Forgiveness of others is a prerequisite ordained by God. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Mathew 6:14). Once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are forgiven, redeemed, and reconciled with God. God's prerequisite for us to forgive one another is not about our salvation; its about purpose. It is a condition that is often missed. This, often missed, condition positions us for our greater. Forgiveness is not just about the person being forgiven, it is about our fellowship with God.
From Forgiveness to Fellowship
Everyone wants to be forgiven for something. God forgives past, present, and future trespasses and sins. Only He can do this. He did this because He loves us and desires that no one perish (2 Peter 3:9). “For God so[greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). Those of us who accept God's gift are brought back into fellowship with Him. And, our Faith in Christ leads us to love others. Because of the forgiving love God shown toward us, we are not to withhold forgiveness and love from our brothers and sisters for any reason. "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen (1 John 4:20). We must forgive our brothers and sisters, in order to keep the fellowship lines open with God.
Forgiveness is a Prerequisite to Fellowship