How the Bible Teaches People to Forgive, and Be Forgiven
Christianity teaches its followers the importance of forgiveness. Not only does it talk of forgiveness for others, but also forgiveness from God. There are multiple forgiveness Bible verses which explain how those who sin can redeem themselves by turning to God and praying to be forgiven.
Why Does God Forgive?
Humankind, by nature, is sinful. This has been the case since God was betrayed by the first people he created, Adam and Eve. Since He caused the Great Flood, God has known that humankind has a sinful nature, which is where the concept of forgiveness comes in.
Owing to God’s love, he offers forgiveness for those who want to repent. God’s children can be forgiven through Jesus Christ, which was confirmed when Jesus said:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This comes from John 14:6.
When Jesus was killed on the cross, he took punishment for the entire world and atoned for the sins of God’s people. After his resurrection, Jesus and John the Baptist told the disciples that they should repent or shed their sins in order to receive forgiveness from God. Ever since, when someone repents and regrets their sins, God forgives them. Those who do so are also promised eternal life after they die.
What Does the Bible Say about Forgiveness of Others?
While building up a relationship with God is important, in Christianity forgiving others is also essential. In Matthew 6:14-15, it says:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
It is, therefore, a sin not to forgive a person – and for this reason, there are many verses of forgiveness in the Bible.
Human nature is, however, accounted for. The Bible does not state that the act being forgiven should be forgotten. Instead, Bible verses on forgiveness explain that it is a matter of releasing a person from blame, and leaving the event in the hands of God. Ultimately, God will make the final judgement, and this should not be a burden for one of his flock.
If one of God’s people had a relationship with someone who sinned, reigniting that relationship is often considered the Christian thing to do. However, it is not necessary to strike up a relationship with somebody who has wronged you, if you did not have one previously. This is merely a matter of shedding blame and leaving God to decide.
Bible Verses on Forgiveness
To understand more about God and forgiveness, it’s important to know some of the many verses that discuss this.
In 2 Samuel 19:26-28, it reads:
“He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?””
In Isaiah 44:22-23, it reads:
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.”