Forgiveness is conditional



Many people feel they are required to forgive those offenders who are not sorry, and turn their cheek for more abuse.

So, do we just permit evil by forgiving it?

One of the most famous passages in the Bible is when Jesus looked down from the cross, and says, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Was he canceling the repentance required for forgiveness, that his Heavenly Father had ordained?

Luk 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear [it] after Jesus.

Luk 23:27   And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

Luk 23:28   But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Luk 23:33   And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

Luk 23:34   Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


There are some passages that, in themselves (out of context), seem to encourage unconditional forgiveness – forgiveness to those who have not repented:

1. We are also reminded in scripture to turn the other cheek

Mat 5:39   But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

** resist here means: (1) to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose, (2) to set against.

Now the impression is worse, that we should not oppose evil. We get the impression that we are to be victims of evil ones, or just let evil happen.

2. What seems like a threat, also is given, if we do not forgive, even if it seems no one is sorry:

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

There has to be more to Christianity than getting crucified, submitting to evil, and forgiving people who are not sorry!!!


How do we balance these scriptures with those which give a clearer idea of what God expects?


Start early with man’s relationship with God. Some Old Testament examples:

1. When Adam sinned, he blamed his wife. Both were removed from Eden, and promised a savior for a later time.

What would have happened if Adam had immediately repented?

2. The world sinned with fallen angels, and no one repented. They were all destroyed in Noah’s flood.

3. Joseph forgave his brothers after they repented

Gen 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

4. Abigail repents for her husband’s sin against David, taking it on as her own sin

1Sa 25:28   I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee [all] thy days

5. Forgiveness comes when people repent

2Ch 6:37   Yet [if] they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;

2Ch 6:38 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gave unto their fathers, and [toward] the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:

2Ch 6:39   Then hear thou from the heavens, [even] from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

6. Psalms of David -admits to sin when asking for forgiveness

Psa 25:18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

7. Conditions for avoiding invasion

Jer 36:3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

8. Old Testament: passages about repentance

1Ki 8:47 [Yet] if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.

Jer 26:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

Jer 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

Eze 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn [yourselves] from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

Eze 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.


New Testament

Mat 3:2 And [John the Baptist] saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mar 1:15 And [Jesus] saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Luk 13:3 I [Jesus] tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Story of the unrepentant rich man who went to hell, and wanted to warn his family to repent:

Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

Repentance required for forgiveness:

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Repentance and baptism

Act 2:38 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 the Holy Ghost.

Early Church

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Book of revelation to the churches

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent

2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


Passages quoted in introduction, and their context

1. a closer look at

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you

This was part of the Lords’ prayer. The Lord’s followers already knew the requirements for forgiveness.

2. conditions for forgiveness of others and self – confronting the sin, discussion about the wrong, patience, removing the offense.

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Mat 18:9   And if your eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

The servant asks for forgiveness but is found unworthy because he is unforgiving himself.

Mat 18:26   The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Mat 18:32   Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desired me:

Mat 18:33   Should not you also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?

Mat 18:34   And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

3. turning the other cheek- Jesus is referring to relationships with other Jews and family.

Mat 5:22   But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Mat 5:23   Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Mat 5:24   Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Mat 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Mat 5:32   But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commit adultery.

Mat 5:39   But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Resist: to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose

Evil: full of labours, annoyances, hardships, bringing toils, annoyances, perils, of a bad nature or condition, in a physical sense: diseased or blind, in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

This might also be written: Do not resist, oppose, or complain about all the hardships, annoyances that your brother has caused you, be patient with him, as he might be blind to what problems he is causing you.

Mat 5:41   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

5. Forgiveness will be granted to those who forgive.

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This is not unconditional forgiveness.

From other passages, it is understood that repentance is needed.

However, once the offender has asked for forgiveness, then one is required to do so.



1. No easy forgiveness for someone who is not sorry……

There is no free ride into heaven, if you are in sin.

When Jesus was on the cross,

Jesus did not say “you do NOT have to repent…..I will forgive you anyhow, and you can keep on sinning….Go ahead, and murder, rape, steal and lie. The law is gone. Do what you want, and I will still love you, and forgive you. You do not have to change.

2. If Jesus looked down from the cross, and forgave them, it was because he saw sorrow and repentance.

The unbelievers may have come for awhile, but most would have eventually departed, as they lost interest.

Remember, there were faithful followers there, and the Roman guard even expressed acknowledgment that the execution was a mistake (this is the son of God) and Jesus was innocent.

I think, outside of those casting lots for his clothing, most of those remaining were very sorrowful, and understood that Jesus was dying for their sins.

3. for those who need to repent.

We do live by grace now, but it is because we obey the moral law out of love, not fear.

If the moral law had been cancelled by grace, then it would be ok to murder, steal, hate, lie, and commit adultery and idolatry.

