Tough Questions with RC Sproul


Tough Questions with RC Sproul

I know God has forgiven me for my sins,
but how can I begin to forgive
myself?
==============================================================================
Frequently
in his epistles, the apostle Paul goes to great lengths to describe
what we
call Christian liberty. In these matters God allows us freedom; he
doesn’t
set down laws prohibiting something or commanding something. The
apostle
warns us against being judgmental toward our brothers, giving as an
example
in the Corinthian community the question about eating meat offered to
idols.
Paul says this has nothing to do with the kingdom of God. He says,
“Those of
you who have scruples about it, don’t judge those who don’t” and
vice versa.
This is a case in which we just have to respect one another.

In those
admonitions, Paul uses as his basis this statement: “We are not to be
judging
people for whom Christ died.” He reminds us that “your brother or your
sister
belongs to Christ. God has forgiven them. Who are you to withhold
forgiveness
from someone whom God has forgiven?”

Let’s look at it this way. If
somebody sins against me and that person
repents, God forgives them. If I
refuse to forgive them, can you think how
ghastly that is in the sight of
God? God is not obligated to forgive that
person. That person has sinned
against God, and God has never sinned against
anybody. Here I am—a person who
is a sinner refusing to forgive other sinners
while God, who is sinless, is
willing to forgive. Have you ever stopped to
think about the arrogance that’s
in me when I refuse to forgive somebody that
God has forgiven?

Now,
how could you forgive yourself after God has forgiven you? I’ve had
people
come to me and say, “R.C., I committed such and such a sin, and I asked
God
to forgive me. I’ve gone to him ten times and asked him to forgive me, but
I
still don’t feel forgiven. What am I going to do?” I don’t have any
brilliant
theological answer to that. I can only tell them to ask God to
forgive them
one more time. When they say they’ve done it, I tell them this
time I want
them to ask God to forgive them for their arrogance. “Arrogance!?”
they say.
“What do you mean arrogance? I’m the most humble man in America.
I’ve
confessed this sin ten times.” Doesn’t God say that if you confess a sin
one
time, he’ll forgive you? Who are you to refuse the forgiveness of God,
and
who are you to condemn one whom God has forgiven? That’s arrogance. You
may
not feel arrogant, you may not mean to be arrogant, you may be rolling
in
humility with all of your confession. But I am telling you that if God
has
forgiven you, it is your duty to forgive yourself. It’s not an option.
You
must forgive those whom God forgives, including yourself.

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