I Need to Forgive My Impenitent Neighbor
The purpose of this thesis is to address the topic of forgiveness. This paper will demonstrate how misconceptions concerning the nature of forgiveness can arise in the secular world today, and even in churches, where many believe that one should only forgive another person as a reaction to their penitence following wrong-doing. This thesis will examine the biblical bases for forgiveness as one finds them in a number of sections of Scripture. This examination will include not only exegetical issues found in isolated passages, but also the examples found in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant and in Jesus' own words from the cross concerning his enemies. This paper will consider the necessity of my attitude of personal forgiveness even toward the impenitent neighbor. This thesis will also take into account different situations where wisdom must guide the words and statements spoken by the wronged Christian to the impenitent individual and how these concerns may be expressed. This understanding of forgiveness is one which is found in Scripture. One finds this evident in the biblical doctrine of objective justification, in which God declares the world forgiven totally on the merits of Christ and his redemptive work. The response of the individual does not change the completeness of that forgiveness. In the same manner Christians also forgive others who have wronged them.