Wednesday November 30, 2012
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
" Understanding Forgiveness "
Understanding Forgiveness is important as it leads you to a path of communication with God that forms a special closeness between you and Him. Not finding this path can be burdensome as forgiveness sheds the weight of sin that you now shoulder.

Understanding Forgiveness takes place after you obtain an understanding of the most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 (KJV):

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God giving His Only Begotten Son enables Him to offer you forgiveness for each and every sin that you have committed. Prior to Christ dying for you, the only option that you had was to have your sins accumulate and that He could not accept. God gave you a way out when He had Christ shed every drop of His Blood to place forgiveness within your reach. This sacrifice provided you with one more option. As before you can continue to carry the weight of your sins into the future or you can accept the sacrifice of Christ shedding His Blood to is Blood was wash them away.

1 Peter 3:18 (KJV) shows God's fairness; it shows Him giving this same option to everyone that had died before Christ was put to death in the flesh. Christ went to visit them and give them the same opportunity that you have, the opportunity to be forgiven for sin:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Quickened by the spirit, 1 Peter 3:19 (KJV) shows Christ going back in time to prison where they were being held until He could come and preach faith and forgiveness to them:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

God references where Christ went as prison because it held the ones that had died before the sacrifice of Christ could free them. Without the opportunity for forgiveness they are in prison, an opportunity that Christ returned when He went to them and preached forgiveness. He squared everything by making the same "whosoever believeth" that is available to you, available to them.

Understanding Forgiveness leads to receiving it and receiving it requires that you meet certain conditions. It requires that you:

(1) Ask to be forgiven and

(2) Demonstrate a feeling of remorse for those that you have wronged and







(3) Turn loose every bit and piece of sin that has been forgiven for you.

Asking for forgiveness is required because forgiveness cannot be received without you first asking to be forgiven. The groundwork for receiving forgiveness has already been laid but you must still ask for forgiveness to be forgiven for sin.

Remorse is something that you show; it is a special feeling of sorrow that you share with the one that is forgiving you; it shows that your request for forgiveness is a serious one. Webster's defines this happening:

a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs (as injuries done to others); sympathetic sorrow, COMPASSION...obsolete : a solemn obligation

It is easy to see how important the role is that remorse plays in you receiving forgiveness...No remorse, no forgiveness.

Understanding Forgiveness is not a done deal until you have given consideration to what receiving it does for you and what giving it does for God; Acts 26:18 (KJV) addresses both these issues:

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Paul nails every aspect of forgiveness in this verse! He is saying that forgiving you assures God that you are on board with Him as yielding to Him in this manner shows the strength of your faith to Him.

Not to be left out, forgiveness benefits you equally. It releases Satan's power over you and returns you to God; it takes you out of darkness and you experience change from the inside out. It is a positive and good felling that leaves you without doubt that you have been forgiven.

Hopefully Understanding Forgiveness is taking you out of the dark and exposing you to the power of forgiveness.

Are you experiencing the super good feeling that forgiveness leaves you with?

Are you experiencing how closely forgiveness is connected to your faith?

Are you removing all doubt by releasing every bit and piece of sin that God forgives you?



Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at