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Published by: charitha on Dec 13, 2008
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Christlike Forgiveness
 The Power of Forgiving Love
 The Five Aspects of Forgiveness
Have I Really Forgiven?
 The High Cost of being Unforgiving
 To be able to Forgive...
Confession of Sin
Every day, hundreds of thousands are brutally assaulted, fatally wounded andmurdered. Billions and billions of dollars are spent to develop weapons of war, while perhaps less isspent to keep alive the starving masses. Man has invented nuclear and laser weapons to kill a million people or more in a few seconds. And, as if not satisfied with this, he is trying to develop moresophisticated weapons. The whole earth is stockpiled with destructive weapons; now man is placingthem in space also. It is estimated that at present at least forty wars are being waged on this small planet. Every minutea bomb goes off somewhere, killing or injuring some innocent folk. Millions of marriages are on therocks, inflictingdeep wounds on the members of the family. As a result,some are reduced to mental wrecks and some others have taken their own lives. This so-calledcivilized world seems to have turned uncivilized as never before. What is at the bottom of all this? Man has yet to learn to forgive his neighbour wholeheartedly.‘Forgiveness’ is the most wonderful word in the Bible. Without it, heaven’s doors are closed,and heaven will never be heaven and Christ’s mission to this world has no meaning. When Jesusuttered on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” perhaps the angels couldnot understand it; yet it brought sinners to heaven. Yes, forgiveness is a supernatural word, in the sensethat, it turns darknessinto light, confusion into peace, fear into faith, sadness into gladness, despair into hope, hatred intolove, sickness into health, weakness into strength, a sinner into a saint and hell into heaven!What is forgiveness? The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘forgive’ as “remit, let off (debt, person, etc)”. However, the divine definition is much more enlightening: True forgiveness iserasing every resenting thought, attitude, healingevery hurt feeling and restoring a better and purer love-relationship with the offender.Forgiving cheerfully does a person a world of good. “Never does a human soul become strongas when it dares to forgive an injury.” We receive riches of grace by forgiving (Eph.1:7). Forgivenessis true wisdom and ‘
all wisdom
’ (Eph. 1:8). If so, being unforgiving is ‘all foolishness’. Forgivenessis a precondition for healing (II Chron.7:14; Psa.103:3). In fact, Christlike forgiveness opens to us thetreasures of God’s richest blessings. Once we learn to forgive others as our Lord did, Christian life isindeed ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory’. Forgiveness is the heart of the gospel and it is the heart of atrue Christian life also. If we cannot forgive, we are but ‘heartless’ Christians! Forgiveness is the bridge to heaven. When someone says, “I cannot forgive you, I will not forgive you,” he is virtuallydestroying the bridge on which he is standing, plunging himself into the ocean of 
eternal sorrow
and torment.God, in all ages, has raised and promoted forgiving people in every area of life. It is they who
can be true leaders. They are a blessing to the whole world, like Joseph. There is a saying like this:“Ability may bring you to the top, but only character can keep you there.” How true that is! Most politicians accuse others in order to come to power. And once they come to power, they accuse otherseven more. What a disorientation and disarray this world is facing due to such corrupt politicalleaders! But forgiving people are great. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Am I not destroying mineenemies when I make them my friends?” “Lord make me an instrument of peace,” prayed St. Francisof Assisi—“Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is confusion, peace; where there isdarkness, light; where there is injury, pardon. Let me not seek to be consoled, as to console; to beunderstood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.” For by giving we receive; by forgiving we areforgiven; bydying we are born to eternal life.This book is written to show the Reader how blessed a thing forgiveness is, how it is a foretasteof heaven. The many dangers that lie in harbouring an unforgiving spirit are also exposed. We praythat every Reader will be blessed and be led into a life of heaven on earth.
To protect the privacy of the individual some of the names used in this book arenot real.
