The spirit of forgiveness

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
Proverbs 25:2

C. H. Spurgeon, in a sermon, “God’s Glory on Hiding Sin”

Imitate the Lord in forgetting the sins of those who repent. If ever they offend you, let that atonement which satisfied God for sin also satisfy you, and say, “Though this man has offended me, I ask no atonement at his hands, because Christ’s atonement is to my soul the satisfaction for every sin against me as well as against God.” Never harbor any resentment for a single moment, beloved. Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Do you think that Christ’s blood and righteousness are not sufficient to cover those unkind words of your brother, or that ungenerous action of your sin, or that slanderous speech of your neighbor? Go and put all offenses against yourself where God has put all offenses against himself. It is a dreadful thing to hear a man talking about God having forgiven him ten thousand talents and then to see him take his brother by the throat, saying “Pay me what thou owest.” Our Lord Jesus Christ said “If ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespass.” This spirit of forgiveness would keep us always in a state of love, and this is exactly what the Lord Jesus aims at. “It is the glory of God to cover a matter.” Then do you cover matters too. I know some people who always like to be poking into any filth there is. They keep a long stick and stir it up, and they seem to be quite pleased with the sweet perfume. Let it alone, brother, let it alone. “Oh but you do not know how they have offended me!” No, and I do not want to know; but I am quite sure that they have not offended you as much as you have offended God, and yet he has forgiven you. Then do you forgive them. The less said in such matters, the sooner are they mended. Solomon wisely says “Where no wood is there the fire goeth out.” Blessed are they who always act as firemen, throwing cold water upon every spark of dissension or ill-will that they see. It is the glory of God to cover it up, so do you also cover it up with the spirit of love and the mantle of gentleness; and, above all, with the reflection that the precious blood of Christ that made peace between you and God, has also made peace between you and all mankind. And now for love of Christ, if they smite you on the one cheek you should turn the other also; if they will have your cloak, for love of Jesus let them have your coat also sooner than live in the spirit of perpetual contention and strife. May God enable you to act thus, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

To read the rest of Spurgeon’s sermon, click here:


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