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  • J. Randal Matheny 10:16 am on August 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , Septuagint   

    Use of “aphesis” (forgiveness) in the Septuagint 

    “Deissmann has made an interesting study of the use of aphesis [forgiveness] in the Septuagint (BS, pp. 98-101). There it is translated ‘brooks’ (Joel 1:20) and ‘rivers’ (Lam. 3:47). He shows that this is probably due to the use of the term in Egypt—the Septuagint was made in that country—for the ‘releasing’ of water by opening the sluices. Then there is the common use in the Septuagint of aphesis for the Year of Jubilee. It was a time of release of land. In Egypt the word was used for the ‘release’ of land from the payment of taxes. This usage is found both on the famous Rosetta Stone (196 B.C.) and the papyri. The Septuagint also uses it for the sabbatical year (Exod. 23:11).”

    — Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the NT, p. 290.

    • John Henson 7:17 pm on August 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The release or the “sending away” from the prefix “apo” in ἄφεσις. Robertson indicates it is “a sending away after the buying back,” which is especially clear in Colossians 1:14.

  • docmgphillips 6:49 pm on June 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    I forgive you 

    Once again, someone who has survived a tragedy hastens to tell the perpetrator, “I forgive you.” And we are firmly told to forgive. But I have a question. I do not find anywhere in the New Testament where anyone was forgiven before repenting. Jesus Himself said, “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) So my question is this: If God does not forgive before repentance, can we? If we say we forgive a person who has not repented, then does he believe he is forgiven by God also, and need not repent? Will God hold his sin against him even though we say we have forgiven him? IF he asks, we have no choice but to forgive, but can we forgive if he does not ask ?
    What say ye?

    • James 1:26 am on June 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am usually in the minority on this one, but I believe we can refuse to hold a grudge, or forgive the person which is separate from God’s forgiveness. Stephen forgave the people who were stoning him in this sense. He could not actually forgive sin and neither can we, only God can truly forgive sin, but he asked for the Lord to forgive the sin just as Jesus had on the cross. Jesus commanded us, however, in Mark 11:25-26 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” He does not require that they come and ask us, or repent, or anything. It is our action. Consider other cases similar to this one, but where the killer then took his life as well. Should those people go through life holding unforgiveness in their heart? Just a little of my thoughts. There are other passages as well that tell us to forgive without specifying any action on the other parties part.

      • docmgphillips 12:10 pm on June 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        It is always dangerous to refuse to investigate all the Bible says on a subject, So, James, I ask you to read Luke 17:4. This is Jesus talking. “IF he comes to you and says, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Many times it is necessary to investigate more to get a clear understanding. I can school my heart to bear no harshness or bitterness against a person, but, unless he repent, I have no right to forgive. These are two entirely different things.

        • RichardS 1:40 pm on June 20, 2015 Permalink

          Would you say that the Lord was wrong to ask the Father to forgive the crowd that was crucifying Him (Luke 23:34)? How about Stephen ? Would you say that it’s better to forgive someone even if they don’t ask for it than to have an unforgiving heart that may lead you astray ? Was Christ wrong in telling us to love and do good to our enemies (Matt. 5:43-47;5:16) ? Or Paul (Rom 12:20-21 ; Titus 2:7-8) ? Or Peter (1 Pet 2:12) ?

    • UChenna Bekee 4:39 am on June 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The Bible doesn’t teach that you forgive who who has not recognise his offence and faults. Matthew 18:21-35. What we cannot not do is to take vengeance but for forgiveness to be what God intended it to be, the fellow must repent. bearing grudges and forgiveness are not the same. Col.3:13 tells us to forgive in the manner Christ forgave us. We all know Christ demands or repentance before he forgives us Luke. 13:1-3

      Thus, in order for us to truly forgive someone on a personal level, they must repent. But, what if they never come to repentance–then what? In that case we must guard our hearts against bitterness and animosity. Even if a brother is in sin and refuses to repent of it, we must love him and not develop evil feelings toward him. But, if a brother refuses to repent then we can’t forgive him because God hasn’t forgiven him!

      • docmgphillips 12:12 pm on June 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I agree absolutely 100%. Bitterness and animosity are always wrong, but forgiveness follows only after repentance. Is it not presumptuous of us to think we can forgive where God has not forgiven?

    • docmgphillips 8:23 pm on June 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, you miss my point. Jesus was God, so He had the power to forgive; neither Stephen nor I have that power. I bear a grudge against no one. When someone has merely annoyed me or hurt my feelings, I can and do forgive them, regardless. However, if they have sinned, I have no right to forgive them until they repent. I still bear no grudge, but forgiveness is not mine to give if they do not repent. There is a huge difference between hurt feelings and sin, isn’t there? And read it again…Stephen did not forgive the crowd: he asked God to do so. When someone annoys me or hurts my feelings, I hasten to forgive them; when someone sins against me, I pray to God that they will repent so they may be forgiven.

  • John T. Polk II 9:32 pm on April 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, miracle, , , works of penance   

    4-13-2015 “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – Forgives Sins 

    1 John 3:4 NKJV says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Since sin is the violating of God’s Law, only God can forgive sin. Jesus said a miracle showed He had “power on earth to forgive sins” and then healed a paralyzed man instantly (Mark 2:1-12 NKJV). No Apostle or church of Christ was ever to “forgive sins,” but they preached Jesus Christ as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV). No one today has the right either to claim to forgive sins with “works of penance,” or make up their own rules on how to be forgiven by God with “a sinner’s prayer!” Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 9:18 am on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness   

    Why forgiveness is hard 

    By Jeremiah Tatum — Have you ever been hurt? I mean really hurt. I am not talking about falling down and scraping your knee hurt and getting a bandage from mommy. I am not talking about some wound that was your fault or that happened accidentally. But I am talking about being hurt by someone you loved so sincerely and completely that you fail to understand why they hurt you. I am talking about that part of yourself that says you would never do to your worst enemy what has been done to you by someone for whom you would have given your very life.