Jesus would not expect us to repent, if there were no such thing as the law, and sin, which is disobedience to the law.

So, there is still something called sin, and we are to turn away from it and accept salvation.

The proof of our repentance is in the turning away from the sin.

If we continue in sin, then we are NOT sorry, and we have NOT repented.

We are therefore NOT forgiven, and we are still lost, and not saved.

The whole idea that we do not have to obey the 10 commandments, and can continue in sin, is offensive to God.

4. for those who need to forgive

We must be ready to forgive, as the Father was in the parable of the Prodigal son. So, the forgiveness is there, waiting to be shared.

But the ACT of forgiveness only comes when there is sincere repentance by the offending party.

With multiple offenses, as long as there is sincere repentance, we must be ready to forgive repeatedly.

5. Repentance shows respect for God, His heart, and his holiness.

Those that truly love God will WANT to repent, and turn away from sin.

73 Responses to “Forgiveness is conditional”

  1. I notice you do a wee bit of interpretation in this string. For example, how can the people watching the crucifixion be repentant if they do no honestly and sincerely know what they are doing as stated (supposedly) by Jesus? And if he asks god to forgive those who are NOT honestly and sincerely repentant, then your line of interpretation is misguided.

    The point I am raising here is not to criticize your line of thinking (I happen to agree with your conclusion that one only forgives if the repentance is honest and sincere and an effort is made for reparation) but to ask the honest question: how does one KNOW if one’s interpretation is correct?

    • hi tildeb

      you are right. it is my interpretation. Since Jesus always stressed repentance and mending one’s ways, it would have been inconsistent, and against what he taught to make an exception at the cross.

      So I assumed there were people there that were sorrowful, and cared about what happened, whether they really understood everything completely or not.

      The thief on the cross was honest and repentant. The soldiers casting lots for the garment did not appear to care. So it was a mixed group.

      Some people may have voted against him when he was condemned, but then later regretted what they did. Who knows? Jesus forgave someone he was looking at for a reason, and usually his reason was that they showed remorse.

      • I don’t think that there were people who were sorrowful or repentant of what they had did just several hours ago…
        Jesus probably saw in vision future of these people, how they are stripped off of God’s image as a punishment and condemned to damnation in hell…

        • …such verdict is very harsh. Usually, even worst sinners are left chance for repentance, even if their verdict is physical death (they’d still have chance to repent on Judgment Day); Not such would be the verdict of those who crucified Son of God, such people would be very likely condemned to “second death” as mentioned in Book of Revelations, and probably this is just what Jesus saw in vision…

      • I think the honest answer to my question about determining the correctness of one’s interpretation is “I don’t know for certain.” Understandably, one tries to the best of one’s ability to interpret a comprehensive and cohesive message, but my point is that we do interpret, and recognize that our interpretations can be incorrect. That fact is vital to remember in determining one’s certainty of any and all faith claims.

        I believe that certainty, far more than the love of money, is the root of all evil, and nowhere is certainty more highly admired, sought after, espoused, and celebrated than in religious belief. Those of us who claim some level of faith in whatever religious beliefs we choose to hold (and it is a choice) must therefore guard our doubts to keep our false certainties in check, and keep that cherished flame of intellectual honesty and integrity that live in doubt alive… to remember that our interpretations are our own, that we create them, and are responsible for them. Our interpretations belong to us. They do not belong to god.

        • tildeb

          that may be true at times, or much of the time. But remember also, that other belief systems, although not classified as religions, can be just as “certain” about their beliefs as well.

          A religion is a value system. A value system can be religious, including God, or not religious, excluding God. You have to look at the value system, and see what it represents, and whether the values are positive or cause harm to others.

          • Two things. The first is that other belief ‘systems’ may have people who ‘believe’ in their truth claims with some degree of certainty of their correctness does not alter my point about the danger of false certainties. In addition, your sentence is very slippery in meaning: one usually does not ‘believe’ as a matter of faith in some supernatural justification in any other ‘system’ other than religion.

            Secondly, a religion may hold certain values different than some other religions, but that does not mean that religion is properly defined as a value system (singular). It is not the value set that defines something as a religious belief; it’s the belief in something, and ‘it’ (and assume ‘it’ to be existent and true), and that something is usually a supernatural creator with particular attributes that rank the creator as omni-whatever. The values attached to the intentions of that creator regarding humanity is what constitutes a person’s religious belief set, which you call values. To classify religion as merely a value system as you have done is actually disingenuous.

      • A timely message for the hour. We have preachers and ministers proclaiming through media and behind pulpit: “God has forgiven our sins, Past, Present and FUTURE!!!” — No call for repentance.

      • I am told that “Father, forgive them what they do…….” was not even in the original text but added later. I read a lot on this a few years back, came across this post when looking for it again. I could not find the discussion on this right now, however.

