We must all learn to forgive. Not just others who have harmed us or hurt us, but also how to forgive ourselves. God wipes away our sins the minute we are "born Again":
Ephesians 1:6-8 (King James Version)
6 "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;"
15 "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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
The problem is, that even though the Lord has removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West . . . ( Psalm 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
. . . we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. Satan has a way of knowing our weaknesses and our "soft spots" in our human nature and he will use them at every chance he has! And if Satan can keep our mind on our sins that means he is successful in keeping us from concentrating on the Word of God and the purpose that God may have in store for us. The other thing is, that as long as he can keep us thinking about our own sins, he can keep us from forgiving others. Forgiving others is the only way that we can be truly free. And, that is truly free to love others. Love and forgiveness goes hand in hand. We need to forgive ourselves before we can really love ourselves and until we can really love ourselves we cannot truly love another. One of the other things that I had found difficult to do, was to forget my sins and to forget the harm I had felt from others. The old saying "Forgive and Forget" is much easier to say than it is to do. We MUST learn to do this if ever we are to mature as Christians. Being "Born Again" brings a great responsibility with it. Growth in the gifts of the spirit is what we all must strive for. It is imperative that we grow in our spiritual walk.
Ephesians 5:9-10; 9 "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."
The way that we can do this is to strive to walk closer and closer with Jesus every day. We seek that perfection of the spirit that is Jesus Christ, and, unfortunately, we can never really attain that perfection, BUT we must strive daily to be more and more like Him. We must learn to surround ourselves in prayer every day and every hour that we are alive. It is like Paul said, that we must "pray continuously".
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (King James Version)
16 "Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
We must also learn to "walk in love" just as Christ loved us we must learn to love one another.
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:33-35( context)
Ephesians 5:1-2 1 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
We must also learn to be wise, and wisdom comes only from study of the "Word of God."
Ephesians 5:15-21; "15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
I have been using a lot of scripture references in this entry and, I have meant to do just that. We are nothing without God, and the only way that we can learn about God, and learn about Jesus Christ is by study of the scriptures!
2 Timothy 2:15
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:14-16 (Context)
Romans 10:16-18 (King James Version)
16 "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."
1 Peter 1:22-24 (King James Version)
22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:"
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: "
Ephesians 6:16-18 (Context)
Hebrews 4:11-13 (King James Version)
11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
So back to forgiveness! In order that we may learn to be more like Christ, and learn more about God we must study scriptures. In order to learn how to be forgiven and to learn how to be forgivers of others we need to study scripture! Do NOT just count on the preacher to tell you about the "Word of God" or tell you what the "Word of God" says; get a Bible and study it for yourself. Try to read the whole Bible, cover to cover! After you have done it once . . .do it again, and then do it again. Make notes, underline things that "move you" or things you don't understand and then look them up or ask someone you trust as a Christian to help you understand it. Pray, pray every day. Pray that God will give you wisdom and understanding. Pray that God will show you how to forgive yourself. God bless you all, and I will pray that you learn how to forgive yourself.