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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « The Certain Triumph of Christ | Main | Apart from the Holy Spirit »

    What is Forgiveness?

    Dan Hamilton in his book, Forgiveness, explains it thus:

    "If a careless friend breaks a lamp at my home, I will forgive him. That means I will not make him buy a new lamp. I have set him free from the penalty of sin. He is free to go because I say. "I release you from your debt. Go and leave your chains behind"

    Forgiveness means to cancel, and the penalty is what we cancel. No one can make us take action against the offender. We cannot be forced to collect from someone who has destroyed our property. No law says that we must stop speaking to one who has slandered us. We are free in forgiveness to renew renewed relationships - as friends and co-workers and family and lovers.

    But when the offender has walked away, rejoicing in freedom, we are not finished. We have dealt with the penalty, but the damage remains. There is still a price to be paid.

    The lamp is still broken; our reputation is still ruined; there is still a loss to absorb in life. Who will pay for it? I cannot collect money for the lamp from a third party. If I did. I would not be canceling the penalty but merely transferring it to someone else. I have no choice. I must pay for it myself.

    A lamp is easy to price and pay for. But what about damage that is intangible, unpriceable, irreparable? broken relationships? Ruined reputations? Shattered bodies?

    Posted by John on November 21, 2009 07:04 PM

    Comments

    In the circles I have traveled , talk of forgiveness is cheap. By that I mean we talk about it and reconciliation but we withhold it and I have seen bitterness and outright hostility. Repentance ,forgiveness and reconciliation should be a mark of a true believer because we all will be on one end of the stick or the other, in our walk in this fallen world.

    God's grace and forgiveness are not cheap, they cost Christ Jesus his own life. Salvation is free for all who call upon his name, but at the highest cost. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Saved from what? Deliverance from sins penalty, power, and presence. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ. For it is God working in us both to will and to do his good pleasure. Lord, here I stand "the" worst wretched sinner on this planet. I see within me that there dwells no good thing. Save me from myself, and deliver me from all my sin and shame in Jesus name, amen.

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