    • i think that we can know the correct interpretation by exegesis. but even with correct exegesis sometimes these scriptures can be unclear and hard sayings, but i think we can also check out what other reputable scholars are saying also to help us line it up with the word. for example, i read a commentary where, regarding where Jesus was on the cross and he forgave them”for they knew not what they do”-the commentary was saying that Jesus had them forgiven b/c of the immediate wrath of Go that would have fallen on them. now i dont hold to that as absolute truth, but at least it can get your mind spinning in the right direction. the LORD knows we cant get it right 100% of the time, but if we are studying are best to show ourselves approved, with a good heart-i believe God will honor it and bring us the correct answer in his time if we are trully seeking him.

  2. What is forgiveness?
    It is to love the loveless. It is to give to the undeserving. It is to love your enemy. It is dying in order to live. It is to set the captives free. It is the key of heaven and the key of the bottomless pit. It is remembering that what you do to another you do to God.
    It is hard at times to do and it does require the Spirit of God to help you.
    It being afflicted, it is being persecuted, being chased from one place to another, it is being homeless, it is being rejected and hated, it is being torn apart, cut in two, tossed by every wind, cold and hungry.
    It is being a child of The Highest, a prince/princess of The King yet on foot having feet cut and torn and bleeding, walking a path with your brother that if you do not walk with him he will surely die and that forever.
    It is being crucified by the side of your Savior … and watching Him who has no sin, die so you may live.
    That is what forgiveness is. But before you can really give another you must yourself receive it, from Him who gave it to you. Because we were all there at the foot of His cross and did not deserve His forgiveness either. Yet The Lord cried out for all of us,
    ‘Forgive them Father , they know not what they do!!’

    • Wow. A lot of words about “forgiveness” and zero words even mentioning “repentance”. Thanks, but I’ll stick with the Bible where the words repentance and forgiveness go hand in hand.

  3. So what does this actually mean? Can I use non-lethal violence and break the law of man to free captives in say North Korea prison camps and people being tortured by the Chinese?

  4. That is probably a bit off topic but please give your opinion anyway. I feel greatly for these people and have for some time, maybe God put this on my heart for a reason?

    • dear Bob

      To ignore evil, and permit its existence and growth, doing nothing, is participation in the evil.

      Despite what the extreme, cowardly liberal, “be nice to bloodthirsty terrorist” attitude of the left says, which constitutes the “law of man,” there is a higher, immutable law of God that is based on justice and mercy for the needy.

      The terrorists are not needy. Their victims are. Terrorists have no rights. They are not humans.

      There is a thing called righteous war. God used this principle to free the promised land of the baby sacrificing, murderous pagans that lived there.

      Non-lethal violence is ideal, and should be considered first, but it may not be an option.

      If I had the strength, opportunity, and means, I would help the captives and tortured by any means necessary.

      • Despite what the extreme, cowardly liberal, “be nice to bloodthirsty terrorist” attitude of the left says, which constitutes the “law of man,”

        Oh my.

        Where in secular law does it say “Be nice to bloodthirsty terrorists”? I’ve looked. I can’t find it.

        Extreme liberal? What does this mean?

        Cowardly? Respecting the rule of law is cowardly? Since when?

        I do believe you are actually suggesting that it is right and proper to establish a theocracy and subvert the laws of the land on behalf of your god. But, to be clear, it your position that it is the liberal who is extreme. It is the liberal who supports the law who is cowardly.

        Am I the only one who thinks that you might have this… backwards?

        • tildeb

          It is in our domestic and foreign policy.

          Many of our laws and practices ARE cowardly. Just because something is a law, does not make it fair.

          We have those who are more concerned for the rights of terrorists, than they are for the victims. We grant terrorists constitutional rights, which are only supposed to be reserved for citizens, not our enemies.

          WE make excuses for the terrorists, instead of punishing them.

          AN example is the terrorist who killed 16 people at Ft Hood. His advocates claimed that the evil of the Iraq war stressed him. He was an active jihadist who tried to convert his patients to Isalm.

          We make excuses for Palestinian terrorists, and want to give them Israeli land to make them happy, instead of opposing them. Palestinians are so crazy they blow themselves up, including their own children, and then blame Israel.

          There are those who want to blame the government for 911, when the terrorists ADMITTED that they did it.

          I do not want to get into politics here, since there is blame on both sides – dems and reps . I am referring to the attitude, not the party.

          My comment was in reference to allowing North Korea to persecute and torture people, while we sit idly by, and respect the “rights” of the government to do so. Suddenly, it is not our moral problem to help others.

  5. Thanks for the reply. I will pray to begin with. I hope God is also fed up with this injustice and steps in before I do and possibly get myself crossed out.

