When people think of God, one of the first things they think about is forgiveness, so here are 6 of the most powerful Bible verses about forgiveness, offered only through Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Since we’ve been forgiven so much, it stands to reason that it’s important that we learn or choose to forgive others, so maybe these Bible verses about God’s forgiveness will help us to be able to forgive others more easily. In the Book of 1 John, we read about the fact that we are all sinners. The Apostle John mentions our cleansing of sins, but this verse (1 John 1:9) is placed just before and after a clear statement about us being sinners, and that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8), and again, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10), so the first point of being forgiven is acknowledging the fact that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. If someone claims to not be a sinner, then they have just called God a liar. Not a very tenable position to be in.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
The forgiveness or cleansing that John wrote about (1 John 1:9) is only possible because of the redemption we receive through the blood of Christ. We are not redeemed by doing anything “but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19). This is the very reason Jesus came. He said that, “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Isaiah the Prophet wrote, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18), so here is the very righteousness of Christ offered to all who come to Him and put their trust in the Son of God.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
It may not be as much of a statement that if you don’t forgive others, you won’t be forgiven, but rather, if you are forgiven by God, you should naturally want forgive others because you’ve been forgiven infinitely more than we could ever forgive others for. It doesn’t seem natural for a believer to be forgiven and then not forgive others. If we are not confessing our sins and being cleansed from all unrighteousness, we may not care about forgiving others. That’s why it’s important to confess sin right away and not let sin go unconfessed. God already knows it anyway, even if no one else does. The person who cannot forgive others may have to question whether they’ve been forgiven or not.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
It’s difficult to be kind to one another, having a tender heart, and forgiving of one another if we don’t recognize the magnitude of our own sins and just how much we’ve been forgiven. The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:13 that we are to be “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Notice it said “you also must forgive,” as if it’s conditional. If we properly understand how much we’ve been forgiven, it should be easier for us to recognize how much “God in Christ forgave” us.
Luke 6:35-36 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
One of the most difficult things we can ever do as human beings is to love those who hate us and pray for those who persecute us, but that’s just what we’re called to do. Remember that “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” (Rev 3:5), so this means we should forgive others who mean us harm. The mercy that we receive should be the mercy we extend to others because He was merciful to us. Since “we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:9).
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 is perhaps the best known of all Bible verses and it is powerful indeed, but to complete this thought, John continues by stating that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17), so neither should we be condemning others. It is Christ Who will judge, not us, but after this gracious verse (John 3:16) and the statement about not being condemned, Jesus is not finished, as He adds a warning that “whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). Its one thing to quote John 3:16, but it should be in the context of John 3:17-18. God’s mercy is not as relevant until God’s wrath is revealed.
It’s not easy to forgive others, but neither is it for others to forgive us, but God’s forgiven us, so we must do the same for others. When we compare just how much we’ve been forgiven and the things that we must forgive others for, then we can understand that our forgiveness of others is incomparable to that which we have been forgiven. The saints of God “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14), so how can we not forgive others who have sinned against us? Why not share these top 6 Bible verses about God’s forgiveness, so that others can know how much God has forgiven them, and why it’s necessary that we forgive others.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.