Faith and forgiveness

The followers of Jesus lived in an “eye for an eye” world. On the other hand, Jesus exemplified and taught radical forgiveness. For example, He said:

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3–4 (ESV)

The expression “seven times” didn’t indicate they should keep track of offenses. It indicated they should keep on forgiving. What was their response to this teaching?

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5 (ESV)

They understood that radical forgiveness is not about resolve, commitments, promises, or vows. They didn’t say, “Increase our resolve.” They might have been weak but they understood that living the radical life Jesus offers is always about faith.

Notice how Jesus responds.

And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6 (ESV)

Jesus explained they didn’t need more faith and neither do you. Frankly, they had enough faith and so do you because faith is never about how much.

Learning to live in grace rather than law (eye for an eye) requires a radical leap from works to faith. It was a challenging leap for them. Furthermore, it’s a challenge for everyone because it’s unnatural. Revenge is natural. Repeatedly forgiving is unnatural.

You’re resolutions, promises, commitments and vows won’t take you where you want to go. As a matter of fact, they take you in the wrong direction. Faith alone in Jesus alone takes you there.

Related post:

Faith, Doubt, and Christian Living
Faith – Grace, and Obeying


Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

Explore posts in the same categories: Faith, Justice

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One Comment on “Faith and forgiveness”

  1. ashlin Says:

    whole hearted confidence in Christ. I want to be there.

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