Hardships are bound to come upon every person. Yet, even in trials, sufferings, and hardships; believers can count it all joy, knowing God uses adversities to grow us in dependence on, and intimacy with, Him. The Lord isn’t using life’s trials to break us down, but to build us more into Christlikeness.
“So faith without deeds is dead.” This bold statement by James (2:26) is not contradictory to salvation by grace, it is complimentary to salvation by grace. For, he is telling believers that there will be demonstrated “fruit of grace” that becomes evident after someone is saved by grace, through faith in Christ.
What does Jesus mean by, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”?
Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Those words can be intimidating. What does Jesus mean?
To understand what the Lord is saying in Matthew 6:15, we need to take His words in the context of its Scripture passage.
There are evil spirits at work to convince people they’re beyond the Lord’s forgiveness; that their sin is too great, they’ve hurt too many people, or have too many demons in their life. But, no one is beyond salvation through Jesus Christ. “The one who comes from above is above all” (John 3:31).
Demons repetitively accentuate our failures and wrongdoings, telling us that we are hopelessly lost before a holy God. But, demons are liars. While demonic accusations seem damning and their strongholds seem unconquerable, not even a legion of demons can stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. For, His Word is Truth.
Our human nature wants to believe the lie that we have gone beyond what God would be willing to forgive. But don’t believe that lie. Jesus knows your darkest sins and deepest shames anyway—and He bore those upon himself at Calvary. For, Jesus does not delight in condemnation. He delights in the salvation of men.
People need hope, compassion, and belonging. But this world can be a lonely and brutal place. Many become ostrasized by society and are treated as loathsome. However uncomfortable it makes us, we need to reach out to them in Christlike love; telling them about Jesus’ mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and redemption.
In the early Church, the believers’ love for one another, and for others, was so authentic and so obvious that even those outside the Church took notice and were amazed by the loving-kindness of first and second-century Christians.