Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
Wash away my wrongdoing! Cleanse me of my sin!
For I am aware of my rebellious acts; I am forever conscious of my sin.
Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me; you are right when you condemn me.
I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
You desire integrity in the inner man; you want me to possess wisdom.

Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
– Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
Hide your face from my sins! Wipe away all my guilt!
Create in me a pure heart, O God! Renew a resolute spirit within me!
Do not reject me! Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!
Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
O Lord, give me the words! Then my mouth will praise you.
Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
You do not desire a burnt sacrifice. The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.

************* Psalm 51

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His loving kindness toward those who love him. **** Psalms 103:8-11
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." **** Luke 23:34
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. **** John 3:17
Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. **** Eph 4:32

Click [ Here ] to go DIRECTLY to the section on "Forgiveness".

How often have you known personally, or at least certainly observed in movies, that type of person who is constantly burdened down, overwhelmed, and taking upon themselves the burden and responsibility for wrongs and/or problems over which they do not, nor ever did have any control , and are certainly NOT in any way accountable for the present situation ?? It might be a parent whose child went wrong despite their best efforts to raise the child properly. Often it is over the misfortune, sickness or death of a close friend or loved one. Sometimes - to use an absurd, hyperbolic situation - it might be a public leader bemoaning the destruction of a certain city after being hit by a meteorite (or a somewhat similar though less catastrophic situation). Whatever the exact situation, the scene unfolds with said person carrying on (and on -- AND ON) about how it was ALL their fault - if ONLY they had been there or done such and such - how, if they have anything to do with it, a similar occurrence will NEVER happen again - and how they will NEVER be able to forgive themselves - etc., etc., ETC ad nauseam !!

Now on the surface, particularly if the "guilty" person is expressing these thoughts over harm to or loss of a loved one, you might be prone to consider it a laudable expression of caring and love. If it was the public official mentioned above, you might be prone to nausea. In either case, however, the response IS NOT birthed out of reality - It is artificial, deceptive and false !! The person may BELIEVE that their response is sincere, in the same way that a pathological liar BELIEVES that he/she is telling the truth. They have deceived themselves for so long that they no longer know the difference !!

In a similar, though different sense, is the person who promises a child or loved one that, "no harm will EVER come to that person" or that the person making the promise, "will never leave the other". While the INTENT of the promise is certainly an attempt to instill a sense of security, the OUTCOME will only be to instill a sense of betrayal when the promise is NOT kept, for who can keep either of these promises ??? Jesus gave the following admonition regarding making "oaths" (swearing in the legal sense). I believe that the same thinking applies in regard to making RASH promises - and for the SAME reason - because we DO NOT have the power to keep them !!

You have heard that it was said to an older generation, "Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord." But I say to you, do not take oaths at all. Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. Let your word be "Yes, yes" or "No, no." More than this is from the evil one. **** Mathew 5:33-37

I believe that the root cause of this behavior is indeed Guilt -- Real, Unresolved, Hidden Guilt. It is not guilt over the situation at hand, but a lifetime of repressed, denied, buried Guilt over thousands of situations, rotting and festering beneath the surface like some ancient, decaying corpse. It extends back to the day of our birth, and FAR beyond, right back to our primal progenitors in that Garden of Creation. In the beginning, they walked with their Father God like joyful children, basking in His warmth and love. Then, it is said, that they disobeyed Father God, and hid themselves from Him because they were afraid and GUILTY !!

3:7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard. 3:9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" 3:10 The man replied, "I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." **** Genesis

That seed of Distrust, Fear and Guilt was then passed from father-mother to son-daughter, right down to the present day. Exactly HOW it was passed is beside the point, much as we do not know exactly HOW other human qualities and characteristics are passed.

