Tuesday, July 28, 2015

God Forgave Us More than Seventy Times Seven

"21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18: 21-22)

How interesting that in this passage in the Gospel of Matthew, Peter (whose name means "stone" and speaks of the law) tries to establish a standard or condition for forgiveness, and then a limit.

Jesus pushed aside this self-righteousness, and declared that everyone of us must forgive and keep on forgiving.

Let us never forget that Jesus was preaching under the Old Covenant and fulfilled it at the Cross (Matthew 5: 17)

Yet after pressing on Peter that he must keep on forgiving, Jesus preached the parable of the Gracious King, who forgave an insurmountable debt. When the steward then refused to forgive another fellow steward, the king forced the unforgiving steward into prison until he paid the full debt.

Today, however, we know that Jesus has more than paid our debt:

"10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 10-15)

We are complete in Christ Jesus, and His death paid for all our sins. There is no limitation to the grace of God in all that Jesus accomplished for us at the Cross.

In fact, today we keep receiving the abundance of grace and His gift of righteousness (Romans 5: 17)

We do not forgive in order to be forgiven, but because we have been forgiven:

"31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4: 31-32)


"12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3: 12-13)

Jesus forgave us more than seven times, or seventy times, or seventy times seven times. We have been eternally forgiven for all our sins, and sin in our flesh has been condemned in turn (Romans 8: 3).

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