Because the first couple sinned and we descended from them, we are sinners (Romans 3:23), but “there is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:4) with God. God will hide His face from our sins, blot them out by the blood of Christ, our sinless Savior; but in His plan we must also let go of the wrongs done against us by others. He has cast our sins “into the depth of the sea” (Micah 7:19), cast them “behind [His] back” (Isaiah 38:17). Can we not put away someone’s offense against us when our debt to God is far greater than what anyone owes us?!
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). We must have the Spirit of Christ to be saved (Romans 8:9). In His plan of grace, we apologize to Him and others for our wrongs and forgive those committed against us. His love covers a “multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Love for God and love for our neighbor characterizes the citizen of the kingdom of God. “Forgive and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
To hold onto anger and resentment against someone who has wronged us is to consent to bondage. Our days are spoiled and our sleep is disturbed. Peace is gone. Temptation to retaliate presents itself. A relationship is lost or marred but could be a joy just by putting aside the trespass and remembering to thank God for forgiving our own wrongs. To refuse to forgive in the Spirit of Christ is to opt out of His plan of salvation by grace and will require paying the “uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:26).
We walk the aisle to the church altar. We look into God’s Word and see the redemption plan. This “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25) is a mirror in which we see ourselves, but we tend to forget what we look like and fail to continue to live by the Word. Liberty! Go free! We must let go of anger and resentment before it becomes hatred and hardens the heart until it is no longer the Spirit’s abode.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:9-12).
At His Second Coming the resurrected saints who died in Christ and the living saints, all the forgiven and forgiving, will be “caught up” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) to meet the Lord in the air and go to live with Him forever. His people will dwell with Him and be with God Himself, looking on His face and praising Him eternally for peace and victory over sin. That victory starts at the foot of the cross of Christ in whom we are forgiven. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mem” (Luke 2:14).