About the Author
John MacArthur has served as the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since 1969. He is known for his verse-by-verse expository preaching, and his pulpit ministry has extended around the world via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of The Master’s College and Seminary, a four-year liberal arts Christian college. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.
Seventy times seven. Forgive one another. Turn the other cheek. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. We may toss these phrases around in our minds like old cliches, or dispense them like aspirin to others who are struggling with legitimate grievances toward another person. But forgiveness isn't a casual concept. God takes it seriously. So seriously that He has not given us an option in the matter. Obedience to His Word is essential. Why? Mostly for our own sake. There can be no intimacy with God and no love for others in a heart where bitterness and unforgiveness dwell. But where there is forgiveness, there is freedom. Spiritual power. Emotional healing. And sweet fellowship. Where there is forgiveness, there is a heart that God has touched—and a life that God can bless. Forgiveness. Almost no concept is more foundational to Christianity—or more important to your personal and spiritual well-being. Yet in an age where it has become fashionable to "forgive yourself" rather than to forgive others, can our modern ways of reckoning guilt, blame, mercy, and justice be reconciled with Jesus' teaching?
This book went far beyond the typical topic of forgiveness. Each chapter seemed to add a broader sense of personal responsibility and accountability.
For instance, "If we would only learn to be more repulsed by our own sin than we are at the wrong others commit against us, we would be well on the road to spiritual health". Page 10. "The real truth is that no one's sins are trivial." Page 13. These two statements caused me as the reader to pray for a stronger desire to increase my hatred toward sin(mine). "Forgiveness. Nothing is more foreign to sinful human nature. And nothing is more characteristic of divine grace." Page 11. This statement increased my desire to become more Christlike in my thinking concerning divine forgiveness. The overview of true salvation in light of forgiveness was an excellent starting point in the book. Note these challenges were in just the first 13 pages.
In chapter 2, The second sentence in this chapter confirmed what I knew intellectually but as I read it this time it hit me harder. "He was the ultimate and only true victim - totally innocent of any wrongdoing." No one was (or ever will be) less deserving of death. Yet forgiveness filled his heart at the crucifixion, not revenge. Personal application centers on suffering through the wrong doing patiently while not holding any grudges, bad thoughts, or one up-man-ship against anyone who commits a wrong against me or anyone in our family. (Matthew 5:44). I do feel inadequate in this deed. I'm a bit embarrassed to write the following but it never occurred to me that the darkness (divine judgment) that feel over the earth at Christ's death signified the most solemn moment in earth's history. The earthquake that followed was a sign of God's wrath. Realizing that my sin required such a radical sacrifice makes me want to rethink how ugly and distasteful sin really is.
I think you're getting the idea after a two chapter review, this book will be on your "Must Read" book to your friends who desire a stronger walk with our Lord.