Text: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” – Luke 17:3,4.
Comment: When someone does wrong, his attention should be drawn to his wrongdoings or misdeeds and “not suffer sin upon him”. (Leviticus 19:17). If the brother has a contrite heart and shows remorse, Christ instructed that forgiveness should follow. King David acknowledged his errors saying “I have sinned”, before he was forgiven by God. When Hezekiah was sick, God sent Isaiah the prophet to him that he would die. He was penitent and God healed him. (2 Samuel 12:13; 2 Kings 20:1-5) John the Baptist told the unbelieving Jews who came to be baptized that they should “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” – Matthew 3:7,8.
We should however, pray, like King David did, not to fall into what he called presumptuous sins. (Psalm 19:13) These are sins people who know the law of God commit deliberately with the mind that God Almighty would overlook what they had done. In such a category was Judas who, in spite of several warnings, betrayed his master. It was after the deed had been done that he returned the money saying he had sinned. He then went on to commit another sin by hanging himself. – Matthew 27:3-6; Acts 1:16-20.
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,” declared St. Paul, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” – Hebrews 10:26, 27.