FORGIVENESS FROM THE HEART II

In Jesus Christ, God has enacted the forgiveness of sin and when one acknowledges him as Lord and savior that person’s life is transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit and is enabled through the spirit to live a life that is pleasing to God. I believe that it is such a living that makes it possible to embody these specific instructions that Jesus gave to his disciples in his sermon on the plain in Luke 6. God is generous to all and calls his followers to be like him. It is such a transformed life with a changed perspective that bears witness to others and invites them to consider responding to God themselves.


The instructions below reveals who God is and invites us to follow him and his ways. Jesus invites us to respond to each other the way God has responded to us. (Lk. 6:35-36) H e says that if we merely behave like everybody else then, what difference does it make for you and me to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and savior? (Lk. 6:32-34) What Jesus is calling us to are marks of a new age, and age of God’s kingdom for which Jesus was the agent.

6:20-30 (transformed actions)

Jesus in this text calls us to go beyond what is asked for even though what is asked for is pretty unreasonable to begin with. It says, offer the other cheek, offer the shirt, give, do not ask them back. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the un-grateful and the wicked.” Jesus’ instructions here simply call us to take transformed action which includes giving without expecting anything in return. Contrary to assuming the door mat position, Jesus clearly invites us to act in a kingdom way. God does not merely renounce punishing us, but takes the initiative to deliver us. Grace is not merely renunciation; it is a transformed action. The assertiveness that Jesus teaches here is the assertiveness of surprising action that may transform the enemy’s judging and condemning into openness and peace. It is a good news transformed response. Instead of judging others we should take a positive initiative of forgiving and giving. Jesus teaches not only what we are not to do, but gives us the pattern to substitute for it. Instead of judging and condemning, we are to forgive and give. Once again, initiatives of mercy are the creative pattern.

God’s grace gives us the initiative to forgive and give rather than judge and condemn. As we take these initiatives we participate in God’s reign and bring about God’s kingdom. Forgiving rather than judging leads to peace and freedom in relationships. We learn about God’s grace that leads to a transformed action which includes forgiveness from the heart.

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