Unconditional Love – BT16
The forgiveness of unconditional-love versus judgment
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Forgiveness of sins is 23% of the Matthew 6:9-14 and 38% of Luke 11:2-4 “Lord’s Prayer” and in Matthew’s account Jesus immediately adds verses 15-16 to teach more about it! Mark 11:24-25 links forgiveness to answered prayer. Matthew 6:14-15, 35 and Luke 6:37 links our forgiveness with forgiving others. This is NOT a side issue but at the CORE of how God’s “kingdom comes and will is done on earth as it is in heaven” AND directly coupled by the use of kai to “in possibility not being eisphero lead-brought-unto-the-result-of peirasmos [singular] testing/trying-to-prove-genuineness” and in Matthew’s account “but deliver us from [singular] evil [one].” Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” per Revelation 12:10, and we will see he uses the Law to do it!
Forgiveness is integral to the unconditional-love God givn to us under a completely-different-in-kind New Covenant by Christ’s blood, so naturally is the core of Christ’s gospel logos message of salvation (a) – the Greek word soteria/soterias is a process of deliverance, reconciliation, and restoration to healthy wholeness. It is also integral to the unconditional-love Christ officially commands His followers to have: “My completely-different-in-kind-superior kainos New commandment to you is to ongoingly unconditionally-love one another just as I have already unconditionally-loved you. By this all people will experientially, relationally ginosko know that you are My disciples if you ongoingly have unconditional-love for one another” (b). It’s our main witness of Christ! <Notes> a) Matthew 9:6, 26:28; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24, 24:47; Acts 2:38, 5:31-32, 10:43, 13:38, 26:18; Romans 4:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:22, b) John 13:34-35, 15:12.
Unforgiveness by holding onto our ‘accusing’ criticisms/judgments of others is condemned by the NT because it not only puts ourselves above God’s Law as judges of others when there is only One Judge (a), but it hypocritically demands for others what we don’t want for ourselves – absolute justice ‘payback’ retribution for their sins. We want unmerited, unearned, undeserved agape unconditional-love and unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace shown to us through Christ’s sacrificial unconditional-love (b) and to be freed from the “singular righteous requirement of the Law” (c) of perfect obedience to all 613 commandment, yet we don’t want to show this to others (d). Because unforgiveness has always been contrary to God’s nature of Unconditional-Love (e) and thus grieves the Holy Spirit (f), it keeps us “umbilically tethered to” the Law to empower sin (g) and the Law “bound” to us (h), still “burdened or heavy laden” (i) and “under the dominion” (j) of “the Law of sin and death” (k). Thus unforgiveness blocks God’s “will being done” and God’s “kingdom of . . . righteousness, joy, and peace by the means of the Holy Spirit” (l) from “coming on earth as it is in heaven.” <Notes> a) James 4:11-12, b) 2 Corinthians 13:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 Timothy 1:14; 2 John 1:3, c) Romans 8:4, d) Matthew 18:21-35, e) Exodus 34:5-7; Numbers 14:18-19; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 86:5; Luke 7:47, f) Ephesians 4:30-32, g) 1 Corinthians 15:56, h) Romans 7:2, i) Matthew 11:30, j) Romans 6:14, k) Romans 8:2, l) Romans 14:17.
Even from a medical viewpoint, much has been written about the detrimental results of holding onto judgment and unforgiveness. Holding onto “resentment, the enormous burden of being hurt and disappointed” according to Dr. Karen Swartz, director of the Mood Disorders Adult consultation Clinic at John Hopkins hospital, increases the risk of heart attacks, elevated cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure and diabetes, more chances of a brain hemorrhage, worsening sleep, greater anxiety and depression, anorexia, bulimia, and increased stress and pain levels. It includes a wide range of social problems such as negativity, short-temperament, lack of trust, and paranoia. All of this and more is greatly alleviated through forgiveness. Can you see why Jesus makes 23-40% of His prayer model and so much elsewhere about this, especially since the definition of “salvation” includes “restoration to healthy wholeness?”
But the one thing I noticed about the world’s methods of achieving this is that they only deal with mechanisms or techniques to cope with symptoms instead of going to the root of the problem. If they do suggest “bringing it into the light through confession” or “sending away the offense,” they do this with a “magic wand” to an unspecified or nebulous location, like the way the New-Age confesses and sends it back into the impersonal “Universe.” They also rely on the patient’s decisive will-power to do this without acknowledging the inherit weakness of man that caused the problem in the first place. However, Jesus correctly declares: “the flesh is absolutely asthenes and opheleo ‘inherently weak, feeble, impotent, worthless, useless, and a failure” (a). Trimming dead leaves off a plant that has a sickness affecting its roots doesn’t really fix the plant – the symptoms are bound to show up again or morph into some other problem. Only the Maker knows how we function best; only the Master Vinedresser or Gardener (b) knows how to cure the root problem with the enabling-power of His Holy Spirit. That’s why I did this study – to find out exactly what He says about ‘judgment’ and how He cures it with ‘forgiveness’ by His Spirit’s enabling-power. I’ve got my own baggage to deal with! <Notes> a) Matthew 26:41; John 6:63, b) John 15:1; Luke 13:7.
I’ve also found that many people misquote their bibles by taking things out of context or not understanding the original languages, building doctrines around what the bible did NOT really say. Therefore, I’ve studied every NT verse on the subject and carefully translated from the Greek, especially from their context – see Bible Info. If you are interested in an exhaustive 29 page study on this topic with all the bible references, language study, and historical proofs, contact me from the Contact Us page. Let’s ‘unpack’ this in the following BLOGs.
As Christian musicians, don’t we want our ministry to reflect 1/4 to 1/3 of Christ’s prayer priorities for “His kingdom to come and will to be done on earth as it is in heaven” and reflect the core of the gospel logos message for ourselves and for the world? It’s even integral to the definition of salvation – reconciliation and restoration! Don’t we want forgiveness and unconditional-love to be our dominant witness in the world? Aren’t we being hypocritical to want “fair, equitable, exacting justice to be served” on others for their wrong-doing, especially when against us, but then appeal to God’s unconditional love, mercy, and grace for ourselves despite so many sins of omission and commission? Christ’s completely-different-in-kind, superior commandment “to ongoingly unconditionally-love others” far exceeds the OT commandment to “love your neighbor” that allowed the Jews to “hate their enemies” – see Only 2 Commandments – BT3.
Thus Jesus wisely adds to His commandment to the saved – see Logos Word of God – BT16: “just as I have already unconditionally-loved you.” John 3:16-18 and Romans 5:10 says the whole world, including us, was already condemned as enemies of God, but God still “so unconditionally-loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever is routinely having trusting-relying-faith in Him might in possibility not perish.” Thus Jesus never reinforced the OT commandment but actually indicated its insufficiency by teaching much on “unconditionally-loving your enemies” (Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27-35). Judgment and unforgiveness are actually tools of Satan that uses the Law to accuse and condemn us. When we do these things, we are working for the Devil and he ruins our lives in the process. We also act as judges, but there is only One Righteous, Just Judge.
Lord, forgive us for holding onto unforgiveness. Give us Your enabling-power of the Holy Spirit to “let go and let God” be the Just Judge at the end of time. Until then, fill us with Your Unconditional-Love so that we will think and feel the way You do towards all men.