The question is:
- To forgive others, must they ask for forgiveness first?
- Must they admit that they have wronged us?
- Must they repent (change their mind) of having wronged us?
This is not a trick question, and no I don’t think I have the complete answer. In fact, I could go either way, yet as always, according to Scripture.
So I pose this question in humility, admitting upfront that I really want other believer’s insight to help me address this subject.
Before you answer, please consider the following statement.
God’s example of forgiveness is ultimately exhibited in His free gift of salvation, which is offered by grace (Grace is the mechanism), through faith (Faith is the condition that gives us access to the mechanism. Its like having access to a house, however to have access to a house does not mean I own the house, nor have paid for it, I have not – God has). The gift is free, but not without a condition – the condition is “faith.” However, within the condition of faith is the awareness of our sinfulness; and us confessing our sinfulness and asking for forgiveness.
Then, this being the case, to follow God’s example as is set before us, how can we forgive someone unless they ask forgiveness first.
If this is not the case, would God ask us to do something He Himself would not do.
1) Please leave your opinions concerning this question.
2) If you have the time, please list any Scriptures which you feel address this subject.
3) And if you have the time, please explain how the following 2 Scripture fit into the subject matter.
Please consider Matthew 5:23-26, which states:
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
Also, what about Matthew 18:15-22, which states:
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Thank you very much for your help in this. Thanks, Brent