Our Lord said, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Immediately, some would respond, “That sounds like works salvation. We believe in salvation by grace.” We do believe, most assuredly, that salvation is all of grace.” And we believe that the saving grace of God is always fruitful. Every branch that is in living union with the Vine brings forth fruit.
In regeneration, the Holy Spirit not only gives us a heart to believe on Christ, he creates within us a heart renewed in the likeness of Christ’s own heart. That is to say, The Holy Spirit Produces In Every True Believer A Heart Willing to Forgive Offences. If there is not a forgiving spirit within you, there is no grace within you, and you are yet in your sins. Anger, wrath, and malice are the lusts of the flesh. Longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness is the fruit of the Spirit.
To be sure, our forgiveness of one another is not perfect, as God’s forgiveness of us is. But our forgiveness must be patterned after God’s forgiveness. It must be free, sincere, and constant. And it has the same motive as God has in forgiving us. “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Remember, when you pray, “Father, forgive me my sin for Christ’s sake,” that “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Those who are forgiven are themselves forgiving.