Mathew 18:35: Jesus Christ teaches us, if our brother has offended us and he comes to us seeking forgiveness, we should forgive him from our heart. The Greek word used here is aphiemi, which can be translated as ‘to forgive’ or ‘to remit’, meaning to send away, to let go. As long as we hold on to our brother’s sin, we cannot be reconciled to him; we first need to let go of the sin and cast it away.
In Colossians 1:19-22: Greek word apokallasso meaning to be throughly changed from is translated in verse 20 as reconcile, and in verse 21 as reconciled. In this passage we read that God the Father has by His Son, Jesus Christ reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in the sky. 21 And you, that were in time past, alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and faultless and innocent in his sight:
I have been reconciled (changed thoroughly from). I was once both alienated (estranged) from God, and an enemy of God in my mind because of the wicked works I have done. But now through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, Christ presents me as one who is holy, blameless, and above reproach in the eyes of God.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21: the Greek word katallasso is translated in verse 18 and 20 as reconciled, and in verse 19 as reconciling. While the Greek word katallage is translated in verses 18 and 19 as reconciliation.
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in the sky, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he would be both first and head. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in the sky. 21 And you, that were in time past, alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled
When I first became a Christian, I was born again, baptized into Christ, the old passed away and I am now a new creation. By the power of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, I have been thoroughly changed. Christ died for my sins, therefore in Christ I am now dead to sin, and because I am dead to sin I no longer live for myself, instead I live for Him who died and rose again. God thoroughly changed me from sin to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given me the ministry of pleading with sinners to be thoroughly changed from people who live to please themselves, to people who live to please God.
What is the main reason for the breakdown of marriages? It is because one or both partners choose to live their life to please themselves. How do a husband and wife restore their marriage? By choosing to forgive one another and to love one another; by living their life to please their partner and not themselves.
What is the main reason for man’s separation from God? It is because man chooses to live his life to please himself. How is man’s relationship with God restored? By God forgiving man’s sin; and man choosing to live his life to please God.
God in Christ has thoroughly changed me from this world to God.
Colossians 1:13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins:
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; see, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 In the manner that God was through Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their sins against them; and has committed unto us the message of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did plead through us: we pray in Christ's behalf, be you reconciled to God.
God was in Christ thoroughly changing the world (meaning the people of the world) to Himself. Not counting) their sins against them. It is the Greek word paraptoma meaning to fall aside, which is here translated as sins. Every time we sin we fall away from, aside from or short of God’s standard of living justly.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We often talk of repentance, as turning away from sin towards righteousness. But what is sin? And what is righteousness? 2 Corinthians 5:15 tells us that Christ died that we should no longer live for ourselves; instead we should live for Jesus Christ who died for us. So we can say that repentance is turning away from living our lives for ourselves (or from pleasing ourselves) towards living our lives for Jesus Christ (or towards pleasing God). In doing this we become thoroughly changed (or reconciled) to God.
I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows and understands God. 8 He that does not love; neither knows nor understands God; for God is love. 9 In this was revealed the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we should also to love one another.
Greek: hilasmos: What appeases, propitiates.
Greek: hilasterion: Place of propitiation.
Propitiate: To conciliate (an offended power); appease.
Appease: 1. To bring peace to; soothe. 2. To placate or conciliate by yielding to the demands of.
1. a. The act of appeasing. B. The condition of being appeased. 2. The policy of granting concessions to potential enemies with the aim of maintaining peace.
Expiation: 1. The act of expiating; an atonement. 2. The means of redress or atonement; amends.
The New Bible Dictionary:
Propitiation properly signifies the removal of the wrath by offering a gift. In the Old Testament it is expressed by the verb kipper (see Atonement). In the New Testament the hilaskomai word group is the important one. In modern times the whole idea of propitiation has been strongly criticized as savouring of unworthy ideas of God. Many suggest that the term “propitiation’ should be abandoned in favour of expiation. The objection to propitiation arises largely from an objection to the whole idea of the wrath of God.
To anyone who has read the Bible, it should be abundantly clear, that there is a Day of Judgment coming when God’s wrath will be poured out upon the wicked. But for those who God counts as righteous, the blood of Jesus Christ is a sacrifice of propitiation that turns aside the wrath of God.
There are also other examples of God’s people offering blood sacrifices to turn away God’s wrath.
As the time of the Israelite's captivity in Egypt drew to an end, the Israelite's were told to set aside a lamb, a lamb for each household. Then when the time was right, they were to kill their lamb, put the blood on the doorpost, shut themselves inside their house and eat their lamb. Then that night, while they were still shut inside, the angel of the Lord was sent to take the life of the first-born son of very household that did not have the blood on the doorpost, while at the same time passing over very household that had blood on the doorpost. It is important to note, on the night that the Israelite's killed their lambs; not only did the sacrifice of their lamb become a sacrifice of propitiation, turning aside the wrath of God, so that God’s wrath passed over them; the lamb also became both a sacrifice of atonement that covered their sins and a ransom, the price paid to set them free from slavery and captivity in Egypt (a type picture of our release from sin and the dominion of darkness by the blood of Jesus Christ).
The Passover lamb is a type picture of Jesus Christ, who became the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Under the Old Covenant the blood sacrifice of a lamb, was a sacrifice of atonement that covered man’s sin, bringing propitiation between man and God, turning aside God’s wrath so that it passed over them. Under the New Covenant the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lamb, was a sacrifice for the remission sins (the losing and casting away of sins), bringing propitiation between man and God, turning aside God’s wrath so that it passes over us.
After the children of Israel rebelled against God by not entering into Canaan, He called Moses aside.
Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? How long will they not believe me, for all the signs which I have shown among them? 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation and mightier than they.
God here has pronounced judgment on the Children of Israel, and the sentence is death to all. Moses as a type picture of Jesus Christ; falls on his knees before God and intercedes for the children of Israel. Then God in reply to Moses’ prayer of intercession says, “I have pardoned, according to your word” (Numbers 14:20). God had judged them and condemned them all to death. But then, because Moses interceded for them, God pardons them. Moses’ prayer appeased God and brought about the propitiation (the turning aside) of God’s wrath.
1. To release (a person) from punishment; forgive. 2. To pass over (an offence) without punishment - - - - - - - -
Law. The exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of the law.
In days of old, many countries were ruled over by either a king or a queen. Just one of the many powers that a king held was that of giving a convicted criminal a royal pardon. Even today in many democratic nations they still have the equivalent of a royal pardon. A pardon releases a person or persons from the just punishment due to them for any crimes they have committed. The two most common reasons for granting a royal pardon were.
1: It was the king’s will that he show favour towards a convicted criminal.
