And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
This is how our heavenly Father wants us to treat one another in the household of God. He had the Epistle of Ephesians written to faithful born-again believers in the Grace Administration, where He encourages us to forgive one another, “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We forgive each other as God has forgiven each of us in Christ Jesus.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of [from] the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit, God].
When we were born again, we received complete remission—a cleansing, a wiping out, of our past sins—because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. God continues to forgive us “for Christ’s sake” whenever we break fellowship with Him. And as His sons and daughters, we have the privilege to forgive others and graciously restore fellowship with them.
The main Greek word translated “forgive” in the Church Epistles is charizomai, which is related to the Greek word for “grace” (charis). This Greek word for “forgive” means to do a person a favor, be kind to, show oneself gracious to, give or bestow a thing willingly or graciously; to pardon; to forgive graciously. When we forgive a brother or sister in Christ for a wrong they’ve done to us, we are doing that person a favor, showing ourselves gracious to them, being kind to them.
In II Corinthians, the Apostle Paul by revelation asked the believers there to forgive a fellow believer.
II Corinthians 2:6-8:
Sufficient to such a man is this punishment [penalty], which was inflicted of many.
So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
Paul knew that if this man was not forgiven and provided the love of the believers, he would be overcome with sorrow or despair. When we love and forgive a fellow believer, he will not be “swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.”
Here is another spiritual benefit of forgiving one another.
II Corinthians 2:11:
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
A big benefit of extending forgiveness among believers is that it does not allow Satan to cause further hurt in the Body of Christ. What a burden is lifted when we forgive one another and defeat the adversary!
Let’s also consider that when we forgive someone else, we are graciously benefiting ourselves as well. Sometimes when we are offended or hurt by a fellow believer, our mind can replay the incident over and over in our thoughts. It can get us agitated and angry each time we think about it. By doing this, we are allowing ourselves to be imprisoned by the past. We can’t change the past; however, when we forgive, we can change the future. Forgiving frees us from negativity and lets us move forward. We are doing ourselves a favor.
God wants His children to forgive each other. Forgiveness is a favor, a kindness that we show to others, and it is also a favor to ourselves. Let’s treat one another with the love and graciousness we have received from our heavenly Father and enjoy the benefits of forgiveness among the believers.