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Perdono: Condizioni, mietitura, gratitudine e amore (2/3)

VIDEO: Ci vuole tanta umiltà per ammettere che abbiamo commesso peccato e siamo mancanti.

La maggior parte delle persone sono familiari con il concetto di perdono. Gesù ha dato la sua vita per noi, in modo che noi potessimo ricevere il perdono per i nostri peccati. Certamente questo non ci dà la licenza a peccare, ma se Gesù è morto sia per i peccati che abbiamo commessi, sia per quelli che commetteremo, perché è così importante vincere il peccato?

Nella seconda parte della nostra discussione con  il redattore di CristianesimoAttivo Milenko, leggiamo cosa dice la Bibbia sui prerequisiti per il perdono e cosa si spinge in avanti dopo che abbiamo ricevuto il perdono.

Assicurati di guardare il resto della nostra discussione sul perdono in Parte 1 e Parte 3 di questa serie di tre video.
(La trascrizione audio per questo video si trovo alla fine di questo articolo)

Ulteriori letture sul tema perdono:

Visita la nostra pagina sull’argomento perdono e colpa.

Sono andato troppo oltre per essere perdonato?

 

Trascrizione Audio

Kathryn:
In part one of this series, we spoke about why we need forgiveness, and how we can receive it. In part 2 we start with the question, “Are there any conditions that we have to fulfill to get forgiveness?”

Milenko:
We can read for example in 1 John 1:9, and it says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So we see that, that is a really important point. If we confess our sins. It’s an acknowledgement. Then He is able to forgive us. Without that acknowledgement, there is no forgiveness.

Kathryn:
And that takes some humility, to admit that we have sinned and fallen short.

Milenko:
Yes, we really have to humble ourselves. Say, “I am a sinner, and this is what I’ve done.” That shows my attitude of mind. Which means that I can then be open for forgiveness. Then that’s something that I can receive.

It also says something in connection with that, when we’re thinking about confession, it’s not just a matter of, “I’ve done sin,” but we need to repent from it. We can read that very clearly. It says in Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” So it was repentance, then remission. Repentance, forgiveness.

Kathryn:
So, remission means forgiveness, right?

Milenko:
Yes, it’s the same thing, it’s a wiping out of committed sins. But it’s preceded by repentance. That means that I have a sorrow that I’ve sinned. It’s when I see the love Jesus had for me, that I really get this sorrow that I’ve sinned against Him. That causes me to repent. It’s because I have a love for Jesus. Not because I fear that I’m going to go to hell, or something, but it’s because I love Jesus.

Kathryn:
And what about forgiving others?

Milenko:
Well, that’s a big point. And that’s actually also written, in Matthew 6 we can read that, it says there in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” And this is important: “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will Your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Kathryn:
That’s pretty clear.

Milenko:
That’s really clear, and very important. This is a really important point, that we learn to forgive others for what they’ve done against us. Whether that’s real or perceived, but I have to learn to forgive. And that is the basis for receiving forgiveness ourselves.

Kathryn:
There was one verse I thought of, with regards to forgiveness, and we can read that in Ephesians 1:7, it says: “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” So that would seem to say that there are no conditions.

Milenko:
Well, in that verse we really see the huge grace it is that we’ve received forgiveness, which we talked about. Undeserved grace. But we remember that it did go together with repentance. And here we can read a verse that Paul writes in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”  You can ask yourself that question. I get a lot of grace when I sin, so should I sin more to receive more grace? But Paul writes: “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” And here you see what repentance means. It’s a change of heart. A complete change of heart. We died to sin. That means that sin is dead to us.

Certainly not! He’s really emphatic about it. Certainly not! And that’s the attitude of mind we should have when we’ve repented. It’s that change of heart. A 180 degree turn, that we walk in a completely different direction. Where we lived according to our lusts, according to the sin that we were tempted to, we now serve God. And that means that we start fighting against sin. And that’s the new life we come to after forgiveness. That’s the intention.

So, the grace we receive opens enormous possibilities for us. And that’s the grace in the new covenant.

Kathryn:
That we can do something about the sin that we see then.

Milenko:
We can actually do something about it, where in the old covenant they could never be finished with it and had to repeatedly bring sacrifices, now there’s an opportunity for us to be finished with it.

Kathryn:
So does that mean when we repent, we make a decision, and that from that day on we just stop sinning?

