In our recent article — What ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ Means For True Christian Fellowship — we reflected on how true Christian brethren should interact with one another. In this article, we’d like to dive a little deeper into the role forgiveness plays in our Christian relationships — and the service we may offer to others in their own Christian journey.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SIN
Before we consider the role forgiveness may play, we must distinguish between two kinds of sin: “sin against God” and “sin against others.”
At the outset, we can say that all sin is sin against God. For example, when David “struck and killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the sons of Ammon” (2 Samuel 12:9) so that he could have Uriah’s wife for himself — and Nathan the prophet rebuked David for it — David replied to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13)
When God kept Abimelech from taking Abraham’s wife, He said to Abimelech in a dream, “I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.” (Genesis 20:6) In laws concerning theft and extortion against others, Leviticus 6:2 says, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord….”
In this way, all sin incurs a debt of punishment with God, just as Paul says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) — who “let the sins previously committed go unpunished” (Romans 3:25) — implying a debt of punishment outside of a personal faith in the Lord Jesus. If we have sinned against God, then it is God who shows mercy, as Paul says, “For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may show mercy to all.” (Romans 11:32)
On the other hand, we find sin in the Law where men incur debts of punishment against one another. Leviticus 22 has a few such laws — and we’ll give two concise examples from verses 5-6,
5 “If someone lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another person’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard. 6 “If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, and stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, the one who started the fire must make restitution.
This law requires that if someone has damaged another’s property, they must make restitution for the damage they have caused. In the case of theft, one must restitute double what they had taken (Leviticus 22:4). We find another kind of example in Leviticus 24:19-20,
19 If someone injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so shall it be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a person, so shall it be inflicted on him.
Here the goal is not restitution at all — rather, the Law seeks to punish the offender entirely punitively. In the cases of the examples we have given, we may incur a debt against another when the sin we commit causes damage against that person — whether for restitution or punishment.
Therefore, to understand the difference between a “sin against God” and a “sin against others,” we must distinguish against whom the debt has been incurred. Whenever we sin, we incur a debt with God — but we potentially also incur a debt with the person who was damaged by our sinful acts. This debt may be paid either through punitive or restitutive justice.
PAYMENT OF DEBT
Now we have an important backdrop for the Lord’s parable in Matthew 18:23-35,
23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 And when he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he did not have the means to repay, his master commanded that he be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the master of that slave felt compassion, and he released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling, and went and threw him in prison until he would pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their master all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his master, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he would repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
When we demand a fellow slave repay their debt to ourselves, essentially we demand our own justice for the debt they have incurred for their sin. For example, if someone has destroyed a piece of our property, then they may have incurred a 100 denarii debt against us. In this case, the amount of debt would be rather easy to quantify as one could merely count the cost of the goods destroyed.
However, there are many ways in which we imagine debt to have stacked up in our favor — and things aren’t always as clear cut as with destroyed goods. For example, someone may have abused us emotionally, taken advantage of our vulnerability or slandered us in some way. In such cases there’s really no way to quantify the debt, except by applying our own judgment to the matter.
When we say “judgment” in this case, we mean specifically the attempt at quantifying some kind of justice with the offender. For example, we may want to tell others about how someone else may have offended or hurt us — thus causing those we have told to sour their opinions over our perceived enemy. Just like James says, “Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. The one who speaks against a brother or sister, or judges his brother or sister, speaks against the law and judges the law” (James 4:11).
We may even want to hurt someone physically or even emotionally abuse them in turn.
Whether we “judge” or not, the fact remains that in our own minds, the other party has hurt us somehow. They have hurt us — and in our minds there is some unspecified debt between ourselves and them. However, we call in that debt only when we judge someone — that is, to attempt to quantify that debt — whether tacitly or explicitly — and attempt to extract it from them.
This may play out subconsciously or consciously — and it may range anywhere between a mere flash of annoyance to — in a very extreme case — attempted murder.
As with the parable the Lord gave, the one slave certainly had a debt with the other slave. One slave actually owed a verifiable and quantifiable amount. This is an important stipulation for the teaching of the parable, because the Lord is essentially saying, “Even if your fellow slave owes you something, such and such is how you must act.”
