Christ is full of forgiveness of sins

“If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” [1] 

On this earth, no one is without sin. We are all sinners and guilty, each carrying the burden of our own sins, passions, weaknesses, and negligences, all of which weigh down our lives. We all bear a record of various sins, heavy or light, numerous or few, erased by no one but God alone. Throughout our entire lives, we constantly commit sins. We sin with our thoughts, with our hearts, with all our physical and spiritual senses. Just think about how many sins we commit! That is why we all need God’s forgiveness. We all need the cleansing of all these sins. 

And every Christian who cares about their salvation desires reconciliation with God. Through repentance, they seek to be forgiven and loved by God. However, in order to succeed in this, to receive God’s forgiveness and reconcile with Him, they must fulfill the commandment that Christ gave in His Gospel: “If we forgive, we will be forgiven.” But if we do not offer forgiveness to our neighbor who has wronged us, because we do not want to humble ourselves, we will not receive forgiveness from God either. For example, when someone asks us for forgiveness, we should not turn our gaze away, for we cannot look at them. Of course, because we are passionate and powerless, we must seek the power of forgiveness from God through prayer. And then we will undoubtedly receive it. 

We all desire in this life, but especially in the next, to behold the serene face of God, to not see it turned away because of our many sins. We do not want to witness those divine eyes turning away due to our impurity. Instead, we long for the eyes of Christ to look into our eyes with paternal love, tenderness, goodwill, and to express forbearance, forgiveness, and to allow us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we want to achieve this invaluable victory and receive these things from the face of God that we desire, when we stand before the fearsome divine tribunal, the great Judgment, we must also bestow these few things upon our neighbor. 

And Christ is full of forgiveness for sins. Just as we desire God to love us, to forgive us, to overlook our mistakes, to care for us, and to protect us with His Providence, in the same way, we should bestow these upon our neighbor. Forgiveness requires no effort, no burden. But why is it necessary? It requires humility. By giving forgiveness to others, we will receive forgiveness for our countless sins, and we will have every right to say to God, “Lord, everything that people have done to me, I have forgiven them, I have bestowed upon them my forgiveness and love, as commanded in the Gospel. Now I ask for Your outpouring of love upon me and for You to forgive my sins.” 

[1] Matthew 6, 14-15. 

Excerpt from The Art of Salvation – Pios Ephraim The Philotheian, Evanghelismos Publishing House

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