Forgiveness and Christian Ethics

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Snyder bemoans not only the contribution that Christianity makes to this spirit of punishment, but also to a lack of interest in bringing help and healing to those in prison.

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If they are forever condemned to live as a member of an unforgiveable class of people, where is the hope that life can be different for them? Alabama, along with several other states, refuses to restore voting rights to convicted felons even after they have paid their debt. We continue to punish them even after they have done everything the law said they had to do to pay for their crime.

James L. Box Nashville, TN Email: info ethicsdaily. Skip to site content. Search Search. By James L. Share Tweet LinkedIn Pinterest. Forgiveness Jim Evans Prison. Related Posts.


By Merianna Harrelson. Read More. By Nick Lear. Acts But there are two kinds of forgiveness. For lack of a better expression, there is vertical forgiveness, i. There is also, however, a forgiveness which one might designate as horizontal , i. In the model prayer, Christ taught his disciples to pray these thoughts:.

Studies in Christian Ethics Special Issue: 'Is Forgiveness Moral?'

Our Father. The fact is, they were correct.

In the ultimate sense, only God can offer pardon. In the final analysis, all sin is against God Genesis ; Psalm It is rather well-known, of course, that Roman Catholic theology alleges that the authority to grant actual forgiveness lies within the domain of that Church. I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is alleged, however, that Christ granted to the apostles the right of forgiving sins. The passage does not provide the coveted support.

What [Jesus] commits to the disciples and to us is the power and privilege of giving assurance of the forgiveness of God by correctly announcing the terms of forgiveness , That this is a correct view of the passage is demonstrated by the narrative in Acts 2. For further study see our comments elsewhere Jackson , Our forgiveness of each other has to do more with an attitude than a specific act. Reflect upon the following principles which highlight the sort of temperament that one must cultivate if he would be Christ-like Luke I may not rebuke my brother for a sin he has not committed; nor may I forgive him of a sin of which he refuses to repent.

It does not.


The offender still must be held accountable for his reprehensible conduct. There is a difference between lip forgiveness, and heart forgiveness. A lovely Christian woman, whose son was brutally murdered, struggles with the question of how to sincerely try to forgive the vicious killer who forever disrupted her mental tranquility. Few of us will ever face such a rigorous challenge.

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What shall we say to help her with this problem? First, as indicated above, forgiveness does not mean that the sin is to be ignored. There are both moral and civil consequences to a horrible act such as we have described. Even though the killer could obtain pardon from God through his obedience to the gospel even as Saul of Tarsus did—see Acts ; cf. That aside, here are some truths which may help us to cultivate the type of compasssionate and forgiving spirit that is God-like cf.

Matthew —as difficult as that may be to achieve. We must take note of the value of the human soul—any soul, every soul. Such is worth more than the entire universe Matthew If the Lord Jesus died for all 1 Timothy , who are we to be selective with regard to those we are willing to forgive? While it is the case that some sins have greater temporal consequences than others e.

We look upon murder as a particularly atrocious act, but God put it in the same catalog with strife, malice, back-biting, insolence, boasting, disobedience toward parents, covenant-breaking, idolatry, fornication, stealing, covetousness, drunkenness, sodomy, jealousy, factiousness, envy, cowardice, and lying Romans ff; 1 Corinthians ; Galatians ; Revelation The point is this: in view of the manner in which our holy Creator views sin, we can hardly afford to be selective in what sins we will pardon.

We must reflect upon our own past, and be painfully aware of how we have disappointed the Lord so terribly and frequently. We have a tendency to minimize our own blunders and yet maximize the mistakes of others. But inspiration puts the matter into sharper focus. We are to.

Understanding Forgiveness : Christian Courier

For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another Titus We must learn to forgive because to do otherwise is most harmful to our very own state of mind and even physical well-being. In his book, None of These Diseases , prominent physician Dr.

Forgiving can be a matter of life and death! This discussion would be incomplete if we neglected to note the sort of attitude and corresponding action that ought to result whenever one contemplates the implication of the forgiveness he has received from a loving God.

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Drying his feet with her long hair, she gently kissed them, and anointed them with precious ointment see Luke ff. The Lord later explained that her actions were the result of the forgiveness she had received from him on an earlier though unrecorded occasion see Jackson , 67ff. Her lavish actions were issuing from a heart of profound gratitude.

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  7. From this incident we must learn this lesson: to whatever degree we savor the value of our forgiveness from God, and entertain an appreciation thereof, to that degree will our thanksgiving be reflected in a measure of service to the Lord. Little gratitude equals little service, and vice versa. What an index this is to the character of many. May Heaven help us to treasure the redemption of our souls, and to demonstrate such by faithful daily service! Jackson, Wayne. Access date: September 22, Topical Index. About Contact.

    Understanding Forgiveness By Wayne Jackson. Implications The idea of forgiveness stirs the soul and has some intriguing implications. Can Forgiveness Be Conditional? Therein Peter charged the Hebrews thus: [Y]ou by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay [the Christ] v. Further, Peter admonishes: [B]e immersed every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto [for] the remission [forgiveness] of your sins John wrote: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins 1 John ; cf.

    In the model prayer, Christ taught his disciples to pray these thoughts: Our Father. Can Human Beings Forgive Sins? Robertson noted: What [Jesus] commits to the disciples and to us is the power and privilege of giving assurance of the forgiveness of God by correctly announcing the terms of forgiveness ,