The reason we point this out is that — as with the example provided above — the actual debt someone may have incurred against us is entirely subjective. The quantification of the debt depends entirely on our knowledge of all the facts — as well as our own ability to perceive good and evil within the facts themselves. Our own quantification may be far higher — or far lower — than the actual amount of the debt. We may have even perceived someone else to have a debt against us when, in fact, we have incurred a debt against them.
In the parable, the Lord tells us that it doesn’t matter either way. The one slave certainly had a debt against the other. Even if our sense of justice is so refined — and our knowledge of the facts so complete — that we might perfectly judge the offense, we are not to judge another by attempting to extract that debt from them.
The lesson the parable teaches us is that we have all incurred a debt against God — because all sin is sin against God. At some point in our lives we have even incurred the death penalty by God’s justice, yet through His own mercy He has allowed us to continue to live. Each waking moment where our debt with Him stands — and where He does not call in that debt — is mercy from Him. He could call in that debt in the blink of an eye — and it would be all over for us eternally.
The point at which we die represents the point at which there’s no more opportunity to resolve our debt. Thus if we continue to live while the debt stands, then God benevolently continues to afford us the opportunity to resolve our debt with Him. By the power and work of the Lord Jesus, He offers us the opportunity to clear that debt in a moment if only we will believe in Him with a personal faith and serve Him in Spirit.
If every sin we have ever sinned stands as a debt between us and God, then we should consider the debt which others might incur against us as paltry — just as the debt between the master and the slave was 10,000 denarii, whereas the fellow slave owed only 100 denarii.
Moreover, if God in His mercy affords us the time to settle our debt, then we should afford the same to those who have debts against us. Earlier in Matthew 18:21-22 we find the following conversation between Peter and the Lord Jesus,
21 Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I still 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-seven times.”
If God stands ready to forgive us at the drop of a hat, then we likewise must show the same disposition toward others. Furthermore, when the Lord tells Peter “seventy-seven times,” metaphorically He means to say that there should be no limit to the amounts or instances of debt we must be willing to forgive of others.
Now we cannot forgive someone of something if they have not asked forgiveness — that much is true. However, consider that if God extracts our debt from us and ends our lives somehow, then He has removed our ability to repent of that debt and have it cleared. He has not forgiven our debt, but His grace affords us the opportunity to repent of it. Likewise, when we extract our imagined debt which others have against us, then we remove their ability to repent toward us and be forgiven.
Therefore, whether someone asks forgiveness or not, we should never seek to extract a debt from them. Moreover, when we actively refuse to extract a debt from someone — even if we have correctly quantified that debt — and even if that person has not asked forgiveness — then we exhibit within ourselves the very character of God. We actively give them the opportunity for us to clear their debt for them — assuming they ask forgiveness later.
Ultimately, if someone repents to God and to ourselves for some debt they have incurred through sinning against us, then God will clear that debt on their behalf. If we have already extracted the debt from them, we then find ourselves in the awkward position of having extracted a debt from them whereas God did not. Should we hold a debt against anyone which God has cleared by His own mercy?
Therefore, when we extract a debt from anyone, we run the risk of finding ourselves opposed to the will of God. In so doing, we merely create more of our own debt with Him.
Through all of this, we must never forget that in the final judgment, all debts will be paid — assuming they still stand. For this reason, the Lord Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:25-26,
23 Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Come to good terms with your accuser quickly, while you are with him on the way to court, so that your accuser will not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will not be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last quadrans.
If ourselves and an accuser are on our way to court, then we may assume that in our own minds the matter has not been decided yet. In other words, we go to court in hope that the court will rule in our favor. However, what if the court does not rule in our favor? What if we judged the matter incorrectly?
Then if our brother has ought against us, we should rather seek to be reconciled with him — because that is a far more preferable outcome than allowing the matter to reach the court of the final judgment. We have a way out of that court by simply reconciling ourselves to someone who has something against us.
Moreover, we may conclude that if we have ought against anyone else — and if they do not seek to reconcile themselves with us — then we may rest assured that person will pay “up the last quadrans” — that is, assuming the court decides in our favor. In either case, perfect justice will be done — whether the ruling favors us or not. We can’t lose — unless we want a kind of “justice” against others which is different from the perfect justice of God.