Example: The Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker both offended the king of Egypt, who had them thrown into prison. Both the baker and the butler were guilty of the same crime, but when it came time for the king to pronounce sentence, he pardoned the butler and sentenced the baker to death. They were both guilty of the same crime and the just punishment for their crime was death. Then why were they not both put to death? Because the butler found favour in the eyes of his king, and his king gave him a royal pardon. (Genesis chapter 40)
2: Sometimes there may come a rebellion in the land against the king, and the kingdom will be split in two by civil war. The war may not go well for the rebels and forces of the king are victorious over the rebels. Problem! What do you do with the remaining rebels? They have broken the law, they have taken up arms against the king, and the just punishment for their crime is death. But the king does not want to put all the rebels to death, he does not want to return hate for hate, he wants to show love and forgiveness towards his enemies. So the king offers all the rebels a royal pardon, forgiving all their past sins. It is a free pardon that cost them nothing: but there were conditions that needed to be accepted and met by each individual rebel, before he or she could receive their royal pardon.
For example, individuals could be expected to lay down their arms and give an oath of allegiance to the victorious king, before receiving their royal pardon. Something similar to this happened after the American civil war.
As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. In sinning Adam has lead mankind in rebellion against God. In dying on the cross for our sins and then rising from the dead, Jesus Christ the Son of God has won the victory. The just punishment for our crime of rebellion against God is death, but it is not God’s will that any should perish. So He has given to us, absolutely free at no cost to us, a royal pardon. And what are the conditions that I as an individual need to accept and meet before I can receive my free royal pardon?
1: I need to receive Jesus Christ as God come to earth in the flesh.
(John 1:1, 14 & 10 – 12)
2: I need to believe in His name (John 1:12).
3: I need to repent and receive the forgiveness of my sins (the receiving of my royal pardon) in the name of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:47).
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
Verse 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, - - - - - - - -
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and (the people of) the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own (the Jews), and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them he gave the authority (or the right) to become the children of God, to them that believe in his name:
(Words in italics dded.)
I John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known, understood and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that remains in love remains in God and God in him.
God offers a free pardon to all who will repent of their rebellion against God and turn back to Him.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
1. a. To recover ownership of by paying a stipulated sum.
1. b. To recover (pawned goods or mortgaged land, for example) by payment.
6. To rescue or set free by paying a ransom.
7. Theology. To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences.
8. To make up for; make amends for.
9. To put (oneself) back in favour.
1: The act or an instance of redeeming or the condition of being redeemed.
Redeemed and redemption:
Hebrew: Gaal: To be free (by avenging or repaying).
Hebrew: Padah: To free, redeem.
Hebrew: Peduyim: Freed ones.
Hebrew: Guellah: Right or price of redemption.
Greek: Agorazo: To acquire at the forum.
Greek: Exagorazo: To acquire out of the forum.
Greek: Lutroo: To let loose by a price.
Greek: Apolutrosis: A loosing away.
Greek: Lutrosis: A loosing.
Hebrew: Gaal: To free (by avenging or repaying).
Hebrew: Padah: To free, redeem.
Greek: Antilutron: A corresponding price.
Greek: Lutron: A price. Ransom.
The New Bible Dictionary.
Under the heading of “Redeemer, redemption.” The New Bible Dictionary begins with three different usages for these words.
1: The release of a slave by the payment of a price.
2: The release or deliverance from an evil force by the payment of a price.
From page 1078 Redemption means deliverance from some evil by payment of a price. It is more than simple deliverance. Thus prisoners of war might be released on payment of a price which was called a ‘ransom’. (Greek: Lutron.) The word group based on lutron was formed specifically to cover this idea of the release on payment of ransom. In this circle of ideas Christ’s death may be regarded as ‘a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).
3: The redemption for a price, of a human life condemned to death, for other than wilful murder (Exodus 21:28 – 30).
All three have in common to them, the idea that freedom can be secured by the payment of a price. In the ancient world, other usages provide for the redemption of property by the payment of a price.
To be Redeemed.
The main focus of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments is mankind’s redemption from the law of sin and death. We can bring this under three headings.
1: Through Adam all mankind have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
2: Under the Law, the penalty for sin is death, eternal death in the fire of Hell, where the wicked will suffer eternal separation from God.
3: In order for anyone to be set free from the law of sin and death, someone without sin needed to die in their place. Thus in the Garden of Eden, God sacrificed an animal to atone for (to cover up) the sins of Adam and Eve, while at the same time pointing ahead to the coming of God’s own Son Jesus Christ. Who would die for the sins of all mankind; not to cover our sins, but to both remove our sins and pay the price, the law demanded for our redemption from the law of sin and death.
The animal sacrifices only covered over our sins. They could never pay the price the law demanded for our redemption. Thus it was, when the time was right, God sent His only begotten Son to pay the price the law demanded for our redemption from the law of sin and death.
John 3:14 As Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, even so the Son of man must be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
As the time of the Israelite's captivity in Egypt drew to an end, the Israelite's were told to set aside a lamb, a lamb for each household. Then when the time was right, they were to kill their lamb, put the blood on the doorpost, shut themselves inside their house and eat their lamb. Then that night, while they were still shut inside, the angel of the Lord was sent to take the life of the first-born son of every household that did not have the blood on their doorpost, while at the same time passing over every household that had blood on the doorpost.
While the head of each household was expected to sacrifice a lamb for the deliverance of their own household, the combined effect of all Israel sacrificing a lamb for each household, brought about the release of all Israel from their captivity. Thus a price was paid to redeem all Israel from Egypt, setting them free to enter into the Promised Land.
Again this sacrifice of a lamb for each household, pointed ahead to God’s sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the price that would not only set us free from the dominion of darkness, but would also convey us into the kingdom of God.
Colossians 1:13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins:
Under the law, slaves were brought and sold for a price. Often children were taken into slavery to meet unpaid bills. Parents could later redeem their children by paying a price. Sometimes a young woman may be redeemed by someone who wanted her as a wife, either for himself or his son. A price would be paid and she would become the wife of he who redeemed her, or his son (Exodus 21:7 – 11). We also were once slaves to sin. In dying on the cross, Jesus Christ paid (with His own blood [Acts 20:28]) the price to set us free from sin. Therefore we are not our own, but Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). Jesus now rightfully owns us and has every right to take us as His bride; but instead of just taking us as His bride, He asks each one of us personally, will you become my bride? Will you allow Me to come into your life?
Revelation 3:20 See, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
A dowry is best described as a gift given, or a price paid for a wife. The idea of a dowry being paid or given in exchange for a wife in biblical times is either clearly stated or implied in many Bible passages. The fact that some of the Children of Israel, carried out the practice of purchasing female slaves to become their wife or the wife of their son, would indicate that it was cheaper to purchase a slave woman as a wife than pay the dowry price for a free woman (Exodus 21:7 – 11).
