Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Christian Duty of Forgiving

There are few Christian duties which are so frequently and strongly dwelt upon in the New Testament as this of forgiveness. It fills a prominent place in the Lord’s prayer. The only profession we make in all that prayer, is that of forgiving “those who trespass against us.” It is a test of being forgiven ourselves. The person who cannot forgive their neighbor the few trifling offences they may have committed against them, can know nothing experimentally of that free and full pardon which is offered to us by Christ. (Matt 18:35; Eph. 4:32)
Not least, it is one leading mark of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Spirit in the heart may always be known by the fruits He causes to be brought forth in the life. Those fruits are both active and passive. The person who has not learned to bear and forbear, to put up with much and look over much, is not born of the Spirit. (1 John 3:14; Matt 5:44, 45)