So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned – For if the many died through the transgression of the one man .... For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation .... For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one ... Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression .... For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners .... **** Romans 5:12-19 (much omitted to emphasize the point under discussion)

So, contrary to the sentimentality of children being born "pure and undefiled", we in FACT enter into this world with a burden of guilt not of our own doing, in which we personally had no part. Worse yet, we enter with a sense of fear and alienation from our Father-God, our creator, the one whose comfort, fellowship, guidance and LOVE we so desperately need. So we grow and (hopefully) mature on to adulthood. However, something is not right -- we can't put our finger on it, but inside we feel empty, troubled, filled with yearning and unrest, as though a vital part of us is missing. We adapt, we cope, perhaps we go for psychoanalysis, or become consumed in our work, family, and hobbies. The yearning and unrest don't go completely away, but we manage to dampen and suppress them to manageable proportions and, if we keep "busy" enough, they stay pretty much out of our conscious thought.

We have not really accomplished anything, however. We have NOT changed Reality nor silenced its persistent voice. All that we have done is to REPRESS consciousness of it, and you know what psychologists have to say about "repressed complexes" - they continue to function beneath the surface in a disguised form. As someone once remarked, "Truth and Reality are really inconvenient things. Try as you will, they just won't go away" !! Call it what you like, God implanted within man a part of His essence, a sense of moral correctness, if you will -- a Conscience (imagine dragging out that old horse in this modern day and age !!). We can twist it, we can try to bury it, we can attempt to drown that "still small voice" in the madness of "contemporary society". We can attempt to discredit it, mock it and rename it with our "Phyco-Babble". Do what you will, however, you CAN NOT kill it, for it is a part of the Eternal God and it will give us no rest until it is heard and heeded. God has placed a part of Himself, his "Code of Right Living", inside each of us to help guide us and keep us from self destruction. We attempt to ignore this voice at our own peril.

1:19 .... what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.

2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them

7:15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. 7:17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me. 7:21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 7:23 But I see a different law in my members, waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

9:11 I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me (bears witness) in the Holy Spirit **** Romans

 3:19 And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 3:20 that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things. **** 1 John

So the reality becomes that we FEEL guilty because we are, IN FACT, guilty. Perhaps we do not actually know WHAT we are even guilty of, but there is an inner, gnawing knowledge that we ARE guilty of something, and of something pretty important. Our God given Conscience, our moral "safety valve", testifies against and convicts us. So we begin to look for some way to open this "safety valve", to release the pressure. We look for something to be "responsible for", to confess, to relieve the guilt. So begin the neurosis, the psychosis, the "emotional hypochondria", seeking to find relief where it CAN NOT be found, because it IS NOT the true source, it is not REALITY, it is not TRUTH.

God has revealed to us and placed within us that there is a RIGHT way -- His -- and there is a WRONG way -- ours. Arrogance, pride, self-will and Sin have so hardened mankind that we will go to almost ANY length to avoid God's way and embrace our own way, even to the destruction of ourselves and humanity as a whole. Humanity has spent it's existence trying to prove it's "rightness" and to establish it's OWN righteous -- apart from God. Cain slew Able because Abel approached God according to what God had revealed was acceptable, whereas Cain preferred to do it "his way" (perhaps Frank S. was a decedent ?). When God did not accept "his way", he did as man has done since. Rather than accept and acquiesce to God, Cain became ANGRY and killed Abel out of jealousy.

4:3 At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord. 4:4 But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest of them. And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, 4:5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased. So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast. **** Genesis

10:2 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. 10:3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes. **** Romans

God gave us a Conscience for our and society's protection, to keep mankind from reaping unrestrained havoc and destruction. Our conscience works much like our physical nervous system or a safety valve in a mechanical system. Say, for instance, we move too close to a hot object -- heat sensors in our nervous system warn us before we get burned. The same applies to a safety valve or warning sensor in a electrical or mechanical system. It activates and/or produces a warning before a destructive threshold is reached. True, SOME people seem to have systems in which their "heat sensors" don't function properly. They are at risk of severe burns without even knowing it. Also, some electrical and mechanical "safety systems" can be either bypassed or are defective. In such cases, the potential for catastrophic destruction is great. Likewise, in some (many) people, the Conscience becomes inoperative, due either to repeatedly ignoring its warnings, or perhaps through some spiritual and/or physiological damage. Such people are said to have a "Defiled, Evil or Seared Conscience" (1 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:15, Hebrews 10:22) !!

