Forgiveness, as defined by the word web dictionary is “Compassionate feelings that support a willingness to forgive.” and “The act of excusing a mistake or offence.” Ghana is a predominantly Christian nation. That means that most people depend on the Bible for direction and spirituality. One of the main things the Bible speaks of is forgiveness. Where can one find forgiveness in the Bible? This article will answer the question “what does the Bible say about forgiveness?” It will also shed light on Bible verses about forgiveness, what the Bible says about forgiveness, Bible verses on forgiving others and also list some forgiveness quotes.
Scriptures on Forgiveness
Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, said that “Forgiveness is the way of love.” Forgiving another person is an act and show of love. Many scriptures in the Bible attest to the fact that forgiveness is an act of love.
Here are some scriptures on forgiveness that are self-explanatory;
Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. "
Why must we hold grudges and be unforgiving, when God himself has forgiven us? Forgiveness is a choice.
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven."
This scripture is straightforward. You want to be forgiven by God, then forgive your neighbour. Don't think about it, just do it and you will be way better off.
Matthew 5:23-24 "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
One must be of a pure heart before they can offer a sacrifice or gift at the altar to God. When you’re about to give your offering or even your tithe and you remember that you have not forgiven someone who has wronged you, you’re to leave your tithe or offering and go settle matters with that person before returning to present them. That way, it will be acceptable before God. God acknowledges forgiveness.
2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Sin hinders prosperity. When one asks for forgiveness and repents, God himself says that He will prosper them.
2 Chronicles 30:9b "For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."
God abhors sin. He turns his face away from sin and sinners but when they ask for forgiveness, he will turn back to them and be gracious to them.
Acts 3:19 "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
God forgives you and gives you a new life in Christ. Don't harbour unforgiveness in your heart. Forgive easily and be set free from the hold of sin.
Isaiah 55:7 "But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God."
God is always ready and willing to forgive. All we have to do is ask.
Numbers 14:19-21 "In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now. The Lord replied, I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth."
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is always ready to forgive you no matter what you do.
James 5:14-15 "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven."
Forgiveness has the ability to heal. We should always forgive and not hold grudges.
Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
When God forgives you, he removes all your transgressions from you. He expunges your sinful record.
Matthew 26:28 "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Christ shed his blood for one purpose only; that we might find forgiveness.
The above Bible verses about forgiveness all have one thing in common. For us to be forgiven, we need to return to God, confess our sins and call on His name. This will lead to absolute forgiveness.
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Bible Verses on Forgiving Others
Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 18: 21-22 "Then Peter came up and said to him, 'Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times'".
Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
This is a “give and take” instance. Forgive your neighbour and I will forgive you
Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
On the flip side of things, in order to be forgiven, the petitioner must, first of all, meet the requirement of forgiving his neighbour for wrongs done against him. Forgiveness is such a powerful thing because it shows great love; it has inspired very awesome quotes. In the next few paragraphs will be some forgiveness quotes.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiving what we cannot forgive creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. –Lewis Smedes
“When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” – Nelson Mandela
To err is human; to forgive, divine. – Alexander Pope
Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense. – Robert Frost
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. – Maya Angelou
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. – Mark Twain
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. – Honore de Balzac
Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals. – Thomas S. Manson
Forgiveness is a choice, but it is not an option. – Joel Osteen
Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet. – Maya Angelou
It can be hard to forgive and let go but it’s important to remember that harbouring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word ‘forgive’ really means to give something up for yourself not for them. – Jack Canfield
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive. – C.S. Lewis
Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offence up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love. – Gary Chapman
If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. –Mother Theresa
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis
As Christians, the Bible teaches us that forgiveness is key and that is why Jesus himself came to die for us; so that we would receive forgiveness. These few mentions of forgiveness in the Bible and forgiveness quotes should inspire us to live a life full of forgiveness and love.