Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 24, 1970

The Spirit Of Forgiveness

Roy Z. Kemp

Man's ego is always between him and God, separating and blocking the channels of grace. Man is unhappy, and this unhappiness makes him hurt people in different ways. But through Christ, man's hope of victory and glory, man is able to forgive and forget the deep hurts which come to him.

God did not create man to be a puppet to dangle helplessly on a string and be manipulated by someone or something else. God created man in His own image, with the capacity for freedom of choice, intelligence, feelings, emotions, and ideals.

Many people are bitter and full of hatred and hostility. Nations are set against nations and wars are rampant; families are broken, friendships destroyed, neighborhoods torn with strife. Reconciliation seems an impossibility.

The way of Christ will resolve all the deep-seated problems of alienation and hostility. When the spirit of Christ rules, He changes our actions and reactions. We need hearts of compassion to help cure the ills of the world. Until these are acquired, man cannot become reconciled to God, as we are instructed to do in II Corinthians 5:20.

There is a power for good in the universe to which men give the names of God, Truth, Spirit, and many others. God's power of goodness responds to our recognition and awareness of it.

Goodness is the very nature of God. In God, there is no failure, no contradiction, no weakness. In Him is wholeness, perfect health, wisdom; His strength is irresistible. We each should consider that all knowledge is God-given.

"Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 107:8-9.

Acts of worship before God will not have any meaning and our gift-giving will not be acceptable to God until we have become reconciled one with another. Getting right with our brother and our neighbor must precede our worship of God.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matt. 5:23-24.

There is a way to forgive and to be forgiven, and until we find this way we will have in our hearts the seed of distress. The way to forgive is with an inner conviction, which is something more than an intellectual willingness to forget.

When we forgive, we must truly see that the wrong done to us was done through ignorance. This wrong to us must be dismissed from our consciousness and from our heart. Our faith must be that the certainty of God's rightfulness will provide the answer to the mistake.

When God puts things right, then the mistakes made are as though they had never been. This does not mean that we can always do as we will to ourselves or to others, and then be forgiven for our misdeeds and wrongs as by some sort of religious magic.

It does mean that we must seek for forgiveness with a heart that is sincere and truly repentant. One must be conscious of having done a wrong, and feel genuine sorrow. And if we are the one to whom a wrong has been done, and forgiveness is asked, we must be truly forgiving.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matt. 6:14-15.

"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and new spirit." Ezek. 18:31.

There cannot be such a thing as power of wrong, whether of body, mind, or emotions. There is no power opposed to God that can ever be right or victorious.

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