A requirement for forgiveness under OT law was to first forgive others (Deut 15:2). You couldn’t bring a sin offering if you have not forgiven your brother (Matt 5:23-24) before the cross.
Unforgiveness has been elevated to "THE UNPARDONABLE SIN" in most of Christianity. How many times have Christians been told that if they have unforgiveness or bitterness on their heart, they'll cut off the flow of God. What did that just do? Made us self-conscience, and feeling guilty and unworthy.
This is conditional forgiveness. You have to do something before you are forgiven. This is no longer a requirement after the cross, other than choosing God’s free gift He has offered through the finished work of His Son. Guilt-consciousness will cause us to back away from God every time. But God, will never, ever, back away from His kids. He promised to love and never leave us.
You were forgiven despite the fact that you didn’t deserve it. If you first have to forgive others, it means you had to deserve your forgiveness. Grace provides righteousness to the UNDESERVED.
Your forgiveness is based on Christ and Him alone. Not your ability to live morally, forgive others or anything as self-righteous as that. Most of us Christians have been taught a lot on unforgiveness and the importance of forgiving, to the point of it sometimes becoming a major doctrine in our churches. It is important, but not to the point we have exalted it too.
As soon as we start focusing on our short comings, we lose. We are now self-conscience, which breeds "self-righteousness", which negates the freedom of "faith-righteousness". Right actions are a good thing, but as a "fruit", not a "root".
There is no such thing as righteousness by man's performance, it’s a gift by faith.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
" For with the heart one believes unto righteousness . . ." (Rom.10:10)
When I became a Christian, I was on top of the world, I was so excited I had to tell everyone, I knew things had changed . . . . . . ., then slowly I was told just how short I was of being a "real" Christian, I had to do this, do that, the spirit of religion had set in . . . . . . "do this", "do that", "don't do this", "don't do that" . . . . . is a pretty rough road, after a while I wasn't too excited about telling anyone any more.
When I learned the "real" truth about God’s love & grace through the finished work of Jesus,
I felt like I got born-again, again!
Now "I get to do this",
"I want to do that",
"I have no desire to do this",
and "I am empowered over that".
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