Is forgiveness the end of the matter when one offends either you or
God? No, it is not. There’s more to the matter. (Just to note, if one
sins against you, he also sins against God.)
Why do you think God forgives us in the first place? It is quite
simple. When God looks upon man He is extremely disturbed by our sin.
"Extremely disturbed" is actually putting it very mildly. He
rectified this problem by the death of Jesus.
On the cross Jesus was punished for our sins so we wouldn’t have to
be punished. Further to this, He actually became sin while on the cross
which removed the sin from our lives, making us righteous as God Himself
is righteous (that’s justification). Just imagine, God views you and I
as if we are as good as He is. This comes about when we repent and put our
trust in what Jesus did for us. God no longer sees the sin when He looks
at us. Therefore He is no longer angry with us. But if we reject His
provision of the cross, His anger remains and becomes more intensified
God forgiving us is not the end of the matter. The reason why our sins
are forgiven is so God can look on us without being angry, resulting in a
new found relationship between Him and us. The Biblical term for this is
called "reconciliation". God forgives us of our sin so we can be
reconciled to Him.
Reconciliation means that we are God’s friends – we’re on His
side. Is reconciliation the end of the matter? No. Once reconciled, once
being on His side, we can begin to build a relationship with Him. The
building process requires "restoration" on our part. Restoration
is the process by which the effects of sin are remove from our lives. This
is the end result of forgiveness. We need to understand that forgiveness
is not the end of the matter. I think there’s many Christians who don’t
Paul, in Gal. 6:1 tells us that when a brother is caught in a sin,
those who are spiritual should "restore" him, keeping watch over
themselves in the process so they don’t get caught in the same sin.
Remember, before someone can be restored, they must first repent of the
sin, we must forgive him, then we can help them in the restoration
This is important. For example, if a child abuser repents, and if you
forgive him, do you let him be alone with your child? Not really. He needs
to be restored. Those who are spiritual should help in the restoration
process in order for him to act properly towards children. Forgiveness is
not the end of the matter with this child abuser, or with any of us
sinners. Restoration is the end of the matter.
So when someone offends us or God, restoring the offender’s life from
the effects of sin is the end of the matter – the end result of
Here’s the process – if one sins – rebuke him graciously – if
he repents – you forgive him – he is then reconciled to you and God
– he then begins the restoration process.