    How do you forgive when you have been hurt so deeply by someone you love so deeply? Why is forgiveness so hard? (More …)

    • Jack 4:06 pm on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      JEHOVAH GOD’s agape love is long-suffering_ HIS forgiveness conditional; “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “Repent therefore and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins, so that times of refreshing may come from [the] presence of the LORD…(Acts 3:19).

      Take heed to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ a forgive him (Luke 17:3-4).

      Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but a leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says JEHOVAH. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS UPON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:14-21).

  • Ed Boggess 8:32 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "living in sin", forgiveness, , ,   

    1 John teaches us much about the love of God and how his grace works on behalf of his children. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us.” We all stumble in many ways and fall short of the glory of God. But once we are adopted into the family of God, the blood of Jesus constantly washes us from our failings and sins. As long as we are walking in the light, this blessing gives us the confidence that we can live without fear, trusting in the grace and love of our Father. But since we all stumble and sin, else why would there be any need for a constant cleansing, how do we know that we are walking in the light? I hear the phrase, nearly always describing someone other than the one using the phrase, describing someone as “living in sin”. Every time I hear it is used exclusively for one particular sin. But why apply it to only one? The gossip, the liar, the resentful, the thief, the cheat, tax evader (or tax corner-cutter), the lustful, the covetous, and on and on are all living in sin. How can anyone trust themselves as walking in the light and therefore receiving the cleansing power and sonship of God? I believe the answer is in the context of 1 John itself. John does not introduce the idea and then abandon it, but rather develops it throughout his letter. In the midst of this development, he identifies who is walking in the light and who is not. in 3:7, 8 John warns against being deceived and then contrasts two different lifestyles. Using the ESV John says there are the children of God who “practice righteousness” and there are those serving the devil who “make a practice of sinning.” John is not talking about a single sin but a overall lifestyle. Through the years I have seen people struggle with a particular sin, perhaps drunkenness, yet overall they lived a life serving the Lord. I am not the judge of such folks, nor will I condemn them off-hand. I will encourage them to continue to work on those areas they fall short, as I hope I continue to work on the areas I fall short. But the very fact that they are living lives “practicing righteousness” gives me hope that God’s grace will cover their shortcomings.

    Through nearly 50 years of preaching I have met and grieved over scores and hundreds of former Christians who were offered no hope and therefore gave up. I remember one deacon’s son who had been told he might as well give up since his situation, a mess he had made for himself, made it impossible for him to be saved. Believing what he was told, he no longer tried. He had children and they were not taken to church nor introduced to the Lord. They now have teenage children who were never taken to church and never introduced to the Lord. So there is Oscar himself and his wife, four children and 12 grandchildren, 18 in all: all with no hope and all altogether away from the Lord. Why? Some folks “living in sin” are never told “you might as well quit”, others, liars, gossips, etc. are ignored. Oscar is one of hundreds I have come across. How many more could be multiplied if we only could somehow know? There will always be tares among the wheat and the Lord has the wisdom to separate the two when it is time. Think how much greater the kingdom could be, if we left it to Him. These are just some thoughts I choose to share that cause me to grieve. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I am sure I will be again. But maybe I’m not. This is Just-A-Minute or two or three.

  • John T. Polk II 7:23 am on June 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forgiveness, , , ,   

    (#189) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:3-Beware of the Merciless Poor 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 28:3: “A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

    “A driving rain” can wash away planted seeds, top soil, and even the crops, themselves. “A poor man who oppresses” is merciless and unforgiving to those like himself. Power or authority in the hands of one who hasn’t earned it is a weapon of mass destruction!

    Jesus Christ, who was “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), best described this wisdom in Matthew 18:23-35: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35). People have a tendency to not show pity to those who have sinned like they have, though their sin may have been worse! A “poor man” is harder and more impatient with other “poor” people because they are like he was. James warns us of this attitude: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).

    Anyone who knows what it is like to have sins forgiven (Mark 16:15-16) should know how to forgive others: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We who have admitted our own sins before God should have compassion on others.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • TFRStaff 9:27 am on April 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forgiveness, words of Christ   

    The first word from the Cross 

    by Ron Bartanen The Sower April 6 http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

    The last words spoken by a loved one are probably the words most indelibly impressed in your mind. There is special significance to words spoken by one who realizes that life is ebbing away. There is no time for frivolous talk, and words are carefully chosen.

    Such also are the words of Jesus, all of which are precious to the believer, but the final words, as uttered upon the cross by the suffering Savior, serve as a unique window to His soul. They have frequently been referred to as “The Seven Words From Calvary.”

    History records that there were thousands of Jews that had been hung upon Roman crosses for villainous deeds, but the words they spoke would not in any way resemble the words that mocking crowd would hear from Jesus’ lips the day He was crucified. I wish, in these few lines, to think on Jesus’ first utterance: “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

    What a contrast that must have been to the curses and hate-filled speech customarily heard on similar occasions! In that one sentence we find an invocation, a petition and an argument. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:34 am on April 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, ,   

    God is greater than you to forgive 

    The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

    “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

    Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

    Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love … keeps no record of wrongs.” Let us not only forgive others, but let us help people who cannot forgive themselves.

    God is a God of mercy.

