Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do I have to forgive (another man)? Part II

In Part I, I disclosed that we have to forgive, regardless. In other words, we have to forgive, even when

1) we have been wronged against, again and again,
2) we have been wronged in any sort of way,
3) the offender does nothing to “compensate”,
4) the offender does not admit wrong, or
5) does NOT apologize or repent, or
6) seek NOT forgiveness, or
7) the offender couldn’t care less (nonchalant).

No matter how justified we are to hold onto unforgiveness, we must still forgive, first, in our heart, and then to release that forgiveness to the offender when there is prima facie repentance on the offender’s part.

I also explained the difference between “to forgive” and “to release forgiveness”. Just as been said, we must forgive, regardless; it is only in the releasing of our forgiveness that we have a little discretion, and are expected to exercise discretion so as to discharge our role as our brother’s keeper properly; remember we talked in much details, Luke 17:3-5, in Part I.

We now begin this Part II with this point:

Point 10 – The sooner you forgive, the better


Ok, we must forgive, but can I NOT be angry or upset when someone offended me? It happens; I mean we do get angry. The question is: angry, but how angry? Eph 4:26 said, “Do NOT let your anger go down with the sun”; self-control is exhorted. So, even in anger, self-control is expected of us. I mean, even if the anger is for a brief moment, but if, for example, you thrust a knife into another, killing him when you are angry; that would be a big problem!

As long as you have NOT forgiven, resentment and anger can fester. Therefore, the sooner you forgive, the better, the smaller the chance of resentment and anger festering to “create problem”. We are NOT referring to releasing of forgiveness, but to forgive {in your heart}, which you have to do, without delay. For many, the “dying to self” and giving of oneself to the ways of God, takes time to improve; we have to grow, get to be more and more excellent in the pursuit of the ways of God, and in abandoning the ways of the flesh. One of the required ways of God is that we have to forgive, regardless; and so, the sooner we forgive, the better.


We have to forgive, regardless; how about God; does He have to forgive, regardless, ultimately? Must God ultimately forgive, regardless? Not necessarily! Ha! How come? Because He is God, we are NOT; and Rom 12:19 suggested God may avenge, may repay. And so, the next point is:

Point No 11 – God does NOT necessarily forgive, regardless.

This is because He is the ultimate; and He is the holy God. God does NOT simply set aside that demand of holiness and righteousness that come from His very own nature. Yes, He is to love, but ultimately, He can only love us unto righteousness (`ahab love).

Rom 12:19 – “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”

Now, it is NOT correct to insist, because God is love, everyone would be spared eventually from Hell. There is no definitive word on this, in Scripture, and we must remember, what God has revealed we are to take it in, what He does NOT reveal, even if we try to “fill in the gap”, whatever we insert in, it must NOT be inconsistent with what has been revealed.

As a Christian, our belief should be that, if one does NOT have the foremost forgiveness from God, which takes place at his entry into salvation, he continues to be destined to the burning fire of Hell, despite God is love. I submit to you the most fundamental or most core nature-attribute of God is NOT love but holiness.

Because of God’s fundamental attribute of holiness, the demand of holiness cannot be simply ignored. Put it simply God is holiness, and violation of His holiness is violation of God, the source of all life; just imagine, if the very source of life is destroyed, everything will end. The demand of holiness needs to satisfied, and it is NOT anyhow satisfied.

Disobedience is a sin and is a violation of the holiness of God, and for the disobedience of the first Man, Adam, the demand of holiness was only satisfied with the price Jesus paid, the blood and life of The Sinless One. As to what can satisfy the demand of holiness is NOT decided by man; it is up to very nature of God Himself; we just have to accept what is required.

I repeat: there is no definitive word on God does forgive, regardless, rather it is God does NOT necessarily forgive, regardless.

You may wonder why I care to cover this point; whether or NOT, God must forgive, regardless. The reasons are simple: If you think God is going to forgive, ultimately,

1) you may not feel the urgency to reach out to the non-believers;
2) you may not be bothered to forgive another or to ask God for on-going forgiveness;
3) you may think you are free to do nothing (just bask in grace), or do anything you want without sin consequence (absolute liberty – no such thing).

Point No 12 – Forgiving is deferring to our Master

Rom 12:19 – “Do not take revenge, …., but leave room for God’s wrath,…”

In point 11, we have established that it is NOT necessarily that God forgive regardless, ultimately; but for us, men, it is different. We, Christians, are to forgive, regardless, because there is still a level up there, the level of God being the Judge of all matters.

One can put it this way: “We owe it to God.” When we received Jesus as our personal Savior, we also have received Him as our Lord. In other words, we have agreed to submit to His judgment. We owe our very life to God, and so, on entering into salvation, we have pledged to be servant even slave of the Master (God), and as servant or slave, we have to defer certain matters to the Master, and this, “to demand repayment for wrong done to us”, is one area, we are commanded to defer to Him.

Next, we look at 2 points, together:

Point No 13 - Forgiving is blessing another

Point No 14 – Forgiving is inheriting God’s forgiveness, & so, life evermore

These 2 points are derived from a reasonable interpretation of 1 Pet 3:9.

