Whenever I preach about unconditional forgiveness I always have someone asking me, “but what about the Sermon on the Mount?”
In this discourse Jesus says that in order for us to be forgiven by God we have to forgive others first (Matthew 6 v 14 and 15).
My reply is normally, “but what about Ephesians 4 v 32?”
In this verse we are told that we can forgive others because God has forgiven us first.
Now surely both cannot hold true? Surely there is a contradiction here?
Well no there is not, as something happened between the Sermon on the Mount and Paul writing his epistle to the Ephesians.
This event was Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
The Sermon on the Mount was pre-cross while Paul is writing to the Ephesians (and you) post-cross.
Pre-cross the Jews were living under law and Jesus said what He said in Matthew 6 v 14 and 15 to people living under law.
Paul is writing to people (including you and the Ephesians) who live under grace.
We live under grace and not law (Romans 6 v 14 and 15).
We no longer live having to perform to approach God, as if we were under law.
We now live in a time when sin is not held against man, as forgiveness is a done deal.
So the Sermon on the Mount and what Jesus says about forgiveness would only hold true for you if you were living pre-cross and living under law; and neither hold for you.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.
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