Biblical examples of a price being paid for a wife include, Shechem offering to pay a dowry and give a gift for Dinah, daughter of Jacob, to become the wife of his son (Genesis 34:12). David’s payment of a hundred Philistine foreskins, for Saul’s daughter Michal (2 Samuel 3:14). And Abraham’s sending of gifts with his servant, on his journey to attain a wife for Isaac. From a doctrinal view, it is worth noting that even though Abraham’s servant had paid the bride price, and Laban as head of the house had given over Rebekah to marry Isaac, Rebekah still had the right to refuse Isaac’s hand in marriage (Genesis 24:54 – 59). So it is with Jesus Christ and us. Although Jesus has paid (with His own blood [Acts 20:28]) the bride price and we now belong to Him, we still have the right to reject Jesus Christ as our bridegroom.
In other Biblical examples, a bride was given as payment for work. Jacob worked seven years for Rachel (Genesis 29). When Joseph entered the service of the Pharaoh, Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife (Genesis 41:45). And Moses looked after the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro, who gave to Moses his daughter Zipporah (Exodus 2:21).
By the time Jesus Christ walked this earth 2,000 years ago, in Palestine like most of the Middle East, the custom of paying a dowry was quite common, and would usually consist of both a payment to the father of the bride and a payment to the bride. The payment to the bride usually consisted of a number of gold and silver coins. Theses she would have joined together as a headband, which she would wear on her wedding day and on all other important occasion, as proof that she was no longer her own, she had been bought with a price. To not wear her dowry on important occasions could be taken as a public denial that she belonged to her husband, and could be grounds for divorce. Therefore if a woman were to lose one of her coins, she would search carefully until she found it. Then when she found it, she would rejoice (Luke 15:8 – 10).
To the bride, who would receive no inheritance from her natural father, the dowry was a seal, the guarantee of an inheritance from her father-in-law, though her bridegroom.
In much the same way, we will not receive any eternal inheritance through our natural father, but we too have given a dowry, the seal of the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our inheritance. Instead of a headband made from gifts of gold and silver coins, we wear a headband made from the fruits of the Holy Spirit. So all can see clearly that we belong to Jesus Christ the Son of God, through whom we have the guarantee of an eternal inheritance from God our Father.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation: in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
1. To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid.
2. To show to be a well founded warrant.
3. To declare free of blame; absolve.
4. Theology. To free (man) of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin. Used only of God.
5. Law. To demonstrate good reason for (an action taken).
The act of Justifying.
Justify is a legal term, meaning ‘to be found not guilty,’ or to be declared ‘righteous.’ In the Old Testament, God is not only seen as the Judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25), but also as a king who has both the power to justify and reinstate the person justified to their former position or higher. While in the New Testament God is seen more as a loving father who forgives his repentant children and restores them back into his family with the full rights and privileges of the eldest son.
1: Job. Job having been accused and tested by Satan is then both justified by God and reinstated to His former glory and more.
2: Joshua. In Zechariah chapter three, Satan opposes Joshua before the Angel of the Lord. Then the Lord not only rebukes Satan, He also restores Joshua.
3: Daniel. In Daniel chapter 6, we find king Darius making plans to appoint Daniel into a position of authority over the land, second only to the king. Others opposed to this appointment, have Daniel charged with disobeying a royal decree and thrown into the lion’s den over night. In the morning, the king finding Daniel alive and unharmed then justifies Daniel and restores him to his former position of authority.
4: The prodigal son: In Luke chapter 15, the prodigal son asks for his share of the inheritance, and then journeys to a far country; where he wasted all his wealth on prodigal living. Soon there is a severe famine in the land. Now broke, starving and longing to eat the food he was feeding to the pigs, the prodigal son comes to his senses. He decides to repent, return to his father and ask him to take him on as a hired hand. But his father seeing him coming from a distance, runs to meet him, forgives him and reinstates him back into the family with the full rights and privileges of a son.
God loves and forgives His children in the same way. Like the prodigal son, when we turn our back on God and blow all God our Father has given us on sinful living. Our life from then on will keep going from bad to worse. Until one day we come to our senses, fall on our knees and cry out, “God our Father! In the name of Jesus Christ, I repent and ask you to forgive me of all my sins and cast them away. Have mercy on me and take me back Father as one of your hired servants.” Then God forgives me. But He does not make me a servant; He justifies me and welcomes me back into the family, with all the rights and privileges of a son of God.
The Law of Love demands that we forgive our brother, our neighbor, our enemies, and all those who hate us and sin against us.
Was there sin before the law? Paul writes in
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not have known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, you shall not covet.
What Paul is saying, is that even before the law, covetousness was a sin, even though we did not know covetousness was a sin. But when the law was given, we became aware that covetousness was a sin. Under the Old Covenant the letter of the law, the law of sin and death governed the Children of Israel. Now under the New Covenant, the law of Love governs the born again Children of God.
Jesus Christ says,
John 13:34 A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you; that also you should love one another. 35 by this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Matthew 22:36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 Therefore whatever you desire men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
While Paul writes to the Romans.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, is summed up in this saying, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 10 Love works no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.
Love! Love! Love! Love! Love is the very foundation of all the Law and the Prophets, or as Jesus Christ says, it is what all the Law and the Prophets hang on. If you were to take away love, the Law and the Prophets would come crashing down. God is love, and if you take the love of God out of any earthly society, that society will fall into lawlessness and come crashing down. For it is love that holds up the law, yet when the fullness of God’s love dwells in and fills to overflowing all of a society, there is no longer any need for law, for love fulfils all the requirements of the law.
A church elder I knew well often said to me, “Little love much law. Much love little law.” To a large degree I have observed this to be true. When a society turns from God and the love of God, its people begin to love one another less and hate one another more; thus resulting in an ever-increasing level of sin against society and one another. Then the leaders of that society, in order to counter the effects of this lack of love and the increase of hate, begin to increase the laws of the land. Therefore; more and more as love becomes less and hate increases more and more, the leaders introduce more and more laws. But without the love of God the people of that society (and its leaders) will continue to plummet into a loveless and lawless society. Not that they have no law, but because there is no love on which to hang the law.
To know that this is true, you only need to look at today’s western society. As a society, our leaders and we the people have largely turned away from loving God and loving one another. This has resulted in a great increase in the hatred and lack of respect we have for one another, the law and those in authority. While at the same time our leaders to counter this have introduced many more laws. Yet more and more the laws of the land are not upheld and many of God’s laws are abolished.
