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Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1891


 Forgiving your brother

I was having this discussion with a brother in my Church. I am more and more leading towards this belief now.

Jesus commanded us to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ (other believes), only when they repent.

Luke 17:3 - If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

Now if a brother is unwilling to repent then?

Matthew 18:15 - Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the [n]testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed. 17 And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

The above verse is not something that we can do if we want, it is something that we are commanded to do. So if a brother sins against us we are commanded to go and confront him. We are not supposed to just forgive and forget. We are not even supposed to forgive him/her.

But if it is an unbeliever then we are supposed to forgive them without any requirement for them to repent, because they do not know what they are doing, they are in darkness. Jesus himself forgave those who crucified him saying they did not know what they were doing.

We are commanded to over our brothers and sisters more than our love for neighbors (John 13:24). At the same time we are commanded to forgive our brothers only if they repent, else we need to confornt them for their sins against us.

If there are people who agree with this then I have more questions in the line of such thinking.


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Sreeram

 2021/3/2 19:48Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 893
Pineville, LA

 Re: Forgiving your brother

Sree,

I see where you are going with this; however, forgiveness is not commanded, ONLY, upon repentance. There are plenty of other Scriptures that command you to forgive, even if the offender has not repented.

Matthew 6:12-15, 18:21-35, Luke 6:37, Luke 23:34 (Jesus forgave and no one repented), and that isn't even an exhaustive list.

You should deal with a sinning brother. That should happen. But if you are dealing with a sinning brother with a heart full of unforgiveness, you are only a servant throttling another saying, "pay me what you owe me!"

Notice in those passages the order of forgiveness--you forgive, the God forgives you.

 2021/3/2 20:03Profile
billy1980
Member



Joined: 2016/3/9
Posts: 246


 Re:

I just don’t see how I could pray the prayer Christ taught us to pray wholeheartedly or honestly if I held back forgiveness from anyone, brother or unbeliever.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

I would seriously fast and seek our Lord. if I held an elder position, before administering the final steps.


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William

 2021/3/2 22:22Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1891


 Re:

Quote:


I just don’t see how I could pray the prayer Christ taught us to pray wholeheartedly or honestly if I held back forgiveness from anyone, brother or unbeliever.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

I would seriously fast and seek our Lord. if I held an elder position, before administering the final steps.



Very good point brother William.
Disclaimer, I have not completely made my approval of the point of this discussion, but I have started leading towards the point of our discussion. The reason I have posted this here is, I am trying to find reasons to support or against this line of thinking. So all logical discussion is welcome here.

Now I have already thought through our Lord's prayer in connection with forgiveness!

Here is my answer, our Lord thought us to pray this line "forgive our sins as we have forgiven our debtors". So the believers who have repented, I have forgiven them. So we are asking our Lord to forgive us as we have forgiven those who have repented. We too come to our Lord with a repentence. So our Lord, who is our elder brother, will also forgive our sins as we have forgiven the sins of our repented brothers.

The Parable that Jesus told in Matt 18:23, the Master is forgiving the slave when he repents and asks for mercy. The master expects the slave to show the same mercy to his own slave who also asks for mercy but he did not show mercy. So the concept of forgiveness in that parable is to forgive those who ask for forgiveness. The whole parable is an answer that Jesus gave to the question that Peter asked about how to forgive our brothers (Matt 18:21)!


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Sreeram

 2021/3/3 2:00Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1891


 Re:

Quote:

I see where you are going with this; however, forgiveness is not commanded, ONLY, upon repentance. There are plenty of other Scriptures that command you to forgive, even if the offender has not repented.


Yes there are scriptures that are talking about forgiving without any need for repentance. But those are for unbelievers. In the context of believers when Jesus was asked this question by Peter, Jesus made sure he used the condition "if your brother repents".

Quote:

Notice in those passages the order of forgiveness--you forgive, the God forgives you.



Agreed, our God forgives us when we repent so we too forgive our brothers when they repent. That is th point of Matthew 18:23 parable on forgiveness. To show mercy when our brothers ask for one.

Quote:

You should deal with a sinning brother. That should happen. But if you are dealing with a sinning brother with a heart full of unforgiveness, you are only a servant throttling another saying, "pay me what you owe me!"




Very good point. The example that came to our mind is how Paul is dealing with the brother who lived in Adultery in the church of Corinthians. In 1 Cor 5, he judged him already and put him out of Church into the hands of Satan.

3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and [d]I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided [e]to turn such a person over to Satan for the destruction of his [f]body, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the [g]Lord.

This believer sinned against the Church by bringing a bad reputation to the Church. So here Paul clearly judged the brother and not forgiven him. He is also not asking the Church to forgive him. How do I know he is not asking the Church to forgive him? Answer is in 2 Cor 2:7.

so that on the other hand, you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a person might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.

Paul is asking the Church to forgive this brother because he has repented from his sins. So in the first letter he judged him but in the 2nd letter he is appealing to forgive him as he has repented. So no forgiveness until he repents. He did not ask the Church to confront him with forgiveness!

Again I am inviting a fruitful discussion here, I am still not made up my mind, but willing to listen to all possible arguments for and against this topic.


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Sreeram

 2021/3/3 2:12Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 893
Pineville, LA

 Re:

I think the problem here is how we are defining what forgiveness is.

So, sree, what does "forgiveness" mean regarding one person to another?

Thanks!

 2021/3/3 11:36Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5756
NC, USA

 Re: Forgiving your brother

//The above verse is not something that we can do if we want, it is something that we are commanded to do. So if a brother sins against us we are commanded to go and confront him. We are not supposed to just forgive and forget. We are not even supposed to forgive him/her.//

We are not to be offended in the first place. Thus there is nothing to forgive.

https://www.thenarrowpath.com/audio/topical-lectures/individual-topical-teachings/06_0000_Refuse_to_be_Offended.mp3


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Todd

 2021/3/3 11:37Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 893
Pineville, LA

 Re:

lol....I remember this discussion. If my brother punches me in the face and I say "I am not offended" and let him continue doing that, then there is a problem. There is a problem with him and a problem with me.

Sree is right that we need to confront the brother for things like that.

Now, Biblically, the principle is "love covers a multitude of sins." I don't correct every mistake everyone does--especially unintentional ones--because I love them and I want to show grace and mercy. If a brother does offend me (which happens), then I need to address it with them. Elsewise, a root of bitterness will form.

There also the principle of "why not rather be wronged" given by Paul--regarding suing other believers before unbelievers.

These principles take wisdom to apply.

Yet:

I have a feeling the reason why so little care and concern is given by the church as a whole to people aborting their children, the prevelance of pornography in our country, the incredibly prominent sex-trafficking industry in our country, the vulgar humor that is allowed, the sex-crazed TV shows, the horrifically promiscuous education given to children, the codification of no-fault divorce, the materialism, etc, etc, etc that we see even in our own midst is because a bunch of Christians are walking around "not offended."

I think we need to be more offended at these things.

 2021/3/3 14:53Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5756
NC, USA

 Re:

Being offended is not on the same par as physical attack.

Being offended is illogical. If the offense was unintended, then why in the world should you be offended? If the offense IS intended, why give the offender the satisfaction of what they are looking for?

I am trying to think if Jesus ever showed offense for something done or said to Him. He defended His Father’s honor on occasion but I think he took personal offenses with a grain of salt- even on the cross.


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Todd

 2021/3/3 19:03Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 893
Pineville, LA

 Re:

Jesus usually was the one doing the offending! HAHA

 2021/3/4 10:50Profile





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