  6. God does not hold accountable those hearts he has hardened, eyes he has blinded, ears He has made deaf….to accomplish His divine purposes. God had done things things with a portion of Israel….(7000 left to come by grace…the rest were blinded). These blinded of Israel shouted, ‘Give us Barabas’. And they truly could not recognize Jesus as Messiah. They could not recognize John the Baptist as the presence of Elias…prophecied to come before the Messiah. Christ told them…’IF’ you can hear…John the Baptist is Elias. m But they could NOT hear because of their God imparted spiritual deafness…..told about in depth in Isaiah. Therefore, Christ sincerely HAD FULL KNOWLEDGE of all things pertaining to the Father’s plan for the ‘LAMB’ offering. And this event came before our sins fell on him…causing the Father to forsake Him…because of sin…even though they had not committed by Jesus. Afterwards, as the horrors, desolation, and vileness of spiritual death saturated Him….and as the Father gave the Son to Death…Christ SCREAMED..”MY GOD, MY GOD. WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME.’ FOR ME..THAT MOMENT IS THE MOST RELEVANT TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. THAT ‘DEATH’ IS THE MOST RELEVANT TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Because of the MAGNITUDE of what happened as Christ gave Himself to that….that…that…….there are no words to express the depth of horror experienced by the perfect Son of God…in our place. Because of it…the Second Death has no power over us..unless we choose it. Because of His redemptive act…forgiveness is not about whether or not a person deserves it or is repenant. We can’t ‘know’ our own heart. And we surely cannot know the heart of another. Repentance is between a person and God. But ‘forgiveness’ is about our own humility before God. We, at best, remain as ‘filthy rags’ before God. A heart transformed by the love of God….forgives as easily and involuntarily as he draws breath. The battle is the Lord’s. Vengence is the Lord’s. Judgement is the Lord’s. We are compelled to LOVE the unlovely. And as the true love which comes forth from God heart through ours is manifested….it’s power can soften even the hardest of hearts. ‘Love never fails!’ Each is compelled to work our his own salvation…with fear and trembling.’ We are to surrender the splinters from our own eyes. Both truths leave little time for delving into the rights and wrongs of others. I’ve had many opportunities in my life which required my forgiveness of others….who never asked nor cared for the wrongs they had committed. But foregiveness wasn’t about their repentance. It was about knowing that God is my redeemer…that I can do nothing to help myself. Good Subject. Thanks

    • good thoughts. thanks. 🙂

    • Hi..i have to ask the question though..are we doing right by continually forgiving repeat offenders? Isn’t this just a form of enablement..i have repeatedly forgiven my abusive mother all of my life but it hasn’t helped either of us..she is still in her sins and i am still hurting on a continual basis as she has never changed her ways..i know we are required to forgive but i am now starting to agree with those who say repentance is required if true forgiveness and it’s healing benefits for both parties are concerned..yours in Christ..the abused.

      • ellie

        that is what this post is about.

        Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

        the key word here is …………….IF……………………..

        if one repents, forgive

        we ca forgive in the sense that we turn the unrepentant over to God…so we can clear our anger, and have peace….but unless that person repents, not even god will forgive them

        so to answer your question, you do not have to enable any abusive person who is not sorry.

    • Dear Internet Elias,

      The words you expressed are not just thoughts …It’s not even a matter of opinion….It’s TRUTH and I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for expressing them… I had no reason to scroll through what I felt was sometimes irrelevant conversation but I feel blessed after reading your precious words. Thank you…

  7. hi marianne,
    appreciate this collection of scriptures on forgiveness and repentance.
    probably good to distinguish between when/whether/how/if God forgives versus how/when we ought to forgive.
    about conditional forgiveness: (1) for our part, we may indeed resist forgiving until someone repents; however, we have the option of forgiving them even if they don’t repent– there is no evil in this. turning the other cheek is implied forgiveness of the first strike upon no condition of the offender’s assault. (2) for the part of our Lord, i completely agree with you that we must live and walk in continual repentance, or we will surely perish under God’s wrath… that said, there was at least an initial act of forgiveness that was not conditional upon our repentance… when we were dead… even while we were sinners, our Lord died to pay for our sins. in that sense, our repentance is conditional upon our Lord’s mercy… sort of the other way around! [i.e., we would not have the capacity to repent, except He had first chosen us, pre-emptively declared us as the object of our love [before the twins had done any good or evil, God declared that He loved Jacob and hated Esau]… in our converted state, when it so be that Christ is in us, then we are powerful to forgive.
    God be with you,

  8. The truth is Adam’s sin cost Adam and us not only the likeness and image of god but also our ability to know good from evil..God knows not only are all men condemned but are also like satan in understanding what is good and what is evil.. Gensis 3-22…The man became as one of us in knowing good and evil.. Of course the man became like the one who taught him the knowledge of good and evil. i.e.satan..How can we not forgive those who do not even know what they are doing as likewise with ourselves..We are all the blind trying to lead the blind UNLESS we are lead by Jesus..
    We are told to be born again of the water and of word of god(spirit) and to put on the mind of Christ..Then and only then are we restored as children of god and in the likeness and image of god..Forgiveness should be easy then.. IS IS? I confess it is not always easy for me….

