Psalm 103:2-3 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases”
Daniel 9:9 “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him”
Matthew 5:23-24 “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 18:34-35 “And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
It’s is huge to consider 1) how much we have been forgiven by God and 2) how the Bible ties our forgiveness from God to our forgiveness of those who wrong us. The model prayer even asks God to “forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us.” This is serious.
From Tyler Kenney at the Desiring God blog:
Ardel Caneday, New Testament professor at Northwestern College and one who has devoted special attention to the Gospel of Mark, has been gracious to interact with me and others in the comments section of my recent post on reconciliation.
One of the things he pointed out is that we need to be careful to distinguish between being forgiving and actually forgiving sins—a distinction that I didn’t clearly make.
(Caneday)If we tell others, “I forgive your sin” even though they refuse to acknowledge their sin, we remove the very incentive the gospel places upon them to confess their sins and to seek forgiveness. If we take preemptive action by granting forgiveness of sin to those who do not repent, on what basis could the church ever follow the procedures of Matthew 18:15-17?
There is a proper biblical or gospel order. We are to imitate God. God forgives the sins of those who repent (cf. 1 John 1:9). Likewise, we must always grant forgiveness to those who repent (cf. Luke 17:3).
In Mark 11:25 Jesus calls us to be forgiving. Scripture requires us to distinguish between being forgiving, which is the virtue of always being ready and eager to forgive, and the act of forgiving, which is the actual remission of the sin done against us. Thus, as God is always forgiving, which means that he is eager and desirous to forgive, and as God forgives those who repent, so godliness/Christlikeness is to be and to do the same.