THE JOY of FORGIVENESS
BY: RAY PRINZING
“If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).” (Psalm 130:3-4)
In His teaching, Jesus gives new light on forgiveness, when we read, ”Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven,” (Luke 6:37) His grace is sufficient to freely forgive all our sin, and He does, praise God, but it is also to be discovered that in order for a believer to comprehend more of the nature of this forgiveness, and to really and truly know that he has been forgiven, he must also learn to forgive others. Many a child of God carries a secret load of guilt-feelings, subconsciously tormented with thoughts that possibly God might still hold something against them. So when troubles come their way, to test and develop them, they think of it only in terms of how God must yet be punishing them. How little do they understand forgiveness!
Let it be remembered, “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him,” (Psalm 103:10-11) Furthermore, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us”. Think of that! This action of God is based completely upon His own grace and mercy. When a sin is forgiven, God does not bring it back at a later time and punish us for it. Such ideas defame the character of God! Even Peter wrote of how false teachers would bring in “heresies of destruction, denying even the Lord that bought them”, (II Peter 2:1).
The King James Version gives “damnable heresies”. It is truly a destructive heresy, even worse; it is a heresy of damnation, a very false teaching of wrathful punishment. The GOSPEL in no way teaches this gruesome idea, all of God’s judgments are correctional, with a view to peace and full restoration and victory. His forgiveness is all encompassing. We also learn to forgive by having wrongs done against us, and at the same time learn new depths of how we ourselves have been forgiven of all our iniquities.