    But the article above is beautiful and humbling..

    • ruth

      if man is truly that blind, where he does not understand what he is doing, then why are sinners told to repent? It seems like sinners are expected to “see” that they are wrong.

      If everyone is really that blind, then they are not responsible for their behavior, and therefore they are excused/forgiven.

      If this is true, then Jesus dying was unnecessary, since they were already forgiven/excused, since they were blind.

  9. I will say that i agree with you except on WHEN to forgive. You are to forgive people. Forgiveness is releasing the problem to god so he can move, whether He uses you thereafter or not. Unforgiveness is telling God you can judge better than Him and inviting a spirit of unforgiveness ( & bitterness &resentment & hate) on yourself. Forgiving is showing the love of God to others. Forgiveness is giving the power of judgement back to its rightfull owner: God. He is to judge, so you can’t say “they are unworthy of forgiveness” because ALL sins are equal before God and ALL good works are as dirty rags if not done in the effort of obedient love for God. Jesus asked God to forgive those people because God could have easily struck every person responsible down at a word, but Jesus did one more act showing God’s love: He asked God the Father to forgive the people who were killing Him, saying He already had as well. He is our ultimate example, and he showed that ’til His final breath. But that’s just my two cents.

    • When people, especially Christians, do serious evil things to others and refuse to acknowledge it or even repent of it and even worse, in many cases justify it in the Name of God, such people should never be forgiven. Forgiveness isn’t something cheap to be handed over under these serious cases. God only forgives us when we become aware of sins, acknowledge them and repent.

  10. It’s a good and important topic. Look, God’s love is unconditional whether we love Him back or not. Likewise, so is His forgiveness. So then, doesn’t this text in Mt 6:14-15 sound like God’s forgiveness IS conditional? Very much so, doesn’t it? Like tit-to-tat.

    The truth is, God DOES forgive, always, with NO condition attached, because He has already paid it all in Christ. I believe here we need to transform the sentence of the bible text for a deeper and sound meaning. It’s not just a matter of forgiving (even loving) someone, but also receiving it (forgiveness or love) that is as crucial. If we don’t forgive others, the very fact proves that we are actually refusing to accept God’s forgiveness, negating what God does. In fact, it is not possible for us to forgive others (unless we gain something tangible or psychological) as we live in our own human nature. It is possible only if we do by sharing a portion of forgiveness we received out of God’s great forgiveness.

    I have one general question which I have not found yet: Is there any situation we should not forgive?

    • hi oun

      it seems like it is not our place to forgive, if we are not the offended one.

      Our heart should be ready to forgive at any time, so that the spirit of unforgiveness is not present. However, the scriptures do say that the offender is to repent to be forgiven.

      I used to forgive people who were never sorry who offended me. This encouraged them to sin against me again. I was giving them a signal that they did not have to repent to be forgiven. So I was encouraging them to continue to sin, and not feel required to ever be responsible for what they did.

    • Ellie on January 13, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Hi..i have to ask the question though..are we doing right by continually forgiving repeat offenders? Isn’t this just a form of enablement..i have repeatedly forgiven my abusive mother all of my life but it hasn’t helped either of us..she is still in her sins and i am still hurting on a continual basis as she has never changed her ways..i know we are required to forgive but i am now starting to agree with those who say repentance is required if true forgiveness and it’s healing benefits for both parties are concerned..yours in Christ..the abused.


  11. Forgiveness is very difficult thing for any humankind… and it is a major struggles going on inside in each of us all… to weight and balance between forgive or revenge… If give in to revenge.. you lose and got marked for that.. if give in to forgive regardlessly of ANY situation for people do not know what they are doing….. you are blessed to walk beside Jesus who suffered and you willing to suffer along at his side. … I hope that makes sense…

    Believe me, I have many struggles.. good and bad in my life.. especially in past of being raped and molesated in different times and ages.. and having a daughter stolen from me and forced an abortion against my will.. and I take others verbal and physical abuses… I grew up letting them doing it.. my patience was something most couldn’t believe.. My mom cannot remember that she beat me up when she was drunk twice.. and everything else happenings in my life… Think about it…

    I forgave others.. I move on and not letting them change what and who I am.. I stay the same from birth.. same personality.. but only stronger.. and I forgave and still love my mother.. and is now looking after her.. My father and I are biggest enemies of each other.. but I still love him and forgave him.. only his problem is lack of contact… What’s more is.. I forgave all old and new friends for using me and drag me into their situations where I rather not to be in first place.. lol.. I just walk it through.. knowing it is a life experience and learning.. and a struggle to learn not to give into revenge because it is a true ugly side… once fall to it.. your done for.. unless you get an excorist.. I am only stating a fact…

    I share this with you all to think about something… Your life, your past, your experiences and what you have learned through your life with people and what they have done to you and forgive… and let go.. Yes it is NOT easy thing to do.. but it takes practice and even easier to do that everyday reminder… and it would become easier overtime. 🙂

    I am done talking for time of being. lol.. Blessings to all. Good night.