Unless we, the western society repents and turns back to the love of God, we will continue to plummet into a loveless and lawless society, until as a society we are either over run by our enemies or cease to exist. On the other hand, if we the western society repent of our sinful ways, turn back to God, and ask God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ to forgive our sins. God will forgive (lose and cast away) our sins (the sins of our leaders and people) and “deliver us from the powers of darkness and convey us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:13)
God is love. We cannot separate the love of God from the forgiveness of God. It is because God loves us, that God forgives us.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans5:8 But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
According to verse 10, it was while we were enemies of God, that God committed His greatest act of love towards us. In so doing God set for us an example of how we also should love our enemies and those who hate us.
The world (that is the people of the world) hates Jesus Christ. That is why they nailed Jesus to the cross. But in return for their hate, Jesus loved the world and asked His Father to forgive them. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
True love does not wait for those who have hurt you to say I am sorry. True love is quick to forgive, thus covering the sin and opening the way for those who have hurt you to say I am sorry, knowing that they will not be judged and condemned. True love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have unceasing love among yourselves: for love covers the multitude of sins.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows and understands God. 8 He that does not love; neither knows nor understands God; for God is love. 9 In this was revealed the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we should also to love one another. (Propitiation - that which turns away the wrath of God)
1John4:20 If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God loves his brother also.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
While we were enemies of God, God committed His greatest act of love towards us by giving His only begotten Son to die for us, thus paying the price for our sins. Not only so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins, but also that through our Lord Jesus Christ would we be reconciled back to God.
God wants to live in close fellowship with us. Our relationship with God the Father is to be that of a loving father and his son. Our relationship with God the Son is to be that of a loving bridegroom and his bride. As sinners we have been living apart from God, but it is God’s desire that we live together as one. It is not just God’s desire that God and we live together as one, but that all mankind live together as one.
1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows and understands God. 8 He that does not love; neither knows nor understands God; for God is love. 9 In this was revealed the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we should also to love one another.
(Propitiation - that which turns away the wrath of God)
God loved us by paying the price for our sins, and by forgiving our sins. In the same way we also should love one another.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his soul for his friends.
This is love, in that while we were still enemies of God, God the Son gave His life on the cross for all mankind. And while on the cross suffering the pain we inflicted on Him, Jesus Christ prayed, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
God loves His enemies. Anyone who has spent time around church and fellow Christians, usually knows, and even accepts that we should love one another (John 13:34), that we should love our brother (1 John 4:21) and that we should love our neighbour as our self (Luke 10:25 – 37). After all, we can see that it is usually in our own best interest to love all these people. We love them and they will love us; we help them and they will help us; we give to them and they will give to us; but God expects us to go way beyond this self-centred, self-fulfilling love and commands us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us.
Listen to the words of Jesus Christ.
Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that strikes you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your garment, forbid him not from taking your coat also. 30 Give to every man that ask of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask for them back. 31 And as you desire that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise. 32 For if you love them which love you, what thanks have you? For sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thanks have you? For sinners also do even the same. 34 And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love you your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be sons of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
God our Father loved us while we were still His enemies, and as sons of God, God our Father expects the same from us.
Luke 6:36 Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it shall be measured to you again.
In these three verses, Jesus Christ is telling us another parable. Like most parables, it is much easier for us to understand the parable, if we first understand the customs of mankind, when the parable was first spoken. In those days, the women wore long flowing outer robes, which not only clothed them, but also doubled as a carrying bag. For example, if a woman was gathering wheat, by taking hold of the two front corners of her outer robe and lifting them up, her robe became a bag that she would fill with wheat. When the bag of her robe was filled up to her bosom, the wheat would over flow.
In the passage leading up to this parable, Jesus has been exhorting us (encouraging us) to love our enemies, the poor and the needy, by being merciful to them, forgiving them and giving to them, while at the same time not expecting anything from them in return. For with the same measure you use towards your enemies, the poor and the needy, God will measure back to you in abundance. So much so, that the bag of your robe will full up to your bosom and over flow. If you measure out to your enemies, the poor and the needy, love, mercy, forgiveness and generosity: God will pour the same measure into the bag of your robe; so that the bag of your robe will fill up to your bosom, pouring out towards others an abundance of love, mercy, forgiveness and generosity. But if you have nothing but hate, judgment, condemnation and stinginess towards your enemies, the poor and needy, then that is how God will treat you.
In writing this chapter on loving your enemies, reading again and again the words of Jesus Christ. It flashed through my mind, do we Christians truly live up to these commands of Jesus Christ. If I were to tell the people of the world, even most Christians, that the way to become rich, flowing with wealth and riches beyond your wildest dreams was to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, don’t take back what is stolen from you, always giving to the poor and needy, not expecting anything in return, most would think I was insane
To the people of the world, the way to become rich is to oppress the poor, and to withhold your produce until you can get a better price. But God’s word says,
Proverbs 11:24 There is that scatters, and yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. 25 The soul that blesses shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered also himself.
Then my mind flashed to a T.V. documentary I had seen about God’s people, the Jews who lived in the Holy lands during the time of the Ottoman Empire. During those days the Jews living in the Holy lands were a very blessed and wealthy people; but living alongside of them were the poorest and most needy of their enemies.
God’s heart was weeping for these poor needy people, and as they daily cried out to God in their need, God heard their cry. God does not change, God always wants to bless His people, and through His people God wants to bless the poor and needy. Also God’s law of sowing and reaping does not change. God’s law of sowing and reaping says, “Give to the poor and needy, and I will give back to you in abundance.” Why? So that, not only will you have enough for yourself, you will also have an abundance to give to the poor and needy.
Then God said to me, “Either my people will, willingly love their enemies, doing good to them who hate them, not taking back what is stolen from them, and willingly give to the poor and needy, or I will pass laws that will compel them to do so.”
So it was that God had the Emperor of the Ottoman Empire, pass new laws throughout the Holy Lands. Laws that enforced two things, 1: All Jews had to wear clothes that clearly identified them as Jews. 2: Whenever a poor or needy person meets a Jew in the street, or on the road, all the poor needed to do was ask the Jew for money, and the Jew had to give it.
Now the Jew had two options; either he could give willingly and not grudgingly to the poor, always believing and trusting in God to supply all his needs and more, or he could rebel against God by grumbling and complaining, about the money he had to give to the poor and needy.
Do God’s ways work? Yes they do. History records, that in spite of the Emperor’s laws, compelling the Jews to give to the poorest and neediest of their enemies, the Jews living in the Holy Lands remained a very blessed wealthy people. Perhaps history should record, because of the Emperor’s laws compelling the Jews to give to the poorest and most needy of their enemies, the Jews living in the Holy Lands remained a very blessed and wealthy people.
