Kingdom Inheritance Today - The Kingdom of God Today
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” Luke 23'34.
What amazing words! These first of the Lord's final words on the cross reveal once again not only His intimate relationship with His Father but His compassion. But he also reveals that sin is not against Him but against the Father; as He did earlier in His ministry when He told His listeners to say to their heavenly: "... forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors," Matthew 6'12.
Now that the Holy Spirit has come and is here Saints are called to be forgiving as a practice:
"... be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us," Ephesians 4'32-5'2.
It is very important to note that, in the first instance, the above words are addressed to the men (who are in Christ). These "dear children" are men, young and old; not kids!
(And the principle of speaking to the men first goes for the whole Bible, unless it says otherwise, especially in the New Testament and the Word of Christ, that is Acts 2 to Revelation 3'22. But it's equally very important that the women who are in Christ, listen.)
Paul says, imitate our heavenly Father, who is merciful and forgives - and loves.
However, the practice of forgiving can be tested in many ways and about anything. And getting angry could be understandable. But there's danger in delaying. So, it's ok to "Be angry" but "do not sin" and definitely "do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil," Ephesians 4'27-28. How many professing Believers realise that holding onto unforgiveness can make a way for the devil to take over part of their lives? (Read the article which partners this one, The Lord's Prayer Up Close, on the Menu.)
The Father understands these things and the Holy Spirit inspired writer to the Hebrew Believers says to us all:
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need," Hebrews 4'14-16.
... as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do," Colossians 3'12-13.
Underlying all these things, Jesus said:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you ... By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” John 13'34-15.