Now, many in the field of Physicatric Therapy have a so-called "simple" solution to the "Guilt Problem", in keeping with the "simplistic moral mentality" of today's pragmatic society. They simple issue a proclamation announcing that there is no such thing as Sin, Moral Right and Wrong, or Conscience --- hence, no such thing as Guilt. All is merely linguistic manipulation, social conditioning, a "moralistic hangover", so to speak. Since there is no ABSOLUTE Moral Right or Wrong and all actions are, therefore, based upon relative expedience and interpretation as to the "Needs of the One"  -- Why should ANY action result in Guilt since it was a Right Action based upon the needs and interpretation of the moment ?? They further argue that anything which MIGHT be interpreted as Conscience is nothing more than a lingering vestige of social and/or moral conditioning belonging to an age long dead.

Wait though -- let us pause for a moment to examine this last statement, "social and/or moral conditioning". Let us grant that this IS true in so far as YES, mankind HAS been "conditioned" as regards to the "rightness" and "wrongness" of various thoughts and/or actions. As stated earlier, he has been so "conditioned" by his Creator for the protection and preservation of both individuals and society as a whole -- as a "safety valve" to forestall mass destruction !! What would you call a person who tampered with the safety mechanisms of a nuclear reactor, causing it to explode at the cost of thousands upon thousands of lives ?? How should he be dealt with when apprehended ?? Are those who tamper with the "safety valve" of humanity any different, except that THEIR actions could (and very well MAY) result in the destruction of the ENTIRE human race.

Stop for a moment, if you dare, and examine the world around you. Examine the media -- pumping consciousness manipulating ideas and images into malleable minds, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day !! Note the extreme violence - lack of moral conscience - lack of real substance, purpose and direction. Note the lack of humanity, kindness, compassion and REAL Love (NOT SEX !!). Observe the empty, stilted, zombie like existence, devoid of life-giving, energizing Spirit. Observe the World of the new "Puppet Masters" and their creations ---- Welcome !!

Mankind has become so lost and deluded, our "thinking" has been so saturated by the treachery of Satan (the deceiver - as was that of Adam and Eve) and his puppeteers, that we seriously believe that "linguistic trickery" and outright denial can alter God's Cosmic, Immutable Laws !! When He created the Cosmos and Mankind, He placed within each the "Laws" that they would properly function under. Much as on a crowded freeway during rush hour, as long as the "Laws of Proper Driving" are obeyed, traffic will flow smoothly (more-or-less), and all will arrive at their destination safely. However, let some freewheeling, cancerous, LAWLESS elements arise, and Chaos and Mass Destruction will be the result. Many ask after some severe mishap or calamity, "How could God do (allow) such-and-such ?" We seem to overlook the fact that it WAS NOT God who was responsible, but rather, the human element.

Download and Read "The Abolition Of Man" by C.S. Lewis

God does not administer His justice like some captious judge, but it is rather built into His creation, and is given impartially to all. As I have said in previous articles, many foolishly proclaim (at least in their mind), "I don't believe in God and His so-called 'Laws'. Therefore, I am immune or I don't have to follow them." One might just as well announce on his way down after jumping off a 50 story building, "I don't believe in the 'Law of Gravity'. I'm not worried about the ground !!" As He warned the Israelites after their release from the bondage of Egypt, "Before you are the ways of Life and Death. To follow my ways is life -- to ignore them is death".

6:7 Do not be deceived. God is not mocked (will not be made a fool of). For a person will reap what he sows, 6:8 because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. **** Galatians

28:14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s word, you who mock! 28:15 For you say, "We have made a treaty with death, with Sheol (the Grave) we have made an agreement. When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by it will not reach us. For we have made a lie our refuge, we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word. (falsehood)" **** Isaiah

3:3 Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges 3:4 and saying, "Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." 3:8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; ..... and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. **** 2 Peter

