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Forgiving One Another

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The Word of God sets before us the duty and importance of Christian forgiveness. Jesus taught His disciples to say when they prayed, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” We have discovered that one of the things that is hindering the cause of Christ in the world is the failure of Christian people to forgive those who have injured them. Because of such failure to perform one of the simple yet fundamental duties of the Christian life, the Church is suffering serious loss. Channels of power and blessing are being blocked, because the people of God refuse to do their plain duty in the matter of forgiveness.

The Church is a divine society. It is the only divine association in all the world. The Church of Christ is a blessed fellowship. If we belong to Christ we have been called unto a fellowship of faith, hope, and love. Christian people constitute a holy family in the world. We enter that family through faith in Christ and through the mighty operation of the Holy Ghost, by which we are born again and become new creatures in Christ Jesus. One of the proofs that we belong to that holy family called the Church is that we love God and the other members of the family. It is the will of God that we should live and work and worship together in blessed unity. And this God will enable us to do so by the power of His Spirit. But where the Spirit is not in control, the flesh shows itself: jars and discords are apt to arise, and the unity of the Spirit is destroyed.

Here is where the duty of forgiveness comes in. The forgiveness of those who have injured us is a Christian duty that must not be neglected. It is through forgiveness that the barrier to fellowship, created by some trespass, is removed. Until we have forgiven the one who has injured us, our fellowship with him has been destroyed, and God’s full blessing upon us has been withdrawn. But when we have forgiven those who have injured us, the barrier has been taken away, and the soul has been healed. And, at the same time, the enemy, who always takes advantage of such opportunities to attack both individual Christians and the Church, has been overcome. Thus we can see that the forgiveness of others has a most important place in the Christian life.

—Rev. F. B. Collitt

Rev. Collitt was an evangelist of Beulah Beach, Ohio who served Alliance churches in Sheraden and New Castle, Pennsylvania; Corning, New York; and Cleveland, Ohio before entering the evangelistic field. He was also an official worker of the Central District for 27 years and a regular contributor to The Alliance Weekly.

Adapted from The Alliance Weekly, March 9, 1940.

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