Mark 11:25-26 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Do you remember the words of Jesus concerning forgiveness as He hung upon the cross? I’m sure you do. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” With that unequaled statement of love, I want you to consider the words of Paul the Apostle in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 where he wrote, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” This is one of the most power and revealing statements in the Word of God concerning God’s heart of forgiveness. Look closely at these words. When you were born again . . .
- All things of your life became of God
- You were reconciled unto Father by Christ Jesus
- You were given the ministry of reconciliation
- “To wit” means you are to know, not hope, but KNOW
- In Christ, God was reconciling the world unto Himself
- That He was NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM
Please note the final statement. God is not imputing the trespasses of the world to them. The only thing a sinner must confess to be born again is that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is stated clearly in Romans 10:9-10. The sinner need not confess his sins to be born again. The confession of sins is what a Christian must do when he sins in order to come back into right fellowship with the Lord.
I share this in our study of forgiveness to make it clear that when you stand praying, you are to “forgive if you have ought against any.” That includes sinner or saint. You cannot afford to bear ANY unforgiveness in your heart towards ANY person. If Jesus asked the Father to forgive His crucifiers because they did not know what they were doing, and if God so acted upon that request that He does not impute the trespasses of the sinner against them, then you and I will be held to no less a standard.
Our forgiveness must extend as the Lord’s. To harbor unforgiveness in your heart puts you in a place of strife, and that, dear friend, may be the most dangerous place a believer could possibly be. Take a moment to read 2 Timothy 2:24-26. When a believer is in strife (and harboring unforgiveness is strife), he has fallen into a snare of Satan from which God cannot extract him. ONLY, I repeat, ONLY by confessing that sin, acknowledging the truth, and embracing true forgiveness can one be freed from that snare. Awaken, my friend, and slumber not.
Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22