What is the importance of forgiveness? What does Jesus say about it?
Jesus is all about forgiveness. That is the reason God sent him to us. We need forgiveness and the good news is that we have received it.
Jesus calls us to forgive. That is clear.
Forgiveness is also an essential part of the life of believers. Ephesians 4:32 commands,
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in the Messiah God forgave you.”
Similarly, Colossians 3:13 says,
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Master forgave you.”
The key in both passages is that we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Why do we forgive? Because we have been forgiven!
The Bible tells us that we are to forgive those who sin against us. We keep no record of wrongs but forgive as many times as necessary. Refusing to forgive a person demonstrates resentment, bitterness, and anger, none of which are the traits of a growing disciple of Jesus.
God promises that, when we come to Him confessing our sin and asking for forgiveness, He freely grants it for the sake of the Messiah. Likewise, the forgiveness we extend to others should know no limits.
In the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7), Jesus gave several reasons for this admonition to love our enemies.
- This love is a mark of maturity, proving that we are sons of the Father, and not just little children.
- It is Godlike. The Father shares His good things with those who oppose Him. Matthew 5:45 suggests that our love “creates a climate” of blessings that makes it easy to win our enemies and make them our friends. Love is like the sunshine and rain that the Father sends so graciously.
- It is a testimony to others. “What do you more than others?” is a good question. God expects us to live on a much higher plane than the lost people of the world who return good for good and evil for evil. As Christians, we must return good for evil as an investment of love.
The word perfect in Matthew 5:48 does not imply sinlessly perfect, for that is impossible in this life (though it is a good goal to strive for). It suggests completeness, maturity, as the sons of God. The Father loves His enemies and seeks to make them His children, and we should assist Him!
- Luke 23:33–34 —When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
- Matthew 5:43–44 — “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
- Acts 7:59–60 —They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Master and said, “Master Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Master, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
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The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training and experiential discipleship process at the Christian Training Center.
How do we make an impact?
- We give a college age students (summer) a residential position as an intern. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.
- We help impact college students during Heroes Semester. It is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, young adults are renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
- We help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Jesus and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
- Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.
Learn more here.