When we refuse to enact our own “justice” on anyone, we submit ourselves to the perfect justice of God.
THE INTENTIONS OF THE HEART
As we previously explained in more detail — using Romans 8:26–27 — the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit work in tandem with one another when They work in our lives. The Spirit works its way into the very thoughts and intentions of our hearts — while the Lord Jesus uses that work to identify His sheep.
This is the very reason we need to display the forgiving character and nature of God toward others. If we display God’s character within ourselves — by keeping the Lord Jesus commandments — then we show the workings of the Holy Spirit within our own thoughts and intentions. If we show the Holy Spirit in our intentions, then the Lord Jesus will intercede for us before His Father.
In this way, when we forgive others and do not consider their debt with us worth extracting, we actively increase our own likelihood of being sanctified by the Lord Jesus. Paul tells us that He “intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)
When the Lord Jesus intercedes for us, He pleads our case on our behalf before the His Father. Make no mistake, each one of us desperately needs the Lord Jesus to make intercession for us — therefore, we must do everything possible to show we are worthy of His high priestly intercession (Hebrews 7:25). Hebrews 10:22 tells us we must approach Him “with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Unfortunately, we are barely aware of all of our sin. Sin is transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) — yet the Law hangs on love (Matthew 22:4). Therefore, when we show enmity — or lack of love — toward others, then we engage in sin.
Moreover, having a desire to do good does not even guarantee we are able to do good the good we desire. As Paul explains to us in Romans 7, our flesh is entirely incapable of good — therefore, if we act according to the flesh — even though we might think we are doing good — we might end up sinning as a result. The very same thing happened in Paul’s own life. To some extent, we all still use our flesh to guide us when we desire to do good. Proverbs 14:12 tells us,
There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.
As we explained in our article — Corinthians 3:18 — How We Become Wise By First Becoming Foolish In Christ — we must consider ourselves to be fools. That is, we must consider that we have a long way of growth to go before we may receive the approval of wisdom by the Lord Jesus in the next life.
With the above in mind, we need a lot of help in order to act how we should toward others — and we all likely have a large gap between our current state and where we need to be in the Kingdom. In other words, if the Lord Jesus is going to teach us how to live, then we need an ample amount of grace from Him first. We need His intercession.
David pleads with the Lord, “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.” (Psalm 19:12) Each of us has hidden faults. If we have hidden faults, then through those faults we accrue debt with God through sin. If the Lord is going to intercede for us and cleanse our sin — stopping the debt from continuing to build — then we first need His mercy to overlook our debt.
If we extract others’ debt toward us — not having mercy on them — then why would the Lord have mercy on us to overlook our debt with God? When we refuse to have mercy on others, then the Lord Jesus withholds mercy from ourselves and leaves us in the fire of our own sins. The Lord commands us to pray, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) Then in Matthew 6:14-15,
14 For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.
If we do not forgive others, then we will not be forgiven. If we are not forgiven, then He will not cleanse us of hidden faults. Therefore, having mercy on others plays a critical role in sanctification from our own sin.
Moreover, when we display mercy toward our kindred, we display the character of God to them. The Lord commands us, “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
When we act in a manner which might bring God glory, then we contribute to the sanctification of others. Whether they come to a personal faith in the Lord Jesus or not, at least we hope and act towards their own good regardless. If they do indeed come to serve the Lord Jesus, then we may rejoice together as debt-free slaves to Him.
MIXING UP DEBTS
Now we must include a very important stipulation here. That is, we cannot place ourselves in the position of God and forgive another’s debt on God’s behalf. Neither can we forgive another’s debt which they have incurred against someone else. We can never place ourselves into a debt which has nothing to do with us.
For example, perhaps a man is currently engaging in beastiality — thus sinning against God. It is not our place to presume to forgive that debt on God’s behalf if the man has not repented for his behavior to God. If God holds a debt against someone for grievous sin, then we must make that debt known to the person — just as we discussed in What ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ Means For True Christian Fellowship — the Scripture encourages us to exhort and rebuke others.
