Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” NASB
Hopefully, you have or will read through verse 35 to get the full impact of the Truth taught in this passage. As we have considered Forgiveness and Fellowship, we must not miss the truth that Jesus has promised to Not Reject Us! He promised in John 6:37 that He would not reject anyone that comes to Him.
Confession is important but there must be the exercise of wisdom in where and when you confess. The person to whom you are confessing must be a righteous counselor not a physician of no value. Their objective is to see you restored not to gain ammunition for gossip.
A glaringly obvious truth is that to be truly forgiven there must be repentance. That is not the imposition of some new law, requirement, rule, or regulation we can impose on the one repenting. The problem is, the heart will not release what it has not repented of. I hope you heard that. Let me repeat it, “The Heart Will Not Release What It Has Not Repented Of!”
Do not fall for the trap and become ensnared by the devil. I’ve had people who clearly were dealing with unforgiveness say, “But, Roy, I’ve been over that a long time!” I often think and a few times have said, “Oh, Really! Then how come when it comes up you start crying, get angry, grow cold, and even sick? How come you still carry the guilt or shame of it?” The Bible tells us that God removes it as far as the East is from the West, so how is it that we still have it and can easily find it?
Repentance is the key. In 1 John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins…” That involves doing a 180-degree turn and going the other direction. The word Confess is the Greek (Homologeo) which means to confess by way of admitting that we are guilty of what we are accused of. We did it! That is the result of inward conviction. Therefore, to Confess is to Repent. It is not just saying words. It is from the heart. It is the admission of guilt and accepting responsibility for the actions or words and turning from it. It involves Godly Sorrow!
Let me share an illustration that hopefully will resonate and provide benefit. Let me paint a picture of a situation where a person said, “I didn’t like my father.” I said, “You didn’t like him?” They responded, “Well, I did resent him a little.” I said, “You resented him a little?” Hold your horses. I then walked through the accounts they had revealed, and I said, “If my father had beat my mother, cheated on her and sexually abused my sister and beat me until I bled and could hardly walk, I would not resent him a little. It would be much more than resented a little.” They then said, “Well, I really was angry with my father and I guess I had a little bit of bitterness.” I said, “NO! It is far more than that it is Full Blown Hate!”
Why would I press the issue that much? Because I understand that God is seeking a match in our hearts with what He sees with His eyes. Honesty always precedes Repentance. Never hide behind false religious expectations. Be completely honest it is the only pathway to True Freedom!
I’ve heard people say, “Well, I was out fooling around a little.” NO! You were committing fornication or adultery not fooling around a little. Honesty in repentance will bring Freedom but lying and deception will only make the matter worse. The depth of our confession will determine the depth of our Freedom! If we call it what God knows it is, we can receive the Fullness of His Pardon. That is the Key to Forgiveness!
I realize that I may be stirring up a hornet’s nest in this discussion, but I have at least one more area that I want to address so we will pause until the next time. I pray that the LORD will help you honestly and fully evaluate all things in your heart and life and propel you to Full Victory.
May the Lord richly bless you on this wonderful day in Him!