    Mum Katheryn [Haddad]

  • TFRStaff 6:37 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness, , ,   


    Isn’t it hard to be for those who are against us? There are some situations where perhaps we would like to just let people have it, whether that be a verbal tongue lashing or a fist to the face. However, are we not glad God has been for us even when our choices have gone against His Will? (note Romans 5:6 & 8) Though His judgment is to be taken seriously, for the present He offers the opportunity to repent and be drawn to a closer walk with Him. Therefore, considering how much FORGIVENESS WE HAVE RECEIVED from God, are we being MINDFUL OF BEING AS MERCIFUL toward others as He has been toward us? (note the parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:23-35) Praise God for His gracious mercy.

    Because it has been a few years, I can’t even remember the book I read it from, but what has stuck in my mind is the author’s mentioning of four responses to actions that may have been directed against us. The choices were that we could either curse it, nurse it, rehearse it, or reverse it. It was the author’s choice of words which have helped me remember them. Which of these we follow through with will impact the manner in which we treat others.

    Remember Paul’s exhortation where we read. . .

    “(14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and DO NOT CURSE THEM. . . . .(17) REPAY NO ONE EVIL FOR EVIL, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (19) Beloved, NEVER AVENGE YOURSELVES, but LEAVE IT TO THE WRATH OF GOD, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:14 & 17-19 ESV)

    Some things may be easier to forgive than others. There are also some life incidents or situations difficult to remove from our mind. It is not foolish to live mindful of what we draw our life into and what situations might best be avoided. Still, forgiveness from the heart is important not only due to the impact it will have on how we treat others, but also because of what we are able to release from our own life as we LEAVE IT TO GOD to deal with things according to His mercy and will. If we can trust God with other areas of our life, let us also trust Him in this. By doing so, our life load will remain much lighter. Leaving repayment to God, He will bless us for our service to others and ultimately call to account those who have refused His Ways!


    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, , kings, laws, , ,   

    (#151) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:28-How To Lose An Election 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 20:28: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.”

    “Mercy” is “kindness, forgiveness, protection offered,” and kingdoms, countries, or empires that incorporate “mercy” in its laws and leaders can survive. Jesus used such a king to make a powerful point about “forgiveness” (Matthew 18:21-35), for a servant is forgiven his debt but he will not forgive one who owes him. The king wanted his “compassion” to be passed along, and when it wasn’t, the unforgiving servant was condemned, and Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). Mercy shows a king’s heart for his people. When people realize that “the king” (or leader of government, whether an individual or congress) doesn’t care what pain, anguish, penalty, or price government policies impose upon them, they will seek a change of leadership.

    “Truth” is “fact, reality, veracity, honesty,” and laws of the land must have this at their core, or else there is no standard for conduct. The Israelites settled in their Promised Land, but failed to follow God’s Law. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Governments without Biblical, Constitutional, or Legislative truth for a moral compass are destined to fail. “Truth” is the backbone of good law. All law that is based upon half-truths, lies, or deceit should be uncovered and removed.

    Without “mercy and truth” for limits, no government will survive, and without personal “lovingkindness,” elections are lost! “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:1-6).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • docmgphillips 8:48 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    I Forgive You? 

    If you are anything like me, you have been taught that you must always forgive everyone everything. No exceptions. No qualifications. Is that a correct teaching? I have come to believe that it is NOT. Let me present my thoughts on this subject.

    I was studying the Bible recently when I noticed a few verses that have changed my mind. First of all, in Mark 2:7, we find an interesting question that is repeated in Luke 5:21. In Capernaum, a man, sick with palsy, was let down through the roof to Jesus. Jesus said to him, “Thy sins are forgiven.” The scribes who were present were immediately upset and incensed, asking, “Who but God can forgive sins?” And they were right. No one but God has the power to forgive sins, in spite of the doctrine of some. And under what conditions does God forgive sins? I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible where God instructs us about the forgiveness by Him of a man’s sin where repentance is not the first condition.

    Let us go back to what we have always been taught. Look at these passages:
    •Matthew 6:14-15: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    •Matthew 18:21-22, 35: Then came Peter and said to Him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee seven times, but until seventy times seven….So also shall my Heavenly Father do unto you if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
    •Mark 11:25: And whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any one; that your Father Who is in Heaven may forgive your trespasses.

    It would appear for these verses that we are required to give unconditional forgiveness to anyone and everyone who sins against us, would it not? These are the verses I have heard repeatedly. But, you know, Psalm 119:160 says “The sum of thy word is truth.” To me, this is a warning to look carefully into the Word of God, studying all He has given about a subject and not just one verse. To get a clear picture of what God has said for us, we need to look at all He has given us on a subject.

    So, let us also read Luke 17:3,4: Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times turn again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Did you catch that? If your brother sins against you, and if he repents, you must forgive him.

    This forgiveness is not merely a cancellation of bitter thoughts and the desire for revenge against another. The words “remission” and “forgiveness” are translated from the Greek, aphesis, which means “release,” or “the sending away of sins.” This is the restoration of a peaceful relationship which the offense interrupted, whether with God or with another. Indeed, when we sin against a brother, we also sin against God. Although Paul was speaking of a specific sin, his words apply to any general sin when he wrote: And thus, sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, ye sin against Christ. (I Corinthians 8:12). Sin is sin. When we sin against another, we also sin against God. Are we better than God? If God does not forgive sin except when the sinner repent, how can man do more than God and forgive a brother without the repentance of that brother?

