BY T. F. TENNEY
*From “Secret Sources of Power”
Our Lord on Calvary spoke the words, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” It seems that many in this generation pray, “Father, forgive us. We know exactly what we are doing and are doing it anyway.”
Forgiveness is an essential grace of God. Forgiveness is one of the necessary components of salvation. Forgiveness is one of the fruits that should be evident in the lives of Christians. All of these statements are true. However, what has been illuminated to my chinking is the tremendous power of forgiveness.
When people forgive one another, the power of God is released. Individuals, families, churches all experience revival when forgiveness is present. When such an outpouring of grace is given, the
principalities and powers of hell are neutralized. The enemy has to back up without a word being said to him when forgiveness is present. His hands are tied and he cannot work in the presence of forgiveness.
Forgiveness puts the handcuffs of heaven on hell itself.
When Jesus said, “Forgive…” hell was bound. The veil in the temple was ripped in twain and mercy came dancing out from between the mercy seat, jigged down the streets of Jerusalem and touched a thief on one side and reached down and took a Centurion by the hand. She continued her dance of joy to the graveyard, kicked over several tombs. Certain of those who had been dead, enjoyed a mini-rapture and went in and appeared to those who were in the city. Mercy dove into hell and wrestled the keys from the devil himself and came out triumphantly shouting, “I am He that liveth and was dead but behold I am alive forevermore.” Jesus brought with the keys to death, hell, and the grave. What power was released in the universe when Jesus said, “Forgive!”
We must come into the presence of forgiveness. You can culturally enjoy church and not be changed by an experience with God. Nothing typifies the transforming, cleansing power of God experienced when a soul gives and receives forgiveness. There is the power of a new life, the power of new hope, and the power of new joy.
When Jesus said, “Forgive” three worlds were affected. The world before His incarnation, the present world in which He dwelt, and the world that would be after Him. When He forgave, flesh was affected, angels were affected, Hell was affected, demons were affected, and the devil himself was bound. The river of God flows again into cold, bitter, hardened valleys when we come into the presence of forgiveness.
Jesus Christ comes into our lives equipped with forgiveness. To walk in the power of His might, you have to live in a spirit of forgiveness. When Jesus said, “I forgive…”
You may ask, “How can I forgive someone who doesn’t ask for that forgiveness?” Show me one man or woman kneeling at the cross of Calvary, looking up into the face of the dying Savior and asking,
“Forgive us.” They weren’t there. It didn’t happen. He just said, “Forgive them…” anyway. No one asked for it. No one negotiated for it. The very ones who were putting Him to death could have cared less
at the moment whether He forgave them or not.
Forgiveness is not cheap. What Jesus gives is not a gimmick to give you goose bumps. It is not the product of a pep rally It is not a positive mental attitude that you can prime. The kind of forgiveness Jesus brings is radical reconstruction of the human heart. Circumstances cannot always be changed. But I will not become a slave to unforgiveness. I will forgive.
In Luke 17:4, Jesus said, “…if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” Peter said, Ah-hah! I’ve got it. Seven times in a day. Jesus began talking about forgiveness again in Matthew 18 and Peter said, I’ve got to forgive seven times a day, haven’t I?
Jesus said, No, Peter. You’ve missed the spirit. You’ve got a calculator heart. You’re trying to put the ruler to God and you can’t do that. Peter, it’s seventy-times seven.
Jesus keeps raising the ante on forgiveness until He gets beyond us. He fixes it to where we’ve got to forgive. Seventy times seven in a day. Do you know that is four hundred and ninety times? If you are only awake sixteen hours a day, that is thirty times an hour. That is once every two minutes. Forgiveness is a full-time job! Forgiveness is a lifestyle. You cannot keep score on it.
You will be crossed up if you operate in anything but the dimension of love. I forgive. Who is right and who is wrong is not important. I forgive because I’ve got to have the power of God in my life.
I’ve been wronged. Who hasn’t?
Life’s dealt me a bad hand. So what? Join the club.
I was lied on. You’re not the first one. You won’t be the last one. You’re master was lied on. Are you any better than he is?
Those that were supposed to have been my friends forsook me. Join the club. Jesus is president. They all forsook Him and fled.
Do you want to be a Christian? Take up my cross and follow me.
Experience the power of forgiveness.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE LOUISIANA CHALLENGER. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.