If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
For years I have considered what Jesus said in this passage. I have always been taugh that the only mediator I need is Jesus. I am not required to seek a man out to “forgive” me. Still I agree with that. My relationship with Jesus is what defines my salvation.
Recently, I found that someone in my life had willingly sinned. There seems to have been a stronghold that caused this person to willingly participate in the sin repeatedly even though he/she knows it is a sin. I was upset with this person. When it comes to sin, I am very black and white – there are not many areas of grey with me. Some aspects of the situation could be considered a sin against me personally but overall, the sin was against God and the person who committed the sin. We can sin against ourselves.
I was angry with the situation. Wasted life; wasted dreams; wasted future. Such waste.
As I prayed, I forgave. I felt the Holy Spirit to lead me to pray, “I forgive, PERSON’S NAME of the sin of this activitiy”. It seemed a little strange.
As I prayed about it, I felt God was telling me that there are many people who cannot come to a place of forgiveness becuase they are so bound by their sin. If we can loosen them from the sin, they can come to place of seeking forgiveness for themselves. Repentances is the first step in deliverance.
I’ve been reading a book by Frances Roberts called Come Away My Beloved. Just this week as many of these things unfolded, I shared with Dennis about how forgiving others allows them to come to a place of forgiveness for themselves. The next day, I was reading my devotional and almost exactly what I had shared was there in writing.
This is why Jesus taught so strongly that we must forgive our enemies and those who despitefully use us. If we forgive them, then they can find Him.
Repentance is the first step in deliverance and in healing.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
What works on a corporate level (group) works on and individual level. This scripture unfolds the mystery of healing. Humble yourself. Seek God’s face. Repent; turn from your wickedness – stop doing it. Then God will forgive you and heal you. If you want healing in your life, repent. If you want healing in your family repent and forgive, so others can find a place of repentance. If you want to see your church changed, then repent and forgive. If you want to see your city come to know Jesus, repent and forgive.
When we forgive we loosen the bands of the enemy over the person or persons who we forgive.