We continued our study of forgiveness and reconciliation in the Church this week in Sunday School. Due to a number of requests by people who were unable to be there but didn't want to miss out I did record it and you can find the link here.
We talked a little more about the nature of forgiveness and then asked some questions about when we are called on to forgive. It may be a little surprising that Jesus instructs us to forgive our brothers regardless of whether they have repented or sought reconciliation themselves.
“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.”” (Mark 11:25 ESV)
We sometimes like to think that we should only offer forgiveness to our brother if he has first done his job of repenting. Jesus calls us to something a little more radical. Before the sinner ever repents our orientation toward our wayward brother should be one of loving forgiveness. This is not natural to us but comes more and more naturally as we grow in grace and see ourselves as unworthy sinners who have been forgiven much through the blood of Jesus.
If you are looking for the article we are discussing it is available here.