Milenko:
Well, that would be ideal, wouldn’t it? But I think in practice we’ll realize that that’s not quite how it works. The thing is, repentance is a change of attitude, now I don’t want to serve sin anymore, I want to serve God, so that’s what I start working for. And you can say that then I start following Jesus on a way to perfection. But it’s just like a little child learning to walk. You know,  they started walking, and they fall, quite often. But falling, that’s not the same as living in something. You can’t say for example that you “do a fall”, you “commit a fall”. It happens, it wasn’t intentional. And that’s what’s important to understand, that if we have started walking and we fall, it’s not the end of the world. Sure, it’s sin, and we have to repent again, and we have to ask for forgiveness again. But Jesus also forgives that.

But it’s all got to do with that attitude of mind. I get up, and I keep going. That’s really important to understand. But the conversion, the repentance, that’s from living in sin, living according to my lusts. Now I start walking. I’m going a different direction.

Kathryn:
So is it important that if we do fall, like that child learning to walk and we take a fall, and we get back up, is it important then to ask for forgiveness every time? Or, does having been forgiven mean that we are now forgiven for every time we will fall?

Milenko:
It absolutely does mean we need to ask for forgiveness again, because we have actually committed sin. Forgiveness is readily available, but I still have to show that same remorse. It’s still a fall, it’s still a defeat, you can say, in that situation. And I really have to show my repentance, that this is not what I want. It continues. But, I can learn from it, and I can learn to do better next time. That’s the development of a Christian.

Kathryn:
So we can’t have that attitude that it’s not a big deal.

Milenko:
No, absolutely not. Because then you’re actually doing what they were doing in the Old Covenant, that you have to repeatedly bring sacrifices because you’re not really intending to give it up. And then you’re using Jesus as one of these sacrifices, like they did in the Old Covenant. And you, in effect, crucify Him again. Again and again. That is really a bad attitude. That is not showing love to Jesus.

Kathryn:
Okay, I get what you’re saying, but if, for example, lying is going to get me out of a tricky situation, or it makes my life a little bit easier in a situation and it doesn’t really hurt anyone else, it seems like maybe that wouldn’t be such a serious thing.

Milenko:
Well, think about it. It’s all got to do with your attitude and your relationship to God. If you really love God, you don’t want to do anything against Him. And sinning, in this case lying, that’s going against God’s will. So you’re actually doing something God doesn’t want. That’s such a bad attitude of mind, to think that I can continue doing it because God is going to forgive me anyway. It’s got nothing to do with love. And that’s the reason that we do it. Because we love Him, because He loved us first. And the basis of forgiveness is based on that as well. It’s important that we love God because we want to. Not because He’s forcing us. Not because we get personal gain from it, but because we love God. And it’s not selfish reasons. We can’t live in a selfish way, because that is what sin is: egotism.

Kathryn:
So, if I were to tell this little lie, to protect myself, it just shows that I don’t really have any regard for God.

Milenko:
The thing to remember is that sin, living according to my lusts, is egotism, it’s selfishness, and there is no love in it. And what I do actually affects other people as well. It always does. You can think, it’s a small thing, it doesn’t affect them, but it does, because I’m being selfish. And if Jesus loved me, what do I owe the others? I also have to love them. That’s all part of it. It’s this that I’m filled with a thankfulness, a gratitude, love to God, and that translates back into love to my fellow man. That’s also a reason not to sin.

Kathryn:
And doesn’t the Bible also say that we actually have to reap for every sin that we commit?

Milenko:
That’s right, we do, there are consequences for sin. Everything we do has consequences, and forgiveness doesn’t take away the reaping. And if you sow according to your lusts, then you have to reap that. For example, you can get thoughts, even after you’re converted, you’ve got forgiveness, thoughts from your old life can come up, and that can be a burden for you. Or, a relationship that’s been spoiled by your egotism that you have to now put right. And that can take time.

Kathryn:
So, it’s not like reaping is some kind of physical punishment you should expect, or some kind of horrible thing is going to happen?

Milenko:
No, that’s not what it is. It’s the after effects, the consequences of living a life according to your lusts; living in sin. That’s what it’s about. And forgiveness doesn’t take away the consequences, the reaping.

Kathryn:
So if I hadn’t sinned in the first place, I wouldn’t have to deal with all these effects of having done it.

Milenko:
No, that’s right. And so, after we’re forgiven, that’s what we have to concentrate on, that we continue a life where we don’t have to reap negative consequences, but that our reaping is from the good that we do.

But the thing is that we do have to reap from our old life, and we now have to use that as an opportunity for more salvation, and an opportunity to really show that we serve God despite this. That’s also showing our love for Him.

 

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