Christian Concepts
When We Are Saved – Part 2
(what should new Christians expect)

by Graham Pockett

The following has been taken from my article Are You Hard Boiled, Or Soft & Runny. This extract looks at how a Christian should treat others.

Jesus highlighted two major things – to love one another and to forgive your enemy. In the Lord's Prayer, He said:

"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." [Matthew 6:12 NIV]

A couple of verses later He repeated this by saying:

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." [Matthew 6:14-15 NIV]

Could Jesus have said it any clearer than that? He did not say: "forgive your enemy if he is sorry and apologizes to you". No, Jesus told us simply to forgive – no strings, no "ifs" and "buts". He also told us that if we did not forgive our enemies then God would not forgive us. Period.

Has someone hurt you and never been forgiven? Maybe you intend to forgive someone when it "feels right", or when it doesn't hurt as much as it does now.

Forgiveness is not a feeling but an action. You need to forgive the drunk driver who kills your brother, or the rapist who attacks your daughter, now – even if they never show any remorse.

Forgiveness may not heal them, but it will definitely heal you!


“God will not forgive you unless you forgive others? Scary stuff.”

It isn't a matter of waiting until the hurt has abated, it isn't a matter of waiting until you feel that it is "right with God" for you to forgive them. Forgiveness is an action of the head, not the heart. Remember what Jesus said:

"...if you do NOT forgive men their sins, your Father will NOT forgive your sins." (emphasis added)

God will not forgive you unless you forgive others? Scary stuff.

The other core teaching of Jesus, closely allied to forgiveness, was that we should love our neighbor. When asked which were the most important Commandments, Jesus said:

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." [Matthew 22:37-40 NIV]

In Romans 13:9, while talking about how Christians should behave, Paul says:

The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." [NIV]

Do you love your neighbor? Do you love the kid who drives past your door at 3am with his stereo playing at full volume? Do you love the owner of the dog who allows it to mess on your lawn and then doesn't clean it up? Forgiveness and love aren't just about the big things, but also about the little things too.

Maybe the only saving factor is that while Jesus told us to love and forgive our neighbors, He didn't say that we had to like them...

Paul sums up nicely how Christians should behave. In Philippians 2:3-7 he said:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. [NIV]

Return to Part 1.

If you are ready to commit to the Lord do it here and now!

I pray you have found this article interesting and I would be pleased to read any comments you may have. However, my workload is such that I may not be able to respond to all mail. Address any comments to Graham Pockett.

Please note that this article is copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission (given freely for Christian purposes). Often it is better to simply link directly to this page!

All of Graham’s Christian writings (see below) can be download as a set of archived text files GrahamsWriting.zip (you will need an unzipping tool – like the free Stuffit Expander Windows or Stuffit Expander Mac – to extract the separate documents from this archive).

 

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Graham’s Christian writing:
"Graham Pockett doesn't mince any words, but he writes with a kind heart. If you have questions about such things as "once saved, always saved", or why so many different ideas can come from the same scripture, or how much what we see and do affects us as spiritual beings, you'll find much to think about here."  from This Christian Life
Graham Pockett
Download these articles:
GrahamsWriting.zip
  • The Key To Heaven  (an analogy about commitment)
  • I Am A Cynic; Therefore I Am A Christian
  • Evolution – a statistical question mark?
  • “Once Saved Always Saved” – a dangerous delusion?
  • Who is my Neighbor? – featuring "The Parable of the Good Muslim"
  • Bashing The Bible – misusing & abusing Scripture
  • Two Billion Doctrines – the strange religion called Christianity
  • Does God Ever Change His Mind? – Calvin would turn in his grave!
  • New Wine In An Old Skin – the problem of legalism in the church today
  • Are You Hard Boiled, Or Soft & Runny? – doctrines are like an egg shell
  • The Bible is an "iffy" book – a look at the conditional promises of God
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? – what did Jesus really look like?
  • The Truth Will Set You Free! – the Holy Tarantula???
  • Growing the Seed of Faith – so it doesn't wither and die
  • We Don't See The Clean, Just The Dirt – judgement and forgiveness
  • Why I Quote The NIV Bible – is it an heretical Bible?
  • "Omissions" from the NIV Bible – a look at 17 missing verses
  • Do You Believe In Miracles? – you do when they happen to you!
  • “Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer For A Miracle?” – my response
  • Christian Concepts – the cavern of life  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – the three crosses  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – we are what we eat
  • Christian Concepts – when are we saved?  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – when we are saved, part 1  ...part 2


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    © Graham Pockett
    Last Updated: Tuesday, January 03, 2017