Revelations from the Word

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Is you have something against someone: Forgive!

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Jesus began to speak, and said to them: Have the faith of God. I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain: Be removed and be cast into the sea, and he does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will happen, he will see it done. That is why I say to you: all that you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and you will see it done; and when you stand to pray, if you have something against someone, forgive [aphiemi], so that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive your offences. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11:22-26).

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had already said that if we do not forgive others their sins, our heavenly Father will not forgive us our sins either (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgive, aphiemi in Greek is 'to cancel someone's debt', it is also 'to release them' in relation to their creditor (Matthew 18:27). In this passage, the granting of God's forgiveness seems to be conditional on the forgiveness we accord others. With forgiveness we release our faith and we see our prayers answered. The faith of God sees things accomplished because the Father always forgives those who ask it of Him.

knowing that God's forgiveness towards us is conditional upon that which we accord to others (Matthew 6:14-15), the believer's life is powerfully impacted:

  • forgiveness frees from debts (Matthew 18:27),

  • forgiveness releases the granting of prayers (Mark 11:24-25),

  • forgiveness releases the love of God (Luke 7:47-48),

  • forgiveness releases life into one's body (Matthew 9:5),

  • forgiveness of sins and prayer with anointing releases one's healing (James 5:14-16),

  • forgiveness accorded to an unbeliever releases the grace of God in his life (John 20:23),

  • forgiveness must be accorded to the brother who does not repent, and the church separates from him for the good of all (Matthew 18:15-17 and Titus 3:10),

  • he who does not accord forgiveness to the one who asks for it, or he who does not ask for it (bearing a grudge, for example), is delivered to the executioners (Matthew 18:34-35); and this can result in various diseases (Matthew 4:24) or torments (Luke 16:23),

  • when God forgives sins, He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12).