Are we only forgiven if we forgive others?


Controversy is something I do NOT like!  Some people seem to thrive on saying things that “get your attention.”  I’m not one of those people!  However, I believe my Heavenly Father is leading me to write a blog that could be “controversial.”

I grew up believing everything was black or white, right or wrong.  As I’ve grown in my relationship with the Lord and as I’ve matured I’ve realized everything is not so cut and dry.   Here’s a topic that could be seen as controversial :  Does the bible say God will not forgive us if we don’t forgive others?  Yes.  To my knowledge I believe it is mentioned twice in the gospels.  But is that statement consistent with the entire bible?  Did you also believe that once you accepted Christ, your past, present and future sins are all covered by the blood of Jesus and you are saved and secure for all eternity?  How can both of those statements be true? 

II Timothy 2:15 says that we should rightly divide the word of truth.  As you open your bible you will see that the bible is split up into two parts.   There is the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Another word for testament would be covenant. (Old Covenant/New Covenant)   Listen to Luke 22:20 which says, “He also took the cup after supper saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.”  Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the book of Hebrews tell us “Behold,the day is coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant.”   So when did the NEW covenant come into play?  Was it with Matthew 1:1 or was it when Jesus shed His blood on the cross?  According to Jesus the NEW covenant came through HIS blood. 

Therefore, when Jesus was speaking in the gospels, was He speaking to people under the old covenant or the new covenant?  Obviously, He was speaking to people under the old covenant.  What did the Old Covenant say?  Deut. 11 tells us, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD; and the curse if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD.  Old Covenant religion says if you do this, God will bless you and if you do this, God will curse you.  Forgive or you won’t be forgiven.  When Jesus was preaching in the gospels He was speaking to people still under the Old Covenant.  He was trying to show them that they could not achieve their own righteousness no matter how hard they tried.  They were quite arrogant.  Through the entire bible you see God’s people saying,  just tell me what to do and we will do it.  They would fail over and over and over.

Jesus was trying to get their attention. (I guess he didn’t have any hangups regarding controversy.)  So in Matthew He says, “Moses says do not commit adultery but I say if you even look at a woman with lust you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.”    Jesus was raising the ante.  “Moses says do not murder but I say unto you do not be angry with your brother or you will be liable to judgment.”  “If you don’t forgive others than my Heavenly Father won’t forgive you.”  “And by the way, be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”  Do you see what He was trying to accomplish?  FRUSTRATION! We’ve all had a person in our lives that we felt we could not forgive.  We CANNOT achieve our own righteousness!  THIS IS WHY WE NEED A SAVIOR!  Hebrews 8 tells us, “A NEW Covenant has made the first obsolete.  Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”  No where do you see in the scriptures, after Jesus died on the cross, the words “Forgive in order to be forgiven.”

Instead you see in Ephesians 4:32, “Forgive one another AS God in Christ forgave you.”  How did God forgive you?  Completely and Unconditionally!  By HIS Mercy and Grace!  We experience His forgiveness and are born again as we receive HIS free gift of salvation.  Colossians 2 explains it a little further; “God forgave us ALL our trespasses by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with it’s legal demands.  This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.”  Jesus wants you to forgive because forgiveness is good for you NOT so you can be forgiven by Him.  Since you are IN CHRIST it is now your nature to forgive!  His love and forgiveness reaches to the deepest sin in your life and washes it white as snow.  NOTHING CAN PUT YOU BACK UNDER THE PENALTY OF SIN OR PLACE YOU BACK IN THE FAMILY OF ADAM.  YOU ARE IN CHRIST FOREVERMORE IF YOU HAVE PLACED YOUR FAITH IN HIM!