The starting point for the gospel of Jesus Christ is the ministry of John the Baptist, who came “preaching the baptism of repentance for the deliverance from sins” (Luke 3:3). John the Baptist also warns us, that if one does not bear fruit worthy of repentance, they will be cut down and thrown in the fire (Luke 3:2 – 9). Then at the end of Jesus Christ earthly ministry Jesus says, “that repentance and the deliverance from sins should be preach in His name” (Luke 24:47). So it was, on the Day of Pentecost Peter preached, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the deliverance of sins” (Acts 2:38).
We can see clearly that the deliverance from sins (also referred to as the remission or forgiveness of sins) in the name of Jesus Christ is subject to repentance. No repentance, no forgiveness or deliverance from sin. Some would say, “But didn’t Jesus pray from the cross, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’ ” (Luke 23:34). Yes Jesus prayed, asking the Father to forgive them, but He Himself did not forgive them. Did God answer this prayer? There is no doubt in my mind, in time God did bring these men to repentance and deliverance from their sins, thus answering the prayer of Jesus Christ. On other occasions Jesus did forgive repented sinners. I believe likewise, as part of the body of Christ here on earth, we should always be willing to ask God our Father to have mercy on those who sin and forgive them of their sins; and we should always be willing to forgive the repentant sinner of his sins, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Whether he is your natural brother or your brother in Christ, we should always be willing to forgive our brothers and sisters.
Luke 17:3 Be careful what you do: If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.
Jesus starts this little passage telling us to “be careful what you do.” How often do we hear a sermon, and say, “If only my brother had been here, he really needed to hear this sermon.” Well that is not what Jesus is saying. Jesus is saying, you really need to hear this message yourself and you need to put it into practice.
If your brother sins against you, you are to rebuke him. If he repents you are to forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times a day and returns to you saying “I repent,” you are to forgive him.
1 Corinthians 13:4a Love waits patiently; it acts kindly.
Sometimes we suffer, just because we regularly come in contact with other people. They are hard to get along with, they are noisy, rough, rude, loud, dirty, smell and they are all over you. In such cases it is often necessary to love them regardless of their faults, suffer long and always be kind towards them.
If you love them with the love of God that dwells richly within you, in time you will have the opportunity to speak into their lives. Sometimes all we need to do is love them and have patience with them, while God gently brings about change in their lives.
When others are in the wrong, always live with a forgiving heart towards them, always ready to forgive them when they ask, and whenever possible overlook their many faults and sins. Don’t expect a newborn Christian to act and smell like a saint; give them time to grow up into the fullness of Christ. In these times it is very true, that love covers the multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have unceasing love among yourselves: for love covers the multitude of sins.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife: but love covers all sins.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love waits patiently; it acts kindly. Love does not envy nor, is it jealous; love does not boast; it does not become haughty. 5 Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, does not keep a record of evil; 6 Rejoices not in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth;
Dare I say it; you may be the problem, or at least part of the problem. Don’t judge your brother or be hard on him. Remember you are not perfect, and you wouldn’t like God to judge you or to be hard on you.
Mathew 7:1 Judge not, so you will not be judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured back to you.
Remember the bag of your robe. If you measure out forgiveness and mercy, God will measure into the bag of your robe forgiveness and mercy to over flowing. But if you give out condemnation and judgment, God will pour back upon you condemnation and judgment.
Mathew 7:3 And why look you the speck that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the speck out of your eye; and, look, a log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first cast out the log out of thine own eye; and then you shall see clearly to cast out the speck out of your brother's eye.
There are two truths in the above passage.
1: Whatever problems you have had and overcome; these past problems have helped equip you, to help others overcome these same problems in their lives.
2: Unless we ourselves are always willing to admit our own shortcomings and deal with them, by asking Jesus Christ to help us overcome them; Jesus cannot use us to help others overcome their problems.
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you to pieces.
Forgiveness and godly sorrow are holy; don’t give them to the dogs! Words of wisdom are pearls of great worth; don’t cast your pearls before swine! There are people in this world that no matter how much you forgive them, and no matter how much you say you are sorry, they will always be looking for an opportunity to turn on you and tear you to pieces. Some people have no intention in forgiving you; they just want you to say you are sorry, so that they can take you to court. Then there are those who will always trample any words of wisdom you give them, under their feet.
Should we love these people? Yes, we should love them by praying for them and by always looking for opportunities to do good to them. But be wise and keep your distance; for if they kill you, you can no longer love them or do any good for them. Sometimes love has to be wise and patient.
Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies, but He also told them, “He who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” (Luke 22:36). So clearly, although we are to love our enemies, God does not expect us to stand by while our enemies steal from us and kill our love ones.
Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit murder; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, you are worthless, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, you fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you; 24 Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Your brother has something against you. May be you damaged something of his. You saying, “I’m sorry,” and him forgiving you is not going to fix it. Right now he is angry with you and he rightfully expects you to pay him what it is worth. He has every right to demand this payment from you. But you, instead of saying you are sorry to your brother, paying him what you owe him, and doing whatever else it takes to restore your relationship; you have allowed this problem to come between you and your brother.
Now your brother hates you because you have wronged him and you will not put the matter right between the two of you. You have allowed this problem to come between you and your brother. If you had truly loved your brother, you would have gone to him straight away and have done all you could to become reconciled with him.
Why did you not sort this problem out with your brother straightaway? Was it because your pride would not let you admit that you were wrong? Was it because you love your money more than your brother?
Why will you not be reconciled to your brother? You have allowed your pride and your love of money to come between you and your brother. He hasn’t wronged you; you have wronged him, and now you are angry with your brother without a cause.
Jesus says, “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of judgment” (Matthew 5:22).
Right now your brother is thinking, “My brother is a worthless fool, we have a large family and we all lived together in brotherly love and unity; but because of his stupid pride and love of money, our family is now divided and full of hate.” Jesus says, “Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ is in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you. Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:22 – 24)
Whatever you have allowed to come between you and your brother is not worth it. It is not worth falling out with your brother; neither is it worth the hate and the division that it will bring to your extended family. It is not worth facing the judgment of God and it is not worth the possibility of your brother being cast into the fires of hell.
You can choose to be reconciled to your brother because you love him. You can choose to be reconciled to your brother because you fear God. If you choose to do neither, your brother may become your adversary and deliver you to the judge.
Matthew 5:25 Agree with your accuser quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the accuser deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. 26 Surely I say unto you, you shall by no means come out of prison, till you have paid the last cent.
If you have wronged your brother, it is better for all, that you throw yourself at his feet and beg forgiveness and mercy. For if you don’t the judge will give you no forgiveness or mercy. In the same way, if we have wronged God or anyone else, we should quickly ask our God our Father to forgive us and have mercy on us while he can be found. For if we don’t, we will face God as our judge, and He will hand us over to the angels, who will cast us into the fires of hell.
