The forgiveness of sins is central to the gospel. Christians believe that God has forgiven their sins through Jesus’ death on the cross and that they are called to forgive others as well (Matthew 6:14-15). This is not merely an idea or a principle: it is a commandment, a mandate from God himself (Matthew 18:21-22).
God wants us to forgive one another because he has forgiven us in Christ. This call is not optional but essential: it flows from our relationship with him and his desire for our spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:32). We cannot truly love each other unless we forgive each other (James 5:16). As Christians we have been set free from our bondage to sin and death; therefore, we can now walk in freedom and live lives of joy and peace as we forgive others who have hurt us (Colossians 1:13).
We often think of forgiveness as something we’re called upon to do that’s hard — even impossible — because the offense was so bad or because the person offended did something so terrible that no apology could make up for their wrongdoing. However, God calls us to forgive even when our hearts are broken and filled with anger.
Forgiveness isn’t always easy but it is always possible. The Bible says that we are all sinners who have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). And yet God still loves us and continues to offer us forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It may be difficult for us to accept this kind of forgiveness because we have hurt other people in our lives; but God calls on us to forgive one another just as he has forgiven us.