The Lord Jesus tells us that if someone does not listen to any exhortation for them to cease from sin, “he is to be to you as a nation and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17) — that is to say, not a part of our Christian fellowship. We are not to welcome them into the community without their repentance — thereby erroneously forgiving their debt on God’s behalf. Likewise, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13,
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the greedy and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to leave the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what business of mine is it to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the evil person from among yourselves.
Here we find a different kind of judgment. When Paul tells the Corinthians, “Do you not judge those who are within the church,” he is not encouraging the Corinthians to extract debt of sin from one another. Rather, Paul tells the Corinthians to keep evil people out of the community — and as such he gives a list of sins which qualify, such as sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, verbal abuse, drunkenness and swindling. People who practice these sins are to be removed from our Christian fellowship.
Put another way, if someone practices sin which will exclude them from the Kingdom of God, then we should exclude them from our own Christian fellowship. They have incurred a debt of sin against God — and we cannot welcome them into Christian fellowship before they have cleared that debt with Him first.
In this way, Paul has recommended a punitive action against the sinner, making it a judgment in its truest definition. He has commanded to Corinthians to remove the offender from the community. He has not commanded them to extract personal debts from one another.
Sadly, in many cases, we are so hurt by others’ actions we begin to convince ourselves that we act against them because of their debt with God — when in reality, we have become blind to our own personal bias towards them. For this reason, our only consideration should ever be the debt they have with God. The debt they have with ourselves personally should never be a factor and we should never hold it against them.
That’s what it means to have mercy. Nothing is ever personal.
Furthermore, we should not presume to extract other’s debts with God on His behalf. On these matters, Paul says in Romans 12:19,
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Yes, He will avenge the debts against Himself and as well as our own personal debts because vengeance belongs to Him. In these end times, it is not our job to handle God’s debt for Him.
Note how Paul also says, “I did not at all mean with the….people of this world… for then you would have to leave the world.” (1 Corinthians 5:10) In other words, Paul does not tell us not to associate with any sinner ever — because as Paul rightly states, then we’d have to leave the world itself. Rather, Paul is telling us how to gauge our Christian fellowship with others — that is, the people we call friends or family in Christ Jesus.
Furthermore, if anyone repents of certain behavior, they must cease that behavior. If someone has not ceased their behavior, then we may assume their debt still stands with God. If they have repented and ceased their behavior, then we may assume their debt no longer stands with God, because through the Lord Jesus, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Therefore, we may also not hold a debt against someone for their prior sins against God if God Himself has forgiven them that debt.
We have seen both cases in our own experience. People will overlook other’s sin and debt with God merely because they agree on some doctrinal issue — despite the fact that the person has not repented of — or ceased — their sin. On the other hand, we have seen instances where someone may have repented of — and ceased — their sin, yet because of some doctrinal disagreement, someone still holds that sin against them.
However, if someone we know has ceased some grievous sin, we should be wary for the sake of our brethren — that we do not lead them into temptation. In other words, we should be conscious of what sins our brethren have struggled with in the past, that we may help to guard them from that temptation in the future. For example, alcoholics typically need to stay away from alcohol.
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 6:3-8,
3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you anyone wise who will be able to decide between his brothers and sisters, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather suffer the wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves do wrong and defraud. And this to your brothers and sisters!
Paul rebukes the Corinthians for taking one another to worldly courts of law — where one might hope to extract as much as possible from the one we accuse there. He proposes it would be far better for wise Christians in the community to judge the matter among their own brethren.
But how exactly would a wise Christian judge the matter? We believe it’s telling that Paul would follow up his statement by saying they themselves “do wrong and defraud.” In other words, it didn’t suit the Corinthians to go to a wise Christian judge in the first place because they actively sought to do wrong and defraud.
They had no interest in a Godly outcome for their own case. They had no interest to “suffer the wrong” and “be defrauded.” They would rather have extracted as much debt for themselves from their own Christian brethren. By extension, Paul implicitly teaches that it’s better to suffer the wrong in any case.
The Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:38-42,
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not show opposition against an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
Here the Lord teaches us exactly the same lesson — especially recalling Leviticus 24:20 we mentioned earlier. One day we may rest assured that the law of “eye for eye, and tooth for tooth” will be upheld in the final judgment. Everyone will pay perfectly for their own debt of sin. In the mean time, we must rather suffer the wrong from others.