What if your brother wrongly accuses you and threatens to take you to court? It is a question of what do you love, your money or your brother. Talk to your brother. If he wants money give it to him. Whose money is it anyway? Everything you own is really God’s and God expects you to give to everyone who asks of you, without expecting them to repay you and great will be your reward (Luke 6:27 - 35).
Paul’s answer to the question, what if your brother wrongly accuses you and threatens to take you to court? Is that it is better to allow yourself to be wronged and cheated than have your brother in Christ take you to court (I Corinthians 6:1 – 7).
As God your Father loves you, you also should love one another, forgive one another, and be merciful to one another.
Under this heading we are only considering big time major problems that should not be overlooked. If it is only a little problem, forget it and get on with your life. Why? Because “love covers the multitude of sins.” However there are major sins that we should not allow to remain within the body of Christ. Then there are little sins, that we know we should get rid of, but we stubbornly hang on to them; these also should not be allowed to remain in the body of Christ.
God our Father will only forgive us if we are willing to repent. Likewise, if our brother refuses to repent neither should we forgive him, until such time as he shows Godly sorrow which leads to repentance.
Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he refuses to hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he refuses to hear the church, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector. 18 Truly I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in the sky: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in the sky.
In this passage we see clearly, that if our brother sins against us, we should make every effort to be reconciled with our brother. The first step we are to make towards this reconciliation is to go to our brother with a heart that is willing to be merciful and forgiving. But reconciliation is a two-way thing; our brother also needs to be willing to repent.
In such cases Paul recommends that such a non-repentant sinner should be put out of the church, both for the good of the sinner, and for the good of the church.
I Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And you are puffed up (with pride), and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I truly, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that has so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your rejoicing is not good. Know you not that a little leaven will leaven the whole lump? 7 Therefore clean out thoroughly all the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: 8 therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Clearly, if we have within the body of Christ members who not only sin, but also have no intention of repenting of their sin; we should not forgive them, rather we should remove them from the body.
If we have one rotten apple in a box of good apples, that one rotten apple will soon make the whole box of apples rotten. In order to save the box of apples, we need to remove the rotten apple. In the same way, if we do not remove the non-repentant sinner from the church, that sin will soon spread to other members of the church.
2 Corinthians 13:2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to those who have sinned before, and to the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
In 2nd Corinthians, Paul also writes warning those “who have sinned already, and have not repented of the sexual uncleanness, fornication and lustfulness which they practise.” (12:21). “I write to those who have sinned before, and to the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare:” (13:2). In other words, even after action was taken to remove the non-repentant sinner (of 1st Corinthians) out of the church, there are still non-repentant sinners in the church. Paul is warning them, should I come to you and this is still so; I will not spare them but will remove them from the church.
In the mean time however, it would appear that the non-repentant sinner (mention in I Corinthians 5:1 – 8), had now come to repentance and Paul writes of him:
II Corinthians 2:6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
In other words, welcome the now repentant sinner back into the church. Forgive him and let him be reconciled back to his brothers in Christ and back to God. Make sure that he knows, God loves him, you all love him and like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11 – 32), he is most welcome back into fellowship with God and the Church.
Jesus Christ has been talking to his disciples about how to deal with a non-repentant brother, who in the end is rightfully removed from the church and not forgiven of his sins. Why do I say rightfully not forgiven? Because according to God’s word we are to repent for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). No repentance, no forgiveness.
Then Jesus Christ finishes this teaching by saying,
Matthew 18:18 Truly I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in the sky: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in the sky. 19 Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in the sky. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
To which Peter replies, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21)
Given that the teachings that surround these three verses on binding and loosing, are on when we should, or shouldn’t forgive our brother of his sins. We must conclude that this passage is about the forgiving of sins. It would also help us to rightfully know and understand, that the Greek words used throughout this chapter in Matthew, and translated into English as forgive, can be correctly translated as ‘to loose and castaway.’ To forgive sins, is to loose and castaway sins, and not to forgive sins, is to bind and hold on to sins.
When we forgive our brother of his sins, we not only loose and cast our brother’s sins away from him; we also loose and cast the effects of our brother’s sin away from us. When we do not forgive our brothers sins, we not only bind our brother to his sins, we also bind ourselves to the effects of our brother’s sins. When we cast a non-repentant brother from the church, he remains bound in his sins, but we are loosed from the effects of our brother’s sin.
We are all one body in Christ. If my thumb is full of poison, my whole body feels it. If that poison is not removed, it will go through my whole body and my body will die. In order to save my body, either I have to remove the poison from my thumb, or I need to remove the thumb, along with the poison from my body. Needless to say, I will do all I possibly can to remove the poison from my thumb, before I even consider the possibility of removing my thumb along with the poison. What if my thumb, having been first removed from my body, is then by a miracle of God, is cleansed and made whole again. Would I then not make every effort to restore my thumb to my body?
That is why, when our brother stubbornly refuses to repent of his sin and seek forgiveness from his sins, it becomes necessary to loose and cast that brother away from the church. Either the brother allows his sin to be loosed and castaway, or he himself must be loosed and castaway, along with his sin.
However if our brother sins against us seven times a day, and seven times a day repents of his sin, and comes seeking forgiveness. Then seven times a day we should forgive our brother, by losing him of his sins and casting them away. At the very same time as we on earth, loose and castaway our brothers sins; In sky, not only is that sin and the spiritual effects of that sin being loosed and castaway from our brother, the sin and the effects of that sin, are also being loosed and castaway from us.
Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? 22 Jesus said unto him, I say unto you, Not up to seven times: but, up to seventy times seven.
Peter is asking should I forgive my brother every time my brother sins against me, repents and comes to me asking for forgiveness, up to seven times a day? To this Jesus replies, even if your brother should sin against you, repent and come asking for forgiveness 420 times a day, you should forgive him. I don’t believe for one minute that Jesus expected Peter or anyone else to count how many times a day their brother sins against them. Is it even possible to sin 420 times a day, repent and then ask to be forgiven? I don’t think so. Rather I believe that Jesus is saying, no matter how many times a day my brother sins against me and repents, I should forgive him.
If your thumb is full of poison and you drain out the poison and cast it away. Then two minutes later your thumb is again full of poison and cries out in pain; will you not again drain out the poison and cast it away, and every time your thumb fills with poison, will you not keep on draining it and casting the poison away? Why? Because you love your thumb and you do not want to lose it.
We love our brother, (After all did not Jesus Christ say, “By this all man will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” [John 13:35]) We are all part of the body of Christ. Therefore, just as we will drain the poison from our own thumb and cast it away many times a day, we should also be willing to lose our brother from his sins and cast them away many times a day.
Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom above is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
There are times when our God, king of the kingdom above (Just like this earthly king) will come to settle accounts with His servants.
