Roger Bothwell | Aggressive Forgiveness
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Aggressive Forgiveness

On occasion I hear people talking about how very sinful and rotten the world is becoming.  Since I took a ton of history classes for my undergrad degree I’m afraid I have to disagree.  The world has always been a rotten place.   People didn’t live in walled cities just because they liked the architecture.  It is true the 20th century was the bloodiest on record but that is because the population of the world had grown so there were more people to kill.   The rate of killing was the same as before.
  
I point this out not to defend the state of the world.  It’s bad.  And I don’t point this out because I want to paint a dismal picture.   I’m talking about this because I want to herald the glory of Romans 5 where Paul says, “. . . where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”   It’s a wonderful promise about the wonder of wonder-filled grace.  In the paraphrase of the New Testament, The Message, grace in this passage is called “aggressive forgiveness.” 
 
I love the imagery that floods my brain.  I see Jesus, via the Holy Spirit, wooing us, chasing us, and almost begging us to accept His grace.  Like a lover hunting down his passion Jesus is in hot pursuit of sinners.   According to Paul, the more we sin, the more opportunity for Jesus to extend grace.  In chapter 6 Paul than asks the hypothetical question, “Should we then sin more so God can have more joy in forgiving us.”   Paul points out how nonsensical that is because when forgiven we live in a new state of delight and we would never want to go back.