58:1 "Shout loudly! Don’t be quiet! Yell as loud as a trumpet! Confront my people with their rebellious deeds; confront Jacob’s family with their sin! 58:2 They seek me day after day; they want to know my requirements, like a nation that does what is right and does not reject the law of their God. They ask me for just decrees; they want to be near God. 58:3 They lament, ‘Why don’t you notice when we fast? Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’ Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, you oppress your workers. 58:4 Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fist fights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven. 58:5 Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the Lord? 58:6 No, this is the kind of fast I want: I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke. 58:7 I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood! 58:8 Then your light will shine like the sunrise; your restoration will quickly arrive; your godly behavior will go before you, and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard. 58:9 Then you will call out, and the Lord will respond; you will cry out, and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’ You must remove the burdensome yoke from among you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully. 58:10 You must actively help the hungry and feed the oppressed. Then your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed into noonday. 58:11 The Lord will continually lead you; He will give you renewed strength. Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. **** Isaiah

So, you ask (I thought that you NEVER would) -- what then exactly DOES God want of me ? How can I please Him -- what "Good Works" do I need to do ??

6:28 Then said they to him, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe on him who he has sent." **** John

The Gospel -- the GOOD NEWS -- is that the "work" has already been completed. It has already been done FOR YOU !! The bills have been paid, the sentence pardoned, the prison doors flung open. The only "work" that is left for you or I to do is to ACCEPT the clean bill of health, acknowledge the pardon, and walk through those doors. The Book of Romans tells us that God so desires the return of His lost children that while WE yet had NO thought of or for Him, while we were still alienated from Him (His ENEMIES), He alone initiated the peace - the reconciliation. He alone sat at the conference table and signed the amnesty -- IN BLOOD. He then proclaimed, " IT IS FINISHED -- all walls between my children and I are gone, the doors are flung open, the conciliation is complete -- WELCOME HOME !!"

3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 3:19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. **** John

5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son ...... **** Romans

2:4 God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! – 2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. **** Ephesians

ALL that remains is for us to COME !! Enter the home gates with Thanksgiving -- Acknowledge that we were homeless wanders, orphans, and now, at last, we have been found by Father. Acknowledge that we were blind, crippled -- wandering in a fog of confusion, hurt and pain that we didn't even recognize -- trying to live our lives under a burden which we could never hope to carry -- crushed and wounded.

15:20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. 15:21 Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 15:22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! 15:23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, 15:24 because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again – he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. **** Luke

1:8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. **** 1 John

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. **** Romans 8:1

This brings us to the concluding -- though perhaps the MOST important section. Indeed, forgiveness DOES have a price tag. It cost God the suffering and humiliation of His Only-begotten Son. Though it is FREELY given, there IS a price tag on it for us. That price is that WE FREELY forgive others (as well as ourselves) as God in Jesus Christ forgave US !!!

Yes, at last we are Home, back in Father's House. However, we still need to be washed up (so to speak) -- we still have the dirt and pollution of our travels on us. Our minds have been schooled for many years in the ways and thinking of this "World System". Our conscience has been wounded and scarred by many years of wrong thinking and wrong living. We still need much cleansing, healing and relearning at home in Father's House. That is the job for our new instructor, God's Holy Spirit, who will, "Lead us into ALL truth". We need to be instilled with the values of our new home and position as Son, that we might learn, "To walk (live) as He walks (lives)". Most of all, we need to come to understand this new, FOREIGN, "Law of Love".

9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify (purge) our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. **** Hebrews

2:3 Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. 2:4 The one who says "I have come to know God" and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. 2:5 But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. 2:6 The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked. 2:9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian (brother) is still in the darkness. 2:10 The one who loves his fellow Christian (brother) resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 2:11 But the one who hates his fellow Christian (brother) is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. **** 1 John

We also need to understand that we are STILL governed by the same "Cosmic Laws" as we were before. God Himself is governed by them -- He instituted them !! Now, however, their impact upon us is multiplied many fold, for, "To whom much is given, much is expected" -- and we have been given MUCH !! First there is the law that states, "As you sow, so shall you reap". It can also be expressed:

6:37 "forgive (630), and you will be forgiven (630). 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive" ****** Luke

It is interesting to note that the Greek word here rendered "forgive" (Strong's Reference 630) seems to denote the sense of "setting free, releasing (as in a debtor or captive), or to grant liberty". It might also be interesting to note that of the 69 occurrences of THIS word, only TWO are rendered by the English translation "forgive", and ONLY here in Luke 6:37.