Matthew 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But having nothing to pay his Lord, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
This servant owed the king 10,000 talents, in today’s money, millions of dollars. There was no way that he could ever pay the debt. Even if the king did sell the servant, his wife, his children and all he owned, most of the debt would still remain unpaid. Nevertheless, the king orders servant, his wife, his children and all he owns be sold to pay the debt. The servant then falls down before the king, asking; “Master, have patience with me, and I will pay all.” The king moved with compassion had mercy on him, releases him from the debt and forgives him.
God is our king and we owe Him a debt. Why? “Because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages (or the debt) of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Yes there is a day coming when God our king will come to settle accounts with us. Will we pay the debt of eternal death in the lake of fire, or will we ask God our Father to have mercy on us and forgive us our dept. God is longing to pour out love, mercy and forgiveness all over us. All we need to do is believe, repent and ask for forgiveness, the loosing and casting away of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ and our debt to God, all of it, will be forgiven and castaway.
Matthew 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, “Pay me that you owe.” 29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and pleaded with him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.” 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
The point here is that first servant owed the king millions of dollars, which he could not possibly pay in two or three life times. He knew he could never ever pay the debt, but just because he asked, the king had compassion on him and forgive all the debt. The second servant owed the first servant (in today’s money) around fifty dollars (less than a day’s pay). He knew that if the first servant would have patience with him, for as little as a week, he could easily repay the debt. So he asked his fellow servant to have patience with him until he can repay the debt. Yet the first servant showed no compassion, no mercy or forgiveness towards his fellow servant.
As servants of God, we know that God owns everything. The earth and all its fullness belongs to God (1 Corinthians 10:26). Everything we own really belongs to God. On top of that, because Jesus Christ died for our sins, we owe Him our lives. In both sins and earthly wealth, we are in debt to God way over our heads, and there is no way we could ever pay the debt. Yet God in His compassion and mercy is always longing to forgive us, so that we can be reconciled back to God. In comparison our brother (even if our brother should steal and destroy all we have) owes us nothing. Why should we not willingly forgive our brother debt as God our Father willingly forgives our debts?
Matthew 18:31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you pleaded with me: 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? 34 And his lord was enraged, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my Father in the sky do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.
This passage ends with the warning, if we do not forgive our brother for his trespasses, then neither will God our Father forgive our trespasses, but instead will hand us over to the torturers until we should repay all our debt. Even if there is no way we could ever repay our debt.
Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray;
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which is in the sky, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in the sky. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And release us from our debts, as we release our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Among other things, it is the work of the devil to oppress people and make them sick, while it is the work of God to set the oppressed free and heal the sick. Thus it was that Jesus went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil. While there is little doubt in the minds of most Christians that sickness is of the devil and healing is of God; the question remains, who are those who are sick and oppressed by the devil?
In the previous chapter we learnt that God warns us, if we do not from our heart forgive our brother of his trespasses, God will hand us over to the tortures (Matthew 18:21-35). While in the chapter on the non-repentant brother, we learnt that God’s instructs us to deliver our non-repentant brother over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1 Corinthians chapter 5).
So we can say; in many cases (but not all cases) non-repentance and / or the failure to forgive our brother are both major reason why God hands Christians over to Satan to be tormented.
When we look at what the Psalmist says in both Psalm 32 and Psalm 38; it is clear that he viewed his being handed over to be oppressed and tormented by Satan, as the discipline of God, which was upon him because of his sins. This leading the Psalmist to reason, his sickness and unsoundness of body was because of two things. 1: His sins. And 2: God’s discipline or hand being heavy upon him.
But being disciplined by God is not the only reason why God hands his saints over to be oppressed and torment by Satan. Before we start accusing every Christian who is either sick oppressed by Satan of non-repentance or non-forgiveness, let us remember Job. Job was righteous and perfect in the eyes of God. Yet God handed Job over to Satan, who not only oppressed and tormented Job, but also “struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown” (Job 2:7)
When the Bible says that God causes sickness to come upon the sinner, it is usually in the context that because of our sin God hands the sinner over to Satan, who may then put sickness upon the sinner. It is in this same context that I write in the next chapter “some of us are sick because God’s hand of discipline is upon us.”
We could also say, “The angel of the LORD encamps around them that fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7), thus the angel of the Lord both protects us and delivers us from our enemies. But if we rebel against God, the angle of the Lord may depart from us, leaving us open to attack.
Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose rebellion is pardoned, whose sin is covered 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD does not count any evil, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I confessed not my sins, my bones became old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into summer drought. Think about it.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and my evil I did not hide: I said, I will confess my rebellion unto the LORD; And you forgave the evil of my sin. Think about it.
6 For this let everyone that is godly pray unto you in a time when you may be found: Surely when the flood of great waters overflow they shall not reach unto him. 7 You are my hiding-place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you will compass me about with songs of deliverance. Think about it.
Let us now paraphrase Psalm 32:1 – 6.
In verses 1 and 2, the Hebrew word ashere, meaning very happy, is translated as blessed.
In verses 1 and 5, it is the Hebrew word nasa, meaning to lift up or away, or to be cast away, that is translated as forgiven. This we will write in as cast away.
In verse 3 the Hebrew word sheagah meaning roar or roaring has been translated as roaring. This we will write in as roaring all the day long.
(Paraphrased) Psalm 32:1 Very happy is he whose rebellion is pardoned, whose sin is covered. 2 Very happy is the man to whose sin the Lord does not count against him, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
In these two verses we are given four conditions by which a man becomes very happy.
1: Our rebellion is pardoned, lifted from us and cast away.
2: Our sin is covered.
3: Knowing that God does not count our sins against us anymore.
4: In whose spirit there is no deceit. In other words, we are always honest both before God and man.
As a child I remember a song we used to sing in Sunday school, of how God takes our sin and cast it away into the deepest sea. That is what it is like when we ask God to forgive our sins. He takes our sin and cast it away, into a vast deep sea of forgetfulness, where it is covered over, never to be brought up and counted against us anymore.
(Paraphrased) Psalm 32:3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my loud roaring, complaining and groaning all the daylong. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer.
Think about it.
What is happening here? David is saying, when I kept silent, while at the same time he is loudly roaring, complaining and groaning. When David says I kept silent, he means I did not confess my sin and weaknesses to God, nor did I seek forgiveness from God or ask for God’s strength and wisdom to overcome my problems.
Did you know that it is a sin to grumble and complain (Numbers 11:1 & Jude 14 – 16), and grumbling and complaining is rebellion against God.
If your father asks you to wash the dishes and you grumble and complain; are you not rebelling against your father? Who put your father in authority over you anyway? God did! All authority comes from God. So when we grumble and complain, because someone in authority over us has asked us to do something, we are really rebelling against God. Also nothing happens to us unless God allows it. When we grumble and complain because things don’t go the way we would like them to go, we are really rebelling against God.
