Forgiveness is something all men need. Man has had a problem with sin since the time of Adam and Eve. Each person will stand in judgment for their own sins, not the sins of others (Ezek. 18:20). Forgiveness that is offered by God is for all men who will obey God’s will. It is his desire for all men to be saved (I Tim. 2:4).
God sent his Son to pay a debt that man could not and cannot pay – the debt of sin. By the shedding of his blood at Calvary, Christ opened the way of salvation to all who will be obedient (Heb. 5:8, 9).
Christians can know the joy and peace of being forgiven of all their sins. Paul told the saints at Rome, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also" (Rom. 1:14,15). Telling all men about Christ and the blessing of forgiveness must be part of the Christian life.
Knowing forgiveness and understanding the way it came about through God’s plan and Christ’s willingness to give himself for man should inspire one to live as Christ lived. The love that God showed should show in how one treats his fellow man. One should stand ready to forgive even as God has forgiven.
Jesus taught this while on the earth. Notice the following parable taught by Jesus: "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven" (Matt. 18:21 ff).
This great lesson is one some find hard to put into practice. Patience and understanding go hand in hand with learning to forgive others. They may not always live up to expectations. It may be that one’s expectations are higher than God’s.
Paul in the Ephesian letter expressed the character and temperament that Christians should use with each other. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;" … "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:1,2,30-32).
He also told the Galatians to "restore in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself…" (Gal.6:1).
Forgiveness is for everyone. God offers forgiveness to all who will obey him. And just as God stands ready to forgive, so must Christians stand ready to forgive others.
Look at the words of the Lord, "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses" (Matt. 18:25). This should serve as a warning to all who would fail to forgive others.