Sarnia EMC
Locations & Times
  • SEMC
    707 Talfourd St, Sarnia, ON N7T 1S1, Canada
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Among the last words that Jesus speaks, prior to his earthly death or these words: “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Why does he say those words in that way? Why doesn’t Jesus forgive them, the way he had forgiven others? Who are they? Who are them? And most importantly, what happens to them?
An offense between people also is primarily an offense against God. (Psalm 51) Therefore forgiveness that neglects God, will not last.
These are not steps. These are all part of the whole picture of forgiveness:
Forgiveness is only something that God can do. It is in His character. (Micah 7:18; Mark 2:1-7)
Forgiveness includes the means by which we release people from the guilt of wrongdoing; it does not negate the consequences of wrongdoing itself. (Luke 23:13-25)
The act of forgiveness submits sin to the holiness of God. (Leviticus 4 & 5)
Forgiveness allows us to be restored to the fullness of a relationship with God the Father. (Luke 7: 36-49; 1 John 1:9)
Forgiveness is the intentional means by which we free ourselves from the anguish of subjective judgment and release those who sin against us to God’s perfect, holy judgment and grace. (Luke 23:34)
Forgiveness is a necessary function of God’s grace among those who follow Christ. (Eph. 1:7-8, Col. 3:12-13)
Forgiveness is a posture of readiness through which we trust the abundant grace of God to restore our wounds, to execute perfect judgment in His time, and to reconcile relationships.
Follow these guidelines regarding biblical forgiveness:
· Acknowledge your feelings, to God (lament)
· Refuse to tell anyone other than one trusted person. Telling can be a way we seek to punish others.
· Ask God to help you forgive.
· Let the person off your hook and put them on God’s hook. Leave room for God’s justice.
· Confess any contribution to the problem to the other person and to God.
· Do not bring it up again or use it against them in the future.
· Give the other person the opportunity to treat you better in the future. (see note below)
· Give up the desire to place blame and work through any resentment or negative feelings toward the other person.
· Communicate forgiveness to the other person. (see note below)
· Work toward reconciliation only when it is safe to do so. (see note below) Be clear about expectations and limits.
· Pray for God to work on them and that they may also experience God’s blessing.
· Forgive yourself. Allow God’s grace to help you to heal. This takes time and intentionality.

Note: Sometimes it isn’t possible or safe to communicate or reconcile with the other person, but the act of forgiveness will set you free from bitterness and resentment. I can live in peace knowing God will take what is wrong and make it right.