Theme:- Repentance, Essential to Forgiveness and Restoration.

Text:-  Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your down fall…say “forgive all our sins and receive us….I will heal their waywardness and love them freely….”(Hosea 14:1-4 NIV)

Forgiveness precedes restoration and this begins when the sinner(s) comes to the realization of his or her sin(s) and the destruction(s) they have caused, and makes a roundabout turn in repentance, with a resolve not to venture into them again with the help of God. In repenting, the appeal must be to God’s mercies and love as David demanded of God in his confession of the murder of Uriah and his sin of adultery with Bathsheba (II Sam. 11; Psalm 51)

The Old Testament is replete with stories of God restoring the people of Israel to their special position with God after forgiveness following their repentance of their evil ways (Judges 3,4,6,10). The parable of the prodigal son also provides with an example of repentance, forgiveness and restoration (Luke 15:11-31). The son realized his wrong doing and went back home to seek forgiveness. He was not only forgiven by his father, but also restored to his previous status by the father.

Just as God in Christ Jesus forgave our sins and restored us as his sons and daughters, we are also required to forgive sins committed against us after repentance and restore the sinner(s); this becomes highly imperative in that forgiveness of sins committed against us is a pre requisite to our prayers to be heard (Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4) To remain unforgiving does not only block our own prayers from ascending to God, but also shows that we do not fully understand that we too are in need of forgiveness, and restoration.

Forgiveness must be total. Bringing up settled past issues is un-Christian; it is simply blackmailing, and an attempt to take undue advantage of the offender over settled matter.

As we are being reminded of the need to always forgive in order to bring about restoration, let us always forgive those who wrong us and restore them.

Vengeance does not do any good to anyone. It only breeds vicious circle of violence. Vengeance is God’s sale prerogative and it must be left to Him (Rom. 2:19). Let us always aim at forgiveness and restoration.

 

The Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D.

The Provost

Leave a Reply