Several fishermen are currently missing after their ship sank in the Australian coast.
Every Christian will learn a lesson, forgiveness, on the way of faith life. How would you do to forgive those who misunderstood you, or hurt even abuse you?
The Bible teaches not only that we should forgive others, but also the reason why we ought to forgive and the how. Forgiveness, frees us from the vicious cycle of hatred and bitterness, for our own benefits rather than the offenders.
Below are ten Bible verses that teach forgiveness:
1. Ask forgiveness for the world
Genesis 18:24-33: "What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing--- to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
The Lord said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?"
"If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"
He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?"
He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
2. Learn from Joseph: to render good for evil
Genesis 50:15-21 When Josephʼs brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.
But Joseph said to them, "Donʼt be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, donʼt be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
3. Hezekiah prays for his people
2 Chronicles 30:15-20 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the Lord. Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them by the Levites. Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs to the Lord. Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God---the Lord, the God of their ancestors---even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary." And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
4. Prayer in sufferings
Psalm 86:3-5 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
5. Give thanks to God's forgiveness
Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
6. Forgiveness in the Lord's prayer
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
7. What you should do when a brother sins against you
Matthew 18:21-35 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"His fellow servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged,'and I will pay back everything.'The servantʼs master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.'
"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldnʼt you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart."
8. Treat others with generosity and mercy
Luke 6:35-37 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
9. How to live as a new creation
Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
10. Tolerate and forgive each other
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as Godʼs chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Translated By: Karen Luo
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