Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cheapening forgiveness

Justin Taylor recounts one couple's struggle with the meaning of forgiveness here.

Commenting on Luke 17:3 ("If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him"), John Stott, Confess Your Sins: The Way of Reconciliation, page 35, writes:

"We are to rebuke a brother if he sins against us; we are to forgive him if he repents -- and only if he repents. We must beware of cheapening forgiveness. . . . If a brother who has sinned against us refuses to repent, we should not forgive him. Does this startle you? It is what Jesus taught. . . . 'Forgiveness' includes restoration to fellowship. If we can restore to full and intimate fellowship with ourselves a sinning and unrepentant brother, we reveal not the depth of our love but its shallowness."

May the Holy Spirit come down on us all, such that true repentance finds true reconciliation. We need a massive cleansing only God can give.