Forgiveness is one of the values that define us as Christians, but how does it appear in the Bible? In this article, we are going to see everything related to forgiveness in the Bible verses and pray to better understand this concept.
Forgiveness according to the Bible
Jesus taught us during his passage through our world that God is good and merciful, capable of forgiving us even though we are sinners and making all the mistakes we make in our day to day.
For this, it is only necessary to seek the Lord with humility and open our hearts; being sincere about the sins committed and acknowledging them before Him. Thus is born the confession by which we obtain the redemption of our sins.
How could it be otherwise, the Bible and especially the Gospels have many fragments that speak of forgiveness, giving us a fundamental idea about this concept and how to incorporate it into our Christian lives.
This is what we are going to see today, in an article dedicated exclusively to see the importance of forgiveness in the Bible.
Why should I forgive according to the Bible?
We start this article with a beautiful video in which you will learn why you have to forgive according to the Bible. In it, you will see how forgiveness is a gift from God and that we must apply it in our lives to be saints like Him.
The video is dedicated to human forgiveness, which you can apply to the people around you, whether they are family, friends, or people with whom you don’t get along very well. And it is that, as the Bible says, forgive your enemy and you will be saved.
Forgiveness What does the Bible say? Do you have to forgive everything?
Definition of forgiveness according to the Bible
Before we delve further into forgiveness, it is necessary to see what forgiveness is according to the Bible, and once the concept is understood, everything else is much easier.
One of the best definitions of forgiveness can be found in Colossians 3:13, where you can see that human forgiveness comes by extension to God’s forgiveness, and this must try to resemble his, that is, you have to forgive for love.
“ bearing with one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. As Christ forgave you, so do you also.” (Colossians 3:13)
Thus, it is written very clearly in the Bible: to forgive is to love. We Christians must love each and every one of the people in this world as well as ourselves, although it is often complicated.
Our mission as children of God is to show the Holy Scriptures to those who do not know them with respect and love, and when everyone knows the Lord’s message, forgiveness will no longer be necessary and we will all live saints in the Glory of God.
Origin of the word forgiveness in the Bible
Now that we know the definition of forgiveness in the Bible, what do you think about knowing the origin of this beautiful word?
Read on to find numerous examples of forgiveness in the Bible, which will give you a clear idea of its origin and how this concept has been treated over time.
Types of forgiveness according to the Bible
As we have been saying throughout this article, two types of forgiveness can be easily identified: God’s forgiveness of humanity and forgiveness between human beings.
The main difference between the two types is who gives that forgiveness, since in no way can we compare Our Lord’s infinite capacity to forgive with our limited capacity.
Human forgiveness should try to resemble God’s forgiveness, although it will hardly ever be the same given that our weak condition in the face of sin by nature prevents us from infinitely forgiving.
Still, keep trying. Jesus said well on his day to Peter in Matthew 18:22, “you will forgive up to seventy times seven”, being a number so large that it will be difficult for any of us to reach. But that is the goal.
“Jesus said to him: I do not tell you up to seven, but even up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)
Examples of forgiveness in the Bible
Paul of Tarsus (Saint Paul)
As you surely know, Paul of Tarsus was a persecutor of the early Christians, even killing some of them at a time when atrocities were the order of the day.
However, the Lord knew Paul’s heart well and knew that he could change, so he revealed himself to him, showing him the true path and forgiving him for the harm he had done. This is one of the greatest acts of love and forgiveness in history and how could it be otherwise given by the Lord.
Next, we leave you the biblical fragment in which this act of forgiveness is narrated so that you can reflect in silence and realize the infinite love of God towards humanity.
“But as he was going along the way, it came to pass that as he came near Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven surrounded him;
and falling to the ground, he heard a voice say to him: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
He said: Who are you, Lord? And he said to him: I am Jesus, whom you persecute; It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.
He, trembling and fearful, said: Lord, what do you want me to do? And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)
Simon Peter (Saint Peter)
Another clear example of forgiveness in the Bible is found in the case of Simon Peter. This was one of the most important disciples of Jesus, although on numerous occasions he doubted his faith. Perhaps because of these doubts, so human, he is the most relevant apostle and the one who should guide us all.
The fact is that Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times during his Passion, as you can see in Matthew 26:34, which was exactly fulfilled, creating enormous sadness in the apostle.
” Jesus said to him, Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” (Matthew 26:34)
But the Lord already had a mission entrusted to Peter and of course, he was forgiven for his offenses. He later became the founder of the Church and for Catholics, he is also the first pope.
