All Articles For Sin of Forgiveness

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Forgiving an impenitent sinner is a sin. Offensive as that may sound—even blasphemous—this is Scripture’s teaching and that of the Reformed Church Order, as we saw last time (Nov. 1, 2022). The automatic and immediate declaration of forgiveness to someone who is not sorry for gross sin is “the sin of forgiveness.” When a fifteen-year-old boy with an assault rifle murders three of his classmates, it is a sin for the victims’ parents and friends immediately and publicly to say, “We forgive you.” If a father raped his daughter, it would be a sin for the daughter to forgive him...

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It may be hard to believe that, in certain circumstances, it may be sinful to say, “I forgive you.” But it should not be surprising. One of the most blessed activities among the people of God—the declaration from one sinner to another, “I forgive you”—can be misused to serve a purpose the very opposite of the one for which the Lord designed it. Christians should not only recognize that this is possible, they should expect it. Since the devil masquerades as an angel of light and recruits men and women to work on his behalf (II Cor. 11:14, 15), we...

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