Q. I’ve read your articles on Forgiveness, thank you for the enlightenment as the Holy Spirit has revealed it to you. This revelation though in front of me all along yet hidden from my eyes has given me new freedom from sin and the torments of Satan.
I have one question though that you didn’t discuss. Jesus said if your brother comes to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him. Is there any evidence that we should forgive though he has not asked or repented? I feel for our own sake we should forgive, yet our own salvation is conditional on us asking and repenting.
A. It’s incumbent on believers to seek forgiveness for any anger they feel as a result of what someone has done to them. Even if we feel the anger is justified, it’s still a sin. Many feel that this anger won’t truly go away until we can ask the Lord to forgive the other party, whether he or she has asked us for it or not.
1 John 5:16 teaches us to ask the Lord to forgive any fellow believer we see committing a sin, whether against us or not. Asking the Lord on behalf of someone else doesn’t relieve him or her of the responsibility to ask. It’s simply a demonstration of our love in action. Both Jesus (Luke 23:34) and Stephen (Acts 7:60) asked the Lord to forgive their executioners.
Remember, we don’t ask the Lord to forgive someone who has wronged us because they’ve asked us to, we ask the Lord to forgive them because we’re commanded to forgive them, and asking the Lord to forgive them will help us do the same.