Forgiving is not Condoning
Did I use a sly debating tactic on you yesterday, saying No we are not doormats but Welcome mats? You see some may say that this is just a clever way of saying that yes we are doormats but we should just feel good about it! After all, even a Welcome mat is still a doormat, right?
If someone came away from my blog yesterday thinking that then they missed something very important. If you look closely at it again you will see that I referred to forgiveness as “our response to the genuinely penitent,” our duty to “offer forgiveness to a truly penitent soul.”
1 John 1:9 does not say God forgives all sin, it says
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9a).
If we do not see our wicked actions as sin, admit they were such, rue having done them, and will to turn from ever doing them again (by God’s Grace) then we are not forgiven!
The sacrifice of Christ did not save all humanity, though it is sufficient enough to do so. His death saves only those who admit to and turn from sin and to Him to do so.
● The rescue ship rescues only those who get aboard.
● The meal fills only those who eat it.
● The medicine cures only those who take it.
If a Christian globally condones all sin he is indeed a doormat and sullies the Name of Christ.
But when a Christian offers forgiveness to a truly penitent soul, he magnifies the Name of Christ.
Christ displayed for us the perfect balance between these in his response to the woman taken in adultery (John 8:2-11). After the accusing crowd had dispersed with none bold enough to condemn her He said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (v. 11).
In that one statement sin is forgiven, yet not condoned. In such manner we too must forgive, just as Christ has forgiven and will forgive we who come to Him with penitent hearts.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col. 3:13).