  12. The comments about the verse “Forgive them FATHER, for they know not what they do” brings this to me-Think of WHO was dying on the cross..Is it a stretch of the imagination to think that GOD would be angry that HIS SON was dying at the hands of people who didn’t even deserve to have to touch a latchet on JESUS’s shoe? JESUS was sent to the earth for the atonement of our sins, but at the very moment it was happening, HIS SON dying, would GOD be ok and apathetic about what was going on? It makes sense to me that GOD would be feeling a great deal of righteous anger at that point both in the fact that mankind was such nuckleheads to begin with, and the fact that sinful wicked people were mocking HIS SON and murdering HIM..not a stretch of thinking that JESUS would have known of HIS FATHER’s anger towards mankind and by saying “FATHER forgive them for they know not what they do” HE(JESUS) was further completing the degree of sacrifice and forgiveness that HE was sent for. In case what I said above makes no sense to you, could it be that JESUS asked HIS FATHER for the forgiveness in our behalf because HE(JESUS) was standing in the gap for us, and securing that we even had a chance at being forgiven in the future upon repentance.

    • hi sharon

      I hope you are well. Maybe, as I think you are suggesting, that Jesus foresaw the repentance that would come at a later time, and so interceded for them.

  13. i agree that forgiveness is conditional but i also say there must be a way to be able to release that burden of pain also. some people think that since they don’t forgive that person, they take that pain and rage about that specific incident to the grave, steam blowing out of their ears every time they see the perpetrator. we must release our burdens unto Jesus b/c heis yoke is light.

    • hi jd

      very true. My point was that we should already have that forgiveness ready in our hearts, so that we can heal from any injury. Then it is up to the offender to finally repent, receive that forgiveness, and get healed as well.

  14. Hi Marianne, I believe it is our God given right and responsibility to rebuke and hold an offender accountable for their behavior. God didn’t put us on this earth to be doormats! It takes courage faith and wisdom to step out of our comfort zone to confront this behavior. I have learned this the hard way, as I too, enabled people who would repeat offenses as you say..We can rebuke with kindness, etc..If the offender doesn’t repent then at least we have done our part. We must forgive the offender in the eyes of God. People sometimes repent privately, and they may change their behavior for the better, but do not ask for forgiveness of the offended. That is hard hearted, prideful behavior, it is a sin in God’s eyes. It will be in the hands of the LORD. But I feel that the LORD expects us to do our part. Since I have practiced this truth, with a kind heart I have found that I have more peace…for we don’t know what might be possible in someone else’s heart, only the LOPD knows! Blessings to all!

  15. It is a winter wonderland here 2 mornings in a row.
    Ice fog delicately covers every branch of every tree …. even the dirty old drifts of snow received an inch of decorative frost. It reminds me of of the difference between gold nuggets and jewellery gold. Have you ever looked at ice fog? Unique and very beautiful!
    God gives everything to all equally. When the sun shines it shines on all. If it rains it rains on all. Today the gift is ice fog and everything received it equally in this section of the woods.
    The planet earth was given to the living … yet some devil driven men have decided to section it off and caused man to labor to buy it. The same with food and water etc.
    These same greed and power driven men then decides who can remain and who must leave. Have you ever heard of ‘The Trail Of Tears’?
    But God is Good and gives to all living things equally. Because all things come from God and all things returns to God. This is God’s Justice.
    The Chief of Chiefs says ‘You must RESPECT all things’!!!

    Disrespect for the things of God is sin … disrespect for your parents and for your brother is sin.
    But evil men have even gone a step further in his wickedness …. not content to kill and destroy he introduces TORTURE.’ This world has gone mad! And those who assumes leadership are corrupt. This is hard to forgive. And this demands repentance. But they will not! They say in their hearts ‘There is no God who sees and who will recompense.’ And so they continue doing with their hands and their mouths
    evil and oppresses many righteous and simple and innocent. They rule with force and

    The Chief of Chiefs will destroy these! Those who harm the earth and its contents will be destroyed forever … by The Mighty Hand of The Chief.

  16. I believe that because the blood hadn’t been shed as of yet, there was no need, really for anyone to repent. However, I would like to say that Christ was speaking of a future tense of what He was about to do. Die for all of humanity, of which after, would repent of their sins and turn away from them. Thereby showing fruits of repentance.

