Skip to comments.Biblical comparision of Forgiveness: God Forgiveness Patterns
Posted on 04/07/2013 9:11:27 AM PDT by AmbassadorForChrist
Biblical comparision of Forgiveness. Lords Prayer on the matter of forgiveness Pauline Bible doctrine on the matter of forgiveness
In the Lords Prayer, Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth. This kingdom was a kingdom in which Israel would be supreme among the nations (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). Hundreds of verses speak of this kingdom in the Old Testament. One will search the Scriptures in vain to find any record that Jews had a hope of heaven. Their hope was wholly earthly.
Pauls teaching on the kingdom of God bears little resemblance to the kingdom proclaimed by the prophets or by Jesus (Romans 14.17; 1 Corinthians 4.20, 6.9-10, 15.24, 50; Galatians 5.21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 1.13, 4.11; 1 Thessalonians 2.12; 2 Thessalonians 1.5; 2 Timothy 4.1, 18). The kingdom of the prophets and of Jesus was earthly. In the Lords Prayer, Jesus called for the establishment of Gods kingdom on earth. Paul emphasized Gods heavenly kingdom. Right before his martyrdom Paul declared, [2 Timothy 4:18] And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Paul taught that members of the body of Christ, the Church (Ephesians 1.22-23; Colossians 1.18), i.e., Christians, had heavenly citizenship (Ephesians 1.3; Philippians 3.20) in Gods kingdom, not earthly citizenship. This was entirely different from Gods revelation prior to Paul.
The second teaching from Paul which is different from the Lords Prayer is the matter of forgiveness. In the Lords Prayer, divine forgiveness was conditional. It depended upon human forgiveness. Some, in an attempt to homogenize the teachings of the Gospels with the teachings of Paul, argue that Jesus was talking about forgiveness of one believer for another not divine forgiveness. While it is true that believers are to forgive one another, this was not the point of Jesus teaching. Jesus stated God would forgive based upon human forgiveness. To ensure no one misunderstand Him, He restated His point in Matthew 6.14-15. He declared, Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Matthew 6:15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Can Jesus's words be more plain? Conditional forgiveness is clearly in view here in Matthew 6.
Today there is no condemnation [Romans 8:1]. Today, nothing could be further from Christ's teaching regarding forgiveness than that of Pauls teaching regarding forgiveness. God had Paul teach that there are no conditions that exist in order to receive Gods forgiveness: simply than than believing the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Paul taught that when one believed the gospel then immediately that believer received Gods forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.13-14, 2.13). Paul declared that believers "have" (ἔχομεν, present, active, indicative of ἔχω, "to have or hold") forgiveness of sins. For the believer of Pauls gospel, forgiveness is a present possession, based, not upon forgiving other people, but upon believing upon the faith of Christ Jesus that His failfullness as expessed in the gospel is all sufficient and paid in full for the believer.
In Ephesians 4:32, Paul wrote, Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. This is vastly different from what the Lord Jesus taught in His prayer to the Jewish disciples. Paul exhorted believers to forgive one another not as a condition for divine forgiveness but because Christ Jesus had (past tense) already forgiven us. This is how grace and truth works, rather than Law.
Take you Bible and follow this comparision of Forgiveness which the Word of God has established:
|Earthly Kingdom Program [Israel]: Conditional||Body of Christ Grace Program [Gentiles and Jews]: Not Conditional|
|Forgiveness with God||Acts 8:22: Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.||Colossians 2:13: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses|
|Luke 6:37: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven|
|Matthew 18:35: So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.||Ephesians 1:7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace|
|Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you|
|Matthew 6:15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.||Colossians 1:14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins|
|Forgiveness with fellow man||Luke 17:3: Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.||Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.|
|Colossians 3:13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.|
So, AmbassorForChrist, you say, “One will search the Scriptures in vain to find any record that Jews had a hope of heaven. Their hope was wholly earthly.”
Let us make this very simple, rather that go to many verses of the OT or the words of Jesus, both of which you claim know nothing of a kingdom of God in heaven, only on earth, let’s just keep this to a single part of the Bible, Hebrews 11. Are you claiming that Hebrews 11 (quite non-Pauline by the way, unless as a Roman Catholic you insist that Paul is the author) says nothing about the Jews of the OT believing in a kingdom of God in heaven, that is to say, apart from this earth? Is that really what you are saying?
During the Lord's earthly ministry, the book of Hebrews to the Hebrews, definitely not written by the Apostle Paul, makes references to heaven, but this book was not yet revealed until many years after the resurrection of Christ.
Second, using reference point again during the Lord's earthly ministry, only the Old Testament scriptures were in view regarding the understanding of kingdom promises (which are abundant inside the Old Testament scriptures). Therefore, to understand the earthly kingdom of God, it is necessary to accept the nature of progressive revelation, and to perceive that at that time of the Lord's Prayer, Jesus's testimony was in observance of the Law and Prophets and promises to the Fathers.
Then with that in mind, if one were to scrutinize the Old Testament scriptures for God's promises to the nation Israel, one will find a multitude of references and promises of an earthly kingdom of God in which the LORD will reign supreme from the physical Jerusalem on the earth. Take Isaiah and Exodus as examples. These are typical of God's promises for the nation Israel regarding an physical earthly kingdom:
Isaiah 2:1-3: The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 66:23: And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
Exodus 19:5-6: Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people [in the nations]: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Even the book of Revelation confirms that the nation of Israel shall reign on the earth, not above in the heavenly places, as shall the believer saints.
Revelation 5:10: And hast made us [Israel] unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Therefore, the point I was making should have had more specific scriptures to succinctly demonstrate that if one were to scrutinize the Old Testament Scriptures in order to find any record that Jews had a hope of reigning above in an heavenly Jerusalem, that search will instead reveal that the Old Testament scriptures have clear promises that the nation Israel had their hopes and promises from God that are to be fulfilled in an earthly Jerusalem kingdom, not the heavenly Jerusalem kingdom where their physical bodies would reside. The nation Israel will serve in their physical bodies inside the earthly Jerusalem kingdom of God.
Deuteronomy 28:1: ...that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth. 3: Blessed shall thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4: Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy gound, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5: Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
These are all earthly kingdom blessings, not heavenly kingdom blessings. Things like city, field, cattle, flocks clearly are earthly. And these things will belong in the future Kingdom of God on the earth, and Israel will manage it, so to speak, over and above all the nations of the earth.
In contrast today, the epistles teach us that both Jews and gentiles who believe in the faith of Christ, and upon believing, we are placed into the church, His Body, called the Body of Christ, and the scriptures demonstrate that our blessings are succinctly defined for the heavenly places!
Ephesians 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Ephesians 2:6: And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 3:20: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 15:49: And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Today, we are a part of what God is doing in the heavenly places, we are not be a part of what God has promised to do on the earth. Those promises of the Prophets pertain to Israel's calling in reference to the earthly Jerusalem kingdom.
Well, AFC, you seem to overlook the fact that Hebrews 11, wherever you care to place it in your “progressive revelation” paradigm, says that such an understanding of heaven as you say didn’t exist in the time of the OT through the time of the earthly ministry of Jesus the Christ, and the hope thereof, was indeed the faith of Abraham and all the faithful of that time.
So, my question is this: Who do I trust to have a better understanding of what is taught in the Old Testament Scriptures and what was believed by those faithful who lived in that era, you or the author of Hebrews, who is ultimately the Holy Spirit. You make the choice easy.