In Unpacking Forgiveness my central goal is to show how the Cross (and how God forgives us) is foundational to understanding interpersonal forgiveness (forgiving one another).
Today on Route 5:9 (Peacemakers’ blog), Fred Barthel emphasizes this point in a succinct way:
To to me, a person who truly “gets” biblical peacemaking is one who understands the intimate connection between what God has done for us in Christ and how we treat one another.
Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, and so the gospel is at the heart of our ministry. Even when we were still his enemies, God made peace with us through the death and resurrection of his Son. And since we have been reconciled with God, we can be reconciled with one another. Because God has forgiven us in Christ, we can forgive others. This is a radically different way for Christians to relate to each other—a way that glorifies his Son and powerfully appeals to a watching world. Peacemaker Ministries exists to help the church live out this wonderful truth.
Read the whole thing here.
Notice the emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation. Professing Christians often separate reconciliation and forgiveness. While it is useful to study these two components, as though looking at different facets of a diamond, reconciliation and forgiveness should not be put asunder! The Bible never speaks of God forgiving someone without Him also being reconciled to them . . . this has myriad implications for interpersonal forgiveness, and it raises a host of questions . . . some of which I address in Unpacking Forgiveness.
For now, at least take the Forgiveness Quiz. Remember, you will be eligible for a free book. (Click here for the Forgiveness Quiz).
I highly recommend Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker.