Authority of Forgiveness
THE KINGDOM IS AT WAR WITH UNFORGIVENESS
WE WERE CREATED FOR VICTORY IN FORGIVENESS
I’M BEING DISCIPLED IN FORGIVENESS AS A KINGDOM MAN
Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” ~Matthew 9:5–6
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ~Matthew 6:12
When I learned the Lord’s Prayer as a child the word “as” was simply part of the verse. But this small word is the barometer, it’s the meat of verse 12. “As” can have a couple of meanings. It can mean chronologically i.e. “while” or at the same time”. So forgive us our trespasses while we forgive those who trespass against us. “Cool, my misdeeds are forgiven at the same time since I forgave now.” But “as” can also mean according to the same standard or measure. In other words, in the same way. So forgive us our trespasses in the same way we forgive those who trespass against us.
Both definitions of “as” can fit in this verse, but Jesus was clear in verses 14-15 that he was using “as” as a unit of measure. This point was so important that he reinforces it by using the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Forgiveness when defined as measure and balance commands authority. It commands equity, yet it’s the view that’s often the hardest to accomplish. It’s this view and the authority embedded in it that puts us at war with unforgiveness. The chronological “as” is often interpreted by society as when they forgive me, I’ll forgive them. That is NOT KINGDOM STRATEGY. That is not biblical. Paul reminds us that WHILE we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He didn’t wait for us to apologize to Him, He forgave us in advance and even before we knew the wrong. “Forgive them Father, they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).
King Jesus has the authority to overcome unforgiveness. He has given us that authority because He created us in His image to carry out His orders and example. Matt 28:18-20. He tells us to “make disciples, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That’s not just book knowledge, gentlemen. That’s Kingdom knowledge and includes Kingdom actions, like forgiveness by Kingdom Men! He gives us all the tools we’ll need and He set the bar low. Reread Matthew 6, he says the bar for which we experience forgiveness is the same level at which we forgive. He could have said the bar at the level in which HE forgives. Have you forgiven all of those who have harmed you like Jesus forgave? I might as well ask if you broke the Olympic Pole Vaulting record this morning. Let me help you…No, you didn’t! So be encouraged brothers! He’s only asked you to do what you can do. He’ll cover the rest.
Today’s Training: Having a low bar is both encouraging and limiting. So Let’s raise our bar. What does healthy look like when we walk in the authority of forgiveness? It looks like eased burdens and relieved tension because we are exercising our authority to set others free.
So blow the lid off of your forgiveness bucket. Overflow with authority. Forgive THAT person today. I wrote that to trigger your soul. You know who THAT is. It’s the one who made you think “yeah, but you don’t know what they did” and your right I don’t. Forgiveness is hard and it’s something we train in. as Jesus said it’s measured. So just get started. Start small if you need to, but start. Forgive. Or ask to be forgiven. Nothing humbles and makes you see the need to forgive someone else like being forgiven. Oh and don’t forget to forgive yourself.