“Do not judge. For with the measure with which you measure, it will be measured back to you.”
“If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father who is in Heaven forgive you your sins.”
What if forgiveness is something more, but never less, than the remittance of punishment deserved for wrongs?
What if God will have all His sons and daughters to be perfect as He Himself is perfect, holy because He Himself is holy? If this can be accomplished through simply making known to the person His forgiveness – His boundless, unconditional love, that accepts the person as His son or daughter, His dearly beloved, as that person is – then so be it. If such forgiveness is accepted, is met by a heart that is ready to receive forgiveness, to be forgiven of all its wrongs – to dive as it were headlong into forgiveness, washing itself of its faults in the sea of Divine forgiveness, ready to make atonement for its sins simply by casting them into the purifying fire of Divine Love – then so be it. This is, if I may say so, perhaps God’s first desire for each one of us. Whoever can or will accept this forgiveness, purifying themselves in this hope, will so be pure and so be one with God and, in the Body of Christ, with all His creation. As they measure, it is measured to them, for they accept the love that has been measured to them and by that love they measure. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Love never fails.” Those who cannot accept such free forgiveness must also receive the measure with which they measure – which is, perhaps, the very definition of justice. Those who will not forgive, who hold against others whatever wrongs they perceive, must also experience their own wrongs. If they cannot see God’s love manifested in Jesus Christ as the cure of all wrongs, the all-purifying and all-consuming fire, then they cannot yet know that love as the purification of their own souls, the forgiveness of their own sins, the righting of their own wrongs, the healing of their own hearts. If they cannot have hope for others to be transformed by the same unconditional, boundless, almighty love and kindness of God, then they cannot know or hope that they themselves are transformed by it. If they cannot believe that the wrongs of others are fully made right in the blood of Jesus, that others are fully atoned to God in His death and resurrection, then they cannot know that themselves are so reconciled to God, their own wrongs so swallowed up and destroyed in the sea as of fire which is the love of God. They can only, perhaps, think that they have been shown favoritism and received remission of a punishment which they still deserve, that, for some reason, their sins, their diseases, their atrocities are overlooked – in short, they can only believe that they have received, not forgiveness, but injustice. Thus, God will give them justice – that He may also give them forgiveness.
There is a saying among some that no one is ever saved alone. I do not understand what everyone means when they say that (I’m fairly certain not everyone who says it means the same thing, though). What I do say is this: no one is saved who hopes in God only for himself. No one is saved who will not love Christ, and no one loves Christ who will not love Him in all His creation: for Christ is the All in All, in whom all things were made and exist and in whom all things will be summed up. No one can purify himself in the hope of Christ and the love of God who believes that there are any beings, that there is any sin, that lies outside that hope, that lies outside the power of Jesus to atone, the power of God to forgive, the power of the Holy Spirit to renew and make right. Anyone who knows that hope for himself, who knows that God can truly atone for sin, truly reconcile, truly make right and bliss of all wrong, will never fail to hope for the forgiveness of his fellow man – and in that hope, forgive the man as much as he is able, extending to that man the renewing love of Christ – for he will know that forgiveness is far more right than any punishment, that in that forgiveness the sin and wrong is dealt with far more satisfactorily and finally than it could be by any punishment, for punishment never makes sin right. Punishment never rights the wrong, but only demands that the wrong-doer suffer that he may know his wrong. Forgiveness may require, if it is necessary, that the wrong-doer suffer until he knows his wrong that he may then accept its cure, but forgiveness will cure both the wrong-doer and the wrong. Forgiveness will renew the face of the earth.
No effort merely of man, no suffering merely of man, but only the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the restoration in the Eternal Son of the creation to Sonship and the perfection intended by God, the complete destruction of sin by the death of Christ, and a bliss fuller than that from which the creation fell, can atone for sin. Sin overlooked is not forgiven. Sin left unpunished is not forgiven and neither is sin punished forgiven. Only where sin is destroyed, righteousness is complete and without fault, and full atonement is made, is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most perfect satisfaction of justice.
Copyright 2020 Raina Nightingale