When trouble comes upon us, we can make one of two choices. 1: We can choose to groan, crumble and complain all day long. Or 2: We can choose to turn to God and confess our weaknesses and our sins, asking God for mercy, forgiveness and restoration of whatever needs restoring; “Knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28); rejoicing, thanking and praising God, because He loves you and has forgiven you.
When we choose to remain angry towards God, our roaring and complaining against God, becomes rebellion against God. Right now our psalmist is standing on shaky ground, for if he continues to rebel against God, God may rebuke him in His wrath.
When the psalmist kept silent, his bones grew old through his loud roaring, complaining and groaning all the daylong (Verse 3).
Bones speak both of our physical and spiritual inner being, roaring, complaining and groaning opens us up to spiritual attacks by our enemy which can lead to physical harm (Acts 10:38). Also in rebelling against God, we invite the chastisement God to come upon us.
Psalm 32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer.
When fever and sickness come upon our body, the moisture necessary for physical life and health dries up as in a summer drought. And it is much the same spiritually when we rebel against God. The living waters of the Spirit of God cease from following through us, and spiritually we begin to die.
The Psalmist writes in
Psalm 38:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in your wrath: neither discipline me in your hot displeasure. 2 For your arrows sink into me and your hand strikes me. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger; neither is there any peace in my bones because of my sin.
Why does God discipline us in His displeasure?
1: The main purpose of God’s discipline is not to punish, but to turn people from sin to righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).
2: God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
3: “Whom the Lord loves He disciplines.” “If you endure discipline, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom a father does not disciple? (Hebrews 12:6 – 7)
On one hand we are sick because we sin. If we were to confess our sin and ask God to forgive us and heal our body, God would only be too pleased to forgive us and heal our body. On the other hand we are sick because God’s hand of discipline is upon us, because we do not turn to God and seek forgiveness from our sin.
When we continue in our rebellion against God, we sink deeper into sin and we begin to drown in our sin, as our evil acts go right over our head.
Psalm 38:4 For my evil acts have gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink and are festering because of my foolishness.
Why do we suffer? Bottom line, we suffer because we foolishly rebel against God, we do not seek God’s forgiveness, nor will we forgive those who sin against us. Because of this God’s hand is heavy upon us.
Psalm 32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer.
Think about it.
Think about it. We can continue in our rebellion, roaring and complaining against God, and God’s hand will remain heavily upon us, causing our vitality of youth to be turned into drought, for, as our body breaks down we feel old well beyond our years. Or we can repent of our sin and seek God’s forgiveness and God will renew the vitality of our youth, so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. (Psalm 103:1 – 5)
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and my evil I did not hide: I said, I will confess my rebellion unto the LORD; And you forgave the evil of my sin.
Think about it.
When I am honest with God, acknowledging my sin, not hiding my sin but confessing my sin to God, God takes my sin and cast it away.
Psalm 32:6 For this let everyone that is godly pray unto pray in a time when you may be found: Surely when the flood of great waters overflow they shall not reach unto him.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Therefore we all need God’s forgiveness for our sins. It is for this cause that all who are godly will seek God while He may be found, and pray, “Father God forgive me, for I have sinned.”
Seek God while He may be found.
In Hebrews chapter 3 verses 7 to 19 we are told, “Today if we hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” How do we harden our hearts? Unbelief hardens our heart and rebellion against God hardens our heart. Today through His word, God is speaking to you.
Therefore for you, today is a time when God may be found. Now is the time for you to turn from sin to righteousness. Now is the time for you to acknowledge your sins before God. Now is the time for you to repent of your sins and ask God in the name of Jesus Christ to forgive your sins. Then God will cast away all your sins, never to be counted against you anymore.
But if you rebel against God, choosing neither to listen nor believe, your heart will be harden towards God and you will not be able to find Him. So today, while you can still hear the voice of God, while you can still find God, this is the day of your salvation. Tomorrow you may not be able to hear God; you may never hear God again. Tomorrow you may be dead, killed by a car, drowned or have a heart attack.
Jesus Christ says in Matthew chapter 5 verse 25,
“Agree with your accuser quickly,” (or as the N.I.V. says, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary.”) “while you are on the way with him, lest any time your accuser deliver you to the judge, the judge deliver you over to the officer, and you be cast into prison.”
There is a parallel here. God is saying if you have sinned against Me, settle matters quickly with Me. For today I stand before you as your loving and merciful Father, who longs to forgive you, who longs to welcome you as His son and live in peace with you. Tomorrow God may stand before you as your judge, and the law will demand that you be thrown into prison, and the key be thrown away.
Today, repent and ask God to forgive you while He may be found.
We all owe God a debt we cannot pay, but then we do not have to pay the debt, because Jesus Christ, by dying on the cross for our sins, has already paid the debt for us.
The message Jesus Christ commands His disciples to preach is simple. Peter put it this way; “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the deliverance from sin; and you shall receive to gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Jesus Christ said; “That repentance for the deliverance from sin should be preached in His name among all nations” (Luke 24:47). Jesus also said that, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not will be condemned” (Mark 16:15 – 16).
Repentance, for the loosing and casting away of sins in the name of Jesus Christ, is the key to being delivered and set free from sin and from death the penalty of sin. If you have never repented of your sin and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, today is the day to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for your deliverance from sin. Not only will you be saved, you shall also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Do it today, for tomorrow may be too late.
Maybe like the prodigal son, you turned your back on God’s kingdom for the pleasures of the world, and now the torturers and tormenters have taken hold of you. Maybe like the non-repentant brother, you have been cast out of the Church and handed over to Satan to be tortured and tormented, or maybe because you would not forgive your brother and have mercy on him; God has handed you over to the torturers to be tormented.
You may be angry with God and with the Church; but it is because God your Father loves you and wants to save you from the eternal fires of Hell, that He is now allowing you to suffer. Like a loving father, God knows that it is better for you to suffer slight torment for a time, than you suffer great torment for all eternity.
Whatever the reason you find yourself alienated and separated from God, and tormented by your torturers, cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness. God will hear your cry, and is ready and longing to have mercy, forgive and save all who will repent in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus Christ is at the door of your life, saying;
Revelation 3:20 See, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
Will you let Jesus Christ into your life? Today is the day of salvation, for tomorrow may be too late.
The Word of God. “THE HOLY BIBLE.”
1980 “New Bible Dictionary.”
Wheaton, Illinois. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
1979 “The New Bible Dictionary.”
Inter – Varsity Press, Leicester, England.
1988 “Universal Dictionary.”
The Readers Digest Association Ltd.
“Young’s Bible Concordance.”
“Strong’s Bible Concordance.”
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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