The Fruit of Forgiveness

Author Name: 

Psalm 130:1-3 “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord who shall stand?”
David’s heart cry is easy to hear in these verses - a soul separated from his God. Ever since the fall of man in the garden there has been separation, sorrow and pain. There has been a debt that is owed and no way to pay it back of our own strength. God promised death would come spiritually and physically; and it has. In all of this there seems a finality with life with no hope of a future.
However let us consider verses 4-6, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.” What a change of thought about one’s destiny! No longer is a man without hope; no longer is he separated from God.
So does God just forgive one and life goes on as it always had before? There is a debt that needs paid. How is that accomplished? I John 1:5-10 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
First we need to understand that God and sin cannot exist together. A person who would be reconciled to God must lay down the old life. Gone are the old habits, the old friends, and the hiding. Things are laid open and confessed.
The blood of Jesus pays the debt we owe. Without faith in Him as the only way to God, we will never be reconciled to God no matter how good we try to live our lives.
A new life will come forth out of a cleansed heart. Psalm 130:4 says “that thou mayest be feared.” Not a fear that causes one to run and hide, but instead to obey.
A new child of God will relate to others in a new way, he will seek out fellowship with others who share his same love for God. As a person comes to knowing God personally, interpersonal relationships change and take on a new meaning.
When I see myself as God does, one who has been forgiven of a huge debt, my brothers failings also deserve my forgiveness. See I John 2:8-11. In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus answered Peter’s question, on how often he should forgive his brother, by telling a parable. He begins by telling of a man who owed a debt so large it is almost hard to comprehend and impossible to pay, a picture of a man separated from God by sin. But in the end of the parable that same man was charged his debt again because he would not forgive his brother a trifling sum. In verse 35 Jesus said, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus answered the Pharisee that there are two commandments. Love God by obedience, and fear and show it by loving our brother. Forgive him, care about his needs as we would about our own, love as you do your very self. John 13:15-17, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
When there is love within a brotherhood or a congregation it will flow out of it and be a witness to others, John 13:35 says “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
May the testimony of our lives and our congregations be that we are known as children of God by the way we love and care for one another.