Most children of God have the desire to become Christlike in character. Butsome give up this noble desire after a time of trying and struggling. If we realizethat
there is an easy way to become like Christ 
, we will never give up the longingto become like Him, but rather pursue it all the more with zeal and fervour.One cannot grow in Christlikeness without first learning Christlikeforgiveness. It would be like preparing for a college degree without first learningthe
. So, the easy way to become like Christ is to first learn the very basicspiritual lesson—Christlike forgiveness. In other words, if we have not learned toforgive as Christ did, we may never learn to become like Christ.How do we forgive as our Saviour did?But one of the soldiers pierced His [Christ’s] side with a spear, andimmediately blood and water came out” (Jn.19:34
). This is a text filled with deep spiritual truths on the subject of forgiveness.Obviously, the soldier pierced the side of our Lord’s body so deep that His heartwas pierced and immediately blood and water gushed out of His heart. Just asthe Roman soldier pierced the heart of Christ, sometimes, people may pierce ourhearts; may not be with spears, but with the tongue. People may reject us,despise us, ridicule us, or speak all kinds of evil of us falsely, and this may breakour hearts. But the important question is, how do we react to all this? How didour Lord react? “Immediately blood and water came out.” The blood of Jesussignifies forgiveness. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, theforgiveness of sins” (Eph.1:7
). When people around us pierce our heart,forgiveness should come out of our heart. Water typifies many things, one of which is ‘divine love’. Jesus spoke of living waters referring to the love of Godshed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Jn.7:38,39; Rom.5:5). When weare being “pierced”, we must offer forgiveness and divine love to those whopierce us. Some try to forgive the offender after a few years but the verse says,
blood and water came out”. We must learn to forgive immediatelyand straightway offer agape or unconditional love. If someone throws a stone atan apple tree full of juicy fruits, the apple tree
(not after a fewyears) gives him a juicy apple in return, as if it were saying, “Thank you forpelting me with a stone.” That is the very nature of our God. He Who created theapple tree has created us too. When someone throws a stone (ridicule, reproach,etc.) at us, if we fail to give a ‘thank you’ fruit in return (the firstfruit of the Spiritis love)
, it proves that we are not fruitful trees but barren ones! Fromwhere did the blood and water come out when the soldier pierced Christ? Fromthe
Sometimes, with our mouth we may say, “I forgive you and love you,”but forgiveness and love should come out of our heart, and that makes all thedifference, and that is Christlike forgiveness.
We know of many spiritual gifts but many are ignorant of this unique gift—the gift of forgiveness. Those who receive this blessed gift can become a blessingto millions, not only in this generation but in the gene- rations to come, and allthrough eternity.In the parable of Jesus on ‘forgiveness’ in Matthew Chapter 18, we see theking cancelling a debt of 10,000 talents. One talent of gold weighs about 100 lbs.If so, one talent may be worth a minimum of a million dollars. Then, 10,000talents is like 10,000 million dollars! This amounts to gifting the debtor with thesum of 
10,000 million. Receiving forgiveness from God for the sins we havecommitted is like receiving a gift of 
10,000 million. In fact, the price Jesus paidon the cross for us is infinitely much more than that. How sad it is to see theservant who received
10,000 million trying to kill the person who owed him just100 pence (about one dollar)! Forgiving one who has wronged us is just likegiving away one dollar!Each of us, when we received forgiveness of sins at the time of salvation,has received
10,000 million or more! If we have so much money, is it not easyto
give one dollar each to even a thousand people who ask for it?We do not have to work hard for a month to earn enough money to do it, do we? This is the gift of forgiveness.If, when someone spits on us, immediately we feel hurt (and that isnatural), it shows that we do not have the gift of forgiveness. True, after feelinghurt, we may realize that we are the children of God and that we should beforgiving, and forgive the offender. However, that is not Christlike forgiveness.Having the gift of forgiveness or Christlike forgiveness is being able to forgiveand love a person immediately after he has committed the worst possible sinagainst us. The secret is this: when we realize the greatness of the forgiveness Jesus has offered us, we will realize the smallness of the sins others havecommitted against us. In other words, when we are aware of the terrible sinfulstate from which the Lord saved us, we will see the offences of others as very,very small and we can easily forgive and love them. On the other hand, if we seethe sins of others as great, we are minimising the forgiveness of Jesus towardsus. There are numerous blessings in the gift of forgive- ness. Let us remember,when we are forgiven by the Lord, we receive riches of grace along with it—“InWhom we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins
, accordingto the
riches of His grace
” (Eph.1:7).

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