Godly forgiveness, requiring divine pardon, is discussed below. It is not to be confused with human forgiveness where only a human penalty or charge is required under human law. Divine forgiveness requires God’s complete satisfaction to met the demands for God’s outraged holiness. The Father’s complete Holiness will not allow any sin to be in His presence. Old testament forgiveness involved animal sacrifices made by priests. The sacrifices were a temporary fix to deal with the sin until complete grace was found through Christ’s suffering. Lev. 4:20, Deut. 21:8
Godly forgiveness is provided for the unsaved through simple faith in Christ. Forgiveness is only one of the transformations that occur, by God, when one accepts Christ as the son of God who died and resurrected himself to everlasting life. Salvation includes forgiveness and much more. God takes control of a life and continues to work with an individual to grow the person in the character and teachings of Jesus. This growth becomes complete upon entry to heaven when the person has the mind of Christ. All the while, the sacrificial blood of Christ is a covering over the saved person that prevents God The Father from seeing or being offended by their sin.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Joh 10:28 And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand.
Rom 5:17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one, much more they who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.)
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by one offense sentence came on all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came to all men to justification of life.
Salvation includes forgiveness of all sins ( past – present – future) against the will of God the Father. When a believer sins he is subject to godly chastisement for correction, but not condemnation that would prevent eternal life with god during life and after death. The believer’s grace through Christ’s covering of His shed blood is forever. It is promising that God will never break his side of this eternal contract. It does not say that we cannot break the contract using our free will while on earth. Jesus also said that He would never leave us in Heb 13:5. He did not say that we could not leave Him.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
Joh 3:18 He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the onlybegotten Son of God.
Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My Word and believes on Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death to life.
When a believer judges an action of theirs as sin, truly repents and confesses the sin to God asking forgiveness, God does not have to judge the action as sin. It has already been judged and can be forgiven under the grace of god.
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with* the world. * Union by association or companionship or resemblance
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If a believer sees another believer committing a sin that can be forgiven by God, he shall pray for god to forgive the brother. However, the first believer is not called to judge what god’s reaction shall be. God will judge for Himself the outcome of the plea. If a sin is committed that God cannot forgive, do not ask for forgiveness. A sin unto death cannot be forgiven by God. It represents a persistent or scandalous sin against the will of the Father that is not worthy of one obtaining grace. Most likely, it represents a total rejection of Christ and His sacrifices. This type of rejection is found in Heb.6:4-6.
1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sin a sin not to death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for those that do not sin to death. There is a sin to death, I do not say that he shall pray for it.
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 and who have fallen away; it is impossible, I say, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify the Son of God afresh to themselves and put Him to an open shame.
1Co 5:1 On the whole it is reported that there is fornication* among you, and such fornication as is not even named among the nations, so as one to have his father’s wife. * harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: – fornication
1Co 5:2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, so that he who has done this deed may be taken from your midst.
1Co 5:3 For as being absent in body but present in spirit, I indeed have judged already as though I were present concerning him who worked out this thing;
1Co 5:4 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, with my spirit; also, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ;
1Co 5:5 to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.
1Co 11:29 For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and many sleep.
God reserves the right to severely chastise continual serious offenders to his will by taking their life. This does not necessarily mean condemnation to spiritual death as a fall from grace. One example might be death from the continual use of destructive drugs. Even those who are doing good are chastised in ways that could encourage them to be even more productive. Taking communion without honoring Christ by repenting of sins can lead to harsh judgement. Chastisement can mean problems while on earth, or perhaps, some loss of rewards in Heaven.
Deu 5:11 You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain, for Jehovah will not acquit the one who takes His name in vain.
Mat 12:22 Then one who had been demon-possessed was brought to Him, blind and dumb. And He healed him, so much so that the blind and dumb one both spoke and saw.
Mat 12:23 And all the people were amazed and said, Is not this the son of David?
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard, they said, This one does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. And every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
Mat 12:26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
Mat 12:27 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
Mat 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, unless first he binds the strong one, and then he will plunder his house.
Mat 12:30 The one who is not with Me is against Me, and the one who does not gather with Me scatters.
Mat 12:31 Therefore I say to you, All kinds of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.
Mat 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.
Mar 3:22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.
Mar 3:23 And He called them and said to them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
Mar 3:24 And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mar 3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Mar 3:26 And if Satan rises up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.
Mar 3:27 No one can enter into a strong one’s house and plunder his goods, except he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.
Mar 3:28 Truly I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and blasphemies with which they shall blaspheme.
Mar 3:29 But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never shall have forgiveness, but is liable to eternal condemnation.
Mar 3:30 Because they said, He has an unclean spirit.
A person who takes the name of Jehovah in vain or A person who attributes the work of the Holy Spirit to satan shall not be forgiven by God. Such speaking and belief directly goes against God’s work and results in a tearing away of the faith necessary to accept Christ. Some believe that this condition, concerning the Holy Spirit, is impossible to happen today, however, that would also mean that Christ and the Holy Spirit are not still actively operating today. Such a belief is not allowing for today’s miracles that are ongoing through the work of the Holy Spirit. We should still be open for God to work actively today in our lives. To speak against today’s Godly miracles would carry the same condemnation as in the time of Christ. It still would be a detraction to faith in Christ and His works through the Holy Spirit. Be very careful in this area!
Mat 6:9 Therefore pray in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread;
Mat 6:12 and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mat 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, unless each one of you from your hearts forgive his brother their trespasses.
Mar 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive it so that also your Father in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses.
Luk 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
Luk 11:4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother trespasses against you, rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespasses against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to you, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him.
Luk 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. And parting His clothing, they cast lots.
2Co 2:10 But to whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if I forgave anything, for your sakes I forgave it to him in the person of Christ;
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We are to forgive others if we desire God to forgive us under grace. All that can be done to us would never compare to what Christ forgave on the cross. If we are to be his deciples and suffer as he did, then we must also offer grace to those who offend us. When we ask grace for those who sin against us, Christ also forgives them just as The Father forgave when Jesus asked forgiveness for those who sinned against Him. When we confess our sins to God He can then forgive us.
Isa 43:22 But you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel.
Isa 43:25 I, I am He who blots out your sins for My own sake, and will not remember your sins.
How interesting that even God chooses not to remember sins for His own benifit. Knowing the nature of God helps us understand:
1. The Father god is completly holy. Unforgiveness is not the will of the Father, therefore it becomes sin and the Father will not allow any sin to be a part of Him as a holy god.
2. God is the source of peace. Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. The Father knows that one cannot have peace of mind and contentment when troubled by the hurts of others. Thus, He desires to forgive those in Christ.
3. God desires relationship with His creation of mankind. He is clear throughout scripture that He desires Israel and all people to be reconciled to Him and live with Him for eternity. He also is the source of wisdom.
Job 11:6 and would tell you the secrets of His wisdom, that sound wisdom is manifold? Know therefore that God forgets for you some of your iniquity.
Job 28:20 From where then does wisdom come, and where is the place of understanding?
Job 28:23 God understands the way of it, and He knows its place.
Col 2:2 that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of the understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
In His wisdom He knows that relationships are impossible without forgiveness. Therefore, He forgives for the sake of relationship with his own.
4. God is the source of love, especially His love for mankind, that Christ should die for us.
God chooses to forgive those in Christ in order that complete love might bond God to the saved. Perfect love overcomes all disunity.
Thus, God as the perfect teacher, does not tell us to forgive without following His own advice. He forgives those He calls to be in Christ.