    We are urged to be Christ-like. We all accept that. This instance is no exception. We must always be ready to forgive any offense if the other asks for forgiveness. That is certainly true. Not to forgive a repentant brother would guarantee that God will not forgive us. But the key is repentance. It is our duty to love and forgive all, but, as with God Whom we try to copy, there can be no forgiveness unless there is repentance and the asking for forgiveness. In fact, if we say we have forgiven when the other has not asked for forgiveness, we present a false picture to that brother, and, indeed, sin against him because we have indicated to him that all is all right when God has not forgiven him if he has not repented.

    So, the conclusion is this: If someone offends you, you have no right to be bitter toward that person. However, the absence of bitterness is not forgiveness. But if that other person comes and asks for forgiveness, then and ONLY THEN, can we truly forgive that other person.

    I know this goes against what we may have been taught. I know it will offend some. But I urge you to closely study this matter. I would not want you to sin in ignorance by forgiving what God has not forgiven. If you have thoughts on this article, please leave a comment.

    • Esther Lee 11:23 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply


    • docmgphillips 2:38 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. Do we ever err in trying to be “on the side” which God has not authorized?

    • Eugene Adkins 6:25 am on November 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I hear you on the overall principle of what you’re saying (no repentance ultimately means no mercy from God regardless of what we have to say about it), but when it comes to our willingness to forgive someone before they even ask for it a verse that comes to mind is “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

      It’s true that even these people did not find that forgiveness until they repented of their sins (Acts 3:36-38), but the initiative of forgiveness, as far as God’s people are concerned, is for us to let go of the way we have been wronged based upon the fact that God has given mercy to us, and that he will ultimately have the last say in the matter (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12-13, Romans 12:17-21).

      Definitely not easy to do, but then again it didn’t look very easy for Jesus to do what he did at Calvary.

      Good challenge to think about, brother.

    • docmgphillips 9:03 am on November 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Eugene. I sometimes do not express myself well. We must forget the wrong as much as is humanly possible, and always be ready to agape the offender. However, there is no real forgiveness without repentance. If we say we forgive and try to forget, do we not rob them? Do we not let them think that they did nothing wrong? Can we do more than God? I guess my pint is, if God has not forgiven them, how can we? We just must still gape and try to forget.

    • Brian Galloway 4:23 pm on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      But also consider that Jesus asked God to forgive the men who were nailing him to the cross, even though they didn’t ask for forgiveness themselves at that time. As far as we know, they never repented. Was Jesus wrong?

      • docmgphillips 6:17 pm on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I absolutely affirm that Jesus never made a mistake, never was wrong. Perhaps He asked this that they might be forgiven if they asked. At any rate, this occurred before the establishment of the church. Just as Jesus forgave the thief on the cross and told him he would be in Paradise without the benefit of baptism (also before the establishment of the church), Jesus is God and can do anything He desires. I have heard many say that they would rather err on the side of mercy. Please understand, I do NOT believe you can hold a grudge or any animosity. But that is a different issue from forgiveness. In addition, it is absolutely possible for me to be wrong. I just wanted all my friends to think.

  • TFRStaff 5:21 am on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , , , ,   

    Motivated Mercy 

    Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:13 *NKJV)

    Now I know that forgiving another is hard for us to do at times, but when we remember how very much God has forgiven us; it becomes much less difficult to do. After all, just thinking about God’s tremendous Love and Forgiveness can help us to forgive and love each other.

    So as God’s Children we should; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

    Therefore; Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    So, forgive those who offend you, and do not try to get even; For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)

    When we consider how much God has loved every man, and how much He has forgiven each of us, well, it takes my breath away. Would I love a roach enough to let my child die that that critter might live? I don’t think so. Yet, the difference and the space between God and man is far greater than that between man and a roach. But God loved us enough to let Jesus die for us. And that means that God loved every single person on the face of the earth that much. With that in mind, how can I possibly hate any other person, and not be willing to forgive them?

    Wishing you a beautiful day on God’s green Earth, and may; The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)

    Doc Phillips

    Fredericksburg Church of Christ, TX


  • TFRStaff 2:54 pm on September 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forgiveness, , , offences, ,   

    Forgiving Others 

    In Matthew 6:12, when the disciples had asked Jesus how to pray, among other things, He told them, “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  This clearly teaches us that, in order to be forgiven, we must first be ready to forgive.  If we are not willing to forgive others when they have offended us, then God will not forgive us when we have offended Him…and we do that all too frequently.

    But I would like for us to look at two verses also found in Matthew:

    • Matthew 5:23-24  If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
    • Matthew 18:15  And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him hid fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained a brother.

    The Bible clearly indicates in these two verses that the reconciliation of any trespass is on my shoulders.  It is up to me to make the first move.  Neither of these two obligations is easy; and, neither is dependent upon the other person.  Read those two verses again.  (Obviously, repentance is the first step for forgiveness, for we cannot be forgiven for something of which we have not repented; but that is another article.)  God does not say that I can sit back at ease and wait for my brother or sister to come to me and ask for forgiveness.  If I feel that a brother or sister has sinned against me, then I also, by definition, feel that that person is living in sin.  Therefore, I have an obligation to that person to go to them privately and, in love, tell them what has offended me and give them a chance to repent and “make it right.”  If I fail to take the first step, I have failed to follow God’s commandment.

    On the flip side, if I am aware that I have offended another, whether or not I meant to offend, it is my obligation to go to that person and apologize for my words or actions.

    Again, God has charged me that I must take the first step.

    I cannot answer for you, but I do know that I daily need the forgiveness of my Lord.  There are things that I do or neglect to do, thing that I say or neglect to say…some of which I may be aware and some of which I am not aware.  If I realize that I need that forgiveness, then I must  realize that others need it, also.  So, here is the deal:  Take time right now to think about your life.  Have you offended anyone?  For the sake of your own soul, no matter how hard it might be, go to that person and ask them to forgive you.  Has anyone offended you, and that is eating at your peace?  Then go to that person, no matter how hard it might be, and, in love, tell them what has offended you, doing so in love rather than condemnation, and give them the chance to ask your forgiveness.  In either case, you have made peace with God.