Admittedly these are difficult words to live by. Indeed, loving others according to the Lord Jesus’ standard is one of the hardest parts of the Christian journey. Not only must we consider ourselves the least (Mark 9:35) — giving preference in honor to others (Romans 12:10) — but when we earnestly seek to love others, we must do so in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
In order to live by these words, we must be prepared to suffer all manner of loss on behalf of our brethren — whether material or emotional loss — trusting that the Lord will provide for and comfort us according to our needs for the sake of the Kingdom.
We must consider that without a personal faith in our journey as Christians, our need for sanctification and the perfect judgment to come, we will never be able to suffer for the sake of our brethren as we are supposed to. In other words, if we implicitly view this life as the be-all and end-all of existence, then it would make sense to fight tooth and nail to avoid any kind of loss.
This is the way of an evil world of hyper-individualism, materialism and humanism — all fueled by Satanic Marxism — designed to bring our minds down into the mud and dirt of this life — and effectively hate anyone who stands in our way. Herein we find the fulfillment of Paul’s words when he said people would be “lovers of self” (2 Timothy 3:2).
When we consider that we are living stones (1 Peter 2:5) in an unshakeable (Hebrews 12:28), heavenly city (Hebrews 11:16) — the eternal body of our Lord Jesus (John 2:21) — who are rewarded for our deeds in accordance with His commands (Matthew 16:27) — then we may understand that to suffer any kind of loss in this life will result in our glory. Indeed, the Lord Jesus himself could have become an earthly king (John 6:15) — as the Pharisees desired — yet thankfully for us He considered His heavenly kingdom far more precious.
Likewise, we must consider the Lord and His Kingdom more precious than our own lives and all they consist of. Then we are ready to turn the other cheek — that is, not to extract any debt from anyone ever.
One major stumbling block exists in this world when it comes to this lesson: the world considers any intelligent biped as an Adamic person. In other words, through a fleshly desire to do good, many Christians turn the other cheek to beasts. Oftentimes they will even prefer to turn their cheek to beasts as opposed to their own kindred according to the flesh.
As the Lord Jesus said, “because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold.” (Matthew 24:12) When we consider all intelligent bipeds as Adamic “people,” we engage in lawlessness — and thus, through this egalitarian agenda between the so-called “races,” the true love between Adamic people waxed cold.
Hopefully we are wise to Satan’s machinations — understanding that not every intelligent biped is our kindred as Adamic people. Therefore, the commands which the Lord Jesus taught us do not apply to them. We are not to treat beasts as Adamic people.
Yet this comes with a certain challenge in this day and age. Sadly, many Christians who understand their identity as Adamic people swing too far in the opposite direction. When we come to understand the truth about our identity, we can swing too far in the wrong direction and come to waste our time and emotional energy by hating beasts. Essentially we become consumed by a rage against them — being led by anger into all manner of foolishness.
As we covered in our previous article, James tells us that “a man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) Therefore, anger directed toward hating beasts doesn’t “bring about the righteousness of God” either. As such, we recommend a far more balanced approach when dealing with them.
They are merely beasts, but they are very intelligent beasts. On some level, they experience existence in similar ways we do. To some extent that should give us an advantage when dealing with them in a peaceful manner. For example, we do not understand what a bear might be thinking when it interacts with us — making that interaction much more uncertain. Whereas with intelligent bipeds, we may speak the same language with them and even relate to them on some level.
Of course in many instances there’s just no hope for any kind of rational outcome.
Therefore, we must be “as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16) when dealing with them. If not only for our own safety — but also “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:2) We must always remember that our goal is the “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12) — not becoming bitter and angry towards beasts.
Moreover, we must be especially wary with them for the sake of our kindred. The Lord tells us to “be on guard against people, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues” (Matthew 10:17). Paul tells us that “if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.” (Romans 12:18)
Somehow, in order to “lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” — insofar as it depends on us — we must strike a balance in the way we deal with Adamic people who are not a part of our Christian fellowship — as well as the intelligent bipeds they regard as people.
