Saturday, May 07, 2011

Is Forgiveness Tied to Repentance?

Last year I posted with the following question: Is forgiveness based on repentance?  I just brought up a general question, but have had time to think more about it since then.  Well, today, Lewis Wells who blogs at Commandments of Men blogged a piece called Forgiveness Isn't Always Forgetness.

A passage in Luke (18:1-4) has Jesus talking about a link between forgiveness and repentance:

He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.  Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

I notice that Jesus doesn't say, "and if he sins against you seven times a day, forgive him anyway."  So the question is, what about those who sin against you and who never repent?  If we rebuke them, and they don't repent, Jesus doesn't require forgiveness from us.  Lewis has a good example of this in his post.

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