All of the rest of the NT (KJV) renderings of "forgive" are from Strong's 863. Of the 147 occurrences of THIS word, 46 are rendered by the English translation "forgive".

However, BOTH 630 and 863 are derived from the SAME root, and mean basically the same thing (see reference below). It seems to say that if YOU will not set another free, YOU will remain bound with him in the same captivity !!

Strong's 630

- Transliteration: Apoluo
- Phonetic: ap-ol-oo'-o
- Definition:

  • 1. to set free
  • 2. to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer)
    • a. a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer
    • b. to bid depart, send away
  • 3. to let go free, release
    • a. a captive i.e. to loose his bonds and bid him depart, to give him liberty to depart
    • b. to acquit one accused of a crime and set him at liberty
    • c. indulgently to grant a prisoner leave to depart
    • d. to release a debtor, i.e. not to press one's claim against him, to remit his debt
  • 4. used of divorce, to dismiss from the house, to repudiate. The wife of a Greek or Roman may divorce her husband.
  • 5. to send one's self away, to depart
- Part(s) of speech: Verb
- Strong's: From G575 and G3089; to free fully that is (literally) relieve release dismiss (reflexively depart) or (figuratively) let die pardon or (specifically) divorce: - (let) depart dismiss divorce forgive let go loose put (send) away release set at liberty.

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Strong's 863

- Transliteration: Aphiemi
- Phonetic: af-ee'-ay-mee
- Definition:

  • 1. to send away
    • a. to bid going away or depart
      • 1. of a husband divorcing his wife
    • b. to send forth, yield up, to expire
    • c. to let go, let alone, let be
      • 1. to disregard
      • 2. to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic) of teachers, writers and speakers
      • 3. to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit
      • 4. to give up, keep no longer
  • 2. to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person
  • 3. to leave, go way from one
    • a. in order to go to another place
    • b. to depart from any one
    • c. to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned
    • d. to desert wrongfully
    • e. to go away leaving something behind
    • f. to leave one by not taking him as a companion
    • g. to leave on dying, leave behind one
    • h. to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining
    • i. abandon, leave destitute
- Part(s) of speech: Verb
- Strong's: From G575 and hiemi (to send, an intens. form of eimi, to go); to send forth in various applications: - cry forgive forsake lay aside leave let (alone be go have) omit put (send) away remit suffer yield up.

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If you look CAREFULLY at these various definitions, you will note that they DO NOT have any MORAL implications NOR do they have anything to do with our "feelings" -- as in "finding forgiving feelings toward someone for a wrong or abuse" or "forgiving someone from our heart" -- yet this is the PRIMARY definition that we have given to it in our English society.

Neither does the word have ANYTHING to do with condoning, justifying, excusing or overlooking the actions of another.

Various dictionaries define the word "forgive" and "forgiveness" as :

  • To cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one's enemies>
  • To give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult>
  • To grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
  • To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
  • To cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
  • To renounce anger or resentment against.
  • To grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc.)
  • To free or pardon (someone) from penalty
  • To free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc.)

Forgiveness also does NOT entail any "Psychobabble" or "Therapeutic Theurgy" in order to whip us up into a "forgiving state of mind" or to "purge our souls" so that we might be able to forgive.

VERY often, what is termed "an inability to forgive" is in REALITY "an unwillingness to forgive". The offended person REFUSES to set aside the grievance, preferring rather to feel sorry for themselves. They may also attempt to use their unforgiveness (they believe) as a weapon to "punish" the offender, or as a twisted "halo of martyrdom" -- "Look how bravely I am suffering undeserved mistreatment at the hands of this cruel person !!"

Little does the person who engages in such sick behavior realize that oftentimes, THEY are the only one suffering. The original offender often does not realize - or even CARE about - the offended party's retaliatory tactics.

