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“21 Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 21 – 22 (NKJV) “34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 (NKJV) ” 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 ‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.’ ” Matthew 18: 34 – 35 (NKJV) (I urge you to read the entire parable of Matthew 18: 23 – 35. I did not wish to make the post so long that some may lose interest and stop reading.) All three of the above passages deal with a simple thought: Love as you are loved – forgive as you are forgiven. The first, if taken literally, would mean you could stop forgiving a person after the 490th time. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE MESSAGE IS! The message is to forgive as many times as is needed. This is precisely one of the reasons we need to read and study the entire word of God and not take bits and pieces and try to use it to proclaim the word of God. The second two passages are used to show the same subject and reason, but said in a different way. There are some who say the first is a slight contrdiction to the other two because it gives a precise number of times to forgive. They do not! They amplify and, hopefully, enlarge the understanding of the first. Now,let as look at this in a different way. Let’s remember Christ said to, “love one another; as I have loved you,”. Loving as Christ means to forgive as Christ. When we are forgiven, our sin is cast into the sea of forgetfullness, never to be remembered. The sin is forgotten as if it never happened. In the eyes and mind of God, it never existed. Therefore, if we are to love as Christ loves, we must also forgive as Christ forgives – the sin never existed after the forgiveness is given. Therefore, there can be no “up to seventy times seven.” The next time would always be the first time. Christ loves and forgives regardless of how many times, or how ‘bad’ the sin. As His followers and children of God we must do the same. LOVE AS CHRIST – FORGIVE AS CHRIST! THAT IS CHRIST’S COMMAND TO US!

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THE IMPORTANCE IS IN THE MESSAGE, NOT THE NUMBER

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