    Doc Phillips

    Fredericksburg Church of Christ, TX


  • Michael Summers 2:01 pm on June 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , family of God, forgiveness, , , , toxic churches   

    Where Do We Go to Heal? 

    My journey of faith began in a family of faith and a family of worshipers (the Bible often calls the church a “household” or “family.”). My parents loved God and made assembling with other lovers of God a priority for us. They reminded us often that it was a privilege to assemble with other Christians, that in some nations it was definitely not a right to do so. While I have discovered that some communities of faith may be more toxic than healing, healthy faith develops best in community. There are times when we may need to go alone in prayer to express our pain and hurt to the Lord, but sometimes the occasions when we hurt the most are when the church that we thought didn’t care awakens to its responsibilities. Singing with a congregation, even listening if the pain is too great to sing or the song evokes particularly emotional memories, allows other believers to speak words of grace and love. Even when one’s presence challenges others to forgive or consider whether they should allow you to participate, growth in relationship to God and his people occurs. We all sin (Romans 3:23). We all need forgiveness. Assembling together allows others to bear one another’s burden (Galatians 6:1-2) and remember that being a part of Christ’s saved people is not an exercise in isolation nor about feeling good all the time about other Christians. Romans 15:1-3 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'” We worship together to praise God, but also meet together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). We should not gather as a church to hear a speaker verbally scourge the suffering, but we should search the scriptures together and pray fervently that we may help the damaged person heal and return to active service. If a person’s (or group’s) presence threatens the spiritual stability of the congregation, then we meet and discuss face-to-face how their actions endanger the health of the community while remembering to check our preferences to see if they align with the word and will of God.

    Because my parents encouraged me to make assembling with Christians a priority, when I encountered a difficult time in my life when it would have been easy to suffer alone and stop “going to church,” I kept going. I found it hard to pray at that point in my life and it was difficult to sing some songs. Some sermons were harder to hear and some well-meaning brethren just did not understand what I was experiencing. Still I kept assembling and I continued to read the Bible regularly (Strange, I think, that I found it hard to talk to God for a while but still was willing to listen to him). The small congregation embraced me and helped me to heal, using me when I was willing and my work would help others. Some told me that my presence encouraged them. I survived spiritually because that church and my family of origin loved me.

    Some hurting people have hurt themselves, and as part of the healing process, must realize and articulate the part they played in creating their pain. We call this repentance and confession; both acts are essential for spiritual healing. If they have never done so before, they will need (as did the apostle Paul) to wash away their sin in baptism (Acts 22:16). Some may be unable to reverse the effects of their actions; just as a physical amputee learns to function without a hand or with a prosthesis, they can learn to function in their new reality. Other hurting people have been abused – verbally, physically, or emotionally. They don’t need more abuse. They need love, and lots of patience.

    So, if you’re hurting spiritually, don’t try to solve your problems in isolation. Reach out for help to a community of faith, a church that takes God, Christ, and the Bible seriously, but that remembers also that it is the family of God and the body of Christ, an entity that heals rather harms. If you’re within such a group, and someone confesses difficulty, pain, or sin, don’t rush to ostracize. Pray and study to learn how you may help this person to heal and to grow up to become the healthy disciple God wants them to be. As Paul the apostle wrote, ” Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). In the end, we all have fallen short, and that is why we need a family, a church, where we may heal and feel safe.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:52 am on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, ,   

    Blasphemy Reveals SNL’s True Understanding of Christianity 

    “SNL” (Saturday Night Live) has targeted Jesus in one of their “comedy sketches” again. It’s not the first time and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last time. Like other forms of “art” and multimedia, SNL finds an easy target to blaspheme when it comes to God’s Son. Why is that? Because this “target” doesn’t shoot back, doesn’t blow up buildings and doesn’t threaten violence through large crowds. In reality, this “target” actually encourages those who blaspheme His name to still seek His love and mercy and hope…these are the very characteristics of Jesus they continually lampooned in their sketch.

    Despite what they might say publicly, the facts reveal that SNL enjoys bullying those who do not bully back. It goes beyond immaturity right down to cowardice. If it is not cowardice then why not target other “religious figures” who are well-known? The answer to this reveals a few things:

    1) It reveals their true disdain for the grace of God.

    2) It reveals the true affection for sin that resides in their heart.

    3) It reveals the hypocritical attitude that would condemn any so-called perceived “bullying” of other religions.

    4) It reveals that they know that the true practice of Christianity is peace, for they do such blasphemous things with no fear of physical retribution by Christians.

    As Christians we are encouraged to pray for those who have this mindset. We are encouraged to have pity on their darkened spiritual condition. We are encouraged to remember how we at times have acted in our own selfish ways, both in the past and even in the present. Christianity will always be “low hanging fruit” for comedians. And we must not forget that Jesus said such things, even worse things, would continue to be directed at His name. But neither should we forget that it is not our place to seek revenge, for the laughter of those who disdain the Savior of their soul will one day exchange their tears of laughter for tears of sorrow.

    Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:25-28)

    • Weylan Deaver 9:13 am on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      No doubt many Hollywood writers are intimidated by Islam, while feeling free to blaspheme the Lord. What they don’t realize is that the Lord who meekly went as a lamb to the slaughter on their behalf two millennia ago, will come back with an entirely different demeanor:

      “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:11-16, ESV).

