Many Christians are in bondage to the devil because they do not understand
the teachings of the Bible.
This study on the above subject was made as a result of personal involvement
by a member of our church group. It is hoped that you might benefit therefrom.
In the Lord's Prayer that we all know so well, God commanded us to forgive
the sins committed by others on us. At the end of the prayer Jesus stresses
the importance of this righteous act, promising that we will be forgiven
our sins by God if we do so.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father
which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be
done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The LORD God of hosts also made promises in the Old Covenant to us of the
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day
that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;
which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith
the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God,
and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall
all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the
LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother,
saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their
iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant,
he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is
ready to vanish away.
The Lord says that not only will He forgive us our sins, but He will remember
them no more. He does this when we come into Covenant with Him through
our Covenant Representative, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Does this mean that He will forgive and forget?
Does God expect us to forgive and forget? Many professing Christians believe
To forgive, yes, as we have seen from the above, it's a commandment.
To forget; I don't know so much.
I know a man who has two sons. He seems to be born again because he shows
some fruits of repentance. Disregarding the reasons why, one son beat his
father up and the other stole from him. He had to forgive both. One forgiveness
occurred within hours, while he lay on his bed with a cracked rib and a
red and swelling eye and the other took many months and sleepless nights.
The one son he will trust with his life and the other not with a bar of
The one son repented of his sins and is in fact his father's Covenant brother
in the Lord Jesus Christ, while the other remains unrepentant, but expects
all previous incidents to be forgiven and forgotten so that he can start
with a new slate and steal again.
Will God approve of this father's actions and beliefs? Is this Biblical?
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I
say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore
is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take
account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought
unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had
not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children,
and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell
down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will
pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion,
and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out,
and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and
he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me
that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought
him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would
not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So
when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came
and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he
had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all
that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had
compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord
was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all
that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto
you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass
against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass
against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again
to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
These verses concern fellow servants and brothers; in other words fellow
Christians. Moreover it concerns repentance.
Let's take a look at the story of the prodigal son:
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the
younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion
of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his
living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together,
and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance
with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine
in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself
to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did
eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How
many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and
I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto
him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more
worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And
he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off,
his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck,
and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against
heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But
the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it
on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring
hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as
he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he
called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said
unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf,
because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would
not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering
said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither
transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me
a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy
son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed
for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with
me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry,
and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was
lost, and is found.
We see here that the younger son asked for what was his as a birthright
and went away to spend it. The father was sad and afraid that he had lost
his son forever. But only when the son was in an extremity and repented
of his sin did he consider going home. We see that he recognised that he
had sinned against God. His father saw him afar off, as he had been anxiously
looking down the road for a long time and was overjoyed to see him, as
any father can imagine. We see also that the elder brother was jealous,
thinking of himself. However, in the last verse we note that the father
had regained his son because of the son's repentance but the rest of
the inheritance still belonged to the elder brother. The younger had
spent his, it was gone forever.
Although the father was saddened by his son's behaviour and forgave him
for wasting his share of the hard-earned inheritance, he did not forget.
You see it is easy to say forgive and forget, it passes over the tongue
very glibly, but in practice, when it happens to someone you know and you
share that person's agony, you realise that it must be very Godlike to
be able to do so.
I believe that the forgive and forget phrase can be a trap of Satan for
Let's take it a bit further.
Let's say that I become born again and God forgives me my sins and remembers
them no more. Wonderful! I now have an inheritance, the chance to be in
heaven one day.
What happens if I then go back into the world, breaking my Covenant and
sinning wilfully with wine, women and drunken song. Will God forgive me
again? Remember, He has forgotten my previous sins, He doesn't know that
Let's see what He says:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have
tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they
crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open
At first glance it would seem that God remembers our previous sins after
all, because if they were forgotten He would forgive us again once we repented.
However, we are dealing here with a never ending Covenant and He will know,
if we repent again, that we had done so once before. We are not
forgiven the sin of forgetting or not caring for what Jesus did for us
on the cross of Calvary.
Jesus Himself taught us:
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither
cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn again and rend you.
So, we are commanded to forgive those that trespass against us, but it
seems that we are not expected to forget them.
When God says that He will remember our sins no more, doesn't it perhaps
mean that He will remind us of them no more? Or put another way, we shall
not be held accountable for them anymore.
Here's Scripture that seems to confirm this:
When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust
to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses
shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he
shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely
die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If
the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the
statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he
shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned
unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God
imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities
are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom
the Lord will not impute sin.
Another aspect of forgiveness, one that is a state of mind that comes from
the heart, is the following; and asks the question "How real is the marriage
covenant that you made with your spouse before God?" It's the same marriage
and the same covenant even though you may not have been reborn into Christ
Jesus at the time.
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that,
if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the
conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled
with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of
plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which
is in the sight of God of great price.
(1 Peter 3:1-4)
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving
honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together
of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
(1 Peter 3:7)
We see that, as with the obvious examples of forgiveness, where repentance
is involved, your marriage partner is to be forgiven, repeatedly. God will
repay on your behalf if it is necessary, He knows all about being faithful
to Covenants; leave it to Him.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord
is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled
with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks
always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives,
submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband
is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and
he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto
Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every
thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the
washing of water by the word,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with
Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then
shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members
which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection,
evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For
which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In
the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also
put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication
out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off
the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is
renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there
is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian,
bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore,
as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness
of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and
forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even
as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And
above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And
let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called
in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves
unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your
wives, and be not bitter against them.
Further, this not only applies to our spouses, but to our true brothers
and sisters of the Covenant of Christ, whose fruits show submission to
His yoke of Love.
We also notice that forgiveness and charity go together and are evidence
of the changed heart, one acceptable to our heavenly Father.
To the others in the church:
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. 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. 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.
There seems to be guidance of a different way to go about forgiving those
who are in covenant with you, either directly or through Christ Jesus,
and those who are not.
Do you agree?
You will doubtless notice that the above passage of Scripture immediately
precedes the Matthew chapter eighteen passage which was quoted from in
the first part of this teaching and was originally written some eleven
Such is the power of the Truth.