On the one hand, we should not validate every intelligent biped to the status of Adamic man — and apply the Law and commands of the Lord Jesus to our interactions with them. In so doing, we make ourselves a stumbling block before our brethren, because regarding a beast as an Adamic person may only lead to sin.
On the other hand, their consciences have been seared and violated by the Marxist, egalitarian, Satanic world powers into believing that every upright creature with an intelligence comparable with whites must be an Adamic person. As such, they apply the Law — in accordance with worldly wisdom — to creatures upon which the Law should never have been applied.
Therefore, when we do not treat non-Adamic bipeds as Adamic people, the world becomes incensed with rage against us. Now we must not censor the truth for the sake of our kindred whose consciences have been branded with a lie — yet we should also not practice a religion of “racism” and unnecessarily provoke the world through our own misguided anger at beasts.
So we repeat the Lord’s words again, “be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves.”
Another major stumbling block we face is that Adamic people are evil by nature. On the one hand, many Adamic people will lie and cheat us out of everything we have — yet on the other hand, the Lord tells us in Matthew 5:43-48,
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the nations, do they not do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Our disposition toward Adamic people must always be one of love and mercy. We are not to extract debts from anyone, including non-believers. When we interact with others, we must always act in their own best interests — not in the worldly sense, but in accordance with their own standing in relation to the Kingdom of God.
Yet the Lord also tells us to “be on guard against people” (Matthew 10:17). Sometimes the best thing for another person is just for ourselves to stay out of their way. Put another way, we will not achieve the Lord’s words in Matthew 5:43-48 by actively placing ourselves in harm’s way.
Rather, we must endeavor to be all the more wise when dealing with Adamic people who are not a part of our Christian fellowship. Keep the words of the Lord Jesus in all their literal glory, but we must also act wisely when we interact with other people.
For example, when we are prone to outbursts of anger, we might get ourselves into trouble with worldly people — in which case we should turn the other cheek when they react to our anger. Even mere friendship with worldly people invites all manner of trouble. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,
14 Do not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers; for what do righteousness and lawlessness share together, or what does light have in common with darkness? 15 Or what harmony does Christ have with Belial, or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell among them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Indeed, when we yolk ourselves with unbelievers, we create a grievous rod for our own backs when trying to keep the commandment of the Lord Jesus to love others as ourselves. Either we must forsake the law of love so that we may be unevenly yoked — or we must yoke ourselves wisely that we do not fall prey to the wolves unnecessarily.
We do not imagine that a mere essay could help everyone to solve every situation in their own lives — but hopefully this will be a helpful start. Relationships with others are intensely complex — but the Lord Jesus knows the correct course of action for each of us in our lives.
If anyone has been convicted to sanctify themselves and others through forgiveness, they must go to the Lord in prayer daily and seek wisdom from Him.
I will chew this over but there is I think two relevant passages 1) the so called “crafty steward” that my bother explained to me hence: all things are obviously owned by god and to hang onto such debts as as a personal loss is to make oneself into god as there is likely to be many people think the same about us so we do pray 2) “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…”. That is not an excuse for injustice, or ignoring it, or being silent about it, but am impediment to a lack of mercy towards the blind, the same mercy that opened our eyes.
The parable of the crafty steward is echoing a passage from the Instruction of Amenemope, an Ancient Egyptian text from the Ramesside period, so when Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I Am” He is speaking truth.
Jack McArthur, interesting take on the parable of the crafty steward. I hadn’t considered it that way before. I had a different view on it, but I don’t think our views are even necessarily exclusive with one another. Maybe even they add to one another.
In Luke 16:9 the wealthy steward does all he can to enter the eternal habitation of the mammon of unrighteousness. The sons of light by comparison are happy to coast along, not bothering to ensure in the same way that they will be received into the eternal habitation of light.
It’s like a Christian man who will devote his all to his business and career which he can’t take with him into the next life, but he doesn’t EVEN give EQUAL care and attention to his eternal treasure.
“That is not an excuse for injustice, or ignoring it, or being silent about it, but am impediment to a lack of mercy towards the blind, the same mercy that opened our eyes.”
Yes, ignoring it or being silent about it is also wrong. We must care for the needy in Christ. Although I believe perfect justice will come by the hand of Christ.