Forgiven and Free
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14).We are forgiven and free in Christ.
It’s a gift of God we could never deserve and never repay. But it’s a gift we can only receive if we’re willing to give it away.
Unless we forgive one another, Your Word says You won’t forgive us. That’s a sobering truth at the heart of what it means to have an authentic, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Saving faith means much more than having the right thoughts in our minds; it also involves having the right attitudes in our hearts. And perhaps one of the most characteristic attitudes of a heart that’s truly surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a heart that chooses to forgive.
Only as we choose to forgive and free others from our hearts are we truly forgiven and free (Matthew 18:35). That’s the heart of Jesus — “Father, forgive them …” (Luke 23:34). And that’s the heart of faith You require of all who would have a personal relationship with You.
Forgiveness is not optional. And apart from a living faith in You and the power of Your Holy Spirit at work within our hearts to make us more like You, forgiveness is not even possible. But in the power of Your grace, we are forgiven and free. And by that same power of Your grace, we are empowered to forgive and free one another. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
By Tommy Hays