  17. 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 (New International Version)
    9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    We have a Biblical duty to judge over the brother whose life is not in keeping with God’s word. Experience has taught me to give a wide berth to any pastor selling used cars, not one but many. Experience has taught me that so many pastors will excel in gossip, even discussing rather private information from counselling sessions. I have seen churches split, communities driven apart, marriages on the rocks – all because of gossip.

    I have also seen that the church refuses to judge over its own, despite the clear instruction as above. It is given to keep His house clean. Sexual immorality abounds, cohabitation has take the place of marriage, the church is a well of gossip…….we do not need to go an inch beyond gossip, even.

    The church will remain a tainted and blasphemous institution as long as we judge over Muslims and Jews, as long as we point a finger to those outside, but not confront the evil within. No wonder that we are being taught in the Bible as follows:

    “And another voice from heaven came to my ears, saying, Come out of her, my people, so that you may have no part in her sins and in her punishments”. Revelation 18:4

    Revelation 3:9 (New International Version)
    9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
    Jeremiah 7:4

    Put no faith in false words, saying, The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, are these.

    While Scripture promotes the fellowship of believers, it also denounces the organised church. We see this all along the Old Testament going right into the very last book of Revelation. Yet there is this constant flow of slanderous talk, of gossip, of judging over those whom do not believe in Christ Jesus. It is clearly not our business to judge over those, but we have a duty to judge over those within the church, whom pretend to be believers but whom give honour to satan through their deeds and attitudes. Even Jesus discredited the two churches, the temple and the open worship of Samaritans.

    It is time for some housekeeping.

    Where the church urgently needs correction:
    1. Condoning, protecting and even defending the culprits within. Whistle-blowers get persecuted and ousted whilst the obvious sinners enjoy the almost fanatical protection of their fraternity. In doing so, they become accomplices and invoke His judgement over them. This is why the call is so pertinent: come out of her, My children!

    2. Conflict situations are not being handled according to scripture, either. Matthew 18:15 And if your brother does wrong to you, go, make clear to him his error between you and him in private: if he gives ear to you, you have got your brother back again. 16 But if he will not give ear to you, take with you one or two more, that by the lips of two or three witnesses every word may be made certain. 17 And if he will not give ear to them, let it come to the hearing of the church: and if he will not give ear to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-farmer.

    Jesus Himself said this, so I have this on the highest authority. Yet the humanists amongst us just cry out “forgive! forgive! forgive!. Of course, we need to forgive so that WE do not get held back, it does not mean that we should allow this errant person to remain part of us.

    Now, let me assure you that the church will never reach maturity, it will never outgrow the diapers and nappies of fundamentalism and mysticism unless there is a widespread correction of these ways. As long as we allow these destructive characters within the body of Christ, we are hypocrites whom do not honour God and obey His Word, but we rather give honour to satan.

    It has become time for ETHICAL CLEANSING WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CHURCH. There is a cancer that needs to be removed surgically, a moral and ethical decay that is contagious. Cut it out before the entire apple is rotten.

  18. or right i did it

  19. 😀

    • Hey dimik99,

      Why would you post a demonic video on this site? This is really just stupid…..or in Marianne’s words “6 planets to stupid”!

  20. oh sorry, i just checked how to post youtube video here

    ok i won’t add that video again

  21. For Marianne:

    Wake up to the morning light
    wipe away the lonely nights
    let a brand new day wash over you,
    Wanna see you smile again
    show some love to your crazy friends
    wipe your tears away
    those days are through

    If you move just a little bit closer you can put your head on my shoulder
    Yeah, yeah

    So baby hold on
    just another day or two
    I can see the clouds are
    moving faster now
    and the sun is breaking through
    If you can hold on, to the one that’s holding you
    there is nothing that can
    stop this crazy love
    from breaking through

    We’re breaking through
    We’re breaking through

    Wake up to the morning sun
    thank the Lord for the
    things He’s done
    lift your eyes up to the
    hope that’s ever true
    Wanna see you smiling girl
    you’re a light in this jaded world
    wipe away those tears
    this one’s for you

    Come on, move a little bit closer, you can put your head on my shoulder
    Yeah, yeah


    And the stars are up there
    shining for you
    oh, the Father does adore you
    His love will never change
    And you and I
    we were born to follow
    the hope that will lead us to tomorrow
    and no one can take it away

    So baby hold on
    just another day or two
    I can see the clouds are
    moving faster now
    and the sun is breaking through
    If you could hold on
    to the one that’s holding you
    there is nothing that can stop this crazy, crazy love from breaking [x2]

