Forgiveness

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We know that we are surrounded by enemies of the Christian faith. In such times the sacrament of forgiveness is needed more than ever, for the enemy’s furious hatred challenges us to meet him with the opposite. Our enemies are the very ones we should love by having faith and understanding for them, knowing that in spite of their blindness they have a divine spark that needs to be fanned. Love for our enemies has to be so real that it reaches their hearts. For that is what love does. When that happens, we will find the hidden spark from God in the heart of even the greatest sinner.

- Eberhard Arnold

We take for granted the full forgiveness of sin, which is given to us in our unworthiness. We do not need to keep affirming it; it is made sure in our hearts through the Holy Spirit; through Him we are born anew to the justice of God’s Kingdom. Not our inadequacy, but God’s perfect will is what fills our life and thinking now. Therefore, from now on our entire interest goes away from ourselves toward all peoples of the earth and toward all worlds of God, toward near and far creatures of God, toward those who have died and those yet unborn.

- Eberhard Arnold

Union with God is possible only when all powers opposed to God, all facts and actions opposed to Him, are radically destroyed. Therefore forgiveness and removal of sin, release and liberation must be the basic substance of every experience of God. Forgiveness is the removal of things as they are. What is hostile to God cannot be present when God unites. He wants perfect purity in uniting. Thus everything that is opposed to purity must be taken away. This is forgiveness. Without this, God’s kingdom will not come.

- Eberhard Arnold

Additional Reading for Forgiveness

Inner Land: The Conscience
When troubled consciences find healing they become a force for good.
The Early Christians
What did Christianity look like before it became an institution? This collection of firsthand accounts of the early church includes excerpts from Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Justin, Irenaeus, and others — and equally revealing material from their critics, detractors and persecutors.