You Are Forgiven Devo
Daily Reading: (Ephesians 4:32):
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Your ability to forgive someone else begins by receiving your forgiveness in Christ. One of the
There are two statements in the Bible that have led to some confusion for people because they seem to contradict each other but they only are confusing when you are confused about the Covenant that you are living in.
1. “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).
2. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Do you see the difference between these two statements? The first statement says that forgiveness starts with us. The second statement says forgiveness begins with God.
Which is it? Both of these statements are reconciled in Jesus Christ. He satisfied the condition for forgiveness when He went to the cross. But a better explanation came from Jesus Himself when He told the story of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:23).
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One servant had a huge debt he could not pay. To satisfy the debt the king planned to sell the servant, his family and all his possessions. The servant begged for mercy, the king took pity and cancelled the debt.
Now try and put yourself in the place of that servant. You are on the verge of being sold into slavery. Your wife is going to be sold as well. She is about to become the property of another man. Your kids will also be sold into slavery. You will likely never see them again. There is not a thing you can do to avoid this. You have no legal recourse.
And then, at a command from the king, your debt is instantly canceled and everything you hold dear is restored to you.
Wouldn’t you go from that place singing the praises of your king? Wouldn’t you shout from the rooftops that the king is good? Wouldn’t you go home and hug your wife, and enjoy your kids, knowing that, because of the mercy of the king, you now have a future together?
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
The shocking plot twist is that this is not what the man in the story did. He walked out of the king’s presence unchanged. In the very next verse, he found someone who owed him a small amount of money and he demanded payment. When that man couldn’t pay, the unmerciful servant had him thrown into prison. Later, when the king heard about this, he reversed his merciful judgment and delivered the “wicked servant” to the tormenters.
Most people think that the story of the ungrateful servant is a tale about morality. But Jesus said it’s a description of the Kingdom of Heaven. Each of us had a debt we could not pay and God, in His mercy, paid the debt on our behalf. The debtor’s law that stood opposed to us was fully satisfied.
There are only two possible responses to God’s generosity. One response is to say, thank you Jesus! What amazing grace! I will be forever grateful and I will tell others what you have done so they may ask for mercy too. The other response is that of the servant in the story. It is to remain unrepentant and unchanged by the goodness of God.
The forgiveness that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 4:32 is supernatural.
“Be kind and compassionate” in the Greek word it is talking about the ability to become kind and compassionate to those who need our forgiveness, to those who have done us great harm. It is only possible to act in kindness and compassion and forgiveness to someone who has greatly wounded us as we remember how greatly forgiven in Christ we are.
How forgiven are you and I in Christ? Do we have to ask for forgiveness in order for Christ to forgive us? No, because we are already forgiven. Christ forgave you. It is a done deal. It is forgiveness in the past, forgiveness in the present, and forgiveness in your future. You are forgiven in Jesus. Now, that you know that and we see how greatly forgiven you are enabled to forgive even if they don’t deserve it, even if they don’t ask for it. It is for your good that you forgive and you cast your cares on God. Not only are we enabled to forgive but we can in Christ also be kind and compassionate to those who need forgiveness.
But when the topic of forgiveness comes up some will point to a verse in the Gospel of Mark 11:25- “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25). This doesn’t mean what you might think. We are forgiven because of one reason. 1 John 2:12: “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”
Are we forgiven because of Jesus or are we forgiven because we have perfectly forgiven everyone else?
To answer this question that is raised in Mark 11:25 one must look at who is Jesus talking to in Mark 11? Jesus is taking to those living under the Law. The message is clear, if you want to try and earn salvation, you will find that it is impossible. One of the requirements to perfect law-based living would be the perfect forgiveness of all who wronged you.
Jesus came and fulfilled this requirement for us perfectly. When we go to the scene of the crucifixion people were mocking Jesus, they were spitting on Him, hurling insults at Him, and casting lots for His clothes. He was crucified for our sins and yet the people who rejected Him hung a sign over His head, ‘This is the king of the Jews.’ He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” How did Jesus respond? His response is kindness and compassion. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
When Jesus said this statement, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins” people were still living under the Law, if you think the Law offers you salvation then you better do it perfectly all the time including always forgiving everyone all the time.
But since we have already been forgiven, we can read Jesus’ statement through the lens of grace. As an exhortation to walk in the grace of a Father who has already forgiven you in Christ. Try shifting your glance away from the one who hurt you and setting your eyes on the one who has saved you.