There is a principle that God reveals in His Word, namely, "That if the WILLINGNESS of mind and heart is present, HE will facilitate the ability to perform the desired action"

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he does NOT have **** 2 Corinthians 8:12

These MISunderstandings may be why we struggle so uselessly and without effect to forgive others or to receive forgiveness for ourselves. We look to find "feelings of forgiveness" within ourselves. It is EXACTLY the same reason that we often struggle to Love God and others as He commands. He COMMANDS us to Love as He COMMANDS us to Forgive. These commands would be pretty diabolical of Him if their enactment depended upon our "feelings", for we can NOT necessarily "produce feelings on command". That would be like someone COMMANDING us to FEEL hungry or thirsty NOW !! It can't be done.

It also does not have anything to do with that old adage, "forgive and forget". We do not have an "erase function" built into our memory like a tape recorder or a computer. We CAN, however, turn our WILLS on command to fulfilling a certain instruction - and THAT is what God is commanding of us.

Scriptural "forgiveness" appears to be more of a LEGAL transaction - a function of our WILL rather than one of our EMOTIONS - like Biblical Love wherein men are instructed to love their wives as Christ loves US, His Church or "Bride".

It would appear that an offense between two people creates a BOND or a "binding contract" or a debt between them. The act of "forgiveness" is like a "certificate of divorce" regarding that bond or contract, or as declaring that the debt has been absolved or fulfilled. Jesus is saying, "If you will release another from this bondage, the bond will be broken and you too will be released. If you will NOT break the bond, then the two of you will remain united in your souls within the conflict that the offense has created, BOTH of you reaping its destructive effects".

Jesus also said NOTHING about, "forgive if the other ASKS for forgiveness" or has "a repentant heart or spirit". His command was for YOU (and ME) to forgive without waiting for the other person. As a matter of fact, YOUR (or MY) forgiveness of the other may facilitate their finding the ability to seek forgiveness. Regardless, it is REALLY a selfish act on our part to forgive another, since to do so also releases US from bondage and from the effects of the unforgiveness.

18:34"His lord turned him over to the prison guards (more correctly, 'tormentors') to torture him until he repaid all he owed. 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart" **** Matthew

The "tormentors" are, I believe, NOT some external entities, but rather our OWN unforgiving spirit. How can God's forgiveness flow through us, cleansing not only us but those around us, when, "the faucet is closed"? What should be a cleansing river becomes rather a stagnate swamp !!

12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? "My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts." 12:7 Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 12:10 .... He does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. 12:12 Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed. **** Hebrews

8:14 All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. 8:17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him. 8:18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 8:19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. **** Romans

As much as it might appear so on the surface, especially if judged according to the, "Spirit of this World System (Age)", these are NOT some arbitrary rules of a callous, hard, unfeeling taskmaster. They represent the very essence of the Heart of God -- "Mercy and Forgiveness" -- qualities which must become ours if we are indeed to be called, "Sons (and Daughters) of the Most High" !!

10:36 Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" 10:37 The expert in religious law said, "The one who showed mercy to him." So Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same." **** Luke

6:14 "For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6:15 But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins.

7:1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 7:2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 7:3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

18:21 Then Peter came to him and said, "Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?" 18:22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times (an indefinate number)! 18:23 "For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. 18:24 As he began settling his accounts, a man who owed ten thousand talents (60 MILLION sliver coins) was brought to him. 18:25 Because he was not able to repay it, the lord ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made. 18:26 Then the slave threw himself to the ground before him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything.’ 18:27 The lord had compassion on that slave and released him, and forgave him the debt. 18:28 After he went out, that same slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him one hundred silver coins. So he grabbed him by the throat and started to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ 18:29 Then his fellow slave threw himself down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you.’ 18:30 But he refused. Instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he repaid the debt. 18:31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were very upset and went and told their lord everything that had taken place. 18:32 Then his lord called the first slave and said to him, ‘Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me! 18:33 Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’ 18:34 And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards (more correctly, 'tormentors') to torture him until he repaid all he owed. 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart." **** Matthew

6:27 I say to you who are listening: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. 6:31 Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. 6:32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 6:33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. 6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive." **** Luke

CLICK for Addendum One,
Addendum Two and Addenum Three

The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained

The quality of mercy is not strained,
It drops as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesses him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein does sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power does then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be your plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer does teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of your plea;

-- William Shakespeare

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