Understanding Forgiveness
(week 28/07)
Olubi Johnson

Forgiveness is releasing or freeing people from the blockage of spiritual death that is formed when they sin:

James 1:14-15 (NKJV): 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Spiritual death is a separation or blockage from God. This blockage or blot or spot either stops completely or hinders the flow of the life of God into the human spirit.

2 Peter 3:14 (NKJV): 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
Forgiveness gives men access to the life of God by the application of the blood of Jesus to remove the blot or blockage of spiritual death.
1 John 1:7-9 (NKJV): 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1John 5:16 (NKJV): 16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

It is instructive to note that the sin unto death spoken of here is the unpardonable sin that is committed by a Christian who deliberately rejects Jesus as His Lord and Saviour.

Such a Christian according to Hebrews 6.4-6 must be:

i. Born-again.
ii. Filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues
iii. Have tasted the good word of God: has had revelation knowledge (2 Cor. 4.6).
iv. Have tasted of the powers of the age to come: exercised spiritual authority over Satan and his demons through prayer and intercession.

If such a Christian falls away from the faith and calls the work of the Holy Spirit the work of evil spirits, blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12.24-32), then there is no forgiveness for them and you are not to pray for them. Those who fall into this terrible snare start by:

1. Despising dominion, government or authority and so speaking evil of dignitaries: those in positions of spiritual authority (Jude 1.8, 2 Peter. 2.10). This causes a decrease in the grace (1 Peter 5.5) and mercy of God given to them that lead to

2. Not watching and praying frequently (Luke 21.36) and so walk after the sin nature in the flesh rather than the divine nature in the spirit especially covetousness (2 Peter 2.10, 14).

However, this is very rare indeed at this time. However, as iniquity abounds (Matthew 24.12) in this end-time it will be more common so Christians should refrain from the things listed above. So apart from this all other sins can be forgiven.

Now we need to forgive others and ourselves by confessing our sins so that we will be free to exercise our faith and be liberated from demonic torment and oppression.

John 20:23 (NKJV): 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
Matthew 18:32-35 (NKJV): 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
Mark 11:25-26 (NKJV): 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
So we forgive others by:
1. Confessing their sins: asking God to forgive them (John 20.23, 1 John 1.7-2.2)
2. Ask God to give life to them (1 John 5.16)
3. Pray for them in tongues to edify or build them so they can repent of and overcome sin. (Jude 1.20-21, 1 Peter 4.7-8)

If we just mentally do this without doing it from our hearts and mouths by actually praying for the people we will not release them from the blockage or spot or blot of sin. It is like a man having the keys to open a prison door and agreeing to open the door in his mind but not actually putting the key into the lock and opening the door. His mental assent alone will not get the door open.

To forgive people from the heart you need to forgive and pray for them as shown above.

In our article next week we will see the connection between forgiveness and forgetting.