From the Heart

July 29, 2021

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).

This verse contains the spiritual lesson of the parable. In most instances, even though a parable has several components that are true, what is stated last is the point of the parable - in most instances. As stated earlier, the point of the parable can be expressed this way, “Christians, who have themselves been forgiven their immeasurable sin debt by God, are to extend the same forgiveness, in the same measure, to their fellow Christians.” It is basically the same thing stated in this verse.

The following points are worthy of note about this parable, but they are not to detract from the main point as stated above.

    1.    Our sins are immeasurably great and beyond our ability to reconcile with God.
    2.    God freely forgives our sin when we repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
    3.    The offences committed against us by our brethren are small when compared to our own sins against God.
    4.    We who have been forgiven much by God should freely forgive those who sin against us.
    5.    If we withhold forgiveness from others when they sin against us, God will be justly angry with us, and punish us.
    6.    The forgiveness that we extend to others must not be in word only, but must be from the heart.

The phrase ‘from your hearts’ signifies that true forgiveness comes from the heart because that’s where love resides, and forgiveness is the extension of our love toward others just as God’s forgiveness is the extension of His love for us. (Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This, then, is no sham or lip service forgiveness. It is heart-felt and sincere. And, as Jesus indicated in v. 22, it is to be given as often as needed. Such is His full and complete reply to Peter’s question.

One final note. In asking the question the Apostle Peter quoted the rule of the religious leaders of the day, that forgiveness is to be extended 3 times. Peter graciously extended that limitation to 7. Just as the fruit of the Spirit cannot be regulated by law (Galatians 5:22-23), and just as forgiveness is based on the spiritual gift of love, then forgiveness cannot be regulated by law, but by love which comes from a heart converted by the power of Jesus Christ.

“May Your words, O Lord, sink deep within my mind, heart, and spirit, and guide my life to be one of compassionate concern for others, even to the point that forgiveness for wrongs committed against me are immediately forgiven and set aside. I ask this for Your name’s sake and for the sake of Your kingdom here on earth, Amen.”


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