Summary: Sins committed in ignorance are different than those committed knowingly. Forgiveness does not mean instant trust and credibility.
Forgiveness, Part 2 Credibility and Ignorance
Questions we will attempt to answer in this series include: How can I cope when I have ill feelings toward another? Is it okay to want God to even the score? Does forgiving imply forgetting? When I wrong someone, what, besides asking for forgiveness, can I do? Is it ever right to overlook the wrong things people do? Is it right to not get mad but to get even instead? If we forgive a person who committed a crime, should they be prosecuted? What does a genuine apology sound like? What about wrongs done in ignorance ("Father, forgive them for they know not what they do)?
Last week we answered: Do I have to forgive someone who has not repented? Our answer was "no," and even implied you really cannot HONESTLY do so in instances of great offense without repentance.
Proposition One: We forgive as GOD has forgiven us (Eph.4:32)
Proposition Two: God Does NOT Forgive Us if We Do Not Meet the Condition of Repentance (Confession)--I John 1:8-9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Proposition Three: God Does Not Hold Us to A Higher Standard of Forgiveness Than He Does Himself--see Luke 17:3
Today, we shall address two issues on the fringe of the subject of forgiveness, 2 issues we need to understand clearly.
I. The Issue of ___Credibility__.
1. You don’t need to immediately trust someone you have forgiven...
2. Restitution should be made when possible (Luke 19:8; Rom.14:9)
4. --Luke 3:9 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."
5. Can you forgive without trusting? You can Initiate___ the forgiving process
II. Sins Committed In Ignorance
1. In the death of Jesus: NIV Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
NIV Acts 4:10 It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
I Corinthians 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The PEOPLE were held accountable for crucifying an innocent man, but NOT for crucifying the Son of God, for they were ignorant of that. They were forgiven for "that which they knew not what they were doing."
2. In our lives: I John 1:7-9
4. Old Testament: Unintentional Sin
3. "`If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.
14. When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting.
15. The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the LORD, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the LORD.