    You see the clouds are
    moving faster now
    the clouds are moving faster

    You see the clouds are
    moving faster now
    And the sun is breaking through

    We’re breaking through

  22. Your point is well taken. “If you love me, obey my commandments”. He also said “No greater love than one who lays His life for his friends. You are my friends if you obey my commandments.” Which implies that he died for MANNY as the scripture said but not for all, not for the unrepented ones. There’s the atonment on the cross, then there’s santification, the work of hte wholy spirit in our lives, and then, when He returns the freedom from the power of sin, for sin will be no more.Corruption will not inherit the kingdom and the ones who teach that grace alone is suficient.. are misleading many to a broad road. No judgment, not even on EArth is possible without rules. Who can condenm someone breaking the law when there’s no law. The law that was removed is called Ordinances and it was referring to the Law of Moses (the only aspect that Jesus argued with the Jewish leaders. No one ever argued against the 10 commandments that were written with the finger of God himself, except the ones that are confused. Your site is a great blessing. Thank you

  23. It seems to me the scripture “if your brother has ought against you” is speaking about money. You should repay what you owe him before you bring a gift to the alter. There are some good scriptures to support this idea of conditional forgiveness and I am pouring over them. I think we all like it better than the way we have been led to believe!!! I also think “turning the other cheek” seems to indicate a refusal to physically or verbally fight with evil, just like you can’t argue with a Jezebel spirit. We are not judge over our brothers in that we leave that to God, we don’t condemn because it isn’t our right. We can’t see all the circumstances. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. I was dealing with trying to forgive a couple of people for a while. I spent quiet time with God(not even thinking about them), ie inward prayer, and when I was done it was gone. Maybe if we just sit quietly in God’s presence for a while, forgiveness may not even be an issue with us (as well as some other things).

    • hi Tina

      Scripture also tells us to first submit to God, then resist the enemy. So we do not submit to evil.

      What is hard in your case is that the jezebel does not repent. This is their fault, not yours. However, it becomes your problem when you have to live with them, and the abuse is constant.

      Jezebels have no conscience, so they will not usually change, unless disaster hits them and then it is still a “maybe.”

      We can forgive in our hearts, but still not give submission or permission to evil. We can let the offender know that they are wrong, so they do not get the message you approve and they can continue in their behavior.

      The only way to contend with jezebels is to launch a group effort against them to protect yourself. You would have to have a support system willing to defend you. If you don’t, you will be overpowered by them. The best way then, if you are alone, is to move away from them, and cut off contact.

      the bible teaches that repentance is required for forgiveness, so all we can do is make the forgiveness available to them, but if they refuse to repent, then we have to turn it over to God, like you have.

      • Ironically, if God SENT the enemy, which was commonplace in the Old Testament, then you were to submit to the enemy. That, along with God ruling Satan, according to several Psalmoi and the book of Revelations, proves that Satan IS the third person in the Holy Trinity; he is God the Adversary.


  25. Marianne, I have written an article on mark 11:23 and forgiveness on my blog…it is the first one I have written…so it is crude however I believe to be the truth….I have also gone by my name Byron from Oklahoma..anyway here’s the link….

  26. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do” is one of
    my favorite scriptures. I have always been a very forgiving person, up to the point where my family tells me I’m stupid. The way I see it is, if Jesus Christ forgave his murderers, who am I not to forgive a sall injustice done to me. For example, my sister in law text me about God putting it on her heart to contact me. Then she starts berating my husband, our home, vehicle etc. I have already forgiven

  27. How do I obtain permissison to use the Forgiveness is Conditional image?

  28. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

    22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

    A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace

    I am in a time of bleak dark hate and anger – in my heart I am willing to forgive but horror and shock is a wall that I must tear down slowly to truly allow genuine forgiveness. I know I will not remain in the Valley of hate and anger for long for in the distance I see a Light and as I walk on I will surely enter a Valley called A time to Love as long as I keep my eyes and heart upon the Light. The Light of Christ is flowing over the darkness and washing away all unforgiveness and like a stream it pours slow and serene.

  29. […] Forgiveness is conditional […]

  30. God sinned, so none of what He says matters.

  31. The only way that the Bible does not contradict it’s self is to read it in context. Jesus was a Jew. He came ton the Jews only. Mat. 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
    He (Jesus) referred to the Gentiles as dogs Mat. 15:26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
    Mt. 7:6; Mat. 15:27; Mar. 7:27; Mar. 7:28.
    He told His disciples that they were to keep the law. He also said that if anyone teaches not to keep the law “it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Mt. 18:6 Jesus taught the law! So that means that Mt. Mk. Lk. Jn. are old testament books. So is 1st 2nd Peter and 1st 2hnd and 3rd Jn, James and Revelation, They are all OT books written to Jews only. However Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Eph 3:3, Rom. 11:13 “But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry”. So Paul also teaches that we need not ask for forgiveness before we can be forgiveness. We should forgive because we have already been forgiven by Jesus for all of our sins past, present and future.
    Colossians 2:13-14 reads as follows, When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
    Paul was the first one to teach saved by grace through faith alone. No works Just faith. We should have a desire to keep to live a righteous life because we have already been forgiven. CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT!!

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