1 Pet 3:9 – “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

To this you were called” – what is the “this” here? It is “repay with blessing”. We are called to be a people who would prepay with blessing. Note that the word, “blessing”, it appears twice in the verse – “We are to repay with blessing, which is our calling, so that we may inherit a blessing”.

What possibly can the “blessing” be referring to, in the verse? I submit to you, one way to look at it, is to substitute the “blessing” with “forgiveness”. Isn’t forgiveness the most valuable blessing we are inheriting, and is the core subject matter of our living hope.

Forgiving is said to be blessing another; why? Why is it that when we forgive we can be said as blessing another? It is because both, forgiveness and blessing, carry the same connotation of favor, unmerited. Is it NOT true, the general idea of us blessing another, carries NOT the notion, the person is entitled to, or has the right to, what we are giving, rather it is that of a gesture of favor, grace, even?

The Apostle Peter was here saying, when people do evil against you, you don’t do back the same; when they insult you, you don’t insult back; instead you forgive them. This was what, we did to God, did evil against Him, insulted Him, but He forgave us, and promised to be just and faithful to forgive us (some more) (1 John 1:9). Entering into salvation (salvation call) puts us into a position of inheriting forgiveness (“the blessing”) from God, but subsequently, there is a demand of holiness at work, and that is that, we are to likewise extend the same blessing, forgiveness, to fellow men.

Please, I am NOT saying entry into salvation is conditional; it is NOT, it is without us meriting it - we do NOT, as a standard, ask the pre-believer to forgive others, in Sinner’s prayer. Why? Because, it is NOT a requirement. But for on-going forgiveness from God (Matt 6:15), and in accordance to 1 John 1:9, there is a demand of holiness at work – we are required to forgive others.

So, basically, 1 Pet 3:9 can be interpreted to mean, to forgive is to bless another (Point 13), and to forgive is to inherit God’s (on-going) forgiveness, and so, life evermore (Point 14).

It is worth mentioning that there are 2 excellent examples in Scripture of one subscribing to 1 Pet 3:9 of NOT repaying an eye for an eye, but to response with blessing, and that blessing was forgiveness.

The 2 examples are the persecution and death of Jesus and Stephen. It is incorrect for people to imply that both Jesus and Stephen did NOT forgive those who persecuted them, claiming instead they only asked God to forgive the offenders.

If people are honest enough with themselves and they have had (and they should have had) occasions of being wronged (or sinned) by others, and they truly appreciate the blessing of God’s forgiveness, they will agree that it had to be that both Jesus and Stephen had forgiven the persecutors, when they asked God to forgive them, too.

Had you not forgiven the offender, would it NOT really, really hard for you to ask God to forgive the offender, when you know what forgiveness of God means? Yes, it would, for a person who has NOT forgiven still demands repayment, but God’s forgiveness meant the opposite, “no payment required”. Additionally, God’s forgiveness does place the one forgiven into a position of receiving blessing from God. I submit to you, Jesus and Stephen had both forgiven, before they asked God to forgive their offenders.

In other words, God revealed through Scripture, 2 excellent examples for us to understand, “To forgive, regardless” was and is what He expects of us, and that when we are wronged against, we are to forgive as a blessing, and when we have done that, we too, would inherit the blessing of being forgiven by God, and with on-going forgiveness, we have life evermore (people who conclude incorrectly about Jesus and Stephen’s petitioning of God’s forgiveness, are usually the ones who have an incorrect exegesis of Luke 17:3-5; they claim: to forgive, you must have the offender’s true repentance or he having “truly repented” – but that, in Part I, we have concluded that, that was NOT the intent of the passage).

In Part III to come, we will cover the negative implications of unforgiveness, its possible impact on our current earthly life. Also, we will cover the issues of forgiveness and memory and trusting again, and forgiveness and restoration of relationship. These are important, and I hope you come back for them.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

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Friday, April 6, 2012

High.expressions Healing Meetings

Together with some brothers from the Healing Room, I have started and headed up these Divine Healing Meetings since 2011.  These meetings were previously held at TradeHub 21 (Jalan Boon Lay).  The new venue is now at Ang Mo Kio (AMK), as below.

We trust that as we honor God, trust in Him, and do His bidding, God will honor us, and render His Divine powers to bless those coming to seek His face. Currently, this meeting is run on a once a month basis, on a Saturday (currently on every 3rd Saturday of the month). We will announce each meeting date on this website as it draws near.

The next monthly meeting is on: 20 April 2013.

Venue: 24 Mayflower Place Singapore 568705 (AMK, off Yio Chu Kang); a double storey terrace. 24 Mayflower Place location map (macro); Zoomed-in map(By bus: From AMK Hub, you board 269 and alight (5 bus-stops from Hub) at AMK Ave 4 - Blk 163 MacDonald - see zoomed-in map).

Time: 3 pm to 5 pm (currently every 3rd Sat. of the month)
Liturgy: Include praise and worship, message, and ministry thereof.

You are welcome, and you may bring he sick.  If you want to email me (for enquiry or submit testimony of God's ministry to you), here is the address: high.expressions@gmail.com.
I covet your prayers for this ministry.

Anthony Chia
PS: If you want to be included in an email notification list for the date of the next coming meeting, please do NOT hesitate to drop me an email.

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