  • Eugene Adkins 3:57 pm on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, , , Lust of the Flesh, ,   

    Sin Can Come In More Than One Color 

    Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.” (Proverbs 25:19)

    I thought of this verse from Proverbs today when I saw a story on the news about a “United Church of Christ” congregation that decided to place a rainbow-colored banner in their “church” yard to welcome any and all “gay” Boy Scouts. One man from the “church” was interviewed and said he wanted to make sure that they [the homosexual children] knew that all of God’s children were welcome there. This man with his endorsement, on national TV, encouraged the practice of child homosexuality and wanted them to believe that God is accepting of it! That my friend, to say the least, is the epitome of a whole mouth full of spiritually broken teeth representing an unfaithful man not worthy of any spiritual confidence during this time of trouble!

    The scriptures describe sin with the color of scarlet, but it’s obvious that sin can come in more one color. For a “church” to take a banner colored according to the very sign given to Noah after the world was judged due to sin and to endorse its meaning concerning homosexuality is more than unambiguous apostasy – it’s an abomination that attempts to pervert God’s grace to the core. Jude identified this mentality when he warned God’s church by saying, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4 – emphasis mine) This depraved “church” hasn’t challenged me – this depraved “church” has challenged and attempted to rebuke the authority of God. They have denied the Law of the Spirit of Life that leads to Jesus to endorse the lust of the flesh that leads to death. This “church” proves that having the name of Christ on their building proves nothing! They joyfully removed the “banner of the blood of the Lamb” and happily replaced it with a literal banner of sin. They have rejected God’s will and have belligerently forgotten that “…the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” (2 Timothy 2:19).

    If you are currently practicing a homosexual lifestyle or you have repented from such a sin, please do not place any faith in this “church’s” endorsement of homosexuality. Don’t trust your spiritual well-being with this thinking. Like all sins, with the exception of one, there is a basis found in the scriptures that shows forgiveness can be found for committing homosexual sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but there is no basis whatsoever in the scriptures that God has ever or will ever spiritually accept homosexuality. Those who say anything contrary to that truth are guilty of the one sin to which there is no forgiveness, and that’s sinning against the Spirit of God by perverting His plain word, rejecting His obvious truth and leading others down a path they have labeled safe and celebratory when God has labeled it sinful and shameful in the Bible. The color and purpose behind God’s rainbow teaches us that sin will again be judged on a large-scale one day, and homosexuality is a weight that will keep a person out of Heaven no matter who places a banner in their yard. The colors of the rainbow don’t excuse sin, they teach that there’s such a thing as sin. The blood of Jesus can cover the sin represented by the rainbow-banner, but the blood of Jesus won’t mix with it.

    When sin of any kind is the issue, then confidence must be had that the truth is being revealed concerning God’s will and that the solution through repentance and the blood of Jesus is given; but when an individual endorses sin instead of the solution to sin, then that person is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint – they can’t be trusted and will remain useless spiritually…at least useless as far as any good thing is concerned. The invitation of the gospel of Christ remains open to any and all sinners, homosexual or not, who wish to find forgiveness; but forgiveness only comes through the grace of God that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). Those words are in black and white, no matter what their banner says or how bad they may want to “color” them.

    But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 17-19)

  • TFRStaff 5:51 am on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness   

    Christians baptized? 

    I came across this question last week: “Why is it important for Christians to be baptized?”

    It’s not important at all; the Bible knows no such thing!

    The Bible does teach that sinners are baptized into Christ when they confess their faith in Him and repent of their sins (see: Acts 8:35-40, 16:30-31; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:1-4, et. al.).

    Let’s get the order straight: sinners are baptized for the remission of their sins (cf. Acts 2:38). Afterward, they are called Christians.

    Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

    • Eugene Adkins 8:05 am on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I would say it’s proper to say “baptize disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20), but not Christians. Good point, though.

      • J. Randal Matheny 4:28 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understood that the “baptizing” and “teaching” were participles that explain how the “make disciples” is done.

        • Eugene Adkins 4:49 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink

          I’m looking at it from the aspect of disciple being simply a learner. You can’t be taught something without being a learner. Hence the order of Matthew 28:19-20…go teach…baptize…teach some more. I believe the word disciple can be used in a much broader sense than just being a Christian. For example, John the baptizer had disciples (Matthew 11:2), but that doesn’t mean they were Christians. I believe whatever translation of Matthew 28 you look at it still says to make disciples (teach), then baptize and then teach further. In the sense that I’m talking about it’s disciple first, Christian second. Don’t know if that’s a “correction” but it is an explanation :)

    • Stephen R. Bradd 8:47 am on January 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can see both sides on this. I have used “disciple” in the generic sense of “learner” (i.e., in reference to one who is learning but who has not yet obeyed the truth). Perhaps I need to rethink that.

  • John T. Polk II 4:14 am on January 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, , ,   

    Psalm 85 

    Vs. 1-3 express Israel’s relief from being exiled from their land;

    Vs. 4-7 express Israel’s concern that God wouldn’t forget their sins;

    Vs. 8-9 express Israel’s lesson they learned from 70 years away;

    Vs. 10-13 express Israel’s acknowledgement of God’s good character.

    This Psalm obviously fits into the restoration of the Israelites (including Jews!) to their Promised Land, which indicated that God’s punishment for their sins, by removing them from that land, had suddenly ended. All prophecies about Israelites (including Jews!) being restored to their Promised Land have been fulfilled as recorded in the Books of Ezra-Nehemiah (2 Chronicles 36:1-23; Ezra 1:1-11; 3:1-13; 4:4-5).

