How many times do I forgive a brother or sister who mistreats me? Should I forgive them seven times? Jesus answers, “seventy-seven times.” Forgiving one seven times sounds reasonable to the average human being, the operative word in that phrase being “sounds.” But Jesus ups the amount. His point isn’t that we forgive someone exactly seventy-seven times and no more. Rather, our mercy and forgiveness is to be without end, since God’s mercy toward us for our sin is endless.
Over the years of my teaching First John I have wrestled with the concept of conditional forgiveness as reflected in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Does this mean that if I don’t confess my sins, I…Continue reading 1 John 1:9 and Conditional Forgiveness