The forgiveness offered by God is for all men who will obey God’s will. It has been and 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 the obedient (Heb. 5:8,9). Christians can know the joy and peace of being forgiven of all their sins. As Paul told the saints at Rome, we too are debtors to mankind. “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 this 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 the Christians relationship to others. Christians need to stand ready to forgive even as God has forgiven. Jesus taught this. “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. Therefore, is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses” (Matt. 18:21 – 35).
What a marvelous lesson on forgiveness. It is a difficult lesson to put in practice, but all Christians must work to learn to forgive as God forgave.