In one of the later appearances of Jesus, Peter received his mission to guide the Christians in the new stage that lay ahead. The corresponding snippet is as follows:
“ When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these? He replied: Yes, Lord; You know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my lambs.
The second time he said to him: Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Peter replied: Yes, Lord; You know that I love you. He said to him: Shepherd my sheep.
He said to him the third time: Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Pedro was sad that I told him the third time: Do you love me? and he answered him: Lord, you know everything; You know that I love you. Jesus said to him: Feed my sheep.
Truly, truly, I say to you: When you were younger, you girded yourself, and went where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you, and take you where you do not want.
This he said, implying with what death he was to glorify God. And saying this, he added: Follow me. (John 21:15-19)
The last example of forgiveness to a relevant biblical character that we leave you here today is that of King David. Unlike the others, David lived many years earlier, during the Old Testament times when the Law of Moses was in force at the time.
David’s life was very complicated until he became king of Israel and he went through many ups and downs. He was persecuted for a long time and like all human beings he also sinned.
In 2 Samuel 11, you can see how David commits adultery by sleeping with two women in the same chapter. This was punished by God, although later David managed to redeem himself and forgive his sins, and he became one of the most important prophets of our religion.
From his hand, the Book of Psalms was written, and widely used in the current liturgy with precious and powerful musical compositions. None of this would have been possible without God’s forgiveness.
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- Power of Forgiveness In The Bible; Examples and Benefits
Only God can forgive sins
And who has the authority to forgive?
Only the Lord can give true forgiveness because we ourselves have no authority and we must submit to his power. This was well said by the Jews who saw Jesus forgive miracles, although they did not believe that He was the Son of God.
This example of forgiveness in the Bible can be found in the passage in which Jesus heals a leper , forgiving him of all sins. Here is the text:
“ When he saw their faith, he said to him: Man, your sins are forgiven you.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to ponder, saying: Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone? (Luke 5:20-21)
His thinking was not wrong: only God can forgive sins. What they had not considered was that they were before God. And that is how the Lord forgave so many people through Jesus, although that was not the greatest act of forgiveness.
Jesus gave himself for us to die on the cross to forgive all our sins. With a single act, he shouldered the blame for all of humanity and, most importantly, he forgave us.
We must be eternally grateful to the Lord for this great act of forgiveness and pray with all our might for Him. The Lord is infinite love and we are participants in his love.
One baptism for the forgiveness of sins
There are many Christian prayers dedicated to the Lord in which forgiveness intervenes at some point. The clearest example we have is the Our Father, in which the two types of forgiveness that we have mentioned in this article intervene in the same sentence:
” And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
In this prayer created by Jesus Christ himself and that all Christians have prayed so many times, we ask God to forgive us and we commit ourselves to forgive people in the same way that He does with us.
Another very relevant prayer for most Christians is the Creed. It professes all the beliefs that a Christian should have and, how could it be otherwise, also speaks of forgiveness.
We leave it to you below, in case you don’t know it or want to read it again today and confirm your faith. Look at the last lines and don’t worry if you don’t understand them, we’ll explain them later.
We believe in one God ,
almighty father ,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of everything visible and invisible;
and in one Lord, Jesus Christ , the only begotten of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
true God of true God;
begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father,
by whom everything was made;
that for us men and for our salvation
came down from the sky
and became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit
and of Mary the Virgin
and became a man;
for our sake he was crucified
in the time of Pontius Pilate
and suffered and was buried,
and rose on the third day
according to the scriptures
and went up to heaven;
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
and he will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit , Lord and giver of life,
which proceeds from the Father;
who with the Father and the Son receives the same
adoration and glory,
who spoke through the prophets .
In a holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We confess one baptism for the remission of sins.
We await the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the future world. Amen.
The line referring to baptism shows us how this sacrament is the one that opens the door to the light of the Lord and forgives us of our sins to live in happiness. We can only be baptized once, and this baptism is renewed each time we confess to God.
Thanks to baptism we have the opportunity to save ourselves and receive the grace of God, although this does not take away from us the responsibility to do well and avoid falling into temptation. Although baptized, we are still human.
Here ends our article today on forgiveness. Remember that Jesus taught us that to forgive is to love and we must forgive in our lives to try to be holier and create a better world.
Remember that forgiving does not mean being weak and it is an act of love for the Lord and for the rest of the people affected by it. With forgiveness, you will feel much better so do not hesitate to confess when necessary!