2 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The context Paul writes of has to do with the man who had been involved in a relationship with his father’s wife (not his own mother, but a step mother) in the first epistle. Paul obviously believed in discipline because he rebuked the church in 1 Corinthians for not disciplining the sin. But he also believed in a speedy and rapid forgiveness once things were made right.
Paul's lesson on forgiveness extends beyond the original offender and becomes a general instruction concerning offences and forgiveness:
Forgive because others have
Paul affirmed his trust in them that if they had forgiven anyone, he would also forgive on their word. Could it be that someone else has seen a demonstration in another that we have not seen? Could it be that our own pain has kept us from objectively viewing the repentance of another? If someone else has forgiven the offending party we would do well to take their actions into consideration in our own attitude toward them.
Forgive for the sake of the church
Very little has the potential to cause havoc in a church as having members who refuse to forgive. The matter of the church is so much bigger than we are in our own. The consequence of damage to a church weighs so much greater than damage to us as individuals. For the sake of the church, for the good of the body we ought to forgive.
Forgive as a matter of fellowship with Christ
- Who forgave those who took Him to the Cross
- Who forgave us while we were yet sinners