    Verses 1-3: The past tense of these verbs describe a feeling of relief that God has finished His past punishment for Israel/Judah’s sins: (verse 1) “have been favorable,” “have brought back,” (verse 2) “have forgiven the iniquity,” “have covered,” (verse 3) “have taken away,” “have turned from.” To show this is not just the Southern Kingdom returning, the terms used for this restoration include:

    “Your land,” “the captivity of Jacob,” “Your people,” “all their sin,” “all Your wrath,” and the “fierceness of Your anger.” Every tribe whom God had removed from that land were represented in those who returned to that land! The Northern Kingdom (Israel) had been removed by an Assyrian king (2 Kings 17:3-6), and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) had been removed by a Babylonian king (2 Chronicles 36:11-23). All that God had brought upon them, now God had removed (Psalm 85:1-3).

    Verses 4-7: When God forgave their sin and restored their land, the sinners needed to be restored in realizing that forgiveness, also (verse 4). Their insecurity is expressed in their questioning His plan for them (verses 5-7).

    Verses 8-9: The people’s resolve is to “hear what God the LORD will speak” and “not turn back to folly” (verse 8). The people’s realization is that God will “speak peace,” make “His salvation near,” and let glory (God’s presence, Exodus 24:16-17; 40:34-35) “dwell in our land” (verses 8-9). While rebuilding the temple was progressing, God said there would come another temple whose “glory shall be greater than the former” and “in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts’” (Haggai 2:1-9). The church of Christ is led by the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 2:14-18), so Christians “Pursue peace with all people” (Hebrews 12:14; Mark 9:50; Romans 14:18-19).

    Verses 10-13: When a sinner is forgiven, then “mercy and truth have met together” and “righteousness and peace have kissed” (verse 10). “Mercy” is God’s plan for sinners (Matthew 5:7; 9:13) and “truth” is God’s expression of that plan (John 1:14; 8:32, 40; 17:17). “Righteousness” is what God expects people to do (Romans 3:21-26), “peace” is the result of people’s obedience to God’s expectations (Acts 10:38-43; 2:38). Psalm 85:11 pictures the contentment when such reconciliation occurs; verse 12 shows what the obedient may expect from God; verse 13 tell the obedient to look for the way they should follow. Jesus Christ is “the way” (John 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14; Acts 19:9), so “he who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • TFRStaff 6:04 am on August 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , forgiveness, ,   

    Don’t Move Away from the Truth (Charles Box) 

    Just before giving in to the pressure of the crowd to crucify our Lord Jesus Christ, Pilate asked one of the most tragic questions of the Bible. In a very cynical way he asked, “What is truth?” In John 18:37-38 we read,

    “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”

    How tragic and disturbing that Pilate spoke of truth but he had no interest in the truth. How could Pilate judge with truth when he did not know the truth?

    “These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates.” (Zechariah 8:16)

    It would have been great if Pilate had been interested in truth and when he learned it to act accordingly. The same is true of us! “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)

    Don’t move away from the truth that the Bible is the word of God. (More …)

  • Chad Dollahite 1:38 pm on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    Illustration: Through Another Man’s Eyes 

    Do you remember the Old Testament story of Eliam?  Ok, maybe not.  Eliam is a rather obscure character in the Old Testament.  In fact he is only mentioned twice, but here’s his story.  Eliam was a father of a little girl.  Like all fathers he loved his daughter and watched her grow into a beautiful young lady.  The day finally came that Eliam gave his daughter’s hand to a young man to be his wife.  Eliam’s daughter and son-in-law were making a life together when tragedy befell them.  One day, when Eliam’s son-in-law was away at work, several men came to his home, took his wife away, and gave her to their leader, and he had sexual relations with her. Not only that, but this man of power also had Eliam’s son-in-law murdered. (More …)

  • Chad Dollahite 9:43 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness,   

    Illustration: Forgiveness 

    Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict.  It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed, without a hitch.  Then, the long collaboration fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding, and it grew into a major difference.  It finally exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.

    One morning there was a knock on John’s door.  He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox.  “I’m looking for a few days’ work,” he said.  “Perhaps you have a few small jobs here and there.  Could I help you?” (More …)

  • Daniel Haynes 10:25 am on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , forgiveness,   

    Daily Nudge: Christianity – and news 

    There is a popular message on bumper-stickers, bookmarks, etc. that reads, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” While I agree with the statement, I must ask, “Is this all Christianity is to some?” “Is this how we portray Christianity to others?” “Would a close examination of our lives reveal that this is the only thing that separates us from the world?” If someone asked you for a definition of what it means to be a Christian, what would you say? How would you define Christianity?

    News from the churches?

  • Mike Riley 9:15 pm on June 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , beg, , forgiveness, , , ,   

    Pope Benedict – Leader of the Ignorant 

    I read where Pope Benedict begs for forgiveness from victims for the sins of all those pedophile priests who have been sexually abusing little boys for years.


    If adherents to the Catholic church would simply open their Bibles and read it for themselves, they would find that (1) a sinful pope is not needed on earth to represent Christ as His “vicar”, and (2) that celibacy is not a normal lifestyle for men. No where in the Bible do we find the teaching of celibacy for priests (1 TImothy 4:1-5). Rather, marriage is promoted – even among the apostles (1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Corinthians 7:28; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Hebrews 13:4), for Peter was married (Matthew 8:14).

    There would be none of this foolishness going on if folks in the Catholic church would just simply adhere to clear Bible teaching. If they would do that, the Catholic church would soon cease to exist.

  • Mike Riley 1:22 pm on May 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boss, disorder, , , forgiveness, , , perfectionist,   

    The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly 

    When I first saw today’s nudge, I immediately thought of the old Clint Eastwood movie, “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.”

    Stephen has pretty well summed up my thoughts on the subject of the good and bad of work. The most difficult part of a work environment (the ugly), is not the work itself, but the people with whom we work. For example, it’s very difficult to get along with a boss or co-worker who is a perfectionist, or one who has a bipolar disorder (I worked with one for two years), so there is a lot of forbearance, longsuffering, and forgiveness that must take place in the work environment (Colossians 3:12-13). It’s not an easy task in working with some folks, thus the need for much prayer, not only for ourselves, but for those with whom we work (Romans 12:12).

    • John Henson 3:57 pm on May 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Brother, I’m sure it was challenging to work with someone like that, but I’d say you used it to build your faith and patience. I thought it was impressive to read three very important words in your post: forbearance, patience (longsuffering) and forgiveness. You’re an amazing person, MIke.

      • Mike Riley 4:03 pm on May 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        John, appreciate the compliment, but I’m not very amazing, just resilient! :)

    • Richard Hill 2:14 am on May 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Mike, most of my life until the last couple of years, I’ve worked through the winter at part-time jobs. That placed me in a lot of interesting work situations. I use the word, interesting, loosely as it’s reminiscent of what you’ve described.

      Solomon was right. There’s nothing new under the sun. The things you don’t think people will do or say, have been done and said!

  • Richard Mansel 2:13 pm on February 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, , pga, tiger woods,   

    Tiger Woods and Forgiveness 

    Tiger Woods recently repented before national television cameras for his serial infidelities. He hopes to restore his reputation, marriage, family and career. The problem is that, as a celebrity, his forgiveness will not be accepted by most people. They will either refuse to believe him or just ignore his pleas altogether.

    This serves as further proof of why forgiveness is such a challenging endeavor. Forgiveness is very difficult because we wrap it up in a shroud of emotion and pride. Sadly, it allows others an opportunity to feel superior.  Moreover, we hold others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. They don’t have to follow the same rules as we follow.

    Comments will be appreciated on my article bearing the same name as this post.

  • Stephen R. Bradd 8:08 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness   

    Forgiveness: Automatic or conditional? 

    Greetings to all. Thanks for inviting me, Ron, and accepting me, Randal. I hope to post to TFR as time permits.

    I’m in the midst of a friendly discussion with a brother that I thought I’d share briefly. Is forgiveness toward a fellow human to be granted automatically or is it conditional in some way? My friend maintains the former per Mark 11:25,26. However, I have always taught the latter according to Luke 17:3,4. Obviously, Scripture must be harmonized, and I believe these passages do not contradict–when properly understood. Your thoughts regarding how to harmonize them?

    P.S. After sharing your own thoughts, feel free to read mine on AE:


    • Laura 8:22 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have heard this from good brethren before: that we must always forgive, no matter what.

      Consider this: God has never required of us that which He will not do. E.g., we are not to lie. God does not lie. we are not to hate our fellow man. God does not hate our fellow man. To say then that we must automatically forgive others even when they show now remorse, is to say that God will do the same for us. He does not. The scriptures clearly teach that God’s forgiveness is granted to us conditionally. Therefore, our forgiveness toward others must (not may be, must) be given conditionally.

      As an example of this, in the parable of the servant, he was forgiven WHEN he asked his master for forgiveness and not a moment sooner. When he then refused to grant the same forgiveness to his own debtor, his master then withdrew the forgiveness and punished him. This example demonstrates the real meaning of “forgive us as we forgive our debtors”.

      Now, is it a good thing to go about our lives carrying around the weight of what someone did to us? No. We need to put it out of our minds as much as possible so we can live happy, productive lives for the Lord. That doesn’t mean we automatically bestow forgiveness, however.

      Let me also point out that if we were to grant forgiveness automatically with no action required on the part of the wrong-doer, there would be no commands to put the sinners out from the midst of the church, as was commanded of the 1st century churches.

    • Randal Matheny 9:12 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      When in a trying situation some years back this issue became critical for me. I appreciate the thought behind it.

      The Lord is the model also in forgiveness. For the most part, I’m with Laura on this. There is the Luke passage, for sure, repentance required.

      At the same time,throw 1 John 1:7 into the mix: God forgives those sins not unto death, if I can pull in yet another one, even those we may not recognize in ourselves, when we are walking in the light and aiming for Christ, seeking to obey. (Yes, I know he speaks of forgiveness in verse 9, but bear with me.) So we may forgive others who, as they strive for the right, may err.

      This is not easy forgiveness, which often seeks to avoid confrontation. Nor does it demand we throw down the challenge of repentance at every single error that we may notice. While we all acknowledge we sin (as per verse 9), it realizes that confrontation and demands at every turn do not necessarily serve the good of the kingdom.

      • Laura 12:01 am on February 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I believe we agree. There is a big difference between one who is striving hard to do what’s right and slips and one who isn’t really trying at all.

        If I might given an example… If someone does something out of the ordinary, perhaps speaks in an unloving manner because they are tired, we should give them latitude and overlook their momentary weakness. If on the other hand, a person has an habitually unruly tongue. refuses to bring it under subjection, and constantly is talking in a nasty way toward everyone, then I believe repentance is in order.

        Does this make sense?

        • Randal Matheny 12:05 am on February 3, 2010 Permalink

          We are on the one and same wavelength. Excellent example, put meat on the bones.

        • sbradd 2:12 pm on February 3, 2010 Permalink

          Laura & Randal, thanks for the good thoughts!

        • Randal Matheny 6:36 pm on February 3, 2010 Permalink

          Good article on your website, Stephen.

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