In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus seems to say that we need to forgive others or God will not forgive us (Matthew 6 v 13 and 14).
Yet in Ephesians 4 v 32 we read that we can forgive others because of the forgiveness we have received from God.
So who is supposed to forgive first, God or man; both cannot be true.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus also tells us to pluck our eye out and cut our right hand off if we are to about to ‘offend’.
This ‘advice’ is never taken literally; it is know to be a picture or allegory.
This is true for what He says about forgiveness in this passage; He is showing us it is impossible to be forgiven in our own strength and that we need a Saviour.
Also this was spoken pre-cross, under the Old Covenant, so we are to look to the New Covenant Scriptures if there appears to be a contradiction.
Under the New Covenant we have already been forgiven for all sin, in fact all men have been forgiven for all sin for all time (Hebrews 10 v 12 to 14).
This forgiveness has already come through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).
So God has forgiven us for all sin, and through this revelation of this we can forgive others.
God forgave us first; that is the truth.
You do not need to forgive others in order to be forgiven; although forgiving other people is highly recommended!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the shed blood of Jesus I have already been forgiven”.
Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you