We need to thank God for the fact that Jesus came to earth, died at Calvary and rose again the third day. Without the blood of Christ, no man could be saved from sin.
The debt of sin is too great for man to repay, but Christ paid the debt for all men. If man will obey God, he can have eternal life. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Heb. 5:8,9).
In this fact, the hope of all Christians rests. Yet on the Day of Judgment, how many who have obeyed the Gospel to get forgiveness will be turned away because they could never forgive others?
Matthew records a parable of the Lord dealing with this subject (Matt. 18:21-35). Here the Lord tells of a servant who could not possibly pay the debt he owed. Ye the master forgave him the debt.
This same man went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount and refused to forgive the man when he said he could not pay. The servant begged for mercy, but this man had none for him.
Instead of forgiveness, he had the man cast into prison. Other servants went and told the master of the forgiven servant’s treatment of his fellow man. The master, being angry delivered the servant he had forgiven to the tormentors.
Christians today need to understand this parable. The one who owed so much represents us. We are sinners “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” “Behold, the Lord’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear”; “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Rom. 3:23; Isa 59:1,2; 53:6).
The debt for our sins is one we can never repay by ourselves. We are without the means of repayment. There is no offering we can make; no sacrifice to burn that will forgive us of our sin.
Yet, God our Lord and Master has made a way possible for us to have forgiveness of sins through Christ (Titus 2:11-14). If one is willing to accept the pardon God offers, abiding by the commandments of God through obedience to the Gospel, God will forgive. This pardon is extended to all of mankind, if man will obey.
God has forgiven us if we have obeyed him, but are we willing to forgive others? No trespass against us is as great as ours against God. Yet, God was willing to forgive us. We must do as God has done and be willing to forgive others.
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses;” “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Matt. 6:14,15; Eph 4:32).
The world teaches just the opposite of the parable. Christians are to be different from the world. Christians must learn to forgive one another, or our souls will be lost.
If we hold ourselves up as being faithful to God but we cannot forgive one another, we deceive ourselves.
Let us consider God’s